An overcast day of very light and fickle winds, demanding some tactical sailing from the three entrants, James, Henry & Mary and Jane.

We set a shortish two-mark course, allowing a fairly slow run downstream and a brisker beat back up, with the tide.

On the first lap, all three boats reached the downstream mark in close echelon formation, but thereafter, Jane’s Gull lacked the sail area to make the best of the light wind conditions. The water immediately after the upstream mark, in particular, seemed plagued by the doldrums.

On the first lap, Henry found the wind here whereas James, seeking it on the Surrey Bank, was disappointed for a while and the lead switched. However, Henry was less fortunate with the doldrums thereafter, allowing James to steal almost a lap on him by mid-race.

This pattern of lulls and relative spurts continued, dampened by intermittent light showers, until James crossed the line on his seventh lap 10 seconds short of the hour, Henry on his 6th a couple of minutes later, followed by Jane just a lap behind him a minute or so afterwards.

Tim Wellburn