On a lovely mid-September Indian summer, nine boats turned out for this C course race. Sam was the last to leave the club – understandably so, given his two crew were both novices. They found themselves challenged with navigating Kew Bridge on a rising tide, half-rigged and drifting sideways but were successful. Dave in the Safety Boat hovered around ready to assist.

The OOD had established a line for the start and then allowed a five minute delay to enable Sam to re-rig and join in. After much impatient gilling-about in a decent South-West wind – with plenty of calls of ‘Starboard!’ – Joseph was first across the line, followed by Rob and then James. Behind them were Ian, Alex and then Tim, who was becalmed for a while. They were followed by Nick Jeffrey in his tiny red Duckling ‘Eeyore’, along with daughter Nicky on only her second SGSC outing in their new boat. Completing the fleet was Sam, with Stuart and Katy as crew.

First across the line coming back was Joseph (showing that an early start is usually a big advantage), followed by James and then Rob, all within a minute of each other. All three went on to pass under Kew Bridge, though James appeared to stall in mid-stream (and nearly got caught?).

Lev crossed the line 10 minutes later, followed within a minute by Alex and Tim, with Ian two minutes behind them. Nick & Nicky took a further ten minutes to reach the line.

Yet to return were Sam and the Safety Boat. Alex rowed up to look for them, without success, so the OOD cycled upriver. He found them still up at Syon, dealing with a slackening wind and relying mainly on the now fast-ebbing tide. They had not yet reached the upstream buoy and by the time they crossed the finish line Sam had dropped the sails and David had taken them in tow. Notwithstanding their misfortunes, it was a good race on a glorious day.

Many thanks again to Andy Ross for keeping a clear results sheet for an impressive turn-out.