The Black Swan Event
The afternoon did not get off with a promising start and if anything it just got worse!
There was little breeze and a persistent drizzle from the outset. The planned “B” course was never a realistic possibility so thoughts moved towards a short “A” with a Zoffany start provided we had enough sailors/boats (at least 3) along with a safety boat crew and OOD. We had a full complement of officials but it was well inside the last 40 minutes or so before we had three boats declaring intentions to launch and in the end we got four. Perhaps the televised Women’s FA Cup Final at Wembley was keeping everyone away. By the time the last trolley was back up the ramp the OOD had too little time to close up the arch and hasten along to the start which was three minutes late as a result. Many thanks at this point to Heather Adams for providing a folding chair which was later moved to under the shelter of a tree.
Two Buoys had been laid for a short “A” with the upstream one by the Bell and Crown. Progress was agonisingly slow and after 30 minutes no-one had reached the first mark and one boat had been rescued from the jaws of Kew Bridge at least once. That race was then cancelled, the downstream buoy moved nearer the bank and the upstream buoy only just downstream of the start/finish line.
The second attempt at holding a race was more successful but only just. The most exciting event of the afternoon was the appearance of a black swan (pictured) which seemed to swim around totally at ease with a dozen of the white variety and a few of the inevitable Canada geese. “Porpoise” (Enterprise) eventually broke free and completed a lap in 24 minutes followed by the other two survivors about ten minutes later. The other Laser had long since requested a tow back to base so all finishers got on the podium!
OOD – Steve Newell; Safety Boat – Tom Broadhurst, David Jones.