May 31

Trip to the London Apprentice – 29 May 2022

The last weekend of May was chosen for our rare, day-long upriver sail to the London Apprentice in Isleworth.

A healthy 9-20kts conveniently coming from the north provided plenty of wind for a Laser, two Xenons and a GP14. The weather was cool and intermittently shady; overall nearly perfect weather for the job.

Once all the boats were on the beach we launched our GP14 first, and beating happily in the fresh north wind, we were almost around the corner before the remaining boats were off the beach!

Waiting at Hammersmith for 10 minutes to keep the fleet together, we defended our lead as hard as we could. Safety crew Justin and Lucy escorted Peter and Jakob’s Xenons under the bridges. Patrick’s laser passed us midway; the Xenons were closing in on us when we arrived.

State of the art onboard telemetry (a.k.a. a cracked iPhone running Strava in a dry-bag) shows the GP14 completed the trip in a comfortable 2 hours (3kts VMG) with a top speed of about 6 kts.

We were joined for 3 pleasant hours of beer, lunch and a trip to South Street Ice Cream Shop (6 minutes walk; recommended) by local cyclists Armand and Sina.

To our dismay, a few huge ferries and luxury cruisers went past at irresponsible speed, causing enormous wash and knocking some of the boats around at their moorings. I’ve resolved to ensure a different mooring plan on future trips.

Aided by fresh winds and fluvial flow, our GP14 set a new record* of 1:33:53 for the trip back, a speedy 3.8kts VMG.

Thanks as always to the duty crew and Chris for the schedule.

*because I’m not aware of an existing record!