Sunday Class Racing Series (27th April & 4th May 2014)

posted 13 May 2014, 04:13 by Oli Howson   [ updated 17 May 2014, 13:45 ]
On 4 May, Sailing Secretary Steve Collins and the author practiced rigging an Argo then took it out for a sail. We decided to race and were started with the Enterprises. This was fun when we caught a decent breeze, but as usual the Argo proved inferior to the Enterprise in light airs, because of the smaller sails and relatively large wetted area of the hull. We retired! – then went out again behind the fleet as the breeze picked up a bit. Poor conditions prevailed, but the fully battened sail of John Metzner’s Solo showed its advantage over Topper and Enterprise sails as John made steady progress up the Surrey bank, while other boats slipped downstream. For race results, please see the notice board: we were too busy to notice which boats won!

Looking back, class racing on 27 April would have been a non-starter for an Argo. Out of four entrants, only the highly-skilled helms Alex Cane and Alan Jales in Enterprises managed to cross the start line in the right direction, and still did a lot of slipping back in the stream. Race Officer Erica Bishop asked for the upstream mark to be placed after the start and noting time elapsed. Alex took 27 minutes to reach a point a little upstream from Turks Pier, then remarkably finished the second lap in only four minutes. The race was shortened to three laps with a decisive win by Alex over Alan. An impressive performance by both, and an object lesson in river sailing.

Alex and crew, Warren Gordon, take Alanah crabwise downstream in the 28th minute. Below the downstream mark, Alan Jales and Brian Cheetham in Minnie Too carefully go about...
...and take the bell for second place.
By Andy Cuckson, all photos by the author.