There is a Spanish saying that goes like this ‘Nadar para morir en la orilla’ which translates into ‘Swimming to finally die at the shore’, I suppose you could also say ‘only to fall at the final hurdle’. Well that is how I see this race.
It was a typical winter day, winds from the North and not a ray of sun could be seen, the only ray in the club was Mr. Burnet who kindly stepped in for a duty.
It was a downriver race and as sometimes happens the winds just died before the start and Josh in a Laser and Henry Koe in a Topper were over the start line and although they briefly attempted to beat the current, the mighty Thames didn’t seem to like that. Then the magnanimous Ben Thomas and James Pratt appeared in the safety boat allowing them to re-join the race.
By that time Allan and Steph in an enterprise had a commanding lead with Sally and Henry Cook in their lasers following closely. Unfortunately the second enterprise sailed by Amy and Max had to retire and wait in the shore.
Alan and Steph crossed the line first in the way down, followed by Henry Cook and a not very happy Sally who had fight with her tiller.
Suddenly, while Digby and I were preparing for the start sequence for the race back, like if it was magic, we hear the mythical chords of Europe, and I am not referring to the abducted Cretan woman by Zeus in the form of a bull, but to the eighties band singing ‘The Final Countdown’. It turned out the music was being played from the other safety boat and coming through channel 37! Nice one Ben.
So the race started and I cannot say much about what happened in the front as I stayed in the back watching Henry who at sometimes even enjoyed an ice cream thrown to him by someone in a moored boat. A hot tea would have been more appropriate as the brave young man was close to hypothermia by the end of the race after being more than 3 hours in the water getting his body wet after each roll tack. Proud Digby was praising Henry all the way back and Henry was literally close to tears. It was truly remarkable effort and he needed all his stamina to reach the finish line.
Even though the young Henry was 32 minutes behind Allan and Steph, the handicap of the Topper made him the first on corrected time!
Just as I was about to print the results, I heard a ‘PROTEST’ from Steph who reported a rule broken by Henry for touching the buoy marking the start line and ignored the penalty. Valuable lessons come at a high price!
Congratulations to Allan and Steph.