Safety Boat: Nick Jeffery
OOD Team: Training: Stephano, Bianca & Ecia; Supervising: Tim Wellburn
Sunshine, a fair easterly wind and a moderate but strengthening flood tide.
A two-buoy ‘A’ course; 5 boats competed.
Emanuella, having launched early, decided to return to the Arch before the racing commenced. This led to an exciting Le Mans start for James, who took on her crew member in mid-stream, seconds before the start. Discrete enquiries suggested that the crew, Ariel Biekarak, was almost certainly a ringer, with very serious Brazilian racing blood, of whom we hope to see more in future.
This may have accounted for the remarkably quick times put in by Enterprise 23444, which reappeared to complete the first lap after about only 71/2 minutes, with Lev’s and Henry’s Ents chasing +/- a couple of minutes astern, and John’s Laser about half a minute later. Ben, whose Laser’s hull and self-bailers both seemed less than watertight, at times struggled a bit more to make headway against the easterly wind and tide, and followed John about 23/4 minutes later.
By the second lap, Lev & David, having overcome last week’s temporary aquaphobia, had overhauled Henry & Mary, albeit by less than half a minute, and generally gained time by managing to point closely into the wind after rounding the upstream buoy.
This sequence of boats then endured for the rest of the race, which ran for just over an hour, with James completing 9 laps; Lev 8; John and Henry 7; and Ben 6.