Jane’s phophecy that we’d never be ready in time of course came true, but just after 12:30 a fleet of happy sailors set off in 7 boats; Ben and Sina in Ben’s Albacore, Sara in her Solo, Renato testing out his new Sunsail on his Laser, Gary in his (Full) Laser, Leo S and Erkka in Roland’s Laser II, Sally with her 4.7 and Henry with a Radial.
Sara and Gary both had quick capsizes and took a few minutes to get back in, before both deciding to return to the club. While briefly towing Gary back above Putney Bridge he noticed a seal surfacing a few times nearby; obviously interested in seeing what the commotion was all about. You can just about make out a black blob in the photo; I’m afraid you’ll have to take our word for it that it wasn’t a log.
We left Gary Sara (and the seal!) half way back to the club where they could safely sail or walk their boats back along the bank.
We caught up and followed the fleet down as Jane and Kevin tracked the first-leg finishing times from the bank near the pagoda.
After a short wait for the tide to turn, Jane sent the fleet back up river into the wind. At this point it was getting a bit choppy and there was white frothing on the waves.
Leo and Erkka got caught up with some repeated capsizing under Albert Bridge (at one stage comfortably laying on their side between the pillars, sheltered from the tide and wind). This caused them to drop back behind the fleet and we had to leave Jane and Kevin up front to monitor the remaning 4 boats.
They spent the rest of the return leg heroically fighting the wind and waves as the rest of the fleet were doing farther up river.
Race team; Jane SH, Kevin, Piers and Ollie
Final Results (with corrected and actual times);
Renato – 1:18:55 (actual: 1:27:41)
Ben + Sina – 1:20:18 (actual: 1:23:45)
Sally – 1:31:33 (actual: 1:47:29)
Henry – 1:40:30 (actual: 1:51:39)
Leo + Erkka – 2:03:13 (actual: 2:12:27)
Sara – DNF/DNS
Gary – DNF/DNS