Although the summer weather seemed to have gone, we had a turn-out of six for our fourth Covid-restrained race. There were grey skies, the occasional drizzle of rain and a gusty breeze coming down the A-course from Kew Bridge giving a sort-of run down to the grid and a beat back towards the Surrey-side rowing buoy and then our third mark above the Bell and Crown.
The critical choice for the downstream leg was whether to stick to the Strand bank or try the possibly clearer wind on the Surrey side. James (solo in his Enterprise), Lev (also solo in his Enterprise) and Rob (Laser) went across to the Surrey bank and made steady progress against the tide to establish a good lead at the end of the first lap – Lev and Rob leading the trio followed by James.
Ian (Topaz), then the Browns (Enterprise) came around the top mark to the start line a couple of minutes later, in company with Chris and Mary (Leader) who had started late.
The leaders swapped places in fairly close formation for the rest of the six-lap race but Lev was in the lead most of the time and finished first about 15 seconds ahead of Rob with James, uncharacteristically, trailing them by over three minutes.
By that stage Lev had lapped Ian twice and had almost overtaken the Browns who were happy to finish their sixth lap and a very enjoyable and energetic sail. Back at the arch the high tide made for an easy recovery.
So, a good time was had by all despite the enforced lack of tea and buns. Manty thanks to Alex for manning the safety boat and to Tom (and Jo) Broadhurst for officiating from the Bell and Crown.
Next Sunday is down as D-course, starting at 16:10 which may be shortened to a multi-lap B depending on the conditions.