The morning sun shone warmly as a good turnout of southbankers enthusiastically launched their boats onto a windless Thames.
Apart from some inventive manoeuvring from Joseph to get above the line, the 13-strong fleet set off around a sausage course along the North bank.
Potential new member Peter was kindly assisting in the race box. To give an idea of the wind strength, when asked who was at the front of the fleet, he replied…
Depends if that boat is going that way on purpose.
… and shortly after, without prompt …
When do you normally tow?
Given the low wind, the fleet returned round the top mark after 30-35 mins, and the seemingly obvious decision was made to shorten the (three-lap) course to just two. No sooner had that been conveyed to the sailors, that the wind picked up nicely and the second lap was speedily completed.
After the race, the main event began as we enjoyed mulled wine and mince pies. It would have put me in a tricky situation to try both Allan and Sara’s mince pies, but the (anonymous) one I tried was delicious, and I heard great reviews of both, with or without Allan’s boozy butter. Gary made an interesting observation that he was steering clear because Australian “mince pies” actually have mince in them, and our mince pies haven’t felt right to him since the first time he (unknowingly) tried one.
Ben varnished his “new baby” Albacore in the sun while everyone else played with the new babies and drank mulled wine in the clubhouse.
Thanks to Sara and Allan for preparing the mince pies, mulled wine and “not for children” butter. Thanks too to Peter for his help in the race box (make sure you sail + join next time you come down!), and to Ana and Matt for running the safety boat. Also great to see new temporary member Claudia who will join long-term if she doesn’t buy herself a waszp first!