Sunday 22 April 2018
Race officers: Joseph Cabon & James Barker
Safety Boat: David Joo & Justin Lloyd Williams
Six boats made it onto the water. It was a good spread of classes: Jamie Maule-Ffinch & Jakob Grunig in Lasers (full rig), Sara in her Solo, Graham Douglas & Jennifer Black in a 420, Ben Thomas & Sina Stapelfeldt in a GP14 & Tom Glockner & Robbie Nelson in a Xenon. The wind forecast was due to be 12mph gusting 22-24mph broadly from the SW, & that is what we got.
Everyone got a good start, all crossing the line within a second of each other. From the first Jamie & Jakob were in a tussle for the lead that would last all the way to the finish. Those two quickly forged ahead of the remaining boats. All boats kept good speed throughout, with both tide & wind making for a quick first race. The on-water lead had changed a couple of times between the two Lasers, in a separate race that continued to be involved & tight, &, at the line, Jamie pipped Jakob by approx five inches. Sara came across 39 seconds later & the three double-handers came through in a cluster a couple of minutes after, in a three-second spread. Sara won the race on handicap.
Sara had a fabulous start on the return race, finding good wind near the river’s edge, but capsized in a sudden gust & found herself at the back. As before the two Lasers sped through to the front with Jamie closely followed by Jakob. The return race was a more tactical one, with all boats beating hard in sometimes fluky wind. By Chelsea Harbour Pier, Jamie had eased further ahead of Jakob but lost his lead briefly after a (dry) capsize. He had regained it by the time they reached Wandsworth Bridge. A sudden lull at Putney Bridge enabled the field to bunch up. Then, in the final stretch, Jamie capsized again, losing the lead & a place in the final results. Jakob crossed first with Jamie five seconds later. Third was the Xenon & fourth across was Sara, recovering from from her early capsize to win the second race too, on handicap. Sara capsized again after finishing. A wag was heard to ask her if she had done a victory roll; alas her reply was unclear from the committee boat.
Final results from both races:
1st Sara Bennett, Solo
2nd Jakob Grunig, Laser
3rd Jamie Maule-Ffinch, Laser
4th Tom Glockner & Robbie Nelson, Xenon
5th Graham Douglas & Jennifer Black, 420
6th Ben Thomas & Sina Stapelfeldt, GP14