Seven boats set out gamely to take part in a late afternoon B course under grey skies and calm conditions.  All seven made it under the railway bridge downstream to the start line, this being a challenge in itself given the light winds and incoming tide. 

Sadly three boats (Jane in Pacman, Sam in SY2 and Nick Jeffery with his crew in Eeyore, the Duckling) had to retire before completing a first lap, despite Lev and David Kolobov in the safety boat having sympathetically set out a relatively short course between the two marker buoys.  Rob Adams in his Laser led the race and completed three laps as did Chris Greenwood and Felicia in Distant Thunder.  Congratulations go to Ben in his Laser and the youngest crew (Ariel and Tamina in Tonic) for completing 2 and 1 laps respectively, both artfully exploiting the eddies close to the north bank to make way downstream against tide and with only relatively light winds.

There was a little excitement during the race when an Eight managed to hit the pier and also when Distant Thunder was washed onto the pier by the prevailing current.   However Felicia deftly took down the sails and mast so the boat could pass under a gap in the pier and then having got the mast and sails back up proceed round the pier and resume their course with minimum fuss – and without recourse to help from the safety boat which would have meant they would have had to retire from the race.

The OOD was cheerfully and ably assisted by 5-year-old Kieran with signalling the race start and end both with the flags and sounding the horn.

There’s no race next week because the tides and daylight hours don’t match, but the week after that, 7th November, will be the last race followed by Beer and Bangers (around 16:00), for which brewmaster Steve Newell has laid down some 40 pints of his best.  Please join in.

Mary Short OOD