A really cold day greeted us yesterday for the 3rd race of the Goodwin Trophy series. It was to be a Downriver Race and with a keen NNE wind blasting down the yard, and making us all hide in our new club hoodies, cups of tea and coffee were dispensed to warm us all! The race team got to work with Leo and Erkka sorting out the safety boats with Sal making sure the sailors had signed on.
Luckily for me Steph and baby James arrived and sorted out a few IT things for me as Race Officer, (only just under 4 weeks and already grasped the Race Result sheet)…… and Allan made sure the Dory was going to start before the race start. Always a useful precaution!
Jane D and Amy decided to take 4.7 rigs as the wind seemed to increase in strength and even Jamie and Jakob went for radials which must have meant it was going to be a rocky ride to Battersea! Allan rigged the club GP14 with Anna as his crew who had come for a Taster Sail and Josh and Ben teamed up in Dotty the Albacore. No Sina then….
Sal and I spent the rigging time bullying all the Sailors with threats of all sorts to make sure that they got onto the beach so we could start the race at 11.35. With the new downriver Race start times 45 minutes later than historically, we were keen to make sure we didn’t start late and find the tide had turned before we had got half way downriver which wouldn’t have gone down well I’m sure!
Miraculously everyone was on the beach by 11.30 and the 5 minute bell rang promptly at 11.40. I had used flags rather than the boards which are inclined to get caught up the flag pole in a lot of wind. This was the start of things going slightly wrong…… Half the fleet didn’t hear the bell and I guess didn’t see the flags so when we got to the start, most of the boats didn’t look anywhere near the start line.
Steph and I were mesmerised by Josh throwing himself out of Dotty and swimming frantically towards the shore. (I found out later they realised they were missing a side tank bung). Jakob had assumed he was over the line at the start so spent two minutes trying to get back over the line and I don’t think Allan and Anna had realised that the start bell had been and gone.
Meanwhile Jamie had shot off at the start bell with Amy in hot pursuit whilst the rest of the fleet sorted themselves out with shouts from Sally that the race had actually started.
Erkka and I went to the head of the fleet with Jamie who by the time we reached him was downriver of Putney Bridge and the gap between him and the others seemed to be growing. Was this going to be Jamie’s race? By the time we reached Imperial Wharf we found ourselves amongst Ranelagh sailors with Una having capsized from the RS200. Looking behind us we saw the rest of our fleet were getting closer so we sped on to just the other side of Albert Bridge to lay the buoy to avoid Ranelagh who were milling around waiting to start their return race.
Jamie came over the line first with Ben and Josh in 2nd, followed closely by Amy. Very hard luck for Jane as by the time she got under Albert Bridge the tide was definitely on its way in again and it was a hard fight to get to the line – not helped by two 8s whose coach wasn’t going to get them to change their course at all
The race back was started very quickly and the fleet was pretty much together with Amy taking the south bank whilst the others fought it out in the middle of the river.
It was a fairly uneventful sail back (well for us anyway…..) with the wind reducing on the reach before Putney Railway Bridge to a proverbial mill pond for a while.
It didn’t last for long and then Erkka sped onward back to the club so I could record the results.
On corrected time Allan and Anna came in 1st, with Amy 2nd and Jane 3rd.
Overall Jamie won which was brilliant – I think he was pretty pleased! Amy was 2nd and Allan and Anna 3rd
We got back to find Hugh Ana and Maya with Steph and James – the crèche is growing!
Very many thanks to Sal, Erkka, Leo and Jane for helping me finish the race!