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Solo Open at Ranelagh Sailing Club

by Godfrey Clark 3 Aug 2021 14:49 BST 31 July 2021
Ranelagh Solo Open © RSC

While the Solo class has held a Thames Valley series for many years, only a bi-annual event between Minima and Twickenham Yacht Clubs actually takes place on the River Thames itself, so the invitation to Ranelagh helps to broaden the series. This new event was run as a down-river / up-river passage race, passing under the Thames's numerous bridges at low water before returning to the club on the rising tide.

While Ranelagh has always been well known for its Merlin Rocket fleet, the club also boasts a good fleet of Solos as their singlehanded boat of choice, with most of the fleet made up of older wooden boats which are now commonly available at bargain prices.

Running the event on 31st July this year gave an early afternoon start time, so after bacon rolls and a briefing the fleet set off, taking great care not to be OCS, as the falling tide helped carry the boats quickly downstream and under Putney Bridge.

By the down-river turning mark, the two leading boats had broken clear of the pack and it was local helm Jack Norton who was able to avoid the last of the ebb tide and eventually establish a commanding lead despite parking under the railway bridge as a torrential downpour of rain killed totally the breeze for 10 minutes.

For the visitors, the sight of helicopters taking off beside you gave concern as to any likely effect of their downdraft but everyone sailed home with no greater drama than a puddle of rainwater in the cockpit.

The race was followed by a post-race buffet and free beer for the visitors and it is hoped to schedule another Solo event next season, whether upstream or downstream yet to be decided.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubPlacePts
14472Jack NortonRSC151
24801Godfrey ClarkFGSC249
33731Sarah BennettSBSC348
44159Peter MackSBSC447
54093Victor WestRSC546
63642Brian ClarkeRSC645
7627Adil KhanRSC744
84307Gretel ScottRSC843
9245Denis LongRSC942
10356Alex HamiltonRSC1041
114252Nigel EdwardsRSC1140
124116James HaywardRSC1239
133508Nick PriceRSC1338
144527Will NoyRSC1437
15130Nick WilsonRSC1536
161264Dominic CoderaRSCRET33
164635Simon JohnsonLSCRET33

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