Congratulations to Dave Homan (in High Seas), Tracy Mc Mahon (in Leda) and Charlie Reynolds (in Seven Seas) who won some great looking silverware at the Barton Broad Regatta this year.
Greenwich Yacht Club proudly hosted the 2015 London Regatta on Sunday 27 September. It is the largest annual sailing event held on the River Thames. 41 boats from eight London sailing centres and clubs took part.
These included Docklands Sailing & Watersports Centre, Thamesmead YMCA, London Nautical School, Shadwell SC, London Corinthian SC in Hammersmith, North London Sailing Association and Broadwater Sailing Club.
The event is always held on the day of the annual test closure of the Thames Barrier. Whilst providing a rare backdrop, it also means that the tidal river is temporarily more like a lake, and closed to through traffic on the river.
This provides a once-a-year opportunity for dinghy sailors throughout London to compete on the stretch of the river from the Thames Barrier up to the O2 Arena without need for a tidal water qualification.
Racing lasted from 11 a.m. to around 1.30 p.m. The weather was a mix of cloud and sunshine, reaching 19C and with wind speeds of 10-15 mph. Shortly after 1 o'clock the Thames Barrier started to let water through and the resulting strong currents made it difficult for the competitors not used to it.
Boats were divided across two race tracks. Racing nearest the Thames Barrier were 17 Bosun class dinghies. The overall winner of the five Bosun races was Greenwich Yacht Club’s Alan Soper and his crew Anki. They won all of the five races.
On the other track nearer the O2 Arena were a mix of 18 boats of eight different types, and they raced each other four times on a timed handicap system. The overall winners in an X1 class boat were Valentin Nedyalkov and Chris W. Ingram from the London Corinthian Sailing Club in Hammersmith. It was the first time anyone from LCSC had entered the London Regatta and they won the first three of their four races. Every entrant was able to discard one result.
Also on the track nearer the O2 Arena were six Toppers sailed by some of the competition’s youngest entrants. The winner of the Topper class was Sasha Martin of Thamesmead YMCA. Sasha also won all of her races for a clean sweep.
Other Thamesmead YMCA winners includes Reece Clark and Tom Clark in the Feva class, and GYC's James Buckley and Johannes Wolfing won the Stratos Class.
Simon Powell, Race Director and Captain of the GYC Dinghy Section said “It was wonderful to see so many people out enjoying the river on a great day for sailing. Congratulations to everyone who took part and thank you to all members of GYC who helped to make it happen. We welcome everyone to come back again next year.” Other London sailing clubs and centres are also welcome to contact GYC for an invitation in 2016.
Trophies were awarded by Royal Greenwich’s Deputy Mayor Olu Babatola and Councillor Denise Scott-McDonald.
Chris Ingram of London Corinthian SC ended the formalities by expressing the gratitude of all guests and visitors to the members of GYC who had worked hard to put the event together and make it run so smoothly.
Those thanks go to Race Director Simon Powell; Senior Race Officer Hal Andrews; Race Officers Nick Fossey (Red Track) and Jay Prehn (Green Track); Rob Watt and Nick Fossey for providing the two committee race boats, Peggy Rose and Marine 40; Paddy Campbell who helped in the Race Hut after getting up in the morning believing he was racing; Ian Palmer was Pontoon Master; Nick Day for inviting guests and VIPs; Commodore Steve Wilson for keeping an overseeing eye on everything; race assistants on the committee boats (one said it was tougher than going to work!); Clive Reffell for press releases and photography; everyone who helped register entrants, everyone who kept the slipway moving smoothly under Slipway Gangmaster David Styan, and the teams that manned the safety boats.
View photos (by Clive Reffell)
The race results can be found HERE
Three hundred and seventy eight visitors signed in at the GYC gates between Saturday afternoon and Sunday evening on 19th 20th September. The demand for tours was such that our team of 8 guides had to cram in 20 separate tours over the weekend.
Gathering in the Sail Loft, visitors spent time in the Art Show, taking full advantage of the pop-up cafe, then moved on to a guided tour of the site, taking in the Boat Jumble in the yard, and ended up roaming the main building, from the race hut down to the clubroom, where many of them were offered a boat trip on the river laid on by some of our keen sailors.
GYC artists submitted 105 individual paintings into the Art Show, prints, photos and sculptures to be admired. The Arthur Beale installation, with ropeworks dating back to a hundred years, was a particular draw for the sailors.
The weekend was rounded off on Sunday evening with a free live music event in the Sail Loft. As the stars peered through the open doors of the Loft, GYC members and visitors together danced and drank and chatted to a wonderful guitar/violin duo.
One visitor came back to tell us: 'I am a bit of a veteran, having visited many Open House events in all parts of the capital over a number of years, and what Greenwich Yacht Club has laid on today has been one of the very best I have experienced. The GYC guides were knowledgeable and very entertaining. There was plenty to see and experience, great refreshments, and everybody we met was welcoming'.
Needless to say, many thanks to all the GYC members who made this weekend such an outstanding triumph as well as the Dalai Lama who also made a surprise appearance.