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Best Day of the Season Yet

posted 6 May 2013, 03:00 by Graham Morley
Best day of the season yet  -  Race Report 28-4-2013

The Sunday afternoon of 28 April 2013 offered only shifting light breezes from the west to south west, with the usual Minima problem of dead zones in the lee of trees, but the weather was bright and mild enough to tempt seven established helms onto the water. And Enterprise sailors found themselves in the relatively novel position of getting crew with no problem at all, thanks to the results of Steve and Kathy Collins’ membership and sail training drive.

Solo and Merlin Rocket classes were both a ‘one horse race’, with most of the usual starters either being on holiday or in one case helming an Enterprise. Rather than being disappointing, it gave a lot of interest, as the ‘race’ appeared to be between these two boats and the leading Enterprise, all staying fairly close together, with the rest of the fleet trailing about a lap behind at the finish.

With a very positive start, the solitary Merlin Pooh, helmed by Sel Shah with Ben Marshall crewing, almost left the fleet standing. But as they say, ‘It’s not over ’til the fat lady sings!’, and minutes later, skilful sailing about a quarter of the way up the course saw Alanah, helmed by Alex Cane, pass Pooh with ease close to the Surrey bank, while John Kemp in his Solo Over Trick did precisely the same (and at the same time) on Pooh’s starboard, despite the stream. Such tests of skill as well as the speed possible in each class of boat characterised the remainder of the race, as the three boats all increased their lead over the rest of the fleet while each alternately lost and regained position relative to each other. This novice took a few object lessons on technique as the Race Officer pointed out what the three leaders were doing on the lower part of the course.

Also notable was the large proportion of new members on the water and in the race. Ji Hoon, Kun Woo and Keith Black all crewed in Enterprises, while Keith also went canoeing with partner Julie Hensler earlier in the day. At the club house and on the water, Minima was busy all afternoon with new and prospective members trying out canoeing, kayaking and dinghy sailing. Novice and improver coaching was provided by Alex Cane, Rob Mayley and Kathy and Steve Collins.

Altogether it was a really good Sunday at the club, with excellent sailing and lots of people coming and going. Pleasant weather too, although it did cool towards the end of the afternoon – and the heat was switched back on in the club room! The season is now well under way.

The day’s winners:-
  • Class Boat Helm Crew
  • Enterprise Alanah Alex Cane Ji Hoon
  • Merlin Pooh Sel Shah Ben Marshall
  • Solo Over Trick John Kemp
Your intrepid roving reporter
Andy Cuckson

(All photos by the author)