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.