Race Results 7 April 2019


An overcast day of very light and fickle winds, demanding some tactical sailing from the three entrants, James, Henry & Mary and Jane.

We set a shortish two-mark course, allowing a fairly slow run downstream and a brisker beat back up, with the tide.

On the first lap, all three boats reached the downstream mark in close echelon formation, but thereafter, Jane’s Gull lacked the sail area to make the best of the light wind conditions. The water immediately after the upstream mark, in particular, seemed plagued by the doldrums.

On the first lap, Henry found the wind here whereas James, seeking it on the Surrey Bank, was disappointed for a while and the lead switched. However, Henry was less fortunate with the doldrums thereafter, allowing James to steal almost a lap on him by mid-race.

This pattern of lulls and relative spurts continued, dampened by intermittent light showers, until James crossed the line on his seventh lap 10 seconds short of the hour, Henry on his 6th a couple of minutes later, followed by Jane just a lap behind him a minute or so afterwards.

Tim Wellburn

Race results, 31 March 2019

The 31 March race was switched from a scheduled B course to an A after brief assessment of wind, and word of an impending river closure downstream of the railway bridge after noon.

Four sailors turned out on a somewhat grey and occasionally blustery morning. Dave B, sailing Big Polly single-handed, rounded the downstream mark just outside the grid first and maintained the lead throughout the race.  Rob C sailing Tiamat single-handed and Rob A sailing Phoebe followed round the mark soon after, however a gust pushed Tiamat over moments after. It proved impossible to right her, Rob C opted to retire and was attended to by Lev and crew and in the safety boat. Ian N in the Vibe had a slow first lap but then settled into a rhythm and was frequently seen leaning out far near the Surrey bank, making the most of the NE breeze. Rob A’s Laser appeared to have ever declining freeboard and was stopped in the shallow water at Middlesex bank on several occasions to drain water from the hull, before resuming the race and finishing 3rd after 4 laps. Ian was 2nd on the water, also with 4 laps. Dave’s mast came dangerously close to horizontal at the upstream mark on his 5th lap but after that, victory was never in doubt, and the whistle went after 6 laps completed around the hour mark. Many thanks to Lev, and Dave (x2) in the safety boat and Chris and James off the water.


Next week it’s another A-course at 15:30

Race Results 24th March 2019

It was a beautiful sunny spring day but as we stood on the hard the wind began to build from the NW.

Four boats rigged but as the wind increased John Bull made what proved to be a wise decision not to go afloat in his laser.

The remaining three, two enterprises and one gull, were all fully crewed with SGSC newcomers: welcome to Josh Mellor (crewing for Rob Collingwood for the second time), Caroline Watt (with Lev Kolobov) and Glenda (with Tim Young).

There was a subtle rig difference between the enterprises: Lev with a full rig and Rob sporting a firefly mainsail.

All started on the Bell and Crown line with the customary running start and Heather firmly in control thanks to young David Kolobov lending her a watch. My apologies to Paul Williamson who had canvassed me to set a beating start during the week which I failed to do. May be next time.   The three boats set off on a long A, single “sausage” course running down to a buoy off the City Barge.  A good run it was too, the first lap completed in 18 minutes. Lev was in the lead to the upstream end of the island when he was caught out by a gust and elegantly pirouetted, including a controlled gybe, letting Rob through to a lead he was to hold, more or less, to the end. But a great race between the two enterprises. The canny reduced sail of RC just out witting Lev with speed on the run but less control on the beat back.

All seemed comfortable with sailors and rescue boat. The rescue boat was full of spectators including my grandson, Billy, Louis from Corsica, Lev’s son David, and David Jones as assistant rescue.

But drama was to unfold with Tim charging for the upstream buoy in a stronger gust.  He dipped his bow and created an instability that resulted in capsize. The new Kurt Berger was on hand to rescue. Tricky rescue too. The first part, to haul Tim’s crew aboard Kurt Berger, was easy.  Did she say “I haven’t been manhandled by men like this for a long time”?   But on the second attempt the Gull was towed to the shore, righted, and then with expert seamanship from Tim, with mast lowered, she was towed back down stream through the bridge and back home. What Tim had not realised at the time was that he had lost his shorts including some weighty keys during the swimming (essential dignity and warmth was preserved by leggings).   SGSC residents please look out for them at low tide.

Rescue over we were to see the two enterprises level at the final mark only for RC to pull away in a personal wind to the line for the line honours.

Thank you for all my assistants.  Next time we have a Corsican on board I need to look up the Corsican word for “painter”!   The Kurt Berger did its job well and safely.

Rob Adams

Race results, 17th March 2019

Race Report Sunday 17th March 2019

OOD John Bull           Safety Boat Ian Nethersell

Second race of the 2019 season and the first points race. A cold but dry day with a westerly F2 wind, gusting F4. A scheduled C course was changed to an A course to suit the wind direction and the lack of time to pass under Kew Bridge. The time of HWKB was checked, approx. 11am and it was agreed that a start of 10am would be fine. Three boats prepared for the race – Robert with Josh (new member) in Tiamat (E), Lev sailing solo in White Angel (E) and Tim in Axolotl (G).The course was set – 3 buoys, Bell and Crown pub, City Barge pub and the Kew Bank rowing buoy, with Ian in the safety boat with the assistance of Henry Brown and David Jones. The race started at 10.06. Tiamat and Axolotl raced away with Lev struggling to find the wind to cross the start line. Sailing was close between Tiamat and Axolotl rounding the first buoy together. Axolotl choosing to take the Kew Bank behind Oliver’s Island with Tiamat tacking upstream on the Strand. In the meantime, Lev in White Angle had capsized. However, Lev quickly righted his Enterprise, bailed out and continued on to round the first buoy.

Tiamat was moving further ahead of Axolotl, although Axolotl’s move behind the Island did not lose too much ground. Tiamat rounded the next two buoys and raced across the line at 14.16, Axolotl followed at 18.50.

Race conditions were becoming difficult with strong gusts of wind and strangely the tide was turning early, only 18 minutes into the race. Lev in White Angel capsized again and again he quickly recovered but decided to retire. Tiamat and Axolotl continued to fight the gusts and now the strengthening ebbing tide, and because of the change in the tide it was decided to conclude the race at two laps. Tiamat managed to complete the second lap at 29.15. Axolotl continued against the tide, but behind the trot moorings, trying to reach the Kew Buoy, had the added difficulty of avoiding numerous rowers. In particular a fast moving eight, scary. He eventually retired at 58mins. But a great effort.

An eventful race day, finished in the arch with the Commodore’PPs Rum and blackcurrant and good humour.

John Bull

First Race 2019, 10th March 2019

First Race of the season, 10th March 2019 , race report

The first event of the day was a ceremonial naming and anointing of our new safety boat, the ‘Kurt Berger’.  The old Dory had been swapped for the new, bright yellow, Whaly 435 the previous Sunday and she lay under the bridge swathed in black polythene throughout the week.  Today around a dozen sailors and friends wheeled it onto the top of the ramp where Margaret Berger did the naming honours in appropriate style with a thimble or two of champagne.  She (the boat) had been immaculately inscribed with her new name by David Jones.

Despite the number of sailors on hand there were, at first, no volunteers for the First Race.  A cold F4 gusting F5 or 6 was blasting straight down the river against an incoming tide, and those present soon decided to launch and test the ‘Kurt Berger’, and nothing else.  That was before Rob Adams heaved into sight in a dry suit and with an appetite for a challenge.  So as the ‘KB’ was put through her paces with a crew of four including Margaret, Rob’s laser skated across the choppy water in an abundance of spray in an exhilarating display of seamanship.  The safety boat served only as the platform for an admiring audience: rescue was not required.

After 40 minutes or so both boats retired to the ramp where the ‘KB’ was man-handled up by a team of 6 or 8 into the yard.  She is significantly lighter than the Dory.  Rob Adams was, of course, awarded the First Race honours – it wasn’t his fault that no-one else joined in – and the assembly warmed up with tea, Margaret’s drizzle cake and Mary Brown’s flapjack.

Next week it’s an early start (10:05) for an Isleworth race.

AGM 2019

The winter is over and we are back !

The Strand on the Green Club Annual General Meeting took place at The City Barge on 19th of February 2019.
Minutes can be downloaded here:

Good luck in the new season.

Last Race, 4 November 2018

The last race, 4 November 2018

An early start at 1000 did not deter 11 boats from turning out – the largest number for any race in 14 years.  It was an overcast morning with a fitful SE wind of F3 coming straight up the river adding to a moderate tide.  Rob Collingwood and David Jones put the downstream buoy just above the grid and the upstream one well clear of Kew Bridge.

The Enterprises, tacking down against the tide, trying to make the best of the slower inshore waters, reached the downstream buoy first and the Browns, taking advantage of a slight wind shift, tried an oblique attack on it from upstream.  The gamble failed, the wind dropped and the tide pushed them onto the buoy and forced a penalty re-rounding.  James, crewed by grandson Ayanda, took the more cautious approach tacking downstream of the mark and established a lead which he maintained and increased throughout the race.  At the end of the first lap James led the Browns by about 2 minutes followed by Andy and Enoch with Lev close on their transom.  At the second lap James’ lead over the Browns was nearer 5 minutes and Rob Adams was less than half a minute behind.  By the third lap Rob was 10 seconds ahead of the Browns with Lev in fourth place, and it was on the third lap that Chris Greenwood, on his second race in a Solo, capsized and took some time to get sailing again – wet and cold.  That was the only drama of the morning, apart from the disappointment of Jane who had to be rescued by the safety boat from the perils of Kew Bridge.

Rob maintained his narrow lead over the Browns for the next two laps and there were some interesting inshore tacking battles on the downstream legs.  By the fifth lap of the leading ‘also rans’, James and Ayanda had worked their way through the fleet to lap everyone.  A lap later the Browns had regained their narrow margin over Rob which they maintained to the end, and Lev, also on seven laps, finished fourth.

So James was the decisive winner with 8 laps, followed by the Browns, Rob and Lev on 7 laps, Ian and Andy on 6 laps, Chris and Alex on 5 laps, Tim on 3 laps, Sam Shemtob (late starter) on 1 lap and Jane a reluctant non-starter.

Meanwhile, Mary Short was at work on the barbeque and a sumptuous feast was being prepared.  Founder member Marthe Armitage was present as well as Margaret Berger with a delicious chocolate cake.

Many thanks to Enoch for an immaculate record of a very crowded finishing line (he suggests that next time sailors should space themselves out more evenly), and to Rob Collingwood and David Jones for standing by in the safety boat.

Race results, 21 October 2018

Race report, 21 October 2018

Sunday was a glorious day for a sail with blue sky and enough wind coming straight down the river from the Kew Bridge for a good race.  David Jones, on advice from James, set a downstream buoy just above the City Barge and the upstream mark at the Café Rouge.

The fleet of seven set off on the run shoulder to shoulder and there was some inevitable barging at the downstream buoy with quite a strong tide flooding.  James, crewed by David Kolobov, got an inside line on the mark and was around and in the clear while the rest of us struggled to avoid each other and the mark.   James completed his first lap in under 9 minutes, followed by three other Enterprises: first Rob Collingwood (sailing solo), then the Browns, then Lev Kolobov (also solo), all within a minute of each other.  Chris Greenwood, having abandoned the rotting hulk of his Enterprise, tried out David Jones’ almost pristine Solo and duelled with Ian Nethersell for the rest of the race.  Tim cruised contentedly in their wake.

The course offered the choice of a long starboard tack across the river upstream of Oliver’s Island, mixing it with the rowers and a manoeuvring RNLI boat, or shorter tacks on the Strand side of the moorings.  Neither showed a decisive advantage but most of the fleet tried the long one if only for the variety.

James, as is his wont, gradually increased his lead and by the end overtook the three tail-enders and was only one second short of catching Lev.  He completed 7 laps in the hour, followed 8 minutes later by Rob, a mere 11 seconds ahead of the Browns, with Lev about a minute behind.  After 6 laps Ian finished fifth just over a minute ahead of Chris, with Tim about 6 minutes behind.

The various handicap calculations gave Chris the winning Handicap points, Tim the Little Boat points, and James the first position in the Big Boats and the Polly Prize.

Many thanks to Tom Broadhurst for officiating, and to David Jones in the safety boat.


Race result, 7 October 2018

Only two boats turned out this lunchtime despite the lovely autumnal sunshine, perhaps because of the tame conditions: a  light wind from the SW.

A very short B-course was set with a downstream buoy almost opposite the Strand End pier and the upstream buoy outside No. 7 Strand.  It was clearly a test of patience and making the most of whatever wind there was.  Rob Adams in his Laser was ahead from the start, as you would expect from the Laser’s handicap, but Ian Nethersell in his Vibe gave him a hard time.  Rob was ahead by 9 minutes on the third lap but Ian managed to cut that down to a mere minute by the sixth and last lap, which gave him a win on both the Handicap and Polly prizes.

David Jones and Mary Berger were in the safety boat to see that nobody drifted into danger, and Chris Greenwood looked after things from the bank.