OOD: Mary Brown / Henry Brown
Safety boat: Nick and Nicky Jeffery
Weather: Fine, wind NW, F2-3
B-course, Start: 11:20
Another good turnout for an August Bank Holiday race. Time was when SGSC would have decamped down to the Solent for a Gins weekend.
Six boats launched: James Armitage with a novice crew (sorry, I forgot to note his name) in Zephyr (Enterprise); Chris Greenwood and Felicia Biekark in Distant Thunder (Leader); Nick Floyer in flo (Gull); newcomer Tamir Gottfried in a Laser; Tim Young in Ait Knots (Wanderer); and at last – after many repairs, Andy Ross and Enoch Rodriguez in Comma (Enterprise).
We chose a B-course because of a light but steady northerly breeze urging the fleet against a weak neap tide down to Chiswick Staithe. There was plenty of holiday river traffic to contend with: not so many rowers as usual but all other varieties from paddle boards up. At the start all but Tamir went for the Surrey bank hoping for weaker tide flow than in midstream. It was the wrong choice and Tamir gained a substantial lead by sailing in the freer midstream wind. So we had the unusual sight of James a full minute behind the lead at the first lap. He was followed 2 minutes later by Chris, then Nick, and then Andy and Tim.
James gradually crept up on Tamir over the next three laps, which were completed in about 15 minutes each, but he was still 7 seconds behind at the finish. Chris maintained third position and finished about 7 minutes later, followed in 5 minutes by Andy, then Nick in another 5 minutes and finally Tim, who got delayed by a doldrum at the last mark.
The Strand handicap sums (Handicap Cup) gave the race to Tamir, then Andy, then Nick. The regular yardstick sums (Polly Prize) gave the race to James, then Tamir, then Nick. The Big Boats points went to James, then Tamir, then Chris, and Nick took the Little Boats points.
Thanks to Nick and Nicky in the safety boat for unobtrusive reassurance, and Mary for time-keeping.
Next week it’s an A-course at 16:15 following a working party at 10:30.