2016 arrived much as 2015 had departed, grey, windy and wet.
This didn’t deter 6 of our members though and with the promise of shepherd’s pie and chocolates for afters, the first race day of 2016 was set to be a very social affair.
With the customary chatting, tea drinking, hangover nursing and rigging a very late arrival on the water was on the cards. This was fine for the race team though as the more time everyone took to get ready the more time they could spend in the warmth of the club house.
In the line-up were Carla and Sina in their 420, Allan and Sara in an Enterprise and Steph and Henrik in a second Enterprise
The first race downriver was off to a clean start in a gusty force 3 to 4 south to south easterly wind but alas the first capsize of the new year was upon us in no time at all!
Not wishing to hang around in the water the crew soon had the boat upright and were in hot (figuratively speaking of course as you could hear teeth chattering from 50 yards) pursuit of the two leading Enterprises.
The open stretch of water between Putney and Wandsworth Bridges made for some very pleasant and brisk sailing but once under Wandsworth Bridge the wind died due to shadows from the apartment blocks on the south side of the river. As the tide was turning in any case, a buoy was placed and the first race finished with A and S first, S and H second and C and S third
Given the wind strength and direction a return race to the clubhouse would have been over in 20 minutes or so therefore a second race was run using Imperial Railway Bridge as a course marker. C and S made a cracking start and despite a certain amount of spinnaker gymnastics pulled ahead to comfortably take a well-deserved victory followed by A and S and S and H third
The final race was back to the clubhouse and saw all 3 boats pretty much neck and neck for much of the time, C and S by now mastering the previously troublesome spinnaker but unable to quite pull away from the two ents. At the finish A and S beat C and S by two seconds with S and H in third
Bickering then broke out on the safety boat as it was realised that Jan, no, Chris, no Jan, no Chris, had forgotten to pick up the buoy down at Wandsworth Bridge!
It was now raining; dull had turned to utterly miserable but with the Commodore, Vice Commodore and Treasurer present excuses such as ‘it sunk’ ‘I am sure we saw a dolphin swim off with it’ wouldn’t have washed and a brisk recovery trip saw its safe retrieval.
The final tally for the three races was:
Bronze: Steph and Henrick
Silver: Carla and Sina
Gold: Allan and Sara
Back at the club house, Sara’s shepherd’s Pie, mulled wine and handmade Austrian chocolates went down a treat, many thanks Sara.
Thanks also to Jan for ensuring everything ran smoothly on the water.
Best wishes for 2016, may you have fair winds, good sailing and masts that always point to the birds and not the fishes
PS: Here’s wishing Carla and Sina the best of luck in The Bloody Mary Race at Queen Mary Sailing Club on 9th January. It’s a gruelling race but one not to be missed with several SBSC members competing against Olympic, world and national champions in past years.
PPS: As many of you may know, this year is the 60th anniversary of the launch of the Enterprise dinghy. SBSC is running a commemorative race in the summer that promises to be an epic event just like the 50th we ran 10 years ago I found this interesting article on Yachts and Yachting’s website about the history of the Enterprise.
(9th January will be 60 years to the day that two enterprises crossed the English Channel as a PR stunt)