Race Report, 18 October

Race Report 18 October 2020

Sunday 18th October was fair and dry but there was little wind, which may account for the fact that only three boats decided to sail an afternoon A-course, which was set appropriately short.

James Armitage was sailing his Enterprise with Ayanda, his light-weight crew.  Rob Adams and Ben Chappell were both sailing Lasers.

There was enough wind to start with for all three to sail the first lap in between 7 and 10 minutes – James in the lead.  The second and third laps were sailed by James and Rob even quicker in around five minutes each, but then the wind dropped dramatically – or perhaps, undramatically.  James’ fourth lap took 10 minutes with Rob lagging behind on 29 minutes.  But then the last lap for James lasted what must have felt like an eternity of 36 minutes, while Rob gradually caught up with a 19-minute lap.

So James won the endurance test in one hour and 43 minutes with Rob five minutes behind.  Ben had kept within striking distance of them for the first two laps but struggled for over three quarters of an hour on his third (and last).  But it was only his second race with us in his Laser, and If it’s any comfort to him, they say it can take five years of racing to master a new dinghy. And that doesn’t allow for our weird tidal waters.

Thanks to Jane Watkins for her patience as OOD, and to Lev Kolobov for manning the safety boat.

Apologies for late reporting – the M of S has been away.

HB

NHS COVID-19 App and SGSC

The Club is now required to be able to inform the NHS of who takes part in our Sunday races in case there is a risk of catching the bug.  This could arise if a participant or visitor is tested positive elsewhere after having been to an SGSC event. 

The Club now has a QR code (the square spotty thing on an A4 poster) at the arch which is specific to SGSC and the arch.  This means that, if you have the NHS COVID-19 App on your smart-phone, you can register your presence by, in effect, photographing the poster.  If someone at the race is subsequently tested positive the authorities can contact all those who registered on that day.

If you don’t have the app or don’t have your phone with you the authorities will contact the Club if the nee arises and we will send them a list of those present, plus phone numbers, to be contacted by track and tracers.  We will know who is present from the OOD’s race sheet for the day.

Please use the QR code / App on a race day and make sure that the OOD knows of any non-member crew or other visitors who may be potential contacts.  The helm of each boat will be responsible for identifying any non-member crew or other visitors.

Race Report 9th August 2020 and Ladies Plate race

On a hot sunny afternoon the Met Office said the wind would be light and from the east.  It was certainly light at times, and Steve Newell set a short A-course from the Zoffany House start line with a sometimes consistent wind coming up-stream from east south east.  Chris Jones set the top mark just above the Bell and Crown and the bottom mark was at the downstream end of the slip-dock, where a barge was somewhat inconveniently moored for the duration of the race.

There was another good turnout of 9 boats which made for a congested start from the short start line.  The well-positioned ones headed off downstream hugging the Strand bank and a leading trio of James Armitage (solo in Enterprise), Joseph Armitage ( a stranger in his Laser, determined to beat his dad), and lev Kolobov (also solo in his Enterprise) made it to the mark with little difficulty.  The big dilemma was whether to tack within the slip-dock, with the added hazard of the barge, or to beat against the stronger tidal flow midstream.  Those three made it around and were practically back at the top mark before the Browns (Enterprise), Ian Nethersell (Vibe) and John Bull (laser) worked out the best way around the bottom mark in the contrary wind and tide. 

Joseph completed his first lap in less than 9 minutes followed by Lev and then James, after which James gained, maintained, and added to his lead.  John Bull was fourth at the first lap and held his position to the end with the Browns in close pursuit.  James and Joseph proceeded to lap everyone at least once, and all but Lev twice.  They did 7 laps with James 11 minutes ahead of his son at the end.  Lev did 6 laps and John, the Browns and Ian did 5. 

While all this was going on a much more notable event was taking place: the SGSC Ladies Plate.  In the absence of the Summer Party it had been decided to sail the Ladies Plate concurrently with a suitable A-course points race, and this was the one.  It was strenuously contested by Jane Watkins (ever growing in confidence in her Gull) and former winner Mary Short (in Chris Greenwood’s Leader).  As luck would have it, Jane had a bad day.  She tangled with the bank and got caught by a series of doldrums which drifted her towards Kew Bridge – the stuff of Strand nightmares – to be rescued by Chris Jones and towed home.  Which left Mary in control of the field.  She completed 3 laps of challenging conditions in considerable style and wins the coveted prize.

Many thanks to Stephen for keeping a clear record of the fleets’ many line crossings – no easy feat.  And to Chris Jones for keeping an eye on everyone from the water.  And to Andy Ross for helping the many weary mariners, and the safety boat, ashore at the end.

Next Sunday is a C-course starting at11:45, and there may be a picnic sail on Wednesday 12th August, starting around 1850 to clear Kew Bridge well before high water.  If it happens you will be contacted by email soon.

Race 28 June 2020 is abandoned!

We are sorry to inform you but committee decided to cancel tomorrow Race on Sunday the 28th of June.

It looks like the wind is picking up. Nothing can scare us but unfortunately it is not safe for a Long Distance Race.

Race Report 7th June 2020

Although the summer weather seemed to have gone, we had a turn-out of six for our fourth Covid-restrained race.  There were grey skies, the occasional drizzle of rain and a gusty breeze coming down the A-course from Kew Bridge giving a sort-of run down to the grid and a beat back towards the Surrey-side rowing buoy and then our third mark above the Bell and Crown. 

The critical choice for the downstream leg was whether to stick to the Strand bank or try the possibly clearer wind on the Surrey side.  James (solo in his Enterprise), Lev (also solo in his Enterprise) and Rob (Laser) went across to the Surrey bank and made steady progress against the tide to establish a good lead at the end of the first lap – Lev and Rob leading the trio followed by James.

Ian (Topaz), then the Browns (Enterprise) came around the top mark to the start line a couple of minutes later, in company with Chris and Mary (Leader) who had started late. 

The leaders swapped places in fairly close formation for the rest of the six-lap race but Lev was in the lead most of the time and finished first about 15 seconds ahead of Rob with James, uncharacteristically, trailing them by over three minutes. 

By that stage Lev had lapped Ian twice and had almost overtaken the Browns who were happy to finish their sixth lap and a very enjoyable and energetic sail.  Back at the arch the high tide made for an easy recovery. 

So, a good time was had by all despite the enforced lack of tea and buns.  Manty thanks to Alex for manning the safety boat and to Tom (and Jo) Broadhurst for officiating from the Bell and Crown.

Next Sunday is down as D-course, starting at 16:10 which may be shortened to a multi-lap B depending on the conditions.

HB

Race Report 31 May, 2020

A handful of sailors turned out for what was scheduled to be a D course on blustery day. After some deliberations, an altered B-course was selected, downstream to a rowing buoy mid stream just past the pier, and then upstream under the railway bridge to a racing buoy set just before Oliver’s Island. Start was by whistle only on this occasion and all got under way without problems and were close together for most of lap 1. James started to pull away thereafter, however Lev and Ian picked up the pace and stayed on the same lap for most of the race. Chris and Mary pulled up after the first lap for some bailing and re-joined after fixes. Jane had a capsize just before the mark on Lap 2, righted the boat and recovered to the rowing club, and soon after re-joined the racing. Lev had a capsize by the upstream mark late on and completed the final lap sitting very low in the water despite furious bailing. Leader James completed 9 laps in just over the hour, and the remainder of the pack followed soon after. Lev and Ian completed 8 laps, Chris 7 laps, and Jane 3.  All boats and kit were launched and recovered socially distanced and with masks in club colours (kindly provided by Jane) donned.

Alex

Thanks to Alex Pape for great photos!

We are sailing, covid-19 update.

Dear members,

The committee has reviewed the recommendations from the RYA and the PLA about Covid-19.

Please download and read the safety controls that the committee has prepared and that each participating club member has to follow.

The controls will be updated as conditions change.

Sailing this Sunday.

We are planning to sail this Sunday, May 17th. This is going to be a D course which will allow us plenty of space on the shore to keep 2m apart. The sail starts at 18:10.

Safety first.

As commodore, my first priority is a safety of the club members.

I would like to emphasise that our current state is not 100% “back to normal”.

Our sail, this Sunday, will not be a normal race but rather a pleasure sail to promote physical and mental health for our members.

This means, each individual member has to take into consideration their own personal underlying health condition and age before coming to the club.

I miss you all and I wish you health and safety.

Lev

Racing suspended until further notice: PLA Covid-19 Notice

This notice says it all. We must suspend our racing activities until the emergency is over. When that will be is anybody’s guess, and we will be ready. The Covid bug caused the Dance to be cancelled, but it merely postpones our sailing.

Port of London – River Thames
NOTICE TO MARINERS No.6 of 2020
24 March 2020

COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS
RECREATION AND LEISURE ACTIVITIES
We are issuing this in line with current Government coronavirus guidance, placing restrictions on movement.
To reduce social contact, travel and potential strain on emergency services, we strongly recommend that all recreation and leisure activities on the tidal Thames are avoided until further notice.
Our priority at the PLA is to help ensure the UK continues to receive essential supplies of food, fuel and medical goods at this time.
As a result, we expect to have a reduced capability in responding to recreational incidents on the river.
To support our essential port operations, we are reducing the operating hours of our harbour service patrols between Putney and Teddington.
We are grateful for your co-operation in these exceptional circumstances.

Race Report – the Last Race – 10 November 2019

Race Report, 10 November 2019, the Last Race

Sunday was a lovely sunny autumn day.  All it lacked was a steady sailing wind.  But then this is Strand on the Green.  The incoming tide was almost swamped by the flow of rainwater coming down the river, which meant that there was little or no beach for rigging the boats.  And the rigging was interrupted by the two-minutes silence, orchestrated by Tim on the starting horn.

Eight boats turned out for short A-course from the Zoffany start line, with an upstream buoy opposite the Bell and Crown and the downstream buoy below the grid.  Once Jane and Tim had disentangled themselves from the bank all the boats got away without recalls, and had a sort-of run downstream driven by a fickle wind with quite a lot of north in it.  Making the downstream mark was quite a struggle for the little boats but the Laser, Enterprises, Leader and Alex’s lugger managed to keep going pretty well.

Rob Adams in his Laser was first around the downstream mark and was well up the course before the Browns in their Enterprise, followed by Lev Kolobov (solo in Enterprise), Alex and Chris Greenwood (with Mary in the Leader) got around for the beat back upstream.

Rob was almost 2 minutes ahead of the Browns and Lev on the first lap; on the second lap he was followed by Alex and then the Browns, who then overtook Alex and maintained second place with Lev in close pursuit.  At the end of five laps Rob was 9 minutes ahead of the Browns with Alex and Lev within two minutes astern.

The shifty wind on the downwind leg caused Chris and Ian to complete only four laps with the two Gulls, Tim and Jane, both doing three laps.

After the handicap sums were done Rob was the clear winner with Alex in second place followed by the Browns.

Mary Short got back to the arch in time to fire-up the barbeque and cook some very spicey sausages.  Sam, who manned the safety boat, had orchestrated the classic Beer and Bangers feast with home-brew beer, as usual, courtesy of Steve Newell and a variety of other treats from sundry members.

So that was the end of the 2019 season.  What will we do with Sundays in the coming bleak winter days?