Points 5 July 2009
When you're under the race box,
gazing up river and a warm
south-south-westerly is ruffling your hair, then not unnaturally
thoughts of racing down to No 8 for a couple of laps cross your mind.
Nice tactical beating once you're past the gustiness of Hammersmith
Reach, a couple of quick tacks through the narrows by Chiswick Pier, a
bit of a challenge with the shifts by the poplars and then the river
stretching to Barnes in front of you.
was the course set then.
Kerstin Exner, with a groan,
didn't quite see the merits of slogging
all the way up there and back, and she was almost proved right as the
wind swung back to a south-westerly.
But our minds were made up. Six
Lasers and one Enterprise shot over the
line for an enthralling race in near-perfect conditions (if we forget
the very mucky river that day) with Hugh Kemlo and Simon Hills changing
places upfront and Kerstin Exner, Peter Hallett, Simon Ashenden, Vian
Dixon and our newest Laser sailor Kevin Seebaluck along with Ben Wilder
and James Eatwell in the Enterprise not far behind. Two more
Enterprises with Lisa Siwinska/Susie Best and Cathy Champion/Jo Humm
took the decision not to race, but cruise on the river instead.
As expected, the breeze
stiffened round the corner, and it was a case
of playing the shifts, hiking hard, and enjoying these conditions that
are rarely served up on other parts of
The fleet, as Kerstin expected,
did indeed split up. Simon and Hugh
parted company, when Hugh went the wrong way round number five and gave
Simon free air from now on to make, in this fair
wind, catching up
rest of the fleet battled
away, too, with Peter
and Simon Ashenden fighting hard for ascendency and only later in the
race after Simon took a tumble, could
Peter establish himself in third
The capsizing was not to stop
there, though, as the fleet moved back to
home territory for the latter stages of the race, Lisa and Susie in the
Enterprise and Kerstin decided that the spectators could do with a bit
more spice in their entertainment, and embarked on a bit of capsizing
in front of the clubhouse. Kevin, too, still getting the hang of his
new-found class, contrived to find ways of putting his boat the wrong
Finishers, then, were Simon
Hills, Hugh Kemlo, Peter Hallett, Simon
Ashenden, with the others, alas, timed out after their shenanigans in
and out of the water. Good entertainment, though.
by Steven Gear-Evans