OOD: Leona Shepherd
Safety Boat: Lev Kobolov and David
Weather: Sunny and with light Easterly breeze blowing with the spring tide.
Seven boats, supporting 10 sailors were rigged and launched by 15.00. At the 15.10 start all boats were holding steadily into the wind with James, Rob and Olly (with Billy) demonstrating a perfect line up (see photo): James Armitage with crew Ariel Biekarck on Zephyr (Enterprise), Rob Adams on Phoebe (Laser), Olly Adams with crew Billy Adams on Spinosaurus (Mirror), Chris Greenwood with crew Felicia Biekarck on Distant Thunder (Leader), Tim Young on Ait Knots (Wanderer), Ben Chappel on Envy (Laser), Keith Clarke on Kaia (Laser).
A challenging sailing day with clear, sunny weather, a light breeze and a strong flood tide on the A-course. James caught the wind best at the start and took an early lead rounding the buoy first. The other 6 boats competed hard to round the first buoy. The legs heading upstream were pacey with the tide and wind together making for exciting sailing. Rob demonstrated local skill at the end of lap 1 (and on several subsequent laps) by sailing close to the wall at the Bell and Crown and making a tight tack to pick up the best route back down river.
Half way through the 2nd and 3rd laps a mele of boats took their time rounding the downstream buoy. James, on his 4th lap, broke through first. Next was Rob. As Keith approached the end of his 2nd lap, he was a little too far out and, frustratingly, the tide caught him and pulled him back off the line. On the final lap most boats were taking a slow pass allowing the crowds at the Bell and Crown to cheer each finisher as they crossed the line. That said, Tim flew past with the style you only get from our commodore (see photo!).