The latest Government advice (25th February) is good and not so good. The Good News is that from 29th March most of the restrictions on our activities will be relaxed. Here is what it says:
Step 1: 29 March Outdoor sports facilities including sailing clubs can reopen, subject to the Rule of six/two households. The Rule of six means that (apart from a set of limited exemptions including work and education) any social gatherings of more than six people are against the law. Formally organised outdoor sports – for adults and under 18s – will also restart and where compliant with guidance issued by the national governing bodies (the RYA) will not be subject to the gatherings limits. Indoor facilities, such as changing rooms, should not be used at this time, although toilet facilities can be accessed.
The Bad News is that the four of our programmed activities will be cancelled. They are the working party on 7th March and the three races on 14th March, 21st March and 28th March.
So the first race of the season (all being well) will be a D-course on 4th April starting at 15:15. See you then.
Season’s greetings. All of us here at SGSC want to wish you Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year. Wishing you the best this coming year.
We want to give warm holiday wishes to all of our members and friends that have helped us this year. From all of us at SGSC, thank you so much for your endless support. Members like yourself are what makes our club possible. Thank you!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.