It was a warmish autumnal day 15C with some sunny intervals and blustery.
W- WNW winds 17 knots gusting 28 .. enticing our intrepid SBSC sailors seeking that adrenaline rush, to race in 7 boats; Ben & friend Jason (Albacore), David & Alan W (Wayfarer), Jane D and Amy (Laser 4.7’s) and Renato, Jamie and Jakob (Laser Rad’s).
We decided on a 3-buoy course up the north bank.. a short sausage in a longer sausage and rounding all marks to starboard.. and 3 laps. (*see my note to self further on….)
Briefing was on time at 14.00 and I started the race at 14.50. The strong gusts swirling around in front of the clubhouse scattered the fleet as they prepared for the start. As the bell went Amy still had to get to the right side of the start line but Jane seemed to be stuck mid river and after watching her valiant efforts for 4 long minutes the RO allowed her to join the race.
It was lovely to watch (through binoculars) all the sails whizzing down river to start lap 1 .. but ?…some continued out of sight heading towards Hammersmith ??? … then SB Sara came on the radio to inform RO that 3 boats were on course BUT the others had gone completely off course taking a very long detour.. Bearing this in mind our decision was to allow them to complete lap 1 and continue the race correctly .. under the careful scrutiny of the safety boat. (*Note to self “at the briefing make sure everyone understands the course” !)
To keep the SB team warm, Elaine had produced a flask with some very nice hot coffee ‘with benefits’ .. say no more! Suffice to say the SC ladies were 100% vigilant at all times and Sina’s took great photos!
From the race box the RO had difficulty spotting the sailors as most of the action was up near Crabtree and by that time Ranelagh SC boats had arrived to sail in “our waters”.. I’m reliably informed that in spite of the blustery strong gusts there were only a couple of capsizes and both righted pretty quickly which was lucky for Elaine, Sina and Sara in the safety boat.
The efficient safety team (RO’s eyes on the water!) alerted me when our sailors were heading for the finish line. Renato sped over in 1st position followed closely by Ben & Jason and David & Alan and then after a short interval along came Jakob narrowly beating Jamie over the line.
The final results on corrected times:
1. Renato (47.28); 2. Ben and Jason (51.48); 3. David & Alan (51.49); 4. Jakob (53.59);
5. Jamie (54.02); 6. Amy (55.39); 7. Jane (1.01.02).
Elaine returned to shore for a quick getaway and Renato and Amy decided to call it a day.
The remaining 5 boats were eager for more and there was enough time before high water so Sara set up a short 2-lap race around a sausage course. Sina wanted to sail too (keen for some of that adrenaline!) so there was a precarious swap mid-river involving Sina (SB) and Jason (Dotty). A two minute start and off they went. … and it didn’t last long… and the winner was….Ben, Sina and Dotty! Hurrah!
How lovely to see Chris and Jan who came to watch the race. Thanks to Chris for helping launch boats and to Jan for helping me with the race start. And of course special thanks to Elaine, Sara and Sina for keeping everyone safe and in order on the water.
See you all next Sunday