Sunday 1st November 2020.
In the race box: Joseph Cabon & Anthony Wort
On the safety boat: Sara Bennett & Toby Hunston
The river was showing its favourite grey, choppy surface as the six single-handers launched their boats. The wind was WSW as expected but somewhat weaker than forecast. Everyone had chosen Radial or 4.7 sails in anticipation of a freshening breeze.
The race was five laps of a three-buoy, double-sausage course.
The field stayed bunched up for most of the first lap. Rounding the third buoy proved tricky in the rising tide & wind shadow, and that stretched out the field for the remainder of the first & subsequent laps. The order was consistent for laps one to four: Henry, Renato, Peter & James, with Ellie & Jane a little way behind. On the fourth lap Renato slipped past Henry at the second buoy & built up a 15-20 seconds lead.
And then a most baffling thing occurred, which can only be described as a failure of basic arithmetic in the race box. As Renato & Henry were heading for the line, the Race Officer was convinced (wrongly) that they had one more lap to complete. The message was relayed to them via the safety boat. Renato heeded the message, turned & did what was in effect a sixth lap, giving up the lead & the chance to win. Later, on shore, after discussion, the decision was to let the final placings stand.
1st – Henry Cook
2nd – James Channer
3rd – Peter Mack