Jun 11

Enterprise 60th Anniversary Tideway Race

Arriving at Southbank Sailing Club for the Enterprise 60th Anniversary Tideway Race, the first question was – which way does the race go? With a very light breeze, occasionally dropping to nothing, and then deciding to change direction, the only way is with the tide, and suddenly the race direction is obvious.

The race briefing includes some excellent advice on starting technique – you can paddle to keep yourself behind the line, or launch from the bank at the start of the race, drop anchor or hitch a lift on a passing boat, but once the start bell is rung, its drifting with style – or so we thought.

The race travels with the tide for as far as it can get before the tide changes, then turns around and a second start takes place. The combined time of the first and second legs is added together to get your aggregated time, and race position.

When the five minute gun goes there were a number of techniques to ensure there was no one over the line. It quickly became evident that drifting with style was not the order of the day as the lightest of zephyrs were evident and making some significant difference to perforce of the 33 enterprises on the start line.

Roll tacking was the order of the day, but the real gains were from coaxing the most from the little breeze that appeared before Putney Bridge and spread the fleet past the exact spot where the Enterprise was designed and built by Jack Holt at his workshop in 1955 . From the start it was Peter Jackson from Silverwing who pulled away and led the fleet for almost an hour, down to the Royal Hospital at Chelsea. Ian McGregor from Lensbury SC and John Allen from Bristol Corinthian Yacht Club battled it out for second with Allen pulling away to catch up with Jackson around Battersea, when the heavens opened and the rain brought some much needed breeze. Coming into the finish, an impressive lead was eaten away by the following bunch and there was eight seconds between the first four boats to finish, with McGregor pipping Allen by a second, from a very unlucky Jackson in third a second ahead of Roger Bennett from Silver Wing in fourth place, and Charlie Adams from West Lancashire Yacht Club in fifth.

The front of the fleet were able to land on the shore of the Thames and watch in the rain as the rest of the fleet crossed the line with the last of the tide, all within ten minutes of the leaders. it took no more than fifteen minutes for the Thames to become slack and the sequence for the return race to begin. As the gun started the fleet, it was the south shore where the tide had turned first, and Bennett shot away followed by a collection of the usual suspects. Meanwhile on the North Shore, Allen close tacked with Dave Beaney from Wembley SC to try and keep up with the favoured southern shore. The technique was definitely a continuous trimming of the sails and playing a game of Tide or Wind when it came to positioning on the river. Generally wind was the winner as the flow strengthened and the race continued and a group of ten boats pulled away from the fleet and swapped places all the way up the river back to Putney.
It was getting pretty intense as the finish approached with the lead changing places amongst the top few boats. As the bell rang it was Kevin Edwards from Horning SC who won the second leg by a really impressive six seconds (they all count) from Roger Bennett and Ian McGregor in third, Dave Beanie in fourth and Charlie Adams in fifth.

With race positions not counting for anything in the overall results, the timings were crucial to the overall result.Each leg was about an hour for the leaders, but at the prize giving, with the combined times for the two legs, the difference between first and third was declared as Six Seconds, with Roger and Sheron Bennett of Silverwing SC taking the Teapot Trophy from Iain and Jo McGregor in second, who also took the over sixty prize, With Peter Jackson and Flo Tanner in Third.

The Club provided an excellent tea – with beer – all included in the modest entry fee and the race was declared a magnificent success, a unique opportunity to sail on the Thames. Great thanks to Southbank Sailing Club for organising this unique event, especially the safety crews who shepherded the fleet and the excellent PRO who finished the race with perfect timing for everyone to be sailing with the tide at all times. Looking forward to next year.


Roger BennettSheron Bennett22359RedSilver Wing SC0.037418981481540.04452546296320.08194444444441
Iain McGregorJo McGregor23007WhiteLensbury SC, Teddington0.037326388888910.044629629629640.08195601851852
Peter JacksonFlo Tanner23047whiteSilver Wing SC0.037407407407430.044606481481530.08201388888893
Charles AdamsHannah Adams22272WhiteWest Lancashire Yacht Club0.037743055555650.044687560.08243055555564
John AllenJames Hobson23351WhiteBristol Corinthian Yacht Club0.03733796296320.04515046296390.08248842592595
Martin DaviesRebecca Davies22320Navy BlueRugby and Daventry0.037928240740760.044814814814870.08274305555566
Paul EngelmannKaty Engelmann23045-Silver Wing SC0.037986111111170.044988425925980.0829745370377
xDavid BeaneySarah Hirst-Malin20234WhiteWembley Sailing Club0.038773148148190.044629629629640.08340277777788
Kevin EdwardsPippa Edwards21839GreyHorning SC/Norwich Frostbite SC/NBYC0.0400810185185210.044456018518510.0845370370379
Akshan JirasinhaAlice Allen22501BlueBristol Corinthian Yacht Club0.0390856481481130.0465856481481120.085671296296310
David HodgsonSteve Bell23243WhitePapercourt Sailing Club0.040162037037220.0462384259259100.08640046296311
David AckroydClaire Ackroyd21853WhiteSilver Wing SC0.0403472222222230.0463657407407110.08671296296312
Les SmithNeil Marcus22857WhiteAldenham Sailing Club0.0398148148148170.0478935185185130.087708333333313
Hilgard MullerChris Brown23094?Aldenham SC0.0388657407407120.0497222222222150.08858796296314
Chris RowsellAlastair Stewart23225WhiteLensbury SC, Teddington0.0388310185185110.0498148148148170.088645833333315
Chris NokesJane Nokes22300WhiteSilver Wing SC0.039537037037150.0492592592593140.088796296296316
Allan Munro-FaureStephanie Tollemache22813-AWhite with BlueSouth Bank SC0.0393634259259140.0498032407407160.089166666666717
Hugh SpaldingAmy Cleaves20703Dark BlueSouth Bank SC0.0405208333333250.0498726851852180.090393518518518
xKeith McDonaldAndy Brittain19927WhiteSmall Heath SC, Walsall0.0398263888889180.0508796296296190.090706018518519
xRobin BroomfieldPaul Broomfield22526WhiteMinimia Yacht Club0.0400694444444200.0519212962963200.091990740740720
Peter BideBrian Dennies16412RedLensbury SC, Teddington0.0388194444444100.05375220.092569444444421
Ian SimpsonSusan Simpson22758Light BlueAlexandra YC/Thames Estuary YC0.0396875160.0534375210.09312522
xDon HendersonSara Bennett23221South Bank SC0.038391203703780.0559606481481280.094351851851923
Robert BrignellSarah Moyse21792Light BlueTwickenham Yacht Club0.0405208333333250.0542361111111230.094756944444424
Nigel JamesSteve Winter22623Gr/WhiteFishers Green SC0.0405208333333250.0542476851852240.094768518518525
xLloyd WalkerDuncan DeBolte22353WhiteLeigh on Sea SC0.0405208333333250.0544444444444250.094965277777826
xJohn ParkeBob Jackson22813-BWhiteSouth Bank SC0.0405208333333250.054849537037260.095370370370427
John ForbesDiane Keighley22484WhiteMinimia Yacht Club0.0405208333333250.0557175925926270.096238425925928
Chris AgaceDominic Agace21313BluePapercourt SC0.0405208333333310.0564351851852290.096956018518529
Daniel BarkerJames Barker22661South Bank SC0.0405208333333310.0591550925926310.099675925925930
Gary MarshallJoseph Cabon22547South Bank SC0.0451388888889330.058599537037300.10373842592631
xChristopher EdwardsP. Edwards18706YellowRanelagh Sailing Club 0.039930555555619....
x (but may swap)David CaneAlexander Cane21439WhiteMinima Yacht Club0.040509259259324....