Report on the 5th Goodwin Feb 18 (Club opened at 13.30)
My day started badly. A collision on a level crossing had closed the line from E. Croydon to Clapham Junction, rail substitute buses are notoriously slow so I caught the next train to London Bridge, although it was a stopper, intending to take the Northern Line to Charing Cross and the District Line to Putney, Well the train ahead of us broke down so we stopped and kept on stopping at every tree it seemed. As every (other) Londoner knows the Northern line from London Bridge does not go through Charing Cross and by the time I had found the Jubilee line in the cavernous underground London Bridge station it was 13.45.
I eventually got to the club at 14.30 thinking that with so little wind the start would be postponed until the tide slackened but no, Jane had everything organised, including the course. Eight boats were rigged and all I had to do was pretend to be in charge and start the race at 15.10.
Unfortunately nobody could start.
The course was a simple sausage, six laps downstream to a mark opposite Chas Newens and back. Stephanie, enjoying the return of her light weight with her full Laser rig was the first across the line at 15.12 followed (sic) by Renato at 15.15 Both boats were creeping smoothly down the Fulham bank on starboard in the time honoured SBSC style, tacking and then sliding smoothly back up again on port.
At 15.20 the air moved. Johnnie in a black wet suit no doubt in support of the “Me too” movement, launched and sailed smoothly into the middle of the river, tacked and sailed smoothly back again.
15.25 The Albacore cleared the stand. Renato had passed Stephanie because when he tacked onto starboard he seemed not to drift back.
The SB shortened the course by 50% and we cut the laps to two. Renato promptly rounded the Putney mark and sailed serenely back on port. We wondered how much ground the maestro would lose when he gybed round the upstream mark. But he gybed some 3 lengths short of the buoy and cleared it backwards and did not lose any. As he slanted back to the Fulham bank momentarily he took what little wind Amy had, sailed away, rounded the Putney mark again and finished at 15.42.
15.38 Sailing a club Laser with the oldest sail, Estrid’s dogged persistence was rewarded and she managed to cross the start line. The Albacore completed her second lap and came back up the river actually leaving a wake! And finished at 15.47. Stephanie finished at 15.54 and Amie at 15.57. The remaining 4 boats retired but Jane Deith insisted that having spent so much time on the water she would damned well finish one lap and eventually she did.
Looking up river I could see most of the surface was gently broken by a light SWer.
But no Allan and no Sara so no goodies for tea so we packed up and went home.
No train to Clapham Junction, and the bus took half an hour. No bus from Croydon to Hayes for 25 cold minutes so £26 for a taxi home at 19.15.