Dear members and friends,
Please note the race next Sunday, August 27th is cancelled, instead we will race on Monday, August of 28th at 10:50, C course.
All the best and happy sailing.
Dear members and friends,
Please note the race next Sunday, August 27th is cancelled, instead we will race on Monday, August of 28th at 10:50, C course.
All the best and happy sailing.
It was a morning C Course, with a planned 11:20 start which was delayed by 6 minutes to
11:26. A hot sunny day with a strong down river breeze with many gusts and choppy water.
The start point was from the last moored boat on the pontoon, in line with the mooring
posts on each side of the river and the partly-hidden by new buildings Steam Museum
Six boats started:
Zephyr, James Armitage and daughter, 23444, Enterprise.
Porpoise, L Kolobov, 21408, Enterprise.
Phoebe, Rob Adams, 174570, Laser.
Kaia, Keith Clarke, 195250, Laser.
Distant Thunder, Chris Greenwood & Felicia, 1043, Leader.
SY2, Sam Shemtob with two young crew from America., SY2, Wayfarer.
A good start with a James leading, followed closely by Rob, Keith, Lev, then Chris with
Sam far behind with his well reefed sails.
After about 10 minutes Lev capsized near Kew but he speedily righted the boat and set
about emptying all the water out.
Good progress was made by the first 5 boats with Sam still well behind.
The buoy was placed in line with the Sion Park wall near the London Apprentice. Alas,
soon after rounding the Buoy Keith decided some capsize drill was needed. He righted the
boat well, but had two more capsizes and decided it was wise to retire and the Safety Boat
started towing him back.
James and Rob were well ahead in the distance followed by Lev.
Chris and Felicia had pulled into the side near Kew and Brentford Ait and lowered the sails
and mast because of a broken rudder due to loose pintles.
During all these events Sam gently ambled along from well behind and made up lost time.
As the safety boat was towing Keith’s Laser back they passed us, lowered the sails, and then
gently and gracefully drifted by the finish line with no help from oars.
Tim Young OOD
Race Report: Election Candidates. Sunday 17 July 2022
The Election Candidates trolleyed their policy boats, immediately axle-deep in
fetid, mud-green sludge and sleaze, onto a de-oxygenated riverbed.
Could there possibly be a clean start – or was it a sign of much more mud-
slinging to come?
The wind of change was in the air: a hot and strong Westerly.
Late on the scene, delayed by the ruthless routing-out all other contenders,
the 1922 Committee Safety Boat with James and Nikita onboard, agreed with
the OOD it was a perfect day for long and selection-testing questions on an’
A’ for Politically Correct Answers course with the downstream buoy at the
SGSC ramp and upstream at the Bell & Crown – with even the possibility of
Round the Island, if anyone had a new idea to offer.
Three Lasers stood up first for Questions.
Rob, the “No Fairy Tale” [NFT] candidate was followed by Keith, “Mainstream
Tacks Policy” [MTP], and then by John, determinedly both standing and
sitting for a traditional: “Blood, Sweat, Toil & Tears” [BST&T] policy. They
were followed by Chris and Felicia, who were claiming the votes for:
“Diversity & Gender Balance” [DGB].
All four then found that the fresh hot wind, almost from the start, was dying
out. So politically which way to go?
All were certain that taxing to the Left, while tacking to the Right would be a
sure race winner. Only Keith [MTP] stuck to the mid-channel position with
minor adjustments, fine-tuning his policy-trimming, taxing this way and then
axing taxing that.
But they all struggled to get as far as the grid, where they were all becalmed.
Oliver’s Island, representing the Great British Public [GBP] with its tall bulk of
trees, had stubbornly blocked a slight shift in wind to the South-West – and
refused to allow the fresh breeze of honest public opinion to take any interest
at all in the squabbling and argumentative in-fighting that was now breaking
out amongst these racing Election Candidates.
Whose: “Broken promise” to give way had left a bitter taste? Who was the:
“Snake from behind” who had found that tiny nudge of wind to get ahead and
spoil the fact they were: “Ready to lead”? Where had the ambition to “Get
things done” found that their path to victory was obstructed and unachievable?
What had their experience of: “Serving on the front line” all
been for? They were all obviously now deeply: “In The Thick Of It.”
But John, [Blood, Sweat, Toil & Tears], was certain that now was exactly the
right moment to: “Hit the ground running”. And he did so. Literally.
Dramatically shifting tack to go inside the grid, his centreboard struck the
timbers – and he both broke off a chunk of fibreglass, and nearly broke a
thumb; leaving a smear of blood that could potentially be a good clue for a
future role in Death in Paradise, should he need a post-political career?
The 1922 Committee went to see if [by some mysterious and secret means]
they could shift the position of the downstream buoy to enable a different kind
of voting, and a quicker outcome – and saw that there was a significant
breeze of journalistic investigation that meant they couldn’t. They retired to
moor for the duration in contemplation at the Bell & Crown.
At long last, Rob, [NFT], turned round the buoy and sped upstream on the
incoming tide with a determined: “Will to win”. He was followed by Chris and
Felicia [DBG], beautifully goose-winging their way to the votes they could see
for themselves with an: “Inclusive and united” policy.
Keith with his policy programme now clearly defined as: “Is he Left, is he
Right, is he Centre, is he Anything?” was delighted to find that his third place
for the first lap meant he was surely now on course for victory.
Only John [BST&T] found he was still backsliding in the opinion polls. Could
now be the right moment for the launch of his own excruciating video version
of: “I Vow to Thee My Country”, and get him round the course?
The normally watchful and attentive pub-side lobby groups of Political
Correspondents [PCs] and Special Advisers [SPADS] were more concerned
with raucously bellowing their own ideas to each other on Life, the Universe
and Everything – rather than anything to do with this contest.
So, what could this Election Candidates’ Devils’ Brew of conspiracy, bad
ideas, unbelievable strategies and unwavering self-interest produce from this
“A” for Answers course, other than a head aching-inducing and horridly-mixed
Perhaps all of them deserve banishment to the 7th Circle of Hell. It is also
called the Hell of the Violent and the Bestial, very appropriately for the hottest
day of the year, as described in Cantos 12-17 of Dante Alighieri’s “Inferno”,
for sins of violence against neighbours, against themselves, and against God,
Nature, and Art – for failing to commit to Net Zero on climate change.
So, in absolutely no comparison, in our entirely innocent event, who would
turn out to be the ultimate Leader of this Leadership race that is perfectly
obviously and always: “Less about the Leader, more about the Ship”, – and is
never just a flotsam flotilla of fantasies.
And we now have an Answer!
Everyone eventually got round the course!
Rob [No Fairy Tale] completed three laps, as did Chris & Felicia [Diversity &
Gender Balance]. Keith [Mainstream Tacks Policy] completed two. And John,
[Blood, Sweat, Toil & Tears] persistently took a whole hour – and triumphantly
finally completed a lap.
So, on the day, everyone was a Winner!
All political and sailing sins of omission and commission were then
exonerated and forgiven and forgotten with South African Rooibos Tea and
Lemon Drizzle Cake.
But which of them is now actually the Leader?
OOD Andy Ross
17 July 2022
A warm and sunny morning, with a zephyr (westerly wind) just strong enough,
most of the time, for boats to make progress against the incoming neap tide.
The course was changed by necessity from the planned B to a short A.
There were many changes of position early, but James (Enterprise) soon
stretched out a lead and lapped John (Laser) once and Tim Y (Wanderer) twice.
However, he just failed to lap Chris (Leader), and those two completed 8 laps.
Ian, David and friends were in the safety boat.
Nick Floyer, OOD
It was a delightful day with warm sunshine and a steady F 2-3 wind making it
well suited for a B course in the late afternoon.
The safety boat was manned by David Jones but happily his services were not
stretched. 5 boats competed, each being of a different class. At the front of
the pack for most of the race was Family Armitage, namely James in his
Enterprise with his daughter Ruth as crew, fighting it out against his son Joe in
his Laser. All bar one of the boats completed 4 laps within the hour, the only
exception being Nick Floyer in his Gull who saved a final lap by allowing the
Armitages to steam pass him to the finish line.
The two other boats were Distant Thunder with Chris Greenwood and Nikita
Roketskiy sailing together for the first time, and Ian Nethersell sailing his Vibe
Mary Short, OOD
Race Report Sunday 26 June 2022: Mare’s Tails.
Mare’s Tails, two miles high and five miles across an azure-blue sky signaled a fast-galloping race
on a ‘C’ course to Isleworth and back. In a warm and southerly wind, deceptively mostly F2, but
gusting dramatically to F4, the question was: would the riders manage to stay in the saddle?
Tim, and his experienced sailing friend John, fine-tuned their Enterprise rigging while Keith
prepped his Laser, hoping his new £3k hearing aids were water-proof, while Nick carefully
maneuvered his pretty new boat onto the foreshore, trusting that his sticking centre-board would
seriously stick to the job of keeping him upright. Rob also then joined the fleet, anxious that his
boom cords were not as tight as would be needed for a high-tension performance.
Tim was first out on the river – and soon found himself becalmed in the long wind-shadow above
Oliver’s Island until Enoch and David in the Safety Boat arrived to guide him through Kew Bridge.
Alongside each other they headed for mid-channel. But just as they entered the bridge a vicious
roque gust swirled them round 180 degrees – and the mast scraped along the arch roof [at the
expense of the burgee] – and they emerged, painfully slowly, all going backwards, on the upstream
side of the bridge, but all thankfully still upright and onboard. Keith and Rob sped through
unassisted. But the OOD, by then walking over Kew Bridge, saw that Nick, rather than commit to
this journey of discovery towards a highly probable dunking, was dropping his mainsail – surely a
sign that he was returning to base; later confirmed by the Safety Boat team.
A perfect line-abreast start was achieved as Tim, Keith and Rob hurtled across the line, billowed
along by the ever-so-strong southerly wind. Their tacks sounded like whip-cracks as they shot back
and forth – and the OOD gathered up the starting flags and walked on up to the Herbarium steps to
see how they were faring.
Immediately, it was obvious there was trouble. In a violent gust Keith had capsized. So too, just
two seconds later, did Tim. Keith then righted – and then capsized again. Tim struggled to get
round the boat to the centre board [or was it John?] – and once upright; and wallowing deep in the
water, with the Safety Boat beside them, they drifted into Brentford Ait and began baling. Keith
capsized for a third time – and this time it seemed he couldn’t find the energy to do anything more.
Meanwhile Rob, who had been boisterously bouncing along upriver, must have seen this chaos
behind him. And, very nobly, he turned round and came back to see if he could help. Later, and in
a typically self-deprecating way, he said that he did not fancy capsizing somewhere up in Isleworth,
all on his own. Now sticking to the bank edge, he made his way against the strong incoming tide
back to Kew Marina.
There too, Tim was towed into the trees again to bale out while the Safety Boat took Rob and Keith
back through Kew Bridge – and turned them in to the slipway beside the bridge, before returning to
pick up Tim – and tow him to SGSC; before then going back for Rob and Keith.
Nick was astonished to see everyone back so soon. What had happened? As the tales and the
experiences of this totally eventful, but totally non-race event, were related, typically, by the time
everyone had got their boats and the Safety Boat back in, the wind had dropped to the gentlest
and easiest of an English summer Sunday afternoon. A Mare’s Tail tall story had turned like the tall
tale of a London Mayor who said one thing – and surprised everyone by doing something
completely different: spinning Mayor’s Tales like a weather cock. Just like on the river!
Thoughts then turned to remembering the three days of Glastonbury – and to looking forward to
Henley and Wimbledon. And, of course, to tea. Alice, Enoch’s partner, had made a banana cake
that was so dense with the concentrated taste of bananas that it rivalled the GDP of an entire
Banana Republic. It was the best kind of tea-time treat – and the tastiest tale of the day for us all!
OOD Andy Ross 26.06.2022
Our much-delayed sailing adventure to the Norfolk Broads has been confirmed for 16th to 19th September. The weekend trip is based at Upton Yacht Station situated in the centre of the network of rivers and lakes that make up the Broads National Park.
We have reserved four traditional sailing boats from Eastwood Whelpton.
The fleet is well equipped and unlike our last outing has engines!
There are berths for 19 people, and if they are all taken then the approximate cost is £140 per person.
If you are interested in coming along or have already paid your deposit and want to confirm your place then please contact David Jones by mobile or by email on email@example.com
Request David Jones mobile number by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org
This was a warm cloudy evening race, two days before midsummer. The wind
being in the northeast, meaning that the A course was in the shelter of Strand
houses, the course was changed to a B downstream, where there was a goo
wind, in fact rather too much for the smaller boats.
Six boats started. James (Enterprise), Rob (Laser) and Chris (Leader) made a
good start close along the Surrey shore, broad-reaching against the flood tide.
Tim Y (Wanderer), Ian (Vibe) and Nick (Gull) preferred Middlesex. The latter
two decided that was a mistake and crossed over, a long way behind the
leaders. Tim persisted and rounded the downstream mark fourth, but retired
after the beat upstream, having shipped too much water over his lee gunwale.
The race then became a procession, with the fleet well spaced out by the
finish. All boats completed three laps, except Nick who was lapped by James
shortly before the finish.
Keith Clarke was OOD, and the safety boat, manned by David Jones and Andy
Ross, was in watchful attendance.
Could it be the Queen herself about to parachute-in to join the SGSC fleet assembling for the 4-day Platinum Jubilee Race Regatta?
The SGSC flag spun around its pole in dizzying anticipation – but the helicopter moved over and slowly descended on the allotments on the opposite Kew bank; an air ambulance had been called for some reason.
Although Ait Knots rocked, while not being given exactly the right Royal Regatta send-off, we cheerfully made up for it with really great bunting! Unflustered by this kerfuffle, the SGSC fleet mustered; James with Ruth, Chris with Felicia, Ben, Tim, and Sam with a crew, and David Jones, Andy Ross and Tim in the Safety Boat; all lined-up for a tow down to London Corinthians in beautifully sunny weather.
The Y-shaped arrangement of the towline, with two arms extending from the rear cleats with boats staggered alternatively proved hard to control. Swinging across the river as each of the lines took up the strain was only suppressed by keeping to a very low speed; a problem answered on Day 2.
The fleet arrived at LCSC well ahead of time and moored on the rowing pontoon. And found no-one else there at very low tide.
Eventually, LCSC opened up and said they thought 4 or 5 of their boats would be sailing. But that quickly increased to about 10 -15. Then a message came from Ranelagh, and also from Southbank, to say that they were each bringing 10 – 15 boats, which began to panic the catering staff. And it eventually turned out that close on to 40 boats were assembling! It was going to be a massive Regatta! A vast fleet was soon moored all along the riverbank.
The LCSC OOD announced there were going to be three races, around two buoys. The first would be of three laps, then two, then one. It was slightly breezy warm day, but now with a very strong incoming tide. At the starting signal, very few boats were at the line; most were drifting back with the tide – and it seemed several could be washed away completely.
Sure enough, the SGSC SB went to rescue the LCSC Commodore, Beverley, from Chiswick Ait – and also towed back up Tim who, unobserved by the OOD amidst the struggling throng, recovered his position in the race. But the great majority failed to complete even one lap. After an hour the OOD ended it. The second race fared no better, only a few got round, – and it was to the great relief of a by-then completely exhausted fleet that the remaining number of the original 40 boats finally managed to complete the third and final race, but only because the tide had slackened enough. Throughout, Sam’s boat was heard: its magnificent bunting fluttering, with Chris also thundering along.
The SGSC boats were hauled up into the LCSC yard and our SB was moored onto the pontoon, ready for the trip down to Ranelagh next day.
The LCSC catering crew in the meantime had managed find extra food for the unexpected number of sailors – and the beers from the bar went down very well. The bicycles that had been piled up on the Safety Boat took their owner’s home.
James with Ruth, who managed to finish all three races in the in the time available, came in third place overall.
As we gathered on the Hammersmith foreshore the Red Arrows flew by on their ‘Round the Country’ tour, accompanied by a fly-past of dozens of veteran aircraft that dispersed over Hammersmith in every direction.
The cure for the swinging-about of towed boats on a single line was solved by using separate towing lines from the port and starboard rear cleats, with the heaviest boats first, lighter ones after. This indeed proved to be far more satisfactory during the journey to Ranelagh, as we sped downriver.
After dropping off some LCSC passengers and re-rigging, about 30 boats were assembled there. On another warm and sunny day, but still with a very light wind, the Ranelagh OOD announced there were to be two races: one down to Battersea Bridge. And another back, after the tide had turned.
Given the long slow bend round the Fulham reach, the fleet quite soon spread out and were far apart – with James, it seemed, in the lead.
After about an hour the OOD boat hurried away – and laid a buoy just before the bridge, though beforehand they had asked us to inform the fleet that the finishing line was between their Safety Boat and the buoy.
Unfortunately, this was misinterpreted by some in the fleet to mean it was between us and the OOD. And so, as we had moored between the OOD, and a very shallow shore, several boats headed to finish between our two boats – and they could not understand why we were waving them away!
The two OOD’s in the Ranelagh boat were then both simultaneously raising and lowering flags, sounding hooters, writing down times, – and taking photos of multiple boats crossing the finishing line on both sides at the same time. They needed a photo finish to separate everyone out!
The return race from Battersea Bridge began precisely at 12.30pm – and, sonorously echoing across the whole of London, came the sound of the 16½ ton Great Paul bell of St Paul’s cathedral to mark the start of the Thanksgiving Service for Queen Elizabeth II.
Simultaneously, the eight bells of St Mary’s church, right beside Battersea Bridge, burst into ringing chimes that were, in effect, the most extraordinary starting gun sound ever heard. Tintinnabulation of church bells on a sailing Sunday morning, blowing in the breeze across the river, marked both a magnificent sight and sound – and an unforgettable moment in history.
And so then, our own ceremonial Platinum Sailing Procession began in great style.
After finishing at Ranelagh, all the SGSC boats carried on up to Southbank and were hauled out to await the start there of the race on Day 3 – and the SGSC Safety Boat returned to Ranelagh to moor out on a mid-river pontoon. Nearly everyone then walked back to Ranelagh for a pre-plated buffet supper. But where was the Platinum Pudding? Not there. Where was it?
James and Lev finished third overall based on the two races, having come first on the beat downstream and Tim distinguished himself with a fourth place on the run back upstream.
Overnight, the weather forecast deteriorated dramatically: gales and rain were expected. An early morning consultation with everyone then led to a decision to abandon completely SGSC’s participation in the Southbank race – and to head back upriver straightaway, while the tide was in our favour.
Accordingly, Andy Ross took the train to Putney to collect the Safety Boat – and found the Ranelagh clubhouse locked and, at very low tide, nobody at all on the river. Not a single rower, and more significantly, not a single onboard boat could be seen anywhere to help get him out to the mid-river pontoon.
A call to Chris – and his gentle persuasion on Southbank, enabled the commandeering of a Safety Boat to come and rescue ours, and so our fleet [in fine and sunny weather again] forsook the charms of Southbank [and the promise of its BBQ] – and we all prepared to head for home: Sam and Ben sailing, James, Chris and Tim in tow.
The sailors were forewarned not, under any circumstances, to attempt to limbo under Hammersmith Bridge – even if tempted. And indeed, they stopped on the foreshore beforehand and de-masted to enable a walk-under, tilting their masts – and then, joined now by James, sailing on up.
The weary Safety Boat after days of motoring, protested at the gross indignity of being hauled by a winch up the ramp by its trolley with a split-flat tyre – but, as with all the other boats, and their sailors, everyone was glad to get home.
Except, not yet.
The precaution of sailing back ahead of a great storm of rain proved totally illusory. Sunday dawned as warm and as sunny as the preceding three days.
So, the only remaining event on the Platinum Jubilee Race Regatta weekend was the Strand on the Green Association street party.
Andy Ross 12.06.2022
The Jubilee is creeping up fast!
We have been invited to take part in the Jubilee sailing regatta on the Thames which runs from Thursday 2nd to Saturday 4th with a return back Strand on the Green on Sunday 5th.
Three other clubs are taking part. Corinthians, who are based on Hammersmith Mall, Southbank, who are opposite Fulham Football Ground, and Ranelagh, who are a little further downriver at Putney.
There is a mixture of races with passages from one club to the next, down-stream races, and high-tide courses around buoys.
Because of the tide times, SGSC is not able to host a race that is convenient for our neighbors. The other clubs are offering parties and food and the opportunity to leave our boats overnight so we can return home and go back the following day. Corinthians and Ranelagh are also offering dinghies for hire for the events held on their stretch of the river.
This is the program:
If you are interested in taking part in any of the regattas then please let Chris Greenwood know. David Jones and Andy Ross have volunteered to look after the safety boat. We have three boats taking part so far. If you want to hire a boat for one of the events or crew with someone else then this could be a good option too.
Entry for SBSC
The SBSC On-Line Entry Form for the round the cans race on Saturday 4th June is on SBSC website and ready for your club members to sign up. There’s a tick box for the BBQ post-race on the form too. Go to Menu on the front page and it’s there under Jubilee Regatta – www.southbanksailingclub.co.uk
If we could have an indication of numbers by next Friday 27th that would be helpful. Inevitably there will be a few who won’t decide until the day before but we can deal with that on the 4th.
Looking forward to seeing everyone. All we need now is some nice wind and sunshine!
Chris Greenwood, SGSC