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).
Sunday 14th February 2010
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.
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
||Helm and Crew
||Ed Hipkin and Francesca Lubenko
||James Eatwell and James Sharrock
Copyright © London Corinthian Sailing Club, 5 Feb 2003