Nov 23


 Sunday 18th November  Campbell 9 Race Report

A lovely brisk winter morning with not a breath of wind. The usual diehards trickled in and there was the usual will we won’t we discussion. The Old Man shook his head “Aarr unless they telltales flow them boats won’t go” and went in to have a cup of coffee muttering “ A 7.4m tide! They might go but they won’t come back”.

When he came down, hardly a leaf had moved and Stephanie thought not, but Sunshine Sara had the cover off and was stroking her Solo to reassure her. Renato had taken the cover off his torpedo so cleverly disguised as a Laser, there was no wind but there was a tangible feeling of desperation. Any minute and the RO would be labelled defeatist.

He had to compromise so he agreed a race with a 45min postponement and the threat was lifted.


Daniel with son James in the SB, laid a minimal sausage on the Fulham bank and it seemed that feeble air currents did disturb the surface in mid stream but not near the Fulham bank.  RO posted 4 laps, expecting to shorten and warned the SB to moor near the Hammersmith buoy to catch the inevitable drifters before they passed Crabtree.

So, after the usual wait for the rowers to get everything completely and perfectly settled, Sara, Renato, Amy, Allan and Stephanie (carrying their passenger) launched and did move through the water but not fast enough. Daniel sped to their rescue and got them all above the start line in time.

The start was badly timed but they all got away smoothly and all gibed neatly at the top mark without losing ground  then, to the RO’s surprise, moved steadily down the Fulham bank against the tide thanks to NW wind which though very light meant that they did not have those tiresome tacks taking them back up the river. Renato’s private wind brought him back first then Allan & Steph then Sara but a fast tide and light wind needed a big overshoot to weather buoy 1 but Amy missed it and had to try again. 

They completed four laps steadily though slowly, on the last lap the wind backed W and there were a few tacks but the tide had slackened and little ground was lost. Renato had lapped Amy and Sara and (of course) finished first, there was a rare moment of excitement when A&S stalled at the stand and Sara caught a puff and began to close but it did not last and inspite of a tack the Enterprise slid over the line and Sara was third. Crossing to the ramp however she left a wake and caught them up.

Smooth and bloodless but enjoyable.

Final order, Renato, Allan Sara and Amy.

(Another day to be thankful that it was not a Hidalgo commanding the Armada)

John Parke