Bevington Downriver Series Race 7: 4 July 2021
There was a promising wind forecast for the 7th Bevington Downriver Series and we had six sailors looking for victory.
In the Race Officer Boat, we had Joseph Cabon and myself (Richard Graham), and in the Safety Boat we had Kevin Heydenrych and Ernst Koch.
We had Renato and James Channer in the full-rigged Lasers, and Ellie Hanning, Eric Morgan and Miles (a temporary member) in Laser Radials. Last, and by no means least, we had Peter Mack in a very smart refurbished Solo.
With the tide turning at 17:00, we started the race once the boats were in the water at 16:28. We had hoped this would at least allow a Pagoda trip and back, but this didn’t happen as the promising wind seemed to change its mind into a light and inconsistent breeze. We were in for all weather types, with the exclusion of snow.
By the five minute bell, Peter Mack in his solo had managed to place himself in a very smart port tack to cross the line first. Renato, on the starboard side, was second over the line but too far behind to use the rules against Peter. We then had James, Miles, Ellie and Eric crossing the line. See video.
By Putney Bridge, the fully rigged Lasers had used their power to overtake Peter’s solo, and Ellie in her Laser Radial was also very close to the front of the pack. These top 4 managed to keep extremely close to each other for the remainder of the downriver.
Due to the gap in the fleet and the change of tide, we had to drop the finish line just west of Battersea Bridge. Renato was first to finish followed by James, Peter, Ellie, Miles and Eric.
On the upriver starter bell, you can see from the video that Peter and Miles were neck and neck followed by James and Ellie. However, both boats with the patriotic red, white and blue sails seemed to have been the victim of gusts and Peter, James and Ellie took advantage of this to gain some ground. By Battersea Heliport, the race was on between Peter and James for the lead, with Miles and Ellie battling for 3rd and 4th. By Putney Bridge, James had managed to take a large lead over the smaller Solo, so it was going to be an interesting calculation on the handicaps. James finished the upriver first, followed by Peter, Miles, Ellie and Eric.
Once all the times were combined and calculations added, Peter won the race by a healthy 1 minute and 16 seconds! The final results (including) handicaps were:
1. Peter Mack
2. James Channer
3. Ellie Hanning
4. Miles (Temp Member)
5. Eric Morgan