Sunday was cloudy with a F3 N wind – appropriate conditions for a B-course.
Five boats rigged on a rapidly shrinking foreshore: Lev and David Kolobov in his Enterprise; Chris Greenwood and Felicia in his Leader; Sam Shemtob with two crew in his Wayfarer; Tim Young in his Wanderer; and Nick Floyer in his Gull. Mary Brown (OOD) commanded the start line and Henry with David Jones and Tim Williamson manned the safety boat. Nick made two attempts at launching but both times he was assaulted by a nasty gust upstream of the railway bridge and, fearing worse conditions further downstream, decided to retire.
The others started on time and running before the following wind set off in line abreast, abreast the tide. Sam, with his well-ladened boat fell astern but the other three kept pace pretty well with Lev mostly in the lead. We had dropped the bottom mark just upstream of Chiswick Marina and Lev, then Chris and Tim rounded it after about 15 minutes and started the steady beat back upstream with the tide. Lev was well clear at the top mark (just downstream of the railway bridge) and completed his first lap after 25 minutes; two minutes ahead of Chris and Tim, who were a mere 2 seconds apart. The second and final lap followed the same pattern but at a much slower pace: the wind had dropped considerably and the flood tide was still strong. All four boats took between 80 and 84 minutes for the lap. Lev finished about two minutes ahead of Chris, leading Tim by 4 minutes with Sam about 5 minutes astern.
Tim then had an unfortunate contact with the bridge as a gust caught him before he had lowered his mast. The damage to Ait Knots remains to be determined. But he has the compensation of winning in all three points series in a very consistent display of sailing. And all participants were rewarded by a plate of flapjack provided by the OOD.
Next week is the 3-4 -day downstream marathon to our neighbours at Corinthians, South Bank and Ranelagh.