It was a perfect day for a B course, a NE force 2/3 wind blowing the boats down the Chiswick reach against the incoming tide and then a good beat back to the line with the tide. A late start was made because all hands tried to help Frankie rig David Jones ’s old Solo. All in vain when the rudder was mislaid. (Later found behind some other boats in the arch).
Not to worry, the fleet managed one long lap to Chiswick quay and back. Three boats set off: Chris and Felicia (Distant Thunder, Leader), Tim (Ait Knots, Wanderer) and Keith (Kaia, Laser). The first leg was all about choice of course: less tide but less wind in by the bank, or more wind but more tide in the middle of the river. Tim sailed the perfect line – not too close to the bank but not far enough out to hit the tide, to get to the Chiswick Marina mark first. Followed closely by Keith who had recovered from a luff into the tide by Chris and Felicia. On the beat back Chris was rapidly closing on the leading two and just got past them on the Railway bridge mark due to a fluffed mark rounding by Tim caused by a rush of adrenaline as he saw the line honours tantalisingly in front of him. Well sailed.
Sadly, OOD Heather was obliged to call it a day at only one lap. This was partly due to the late start (no more time to do a second lap), partly as the river was ‘closed’ by the PLA for the Vesta Veterans Head of the River that fully occupied the river below Strand End, but also because the tide was beginning to turn.
Well done to Club member Tom Broadhurst for competing in the Vets Head.
Rob Adams (Safety Boat and reporter)