The John Cope race is a downriver consisting of two separate races, with the combined results counting for the trophy. We had a variable weather forecast – some sun, some clouds and probably some rain. We also a strong wind of 14 knots with gusts of up to 19, and quite a strong tide that refused to turn on time.
The racers consisted of Allan and Steph (in an Enterprise), Renato and Ben (each in in a Laser), Jamie and Henry (each in a Laser Radial), and Robert and Sina in a 420. The race committee consisted of Richard, David and Will.
The first leg of the race down river started with Renato taking the lead (as you might expect), followed by Henry, Allan and Steph, Ben and Jamie, and then Robert and Sina in the 420. It was a great start and the wind remained strong. By Putney Bridge the running order had evolved. Renato in the lead (see above), followed by Jamie and Ben, Robert and Sina, Allan and Steph then Henry.
Something then happened. Renato took off, with a great gust behind him (as seen exclusively on YouTube: https://youtu.be/u1BDe57URb8), followed by the rest of the racers, all in a fairly tight group (see https://youtu.be/z4O0A1pRyog).
By Wandswoth Bridge the running order had changed again. Renato was still in the lead (see above), but now Jamie was in second place, closely pursued by Ben, with the remaining sailors fighting for fourth, fifth and sixth.
It became almost clear that it didn’t matter who was in the lead or who was at the back, the battle of the day was going to be between Ben in his Laser and Jamie in his Laser Radial – the sun was shining and the wind was great! (see https://youtu.be/bu3hWBVHRKo). Actually, the other battle of the day was between poor Henry and his mainsheet, and then poor Henry and his tiller – but he won that so all is good.
The finish line for the first leg saw Renato come in 1st, followed by Jamie in 2nd and Allan and Steph in 3rd.
The start of the second leg was interesting as the wind was still strong but the tide was still going out, defying the predictions of the tide table. Renato took the lead, followed by Allan and Steph, Jamie, Ben, Henry and Robert and Sina (see https://youtu.be/_DkRca8TyEM).
The running order then changed quite a bit as the boats fought with the tide, with Jamie and Ben continuing to change places making it an exciting race. By the finish line the wind was losing itself and the boats spread out. Renato came in 1st, Allan and Steph 2nd and Jamie in 3rd.
- Allan & Steph
The trophies are a follows:
The John Cope winner: Renato
The Most Inexplicable Capsize: Renato
The Award for River-based Endurance: Henry – with all the issues with his mainsheet, tiller and then the complete lack of wind, he finished both raises with a smile!
The Not Winning or Coming Last Award Yet Putting on a Great Fight: Ben and Jamie
The Accountancy Award for Helping the Race Team with Microsoft Excel: Stephanie
What a great club!