Racing results 1 April 2018

Race Report 1 April 2018, the Easter Egg Race

Sunday followed several days of rain and a predicted high tide, and the Met Office told us the wind would be as near as possible to non-existent.  Not ideal conditions for a race, but three Enterprises turned out nevertheless.  James Armitage was crewed by David Kolobov; Rob Collingwood was crewed by Lev Kolobov; and Dave Berger was crewed by Sheila in the Brown’s Enterprise.

Chris Jones assisted by Henry Brown, set a short A-course with a start line at Zoffany House.  There was so much rain water coming down the river that the flood tide flow was noticeably less than normal but started high up the foreshore:  all three boats launched straight into the water from the ramp.  All managed to drift and manoeuvre close to the start line for the signal and set off together but unusually for a downstream / against the tide start, the boats furthest from the bank fared best.  The Bergers found wind from somewhere and, relatively speaking, romped away.  James tried everything, but Porpoise refused to make progress.  The Bergers made the downstream mark, well above the draw dock, and drifted back up to the Bell and Crown upstream mark comfortably ahead of Rob.  But despite all efforts they continued to drift towards Kew Bridge as Rob rounded the mark and continued his stately progress back to the start line.  James meanwhile was still struggling to get to the downstream mark.

The strength of the tide was by now increasing and still had an hour to go.  It had topped the footpath and the OOD and his assistant were ankle deep.  Rob passed the start line after 26 minutes and Dave crossed it five minutes later.  The prospect of another half-hour, at least, of this was more than the OOD team could bear and they declared the race finished.  No loud protests were heard from the sailors.  So the Easter Egg was won by the Rob / Lev Enterprise.

The OOD team waded back to the arch just as the water reached the top of their wellies; the three Ents sailed/paddled/drifted straight into the yard, followed by Dave Jones in the safety boat, who backed practically up to the arch door to offload the engine  and bits; and all present were then marooned  until the tide turned, more of less on schedule, at 1630.  They were sustained by cups of tea, Rum and Blackcurrant, Easter Egg and some tasty seasonal concoctions from Michael Sommerville and Alice.

Next week it’s a 1500 D-course.  Lets hope for just a bit more wind.

Race results 25 March 2018

Race Report 25 March 2018

 

The first race (4th March) was cancelled because of a bad forecast. The next race, a D-course (11th March), was sailed with very little wind on a tide that refused to turn.  Only James rounded the buoy and returned; Lev and Tim were towed home in the gathering dark.  The race on 18th March was cancelled because of a Beast from the East.  But last Sunday’s race, another D-course, was sailed by James Armitage, Lev Kolobov, Nick Floyer and Michael Sommerville with Alice as crew.

There was very little wind – at best a F2 from the NE – and as usual some reaches of the course were without any wind.  James, sailing alone, was in the lead from the start but Nick and Lev followed him closely down to Chiswick Bridge and beyond, and Michael, sailing with first-timer Alice, were in amongst them as far as Barnes.  The beat from Barnes to Corney Reach gave James the scope to increase his lead and the fleet stretched out.  After fifty minutes of sailing, and the strength of the ebb weakening, Henry and David in the safety boat decided it was prudent to shorten the course and a buoy was dropped ahead of James at the upstream end of Chiswick Eyot.  He rounded and started back downwind, creeping up the Surrey bank in the relatively slack water – even fifty minutes after the predicted low water at Chiswick Mall there was still an ebb flow.  Nick and then Lev rounded about 20 minutes later and started their run back, still without an appreciable flood tide, and now with even less wind to help them.  Michael and Alice were struggling to make the buoy and decided to retire – they soon accepted a tow from the safety boat.

The flow of the river is most perverse.  The water level was rising from the time of low water but the flow was still apparently heading out to sea.  It was as if lighter, fresher water from upstream was still flowing out on top of the heavier, salty water coming upstream.  Nick reported that he was at Barnes Bridge before the flow did what it should do.

James reached the finish line after two hours and ten minutes – from Chiswick Bridge there was at least the satisfaction of a beat against a gentle breeze and with an appreciable flow in the right direction.  Nick followed a quarter of an hour later and Lev was 5 minutes behind him.

The handicaps more or less reversed these positions: Lev won on the Handicap points and the Polly Prize; Nick was second in the Handicap and third in the Polly; and James was third in the Handicap and second in the Polly.

Next week, as well as being April Fool’s Day, we have an A-course at 15:00 with and Easter Egg as a prize.

Last Race, 5 November 2017

Last Race of the season, 5 November  2017

It was a bright and breezy afternoon with a full F3, plus added gust, blowing down the A-course from Kew Bridge.  A magnificent 9 boats took to the water, but even before the start three of them came to the conclusion that an immersion was highly likely and returned to the ramp – all Enterprises: the Browns, Rob Collingwood, and Chris and Laura Greenwood.  The others were made of sterner stuff.

Dave and Sheila Berger, rare visitors to our waters, sailing James Armitage’s Enterprise, led almost from the start.  He was closely followed by Nick Floyer at the start of the second lap (14 seconds behind) with Alex Pape and Ian Nethersell also less than a minute behind.   Alas, that was it for Nick.  He was overpowered on the run downstream, capsized, and despite valiant attempts to right his Lightning, it refused to behave.  After several attempts he had to concede and retire from the race – wet and cold.

So that left five contenders, and the Bergers kept ahead, but not by much at first.  At lap two all four were within two minutes of each other.  At three laps Alex and the Bergers were a mere 20 seconds apart with Lev and Ian about three minutes behind them.  Alex was still number two on the next lap with Ian just ahead of Lev, but by the next lap both had overtaken Alex.  The Bergers were drawing further ahead by this stage and went on to lap all the others.  They completed seven hectic laps in the allotted hour, three minutes ahead of Ian’s six laps with Alex and then Lev crossing the line after a further two and three minutes.  Sam Shemtob, with two crew in his Wayfarer and two reefs in his main fought for three laps and the fifth place but was forced to take assistance from the safety boat and retired.

So ended a very exciting race, as well as the 2017 sailing season.  The handicap system gave the race to the Bergers, followed by Lev, then Alex, and finally Ian.  Many thanks to Enoch Rodriguez for supervising the event, and to David Jones and Steve Newell for manning the safety boat.

As usual the race was followed by Beer and Bangers.  The beer was brewed by Steve, Mary Short slaved over the barbeque, soup and cake were provided by Margaret Berger, and other food was provided by several willing members.  It was especially good to see three of our most senior members at the feast: Kurt and Margaret Berger and Paul Williamson.

Race Results – 20 August 2017 – Strand Challenge Regatta

After a week of blustery winds Sunday promised to be somewhat quieter.  The flotillas from London Corinthians Sailing Club and, more distant, South Bank Sailing Club started assembling around the Railway Bridge just before mid-day, and continued to arrive up to the race start time.   The foreshore was chaotic with the 24 boats that eventually started the race landing and launching – 9 from SGSC, 8 from SBSC and 7 from LCSC.  A triangular A-course was set using the rowing buoy as the Surrey bank mark and with the downstream buoy below the slip-dock.  The wind recorded at Kew Gardens was W or WSW through the afternoon at F3 but on the river, as usual, it was all over the place.  The very crowded start line at the Bell and Crown got away with a tail wind but against the tide after a delay to wait for stragglers.  Two Lasers struggled to disentangle themselves from the tree outside the Bell and Crown but eventually re-joined the fleet.

James Armitage showed his familiarity with these waters, amongst other skills, and established an unassailable lead on the first lap.  He romped around in 17 minutes leaving a batch of three followers (Alan (LCSC); Sarah (SBSC); Joseph (SGSC) completing in 21 – 22 minutes, and with the rest of the fleet in bunches giving the OODs (Stephen and Henry) a recording nightmare thereafter.  By the second lap James was 7 minutes clear of his son Joseph, with Val (LCSC); Sarah (LCSC); Tom (SBSC); and Alan (LCSC) breathing down his neck.

The main blockage was approaching the downstream buoy, which was perhaps set a bit far down, and much of the fleet was in a complex weaving, drifting raft at that end of the course for much of the race.  The upstream Surrey buoy gave others some grief: Nick (SGSC) and Sam (SGSC) both got caught by the tide on the wrong side of it in a lull of the wind.

James did 10 minute laps for his third and fourth and finished with a (fifth)15 minute lap, by which time he had overtaken everyone at least once.  Val, working his way up through the fleet after his tangle with a tree at the start, was just ahead of James as he (Val) completed his 4th and was thus sent around to do a fifth – the only other boat to do so.

According to the hard-pressed OODs five boats made a fourth lap, Sam only managed one (four crew in a Wayfarer), Tim made two in his Gull and the rest did three laps.  The OODs apologise unreservedly for any laps they failed to record – there must be some they missed.

PS October 2017 … Sally Pierce of SBSC  has told us she did 4 laps not 3, which puts her in 6th place and means that SBSC beat SGSC in the team points.  The corrected results are below.

The result was a clear win for James (Ent, SGSC) and a clear second place for Val (Laser, LCSC).  The third place was very closely contested on corrected time by Sarah (Solo, SBSC), Alan and Steph (Ent, SBSC) and Joseph (Laser, SGSC) in that order – a good spread of clubs and boats.  Two team prizes are awarded for this event, both based on the aggregate positions of the first six boats in each club.  The SGSC/SBSC Challenge Trophy went to SBSC, and the SGSC/LCSC Challenge Trophy went by a slightly wider margin to SGSC.

And afterwards there was a sumptuous tea including barbequed sausages and burgers with all the trimmings.  Many thanks to Mary S and Mary B and an army of helpers and providers.

Please note that, in place of the Gins weekend, there will be an A-course points race on 27 August starting at 17:40.