Sunday was overcast and strong gusty winds with rain were forecast. Nevertheless several helms turned up at the arch at 12:30 to get the feel of conditions. Four boats decided to launch: James Armitage with his increasingly experienced Enterprise crew, grandson Ayanda; Alex Pape in his lugger; Ian Nethersell in his Vibe; and Jane Watkins in her Gull. In view of the conditions, in consultation with the sailors, Mary Brown (OOD) decided on a short race of around 45 minutes.
In reality the weather wasn’t as bad as feared. There was a F3-4 WSW wind blowing diagonally across the A-course and its force was somewhat diminished by the still leafy trees on the Surrey bank, and the rain didn’t materialise. So the fleet had a broad reach on the way down to the bottom mark by the slip dock, and a fine reach on the way back to the top mark just below the Steam Packet.
James, Alex and Ian (in that order) all completed their first lap in about 5 minutes after which the Enterprise stretched its lead over the other two. Jane had too close an encounter with the top mark, and re-rounding cost her some time. Ian and Alex swapped positions at least three times during their 8 laps and finished 27 seconds apart with Jane, on six laps, sandwiched between them. James had already completed 8 laps and was about 3 minutes ahead of Alex at the line.
After the sums, Alex won the Handicap points and the Little Boats points and James was first in the Polly Prize. Henry Brown, in the safety boat, was pleased to have very little to do.
The Master of Sums apologises for having posted a misleading report that did disservice to Alex and Ian. This is the true story.
Next week we intend to sail a B/D course at 13:40 if the new Covid rules allow but we shall email / post on the website the RYA/Government advice if we can’t.