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Valentine Vendetta (Laser) / Cock of the Thames (Enterprise)

Unusually these cup races are raced for over 5 short course races instead of one single races. There are two separate starts, one for the Lasers (Valentine Vendetta) and one for the Enterprises (Cock of the Thames).

Article Archive

Sunday 14th February 2010

It was cold, it was wet, and there was little or no wind. A small group of dinghy sailors prepared their dinghies more in hope than expectation. The race officer, Chris Crosland, ably assisted by Jaques Picon, delayed the start in the hope that there would be some wind. Such zephyrs that did appear were northerly and eventually the race officer set a course of No 3, No 4 and No 2, all to port. He also decided to run five races, with separate starts for the Laser and the Enterprise fleets. There was a certain amount of skepticism about this decision but, ever hopeful, the sailors launched their dinghies. The Safety Boat, ably crewed by Ben Young and Adrian Davey, were kept very busy before the start of each race towing the tail enders over the line in time for the next race.

The Lasers, sailing for the Valentine Vendetta trophy, set off first and crossed the line in a tight group (no mean feat considering how light the winds were) with Hugh Kemlo in the lead. Despite the light wind they all rounded No 3 by the Ait successfully, slowly reached across to No 4 and then a broad reach back to the line, creeping through the inevitable holes in the wind, where Chris finished the first race.

The two Enterprises, sailing for the Cock of the Thames trophy, followed the Lasers five minutes later. Ed Hipkin with Francesca Lubenko managed to round No 3, by the Ait, just ahead of James Eatwell and James Sharrock. By the time they reached the finishing line Chris was already setting up the start of the next Laser race and the flags were running up and down the flagstaff like demented squirrels. In this race Kerstin Exner kept up with the leaders and finished second, but was placed first when Hugh and Peter Hallett were disqualified from that race for crossing the line early.

Kevin Seebaluk, on his Laser, had fallen behind the fleet and got caught up with the Enterprises but was gathered up by Ben and towed back in time to start the next race, by the third race he excelled himself when he came second.

At the start of the third race James Eatwell and Sharrock misread the flags (or did not read the flags at all) and crossed the line at the four minute signal, the race officer waved frantically, and James waved back, thinking the race officer was being particularly friendly - they were disqualified from that race.

The Lasers managed four of the five races, but the race officer decided that the Enterprise fleet had sailed enough and were sufficiently cold to curtail the proceedings at the end of their third race.

It was a superb achievement to run successfully, without any hitches, seven starts and finishes in the space of an hour and a half with a northerly wind that barely reached force 2.

by Beverley Beech

Photos by Adrian Davey

Results 2010


Position Helm Boat
1st Hugh Kemlo TinTin
2nd Kerstin Exner Blue Flame
3rd Peter Hallett Chi
4th Kevin Seebaluck Custard


Position Helm and Crew Boat
1st Ed Hipkin and Francesca Lubenko Independent
2nd James Eatwell and James Sharrock Jester


Copyright © London Corinthian Sailing Club, 5 Feb 2003