Sunday 27th October
It was a beautiful, bright and cool day at Putney reach for this year’s Bernard Driver trophy race, which attracted a healthy nine boats. To fit with the event’s ethos of providing a slightly more challenging race, a ten lap course was set (laps to be reduced if needed) with a view to ensuring 90 minutes or so of racing. The breeze was from a good direction (NW) for a local race on the rising tide, but light at first, so we went for a simple sausage course along the Fulham side of the river.
Ben and Sina in the Albacore had an excellent start, getting a number of boat lengths ahead almost immediately. The first lap was overall slow but after the first mark the fleet made its way steadily back against the tide from the Crabtree direction. The Albacore was still just ahead at the end of lap 1 with Allan very close behind in his Solo. Almost twenty minutes had passed since the start, and with a post race lunch planned it seemed a dramatic shortening of the race would be needed. Fortunately, the breeze picked up just at the right moment and from this point the conditions looked absolutely ideal! The rest of the fleet had finished lap 1 bunched up and the two leading boats soon established a gap, with the Albacore then getting ahead during laps 5 & 6.
An impressive 7 laps were eventually completed, with the average race time not quite at 90 minutes but well over an hour. Final results on corrected time were: Allan 1st, Ben & Sina 2nd, and Sara 3rd in a Solo, seconds ahead of Chris in 4th in his Streaker. Thanks to the safety boat team of Jen and Claas, and to Eleanor as Assistant RO.