When I arrived at the club at some ungodly hour for the Ikea delivery the rain was bucketing down and the wind was whistling around the club house. I was seriously wondering who would turn up on a day like this…..
At 9.15, hey presto, Leo arrived, looking keen to get out on the water, followed by Henry and by 10.00 we had the full complement of safety boat crew. Two sailors doesn’t make a race – three is the critical number, so we agreed somewhat reluctantly to wait till 10.15 to see if anyone else arrived. We talked about doing a mini race around the buoys instead and we were just about to get going to do that when Renato arrived.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing and rather stupidly I said we would go ahead with the downriver race but we needed to leave by 10.45. That was never going to happen and eventually we started the race at 11.10. Renato with a full rig and both Henry and Leo with radials in anticipation of the strong wind forecast.
Renato leapt into the lead with Henry and Leo valiantly trying to keep up with him and that situation remained until Sam and I dropped the buoy by Imperial Wharf. The much shortened race was compounded by chatting to Brian on the Ranelagh safety boat – they were coming back from their downriver Race on what was now the incoming tide. We had started far too late.
Renato came over the line a couple of minutes after we laid the buoy with Henry arriving some 8 minutes later and Leo one minute after that.
The Race back was started very quickly and this time, the three musketeers remained together battling it out neck and neck for most of the return trip as the photos show. However, by the time they got to Putney Bridge, Renato used all his considerable skills and managed to get ahead and over the finish line by just under 2 minutes from Henry and half a minute later for Leo.
Many thanks to Sam, Miguel and Rita and Jose their friend for all their help.