OOD:   Tom Broadhurst / Jo Broadhurst

Safety boat:  Enoch Rodriguez / Andy Ross

Weather:  Fine, wind SW, 2-3, gusting 3-4

Start: 16:20

The lovely sunny afternoon brought out 8 boats – the best turn-out so far this season.  The wind, nominally SW but very variable both in strength and direction, was channelled roughly down Strand and the downstream mark of the A course was set, somewhat optimistically, almost at the City Barge.

From the start James in Zephyr (Enterprise), with Tamina as crew took a lead which increased steadily throughout the race.  He caught a nice gust around the downstream mark when the others were struggling past the slip-dock (occupied by a large barge).  His first lap took 10 minutes whereas the following pack took around 18minutes, led by Lev (Porpoise, Enterprise), then Chris Greenwood (Distant Thunder, Enterprise) crewed by Felicia Bierkark, then Henry Brown (solo in Big Polly, Enterprise), then Ben Chappell (Envy, Laser).   Tim Young (Ait Knots, Wanderer) was next followed by Nick Jeffery and daughter in the colourful Duckling, and finally Frankie Skrzezewski, still determinedly learning the habits of his Solo.

James, with his usual combination of skill and good luck with the gusts, completed his second and third laps in 6 and 9 minutes respectively, by which time he’d lapped everyone.  He went on to finish five laps before the OOD called time.  Lev did well to complete 4 laps and was a lap ahead of the following pack, each of whom did three laps: Ben, Chris, Henry and Tim who finished in that order within a minute of each other.  Nick retired gracefully after his first lap and Frankie hung on to the end and finished two laps.

After the handicap sums were done Tim emerged third in the Handicap Cup (after Lev) but on the way back to the Club caught his mainsheet on a moored boat and capsized.  This gave Enoch and Andy the opportunity to exercise their safety boat skills.  Many thanks to them and to Tom and Jo who risked wet feet outside the Bell and Crown.

Next week it’s a C-course on Bank Holiday Monday (not Sunday) – a C-course at 10:50.