The penultimate race of the Campbell series was off to a slow start. There was barely enough wind to move the tape tell tales and 8 sailors spent a couple of hours umming and ahhing in the yard before the more optimistic ones decided one might as well rig and see what happens. So they did. But nothing much happened and so more waiting ensued. Thankfully Allan & Steph and Henry Koe eventually volunteered to test the waters and two boats were launched. A few minutes later, the rest of us sought shelter at Barn Elms Boathouse while a 38-week pregnant woman, an optimistic commodore and a 12-year-old showed us what could and could not be done in these conditions. Their relentless struggle to stay near the start line, however, was not enough to deter Renato as it emerged that the Campbell trophy would go to Sara if the race was cancelled. While he was campaigning against cancellation, good news came in from the North Bank where Allan & Steph had started to make progress against the tide. The decision was thus made to start the race, a three-lap sausage alongside Bishop’s park. Olga sensibly decided that this was no sailing weather and so 7 boats went over the improvised start line at 1:36 pm.
Allan & Steph in the world’s best Dotty had a good start and were first round the top buoy, followed by Renato, Sara and little Henry in a Laser Full. Amy meanwhile was probably regretting choosing Jemima, who was aptly nicknamed “The Duck” by Johnny (or was it Elaine?) as we were watching from the warmth of the balcony. The order was maintained for a lap, with Jakob and big Henry in hot pursuit of the leading pack. On the second rounding of the top mark, little Henry was catching up with Renato and Sara. Coming back towards the club house, Renato managed to pull away while Henry overtook Sara to claim third position. The wind picked up for the final lap but the positions remained unchanged. Final positions were: Allan & Steph, Renato, Henry K., Sara, Jakob, Henry C. and Amy. First three places on corrected time went to Allan & Steph, Sara and Renato.
Thank you to Imogen and Esteban for their help in the safety boat and race box and Happy Holidays!