Race Report 4th April 2021

The Covid lockdown delayed the start of the season by three weeks, so this was the First Race (worthy of its own trophy), as well as the Easter Egg race, and, as it happens, the 75th anniversary of the Club’s first race back in 1946.  Plenty to celebrate, and 10 boats trundled down the foreshore in welcoming spring sunshine.  The only thing that was lacking was, as is often the case, a decent breeze to get us around the course.  By common consent we had decided to sail a long B-course rather than the scheduled D, down to Hammersmith, for fear of being stuck far from home by contrary wind and tide.

The gentle westerly breeze aslant the river helped the fleet to the downstream mark opposite the Putney rowing club and it was immediately apparent that getting back up the river wasn’t going to be easy.  A trio of boats, consisting of James Armitage in his brand-new Enterprise Zephyr, crewed by his son Joseph, Lev Kolobov (solo in James’ old boat Porpoise), and Ian Nethersell in his Vibe managed to work their way up the bank upstream of Chiswick Quay, and from there in slow stages back towards Strand.  A second group consisting of the Browns, the Greenwoods and, briefly, Jane Watkins and Ben Chappell managed at least to stay up stream of the mark before first Jane and eventually Ben, decided to return by other means.  Jane, fed up of being on the wrong side of the mark, took her Gull by the painter and dragged her home along the bank.

The Browns and the Greenwoods stayed together in a slow oscillating progress upstream, being overtaken by skulls, canoes, paddle boards, even the foreshore, until after an hour or so the current slowed enough for them to follow the leaders.

By then the safety boat had started to tow back the rear guard from the environs of Chiswick Bridge and ferry them back upstream.  Ben was the last to accept the inevitable. 

In the leading group an intriguing dilemma was being enacted:  Porpoise, after 25 years of winning with James at the helm was being challenged by a shiny new upstart with James at the helm.  In the end Porpoise’s habit of winning triumphed over her upstart rival and Lev helmed her over the line 39 seconds ahead of Zephyr.  Ian was 14 minutes behind, and the Browns and the Greenwoods, 30 seconds apart, were another 14 minutes behind. 

To add to the anniversary theme the race was the day after Mary Brown’s 75th birthday.  So the first race was more memorable for these coincidences than for the quality of the sailing, which was more a challenge to patience than to skill.  But at least it was a beautiful day and a hopeful prospect for the remaining sailing season.

Lev was awarded the Easter Egg and the First Race prize.  Many thanks to Heather for serving as OOD and to Rob, David Jones and several helpers in the safety boat.

HB

The view from Eeyore – thanks, Nick
… and one from the bank – the start of the slow return. Thanks to Charlotte Wellburn

Gins Weekend 2021

28/29/30 August 2021

It is with great pleasure I can announce the reinstatement of our much loved Gins weekend and confirm the above dates over the August bank holiday weekend.

For our members who have not been before:

Gins is the clubhouse of the Royal Southampton Yacht Club (RSYC) on the Beaulieu River just outside the New Forest. Other than in recent years this weekend has been on our calendar since the 60s. This weekend is open to all members and their guests.

There is normally a small contingent of SGSC members yachts or chartered boats which can be moored alongside or put on one of the visitor buoys down river. (payment to Beaulieu River HM)

Dinghies are towed down from Strand or can be borrowed (for a nominal fee) from RSYC. Currently available are Wanderers, Lasers, Toppers and Picos. Dinghies towed can be left on site during our rally.

Canoes can be borrowed too but these of course are easily transportable from Strand.

Camping on site is no longer allowed but local to Gins are Roundhill campsite, Lepe Meadows campsite and Lepe Beach campsite.

Dinner is available and bookable in advance for numbers over 16 (I have the menu and it is mouth-wateringly good) and various breakfast options for bookings over 12 people.

There is access to changing, lavatory and shower facilities on the Gins site.

Outline itinerary (subject to weather and tides)

Friday pm:  yacht and early arrival possible (HW Portsmouth 1544 LW 2045)

Saturday morning: Breakfast, rig and launch to explore the river with lunch perhaps at Bucklers Hard or down river overlooking the nature reserve. Venturing out on The Solent with dinghies and canoes is dependent on safety cover and conditions.

Saturday evening: Meal in the clubhouse.

Sunday morning: Breakfast then day sailing on the Solent either to Alum Bay/Keyhaven (by The Needles) with lunch in Newtown Creek or exploring the forts to the east with lunch in Osbourne Bay (by Cowes). Some people may choose to stay out and overnight at anchor.

Monday morning: Breakfast and spend the morning on the river before packing up and returning for home.

For now I only need expressions of interest but would ask they be more likely than not likely as RSYC need an idea of numbers. Also the numbers in your party and what vessels you may be taking to the water on, or would like to take to the water on.

I look forward to hearing from those of you interested.

Ian

Start of Season delayed …

Good News and Bad News

The latest Government advice (25th February) is good and not so good. The Good News is that from 29th March most of the restrictions on our activities will be relaxed. Here is what it says:

Step 1: 29 March Outdoor sports facilities including sailing clubs can reopen, subject to the Rule of six/two households. The Rule of six means that (apart from a set of limited exemptions including work and education) any social gatherings of more than six people are against the law. Formally organised outdoor sports – for adults and under 18s – will also restart and where compliant with guidance issued by the national governing bodies (the RYA) will not be subject to the gatherings limits. Indoor facilities, such as changing rooms, should not be used at this time, although toilet facilities can be accessed.

The Bad News is that the four of our programmed activities will be cancelled.  They are the working party on 7th March and the three races on 14th March, 21st March and 28th March.

So the first race of the season (all being well) will be a D-course on 4th April starting at 15:15.  See you then.

AGM 2021 / Calendar

Dear Members,

Welcome to 2021!

We start with AGM. It will take place by Zoom on Wednesday 10th February at 20:30. You received details by email how to connect. If you did not please contact us so we can add you to the list.

We also updated the calendar for 2021.

Hope we can race soon.

All the best for 2021!
SGSC

Happy Holidays !

Dear friends!

Season’s greetings. All of us here at SGSC want to wish you Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year. Wishing you the best this coming year.

We want to give warm holiday wishes to all of our members and friends that have helped us this year. From all of us at SGSC, thank you so much for your endless support. Members like yourself are what makes our club possible. Thank you!

See you all next year for more sailing !

Lev, SGSC Commodore

COVID restriction

Hi All

I’m afraid our last race was the last race. 

The Gov. has decreed, and the RYA has confirmed, that no organised sailing events are possible under lock-down rules. 

You can still use the ramp and go sailing on the river, but only on your own.

So let’s hope for better times and good sailing in 2021.

Best wishes

Henry

Race Report, 18 October

Race Report 18 October 2020

Sunday 18th October was fair and dry but there was little wind, which may account for the fact that only three boats decided to sail an afternoon A-course, which was set appropriately short.

James Armitage was sailing his Enterprise with Ayanda, his light-weight crew.  Rob Adams and Ben Chappell were both sailing Lasers.

There was enough wind to start with for all three to sail the first lap in between 7 and 10 minutes – James in the lead.  The second and third laps were sailed by James and Rob even quicker in around five minutes each, but then the wind dropped dramatically – or perhaps, undramatically.  James’ fourth lap took 10 minutes with Rob lagging behind on 29 minutes.  But then the last lap for James lasted what must have felt like an eternity of 36 minutes, while Rob gradually caught up with a 19-minute lap.

So James won the endurance test in one hour and 43 minutes with Rob five minutes behind.  Ben had kept within striking distance of them for the first two laps but struggled for over three quarters of an hour on his third (and last).  But it was only his second race with us in his Laser, and If it’s any comfort to him, they say it can take five years of racing to master a new dinghy. And that doesn’t allow for our weird tidal waters.

Thanks to Jane Watkins for her patience as OOD, and to Lev Kolobov for manning the safety boat.

Apologies for late reporting – the M of S has been away.

HB

NHS COVID-19 App and SGSC

The Club is now required to be able to inform the NHS of who takes part in our Sunday races in case there is a risk of catching the bug.  This could arise if a participant or visitor is tested positive elsewhere after having been to an SGSC event. 

The Club now has a QR code (the square spotty thing on an A4 poster) at the arch which is specific to SGSC and the arch.  This means that, if you have the NHS COVID-19 App on your smart-phone, you can register your presence by, in effect, photographing the poster.  If someone at the race is subsequently tested positive the authorities can contact all those who registered on that day.

If you don’t have the app or don’t have your phone with you the authorities will contact the Club if the nee arises and we will send them a list of those present, plus phone numbers, to be contacted by track and tracers.  We will know who is present from the OOD’s race sheet for the day.

Please use the QR code / App on a race day and make sure that the OOD knows of any non-member crew or other visitors who may be potential contacts.  The helm of each boat will be responsible for identifying any non-member crew or other visitors.

Race Report 9th August 2020 and Ladies Plate race

On a hot sunny afternoon the Met Office said the wind would be light and from the east.  It was certainly light at times, and Steve Newell set a short A-course from the Zoffany House start line with a sometimes consistent wind coming up-stream from east south east.  Chris Jones set the top mark just above the Bell and Crown and the bottom mark was at the downstream end of the slip-dock, where a barge was somewhat inconveniently moored for the duration of the race.

There was another good turnout of 9 boats which made for a congested start from the short start line.  The well-positioned ones headed off downstream hugging the Strand bank and a leading trio of James Armitage (solo in Enterprise), Joseph Armitage ( a stranger in his Laser, determined to beat his dad), and lev Kolobov (also solo in his Enterprise) made it to the mark with little difficulty.  The big dilemma was whether to tack within the slip-dock, with the added hazard of the barge, or to beat against the stronger tidal flow midstream.  Those three made it around and were practically back at the top mark before the Browns (Enterprise), Ian Nethersell (Vibe) and John Bull (laser) worked out the best way around the bottom mark in the contrary wind and tide. 

Joseph completed his first lap in less than 9 minutes followed by Lev and then James, after which James gained, maintained, and added to his lead.  John Bull was fourth at the first lap and held his position to the end with the Browns in close pursuit.  James and Joseph proceeded to lap everyone at least once, and all but Lev twice.  They did 7 laps with James 11 minutes ahead of his son at the end.  Lev did 6 laps and John, the Browns and Ian did 5. 

While all this was going on a much more notable event was taking place: the SGSC Ladies Plate.  In the absence of the Summer Party it had been decided to sail the Ladies Plate concurrently with a suitable A-course points race, and this was the one.  It was strenuously contested by Jane Watkins (ever growing in confidence in her Gull) and former winner Mary Short (in Chris Greenwood’s Leader).  As luck would have it, Jane had a bad day.  She tangled with the bank and got caught by a series of doldrums which drifted her towards Kew Bridge – the stuff of Strand nightmares – to be rescued by Chris Jones and towed home.  Which left Mary in control of the field.  She completed 3 laps of challenging conditions in considerable style and wins the coveted prize.

Many thanks to Stephen for keeping a clear record of the fleets’ many line crossings – no easy feat.  And to Chris Jones for keeping an eye on everyone from the water.  And to Andy Ross for helping the many weary mariners, and the safety boat, ashore at the end.

Next Sunday is a C-course starting at11:45, and there may be a picnic sail on Wednesday 12th August, starting around 1850 to clear Kew Bridge well before high water.  If it happens you will be contacted by email soon.

Race 28 June 2020 is abandoned!

We are sorry to inform you but committee decided to cancel tomorrow Race on Sunday the 28th of June.

It looks like the wind is picking up. Nothing can scare us but unfortunately it is not safe for a Long Distance Race.