'End of April, where is the warmth?' - Thames A Rater Report – 25 April 2017
Published 19:19 on 26 Apr 2017
Four Thames A Raters were back out after the dramatic scenes last week for the Tuesday evening series at Thames Sailing Club, Surbiton, SW London.
It was a blustery, bitter northerly with a large cloud system to the west that saw the fleet off. Strait Dealer helmed by David Franks, crewed by Dicken Maclean and Tom Harrison, won the leeward end of the line and took off with speed. Closely followed by Ulva (Ben Palmer, Matt Hanaby and Maria Stanley) and Osprey (Paul Browning, Justin Dunn and Graham Bartholomew). The conditions were tough at the start with some strong 15kt gusts making the 350sqft of sail on 44ft masts, with a tiny centreboard, challenging. Lady Jane (Adrian Dyball, Alec Bounds & Amanda Maidment) had a big moment pre-start and it is safe to say her bottom was looking very shiny after a winter of work.
At the front, Strait Dealer got the jump on Ulva and Osprey on the windward leg, but was slowly reeled in by Ulva on the downwind leg past the island and clubhouse. Going on the second lap, Ulva sneaking along the moored canal boats managed to past the Dealer and take the lead. Strait Dealer also became a victim to Osprey. Onto the last lap, and the hunting Osprey needed no invitation to attack and pass Ulva when they stalled coming up to Ravens Ait island.
Ulva snapped at their heals for most of the final lap, but it was Osprey who took the victory, followed by Ulva, Strait Dealer and Lady Jane.
Warm supper and beers in the bar afterwards for the fleet was a welcome relief to try to warm up. At least the sun was shining, and dinner was served with another beautiful sunset over the river and Hampton Court Palace gardens.
Written by Ben Palmer