OOD: Leona Shepherd

Safety Boat: Joseph Armitage & Joel

Weather: Everything except hail or snow. 0-6kts with gusts >11kts.

Course: D

Four boats were launched by 15.00, however the balmy weather at 3pm became quite exciting winds by 3:15 and 2 boats (Nick Floyer in flo , and Andy Ross with Keith Clarke in Comma) took the sensible decision to retire before the race started at 15.21. This decision was affirmed as the stormy afternoon progressed and the ‘retired’ sailors and OOD huddled in the arch with hot cups of tea.

The audacious sailors were: James Armitage with crew Felicia Biekarck on Zephyr (Enterprise) and Olly Adams with crew Billy on Spinnasaurus (Mirror)

To be honest it was all about the weather which started with fresh winds allowing the boats to head off down river at good speed. It then deteriorated to wet and gusty with winds from all directions as the squall passed over our stretch from Strand to Hammersmith bringing with it thunder and lightning. The eye of the storm was peaceful but didn’t last long as the winds picked up again and the second half of the storm passed overhead.

Once the boats rounded the buoy, the safety boat, after sheltering under a canopy near Corinthians, returned to Strand for warm jumpers, hats and waterproofs for the soaking sailors. Thanks to Marian Armitage. Hypothermia avoided, the boats gradually drifted back up river aided by a gentle tide. Emerging from under Chiswick bridge their red and blue sails reflected peacefully on the water. James demonstrated good sail technique, maximising his forward motion, as the race ended in a fine and still evening. Thanks to Andy and Henry for coming back out to help recover the safety boat and dinghys.

Special commendation to Billy who contributed heroically throughout the race and despite the chill, still had a brave smile as he helped pack the boat away at the end. And Spinosaurus triumphed over Zephyr on Handicap.

Leona Shepherd (OOD)

An outing for the Kayaks

The club’s kayak trip on the same day saw us launching 6 kayaks with 7 paddlers and heading up river to Richmond in fine weather. Very light winds, clear skies and a comfortable 20oC. Fish were leaping, ducklings and goslings were exploring and the rowers were busy! A fresh coffee and fine croissant were enjoyed before topping up the suncream, donning the sun-glasses for the return.

It is hard to believe it was the same day as the race!

Leona Shepherd