28th May, 2022.
The Race on Saturday commenced in near perfect conditions, with a sunny blue sky studded with clouds and a northerly wind blowing at strength of 6 knots. The race itself followed a triangular course with it’s most northerly mark by the Crabtree pub and the finish line at the clubhouse, though the start line was located up river. After a smooth launch for all seven of our racers and the safety boat, the race commenced at 12.59 pm.
It was initially hard for the race observers at the clubhouse to determine how the race would play out with all participants initially holding quite close together. However, by the end of the second lap Jakob Grunig had secured a clear lead with Allan Munro-Faure and Eleanor Hanning following close behind him. This was the leading order as the race entered its second lap, unfortunately at this point a large number of lasers from the Ranelagh sailing club entered the area. The result was that the centre of the river became a confused mass of sails, making it near impossible for the on-shore observers to determine what was happening.
Fortunately, the fog of sails had lifted somewhat by the end of the third lap, revealing an interesting reordering in the race, with Jakob still in the lead but with Allan now competing with Natalia Nielsen for second place in the order. It was at this point, as the race entered its final lap and our three lead boats entered their run for the finish line, that wind chose to drop. Leaving our racers becalmed on the open river, this state of affairs lasted for a short but frustrating period of time, in which Natalia and Allan (who seemed to be less affected) were able to close the gap somewhat with Jakob. However, the wind recovered itself before too long and some determined efforts on the part of Jakob, ensured that he was able to cross the finish line first at 14:05:12.
Allan and Natalie were both close behind him. Indeed, watching from the clubhouse, it was difficult for the race observers to determine which of them would cross the finish line first. However, in the end that success went to Allan, whose bow crossed the finish line at 14:05:49, beating Natalie by three seconds. In the ultimate reckoning however, the corrected time awarded the race to Allan, who had of course been piloting his own Solo during the race and as such enjoyed a handicap advantage over the other competitors. The finally boat to cross the finish line did so at 14:17:39, concluding what had been felt by all to be a highly enjoyable race in ideal conditions.