12 boats lined up for Goodwin 11 today, being one Enterprise, one Albacore, two Solos and the remainder being lasers (all with full rigs).
Goodwin 11 was sailed today in 11 knots, gusting to 15 at times. With a Southerly, the typical three-buoy course was set, meaning running and reaching with the tide then slogging up the leeward Northern bank of the Thames from the old jetty remains to Craven Cottage wendyball grounds.
Crews voiced concern about the ability of boats to achieve that slog to the top mark given the lightness of the wind and the weakness of the tidal relief along the leeward bank, and pleaded for a delay. It was decided to send Jamie across to the leeward bank to test the ability of boats to go to windward, and other boats should have launched at this point and waited down river (up tide) of the start line.
However, by not doing so and then waiting for the trailer of the preceding boat to be brought up the centre of the ramp (rather than launching in close formation and retrieving unladen trailers up the side) a delay was achieved by the mutinous crews. In the end, your Race Officer had to leave his thrown in the race control box, take the new Belgian wannabe sailor Valentine down to the ramp, and put her to use retrieving trailers while he corralled the crews into launching more hastily.
And so the 12:15 launching was delayed and the race did not get away until 12:56. Three boats had not heeded (or were unable to) the Race Officer’s warning to stay down river (up tide) of the start line – the Enterprise (with new crew Miguel & Rita) paddled their way back (no penalty observed), the club Solo (Matthias) was towed back, and the Xenon started sailing up but ultimately made little progress and was let go when the Solo had passed by.
A log jam occurred at the first wing mark, with Ben and Sina getting around well in the Albacore, followed by Olga making use of her buoyroom rights, and then the pack in quick succession. The boats made their way across the river, and all set off up the track, except Matthias who couldn’t really bring the boat to windward, drifted up river and soon retired. And then there were 11.
In weather that it made it’s own, the Albacore rounded first at 13:12:02, followed by Henry at 13:13:40 (and order maintained to the end). Amy rounded in third (a position she held until the final leg), with Olga falling to fourth. followed by Solo Sara and Jaimie in sixth. The fast gaining Enterprise crew rounded in seventh at 13:18:06, followed over two minutes later by James in the Xenon, then Jane at 13:21:15 (who hit the mark, but took no penalty), followed over seven minutes later by Joshua and Christina, in order.
Up until the final leg, positions were largely held, but for:#
1) the Enterprise crew climbed back from 10th at the start, to 7th, then 6th, then 5th, then finished third.
2) Olga slipped from 4th to 7th on the second leg where she finished, the 4-5-6 positions alternating between Jamie and Sara and the Enterprise crew.
3) The Xenon dropped their jib and retired on the third leg,
4) At the end of the third leg Joshua (who was more than a lap behind) sailed on past the finish line, and continued to sail back and forth over it while other boats came up and finished and received their bells.
The attached file has the positions by round, along with the times in the comments section.
Drama briefly occurred in the race box when Henry (the only boat who could possibly catch the
Albacore on handicap) was sailing to finish second. Two metres short, Charlotte rang the bell softly just as he broached and fell backwards from the line in the tide. Charlotte quickly quietened the bell, but had he heard the bell? Would he think he had finished and sail back to shore on that basis? Should he be given the finish at that time?
Happily for the race officers, Henry went back to trying to finish, as he did 2 minutes later, and thoughts of a protest against the race committee from him or unhappy competitors.
Well done to the crews of the Albacore, the Enterprise (what might have been?) and other fast finishers. BBQ time. Ciao.