Sunday 22nd July – Bevington Downriver Race Report
After a debate about wind and whether or not to sail the decision to GO was unanimous! The RO’s took on safety duties and took only one safety boat.
All the ‘brave’ sailors rigged their boats despite the fickle wind (WNW 8.9, really). They all waited on the beach until 1 minute before the start at 16.20.
Race Officer Jane with Ana as assistant and SB helm set off with Ana’s reluctant-to-touch-water husband Inaki; victim of a cunning plan between RO and assistant RO to get him signed as a new member J
Jakob took the lead in his laser. He was followed by Elaine and Leonardo in the enterprise Enfin, and Vaughan (Jakob’s guest/temporary member for the day) and Matthias in their lasers.
All boats crossed Putney Railway Bridge at 16.35 with Enfin leading the group on a broad reach/run assisted by the tide. The wind picked up a little lifting the boats’ sails for a while as they all moved to the Putney side of the river.
At the Ship Pub, we crossed a couple of pleasure boats and Mathias and Elaine/Leo were pushed too close to the moored barge and that altered the fleets’ positions. From this moment, Jacob took the lead followed closely by Vaughan and after a gap Enfin and Matthias were following.
And then oh dear.. Safety boat was caught in shallow water and Inaki managed the situation with a “keep calm Ana!” (Jane will testify helm Ana was cool as a cucumber!)
At 16.50 all boats had passed Wandsworth Bridge with Jakob still in the lead followed by Vaughan; then great gusts near the Helipad and Elaine made the most of it, close hauled and putting Enfin ahead of the fleet followed by Matthias.
Fighting for the third and fourth position were Matthias and Vaughan. Matthias caught up thanks to Vaughan being stuck with no wind closer to the south bank (this river is hell for some and heaven for others)
The finish buoy was placed in front of the Pagoda and was crossed at 17:30:24 by Jakob followed by Elaine & Leo at 17:33:44, Matthias at 17:34:58and Vaughan 17:41:08.
The tide had turned so we started the return race at 17.45
The wind picked up for the race start and the fleet passed Albert Bridge close hauled. But it dropped again at Battersea Bridge, and the first to go under the bridge was Jakob at 17.59 by Matthias, Enfin and Vaughan.
Then Matthias and Enfin fought a close battle for a while.. Elaine & Leo won and moved ahead.
Jakob made swift progress pointing upriver while the rest of the fleet seemed stuck far behind. It was clear at this point that Jakob was competing while and the rest of the fleet was chilling J. We subsequently learnt that Leo and Elaine started chatting and agreed that that next time, they’d be bringing prosecco and some cured meats.
We got back to Putney and Jakob confirmed himself as the first over the line at 19:07:07. Elaine & Leo (Enfin) 19:09:07 and Matthias and Vaughan crossing the line at the same time 19:10:04!
The overall race winners on corrected times: 1st Jakob, 2nd Elaine and Leo, 3rd Matthias and 4th Vaughan.
It was a very nice race and all sailors got cheerfully back to the club. Race photographer Inaki finally touched the water and got his Thames Water baptism.