We had an exciting sail this Sunday. April bringing forth intrepid Hampton Sail Club sailors! Sunday morning gave us some benign sunshine with a nice fresh south westerly about F3, giving a good beat to D mark up river and then a longish run to I mark off Garrick's Temple. Three Enterprises out with a welcome return of the Flying Dutchwoman. Also out three Comets, one Merlin, one GP (all single handed) and the GP14 avec Le Chapeau Du Cowboy, more of which later! Little gusts and some gentler lulls, when the sun came out, made for some interesting racing. The GP and the Ent, crewed by birthday boy (photo herewith) who performed magnificently, had a terrific battle for the lead and when the said Chapeau came adrift and had to be recovered the leading boats spirits soared. But it was not to be. All agreed a fantastic sail, followed by a mini pin of London Pride, dispensed by the Aviator, and a hearty rendering of Happy Birthday.

 
The afternoon race seemed set fair but was April about to show its mischief? Our fleet had a really good showing. Good long course prescribed by the Doctor, beat up to B mark in the Thorneycroft Cut and a long run back down to J opposite Hurst Park. Exciting start with the flying Dutchwoman first to the windward mark the rest close behind. The run down gave us all a steadily increasing wind accompanied by a very black sky, then came the rain and then the mighty rushing wind and then it was survival for all. Some got a little dunking, some went in to the Club and some found shelter on Garricks Island. Overall we all retired one way or the other with the safety boats very busy. The anemometer at HSC registered 28 mph. Credit to the young crews, the helms and especially to the rescue teams.
All was well though a thumping good homemade tea with cakes to die for (or of) - another thrill packed day at HSC - who needs Thorpe Park?
We're looking for new members. We're tucked away at the slip by Benn's Alley opposite the Bell Pub. We'd love to see you there......If you fancy messing about in a sailing boat (or even joining in a race) on a Sunday lunchtime then come and see us. All experience levels welcome. http://www.hamptonsailingclub.co
 

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And its going to be sunny tomorrow :-)

So even more excitement this week. Flushed with victory, soaked with rain, buffeted by strong winds, Hampton retained The Mid Thames Trophy, sailed at Desborough Sailing Club (Shepperton) on Saturday. Out team won a tightly fought contest between the host club, Littleton, Aquarius, Staines and us. We had tremendous support from our club which included the Commodore and our Team Leader and Sailing Secretary, who gave a a very lucid vote of thanks to the home club. Next year it's us!
 
Sunday had the forecast bang on! With north easterly gales. Only one boat out in the morning, me with an intrepid John Hollands fresh from Hayling Island the day before. We did three laps in marginal conditions and wicked stream when the Duty Officer was merciful and brought us in.
 
The afternoon again saw only one Ent out - the Aviator. The former rejecting rubber garments, the latter not. They raced with one Comet and one GP, putting in a very creditable performance untill the Aviator performed a backward loop the loop just off the Temple. The boat was expertly held upright by crew until the helm restored himself, chilly and courageous he finished the race.
There was an excellent turn out of the Premier Class who gave superb performances with their spinnakers in the very lively north easterly. Even some of them came to grief in the gusty and heavy stream conditions. Usual high level of race management we come to take for granted at HSC along with a tea to please even Bunter. 
 
See you next week.
The screen on the Windguru App (hand held phone) showed 25 knots from the east on Saturday, as Duty Officer I prepared the small fleet for the Sunbury Rally. It was even difficult to raise the flag in the gusts. Nevertheless we had one brave Merlins one Comet, one GP14 sailed by the Commodore and the new Feva. The big problem how to get the Timekeepers up to the finish before the boats got there. Most boats had at least one dip one had five and the Ent had theirs even before the start. Only the Doctor and the Commodore stayed upright. It was a hooligan of a wind with white horses as stream met wind but it meant an early tea as even with an elongated course the first boat over the line, the Feva, made it in about 30 minutes. THe Merlin won though on handicap.
 
Super tea and BBQ provided by our host at Sunbury (who was also ADO, safety cover R/T operator etc). Sunbury Castle truly was at its best with even a small zoo!
 
Sunday presented lighter conditions at first, again from the east but the wind built providing some interesting moments for those with young crews. Three Ents. Scorching weather which had my crew requesting a capsize - he nearly got his wish. One suffered gear failure whilst leading the Ents and had to retire.
 
The afternoon had a really good showing. The wind still from the east started fresh but at times subsided. Nevertheless we all had our best and closest race of this season with places changing all the time. At the last mark before the finish any one from the fleet could have won. The Ent that won stayed closer to the wind as they came off the mark and this proved crucial as they crossed the line first, all finishing within seconds.
 
Our Regatta was an outstanding success so congratulations to all involved in its organisation. Also a long and happy life together for the Big Love's newlyweds, who got married the day before.
 
Saturday produced a master blaster and a 'risk assesment' !  The wind blew a hooligan from the SSW and the risk assessment suffered a bit of a blow as Merlin son and Dad, dressed in smart casual (what!) stormed up from the Church Land in their Premier Class and then blasted back again with nary a splash.
 
It was however only for the experienced, brave or foolhardy as the stream was running at a rapid lick. Only one Ent out - with a storm main which did three heart stopping laps and retired. The Aviator went out in a borrowed Comet, very appropriate, and survived in his usual inadequate sailing stuff. Well that is until his arrival after the race when a distinctive loop was performed for all in the Club to admire. The wet suit is uncomfortable - he says! A few GP's raced but either went the wrong way or capsized. The Commodore, with expert and athletic Enterprise crew, won both races in ferocious conditions. No Ents out in the second race but one went out in a Comet and submarined around the course after a rather premature start. There were a few Premiers out and a RS Feva. At one stage the wind gusted at over 40 mph and that is probably one of the times when one fell in and the other sprung onto the upturned hull.
 
Sunday did not exactly come in like a lamb, more like a lion cub half grown. But with a SW wind now considerably moderated we had three excellent and close fought races. In our Enterprise fleet 7 out, so a good showing - well done fleet. Crewing was plucky, dedicated and enjoyable for them and their respective helms. I deliberately don't give results because you can see them on the HSC Web but in the last race the two winners were inches from each other to the line.
 
Great Regatta all round even though the tent moaned, shook and flapped it proved its value and stability. 

Ah! Was the wedding the pirate themed event I was spotting from my perch overlooking the club on Friday - my little girl was miffed that she wasn't able to lay claim to the plastic cutlass which she found in High Street on Saturday morning. Possibly it could have belonged to a reveller, possibly 'it could have been dropped by a little boy'

Thwarted four year olds are never difficult to distinguish from a little ray of sunshine!


 
Amelia Goodwin said:

Our Regatta was an outstanding success so congratulations to all involved in its organisation. Also a long and happy life together for the Big Love's newlyweds, who got married the day before.
 
Saturday produced a master blaster and a 'risk assesment' !  The wind blew a hooligan from the SSW and the risk assessment suffered a bit of a blow as Merlin son and Dad, dressed in smart casual (what!) stormed up from the Church Land in their Premier Class and then blasted back again with nary a splash.
 
It was however only for the experienced, brave or foolhardy as the stream was running at a rapid lick. Only one Ent out - with a storm main which did three heart stopping laps and retired. The Aviator went out in a borrowed Comet, very appropriate, and survived in his usual inadequate sailing stuff. Well that is until his arrival after the race when a distinctive loop was performed for all in the Club to admire. The wet suit is uncomfortable - he says! A few GP's raced but either went the wrong way or capsized. The Commodore, with expert and athletic Enterprise crew, won both races in ferocious conditions. No Ents out in the second race but one went out in a Comet and submarined around the course after a rather premature start. There were a few Premiers out and a RS Feva. At one stage the wind gusted at over 40 mph and that is probably one of the times when one fell in and the other sprung onto the upturned hull.
 
Sunday did not exactly come in like a lamb, more like a lion cub half grown. But with a SW wind now considerably moderated we had three excellent and close fought races. In our Enterprise fleet 7 out, so a good showing - well done fleet. Crewing was plucky, dedicated and enjoyable for them and their respective helms. I deliberately don't give results because you can see them on the HSC Web but in the last race the two winners were inches from each other to the line.
 
Great Regatta all round even though the tent moaned, shook and flapped it proved its value and stability. 

Yes that was the happy couple tying the knot ;-) Sorry about the pirate litter, it was probably a reveller, it would have been an unclaimed cutlass, which would have been very happy to have found a more appreciative home. Tonight we welcome the more civilised Hampton Society  ;-) I'm on bar duty. Have a lovely blustery weekend, the sailing should be fun tomorrow lunchtime. Amelia

Sunday last, again, heralded overcast sky's, rain and scudding clouds with a fresh to strong SSW wind. With thanks to the Anglo Dutch contingent we got three Enterprises out in the morning - these three able crews acquitted themselves in the true tradition of two such powerful sailing nations. Also joining us on the start line were three Comets, and 2 GP's. We sailed D to I and the hour long race was challenging due to the gusty wind (one of 28 mph). Some had a dutch hiking ace and soon sped away but a Comet kept in touch. One GP executed a superb slow motion gybe and capsize at I mark and were rescued with great gallantry by the safety boat, those with very light crew, took note and retired and one befriended the willow off Garricks Temple. Three however survived and finished.
 
The afternoon wind appeared at first to have moderated but not so! We had one of our best showings of Enterprises this year with 7 Enterprises. Just after the GP start a rain squall came through and caught one just as she left the Island so a rapid return to the slip was required to empty out. This squally wind also did for all but one of the GP's but much to the credit of our fleet we all finished except one who did not want to put his well dressed niece and first time sailor off. Great turn out Fleet well done. Its the mass exodus to Salcombe, of many, next week so please try and support the Club and Fleet. Lovely homemade teas as bait too.

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