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.