Clubhouse Report 2009
Clubhouse Report 2009
Posted by Toby Fields, 1st June 2009
Well, from a clubhouse perspective, it was a race of two halves. The starts were verging on the chaotic...many entrants, particularly from the cruiser fleet (but not many from the NBF) seemed to think that the HSC finish line was actually the start line, resulting in 9 out of 14 starts having at least one boat over (the small dinghy start was dangerously near to a general recall, 4 out of 10 boats being recalled). The start sequence was spread over 75 minutes this year, which in the main prevented traffic jams in Horning Street.
My role is mostly involved with data entry onto computers of radio logs during the race although I also hold up start number boards on the clubhouse roof so that competitors up-river know who should be in the start zone. In addition, before the race I help with handing out starters' packs, checking for crew signatures etc. which is a job for nearly the entire team.
The Saturday afternoon was by far the busiest one I can remember...not surprising given the speed of boats round the course and the record number of boats (138 entrants of which 133 started). We receive well over 2000 individual guardship reports (17 for each boat that finishes), most of which were in by 6:30 pm when we broke for dinner on Saturday evening. However, we didn't get far into the meal when the first boat came home, Thames A Rater no.14, at 18:42 hrs. This set a new record for completing the course of 6 hours 57 minutes. The strength of the wind on Saturday was reflected in the fact that the first 8 or so boats home were all within the previous record time of around 8 hours 15 minutes.
After the wind died at around 22:00 hrs, things quietened off for the night. We had a few river cruisers finish as they could pick up any breezes that picked up over the trees. However, generally it was a quiet night, with the main logjams actually being in Horning this year (frustratingly Southgates Yard, in view of the HSC clubhouse and finish line) with competitors on average taking 6-7 hours from Ant Mouth to finish.
Happily though, the wind soon picked up as dawn approached on Sunday and finishers soon started to trickle in, beginning with the clearance of the Southgates logjam at around 3-4 am. The level of finishing was, for the first time I can remember, 100% of all boats not retired or withdrawn. We ended up with 110 finishers which is a record in itself, let alone the fact that the last boat came in at 11:08 (by which time the race team were packing up in order to get home at a reasonable time).
Overall, I hope a good race was had by all, all the best in repairing Slanty and Waif, and see many of you next year for the 50th anniversary of the 3RR.
[Editor's Note: "Slanty" refers to Starter 94, Slantendicular, River Cruiser #385]
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