Anyone expecting a continuation of the blazing weather of the last week was in for a typically Tammy surprise on Sunday. Sailors arrived to find a steel grey sky and a distinct hint of chill in the air as a Northerly whisked up the river. OOD Rob Hatley set a Lensbury-Canbury course that took sailors a good distance towards Teddington, where the wind was a little more reliable.
Four Merlin Rockets turned up for the Blue series start at 10:30, although Bambusa (Peter Mason and Berry Ritchie) was only the first of a few boats that decided against a cold and potentially wet Sunday morning excursion.
That left the way clear for Crossbow (Tim Medcalf and Jen Falconer-Hall) to rip around a quick three laps, with Avenger (Joe Woods and Ken Duffell) and War Horse (Peter Impey and Alison Cooper) filling out the other places.
In the meantime, seven Lasers took on the challenge of getting in a couple of laps for the shorter race. All managed it while the wind more-or-less cooperated, with Winter Series champion Matt Valentine continuing his excellent form with another first place. Neville Upton and Jim Hamilton took the other places on offer.
At the same time, N18 Genevieve (Charles Fox and Robert Blakeborough) enjoyed a comfortable solo race, perhaps hoping that by the time the White series racing started at 11:30, the sun would have broken through properly.
It wasn’t to be, and as the wind started to pull around to blow more from the East on some parts of the course, some classically Tammy tricks were in store.
The Merlin Rocket pack was shuffled, with seven boats setting off for the second start. Five laps later, almost nothing separated the leading boats, Avenger, Chimp and Crossbow. In the event, it was Avenger (with Ken Duffell back at the helm after crewing the Blue race) that emerged first from the jostle, ahead of Chimp and Crossbow.
It was seven Lasers again for the White race. This time it looked as though Neville Upton had sewn things up, pulling clear by the last lap, only to find the long run back down to the Canbury mark becoming increasingly unpredictable. Within seconds a clear lead had become part of the pack as the Laser peleton rounded the final mark almost as one. Once again, it was Matt Valentine who edged clear just metres before the finish line, six seconds separating him from second place Jason Stokes and third place Neville Upton.
Once again, Genevieve tidied up the N18 points, while Lyra Wade proved that a determined sailor could get a Topper round the course even when the wind was feeling playful.
The race crew were Rob Hatley (OOD), Sean Roberts (race box), with George Barber and Chris Pollard in the patrol boat.
Photos kindly supplied by Carolyne Vines and Alastair Banks.