A cloudy, breezy Sunday Morning with an SSW wind predicted blowing 6 gusting 14 Knots.
Two visiting guests, mother and son, Felicia and Ariel were welcomed and agreed to crew for James and Chris.
5 Boats assembled on the foreshore.
James plus crew Ariel (Zephyr), Henry and Mary (Big Polly), Lev and David (Porpoise), Chris and Felicia (Distant Thunder) and Ben (Envy).
The Safety boat was launched by Ian and Dave, and the course setting was agreed with the OOD.
As the gusts developed and the threat of rain loomed, Henry decided to return to the Arch.
Four boats set sail up stream for the 11.10 start of the scheduled short A course.
The buoys were set, upstream of the Bell and Crown Pub and upstream of the Grid with the start line at Bell and Crown Pub. As the start line was forming, Ben experienced problems with his Laser and with assistance from the safety decided to retire from the race.
The race started on time with James leading and Chris and Lev close behind. James lapped the first lap in 5.34 and Chris 7.57 and Lev 7.58. The race continued with James slowly increasing his lead and Lev and Chris – Chris and Lev exchanging positions for 6 laps with little between them.
All three boats seemed to take different tracks especially going up stream. The down stream track was favoured by all to be close to the Strand Bank. Moreover, the wind direction seemed to change throughout the race switching to the West and gusting. This made the sailing very testing. Unfortunately, on the 7th lap as Lev had established a lead over Chris, he was hit with a unexpected gust of wind at the Bell and Crown Pub buoy. He capsized and within seconds his Enterprise (Porpoise) was full of water, the transom completely covered. Lev and David managed to right (Porpoise) and keep her from capsizing again in the strong gusts. With frantic bailing they then carefully sailed on to finish the race. An amazing spectacle for Sunday visitors to Strand, brilliantly executed by Lev and David.
James completed the race 8 laps – 51.05 minutes, Chris 7 laps – 52.56 and Lev 7 laps – 57.35
Many thanks for Ian and Dave manning the Safety Boat.
OOD J A E Bull