OOD: Heather Adams, Safety Boat: Tim Young; Course: D

On Sunday we had a turnout of 10 boats: a number only matched twice recently in 2021-22, and before that unknown since the heady days of the last century.

The fleet consisted of the Leader, 3 Lasers,3 single handed Enterprises, a Mirror, a Solo and the Wayfarer. Too many people to list. We had a very confused start, but all got away on a tightly bunched, brisk run down towards Hammersmith.   At Barnes Railway Bridge with the change in direction of the river the race became a beat: James picking up the new wind quickly established a lead from Lev and Rob that he maintained at the turning mark off LCSC. The slowest boat in the race, the Mirror, turned soon after but still into a falling tide and, hampered by his dagger board made no progress back to SGSC for 20mins.  Similarly, the Lasers were also hampered. (Olly can you show the club your tracker course?)  

The Enterprises and the Leader managed to make progress beating back against the tide on the Surrey shore with James (Ent) still out in front. The old adage of who gets back through Barnes Railway Bridge sails away to win hung over him.  In the end James got stuck at the bridge and Lev slipped through under the bridge into the lead.  Rob and James (Ents) getting in each other’s way in little water under the Barnes end of the bridge. By now the ebb had slackened and full tacks across the river could be made. James capsized on the final leg after Chiswick Bridge but in the modern Enterprise this proved no problem. He hopped onto the centreboard and with the help of the buoyancy in the double bottom construction rapidly cleared the boat of water using the self-bailers situated in wells in the double bottom. All in time to recover the ground on Lev and pip him for line honours in the weak flood tide.

The Wayfarer and the Solo both retired.

In retrospect Olly in the Mirror made a plea to delay the start or even schedule the start later in relation to the low water Hammersmith Bridge, when favourable conditions are apparent.  Easier said than done. As it turned out, when the handicap sums were complete, Olly romped home to win in the Handicap and Polly points, as well as the Little Boats Class: James winning the Big Boats Class points.

Next week is a C-course, starting at 10:00.  Remember to launch super-early to get under Kew Bridge.

Rob Adams