The C-course race took place in warm sunshine and a light variable wind, starting at 11:45.
With all sailors and supporting members ready early and a weak tide the fleet assembled on the far side of Kew Bridge without undue excitement. Holding on until the three minute warning, to avoid the risk a premature departure to the London Apprentice, we set off together with the wind behind us. All, that is, except Nick who had drifted over the line and had to work back to re-cross.
Family crewed Enterprises Lev and Inna and Tim and his daughter Emma, Chris and Mary in a Leader, Lightning Nick and Ian with his spinnaker jostled for position until the wind ran out just after Brentford Marina and eventually re-established itself in the opposite direction. Despite his false start Nick reached the buoy at the London Apprentice with a long lead only to find, when he turned the mark, the tide still flooding strongly, so he stopped while everyone else caught up.
Everyone else then reached the buoy opposite the pub and started off again with a following wind; Nick in the lead followed by Chris and Mary. The Middlesex side of the river offered the best wind on the way home and the tide turned for the leaders when they were almost at Brentford Ait.
It was a long race – an hour and three quarters for Nick, followed 5 minutes later by Chris and Mary, 9 minutes later by Lev with Ian close behind, and 6 minutes later by Tim. Which was also the finishing order after the sums were done.
Thanks to David Jones for standing in for Tim Young on the safety boat and Jane as OOD who went the extra mile to retrieve the Blue Peter flag from the river at the end of the race.
Next week it is a 17:10 B-course.
CG with additions from NF and HB