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