First off, please could I extend thanks to Ranelagh for hosting this event, and manning the bar into the early hours on Saturday night. Thanks should also go to the two Penzance boats who braved the traffic for what was a party followed by one race on the Sunday, dedication!
8 boats made it to the start line, with varying degrees of hangover from big to enormous! Light winds outside the clubhouse meant that on the gun, the tide whipped us all off down the river with our sails flopping around in the middle of the boat. Around the corner, however, it picked up to be a pleasant 2-3, dropping very light at times.
Jon/Rob rushed off into a commanding lead, with Chris/Ellie and Charlie/David trying to chase them down. They succeeded in overtaking about half way down to the turning mark, but the fickle breeze did not let anyone escape on their own.
On arriving at Battersea Power Station, the three lead boats were neck to neck, with Charlie/David punching down to leeward after rounding to find better brease. This proved to be the decision of the race, allowing them to fill the spinnaker and escape the rest of the fleet.
It wasn't all plain sailing, however. Chris/Ellie, Jon/Rob, and Tim/Becks, were all close enough to tussle it out all the way down the run back to Putney. Tim/Becks almost managed to catch a final gust to overhaul Charlie/David, who thought they were clear. However, it was not to be.
Final positions were as follows:
1st 2519 Charlie Roome / David Marlow RSC
2nd 2370 Tim Vick / Rebecca Marks Ulley SC
3rd 2411 Chris Whitehouse / Ellie Bremer RSC
4th 2306 Jon White / Rob Woodward Pevensey Bay SC
5th 2088 Neil Davies / Sarah Edwards RSC
6th 1446 Christopher Edwards / Una Hodgkins RSC
7th 2510 Mike Williams / Daniel Sell Penzance SC
8th Mark Chadwick / Laura Mithcell Penzance SC
Photos from the event can be found here: