The sunshine, strong breeze and (almost) freezing cold attracted ten sailors for the fourth race of the Goodwin series. The wind and later start/high tide allowed the use of the full river width and so a course consisting of a triangle in a triangle was set out by safety boat crew Giles and Polly.
Unfortunately nine boats took a while to rig and so the race did not start until 10:46, shortly before the turn of the tide. Estrid had a great (almost controversial) start and was followed closely by Allan and Steph in the GP and Tom.
Shortly after the start Rex was held up by a string of rowers, which allowed his father and Anna to shoot ahead. Renato, of course, had also had a decent start and rounded the far buoy first, followed by the GP and Sara – and uninterrupted by Tom christening his new sail with an early capsize. Renato was the first to complete the little triangle.
At this point, the tide seemed to have turned and the boats were soon shooting along the Fulham bank, along the edge of the large triangle. Sara and Tom almost caught up with the GP but did not manage to beat it round the buoy.
On the way back upriver (and upstream at this point), Estrid gamble to remain in the middle of the river paid off as a gust pushed her level with Sara and Tom. With the tide turned, the boats were beginning to struggle around the far buoy on the second lap.
The positions remained largely unchanged for the remainder of the race. Both Armand and Rex had to retire after unfortunate capsizes and there were a few momentary shifts in positions as Josh got a gust along the Fulham bank and caught up with the leading pack.
At the penultimate rounding of buoy D (the bottom mark) Tom tried to sneak in between the GP and the mark but the outcome of this manoeuvre is unknown, as the RO was distracted by gasps from the clubhouse. Josh’s run past Fulham stadium had become unstable and ended in a spectacular capsize.
The rest of the race was calm in comparison… Renato was first over the line, followed by the GP and then Estrid, who in a 4.7 had the same handicap as the Solo and beat Sara by 20 seconds. Thank you for shaking up the leader board! Thanks also to Giles and Polly for looking after the sailors and taking photos, and Jane SH for helping out in the race box!