OOD: Tim Wellburn
Safety Boat: Lev Kolobov & Son
While the boats were being rigged, except for random gusts, much of the surface of the River was ominously smooth, suggesting that progress downstream might be difficult against the incoming tide, so the course was switched from the scheduled B to a 2-buoy A course.
In fact, by the start, the wind had happily re-established itself as a reasonably steady westerly, allowing a stately run downstream and some brisk tacking back up. And, as a bonus, the sun shone for most of the race!
Congestion on the slipway and lack of wind having left half of the 6-boat fleet still working upstream as 18:00 approached, the start was postponed by 8 minutes to allow them to come up under Starter’s Orders.
Chris’s chronometers disagreed with the OOD’s ancient iPhone timer, so he declared a unilateral start, but after thus slightly extending his first lap put in some brisk sailing, including a rare sub-5 minute time on lap 5, and thereafter was consistently second round the upstream buoy leading a group of boats that were keeping the OOD busy capturing times sometimes only seconds apart. The assistance of Andy Ross in calling out their approach was much appreciated.
However, the consistent race leader was Henry who put in two sub-5 minute laps and filled all 10 boxes on the race sheet in just under an hour, at which point the OOD yielded to Mary’s sign language that enough was enough, leaving Alex, on his inaugural return to the water, to complete the race with his brisk 10th lap. John Bull and Chris were also 10-lappers, the latter also completing the race in just under the hour.