Ranelagh Sailing Club welcomed 31 Merlin Rockets to Putney Embankment for a race to Chelsea Bridge and back on 6 September. The boats varied in age and number from the very beautiful Kate (no.1), through to Diablo (614), Tiercel (901) and other stunningly restored and maintained wooden boats. There were modern wide plastic boats and everything in between. 

Photo: The start, credit Sue Markham

Commodore Dennis Long says: "Membership and enthusiasm levels at Ranelagh have gone through the roof in 2020, and nine club boats joined the visitors whom had travelled from as far afield as Salcombe Yacht Club, Lymington Town, Medley Sailing Club and Shoreham. Our friends from our Thames neighbours – Hampton, Tamesis, Thames SC, Upper Thames, Cookham and South Bank were in attendance along with strong turnouts from Wembley and Fishers Green. It was a joy to welcome so many friends, old and new, on such a beautiful day with sunshine and light wind."

The race was clinched on the line by Rob and Hatty Cage by 12 seconds from Alex Jackson and Alex Warren, with John and Livvy Bell crossing in 3rd. First wide boat and fourth, were Mark Waterhouse and Arthur Henderson, followed closely by Duncan and Harriet Salmon, true Ranelagh regulars.

Photo: Downwind, credit Dierdre Bell

Brian Clarke produced beef rendang, so delicious that the recipe was requested by several visitors. The fleet had been primed with bacon baguettes and French patissiere, Guillaume Mouscadet, had baked the best brownies. The fleet discussed their fortunes over lunch, washed down with drinks from the cheapest bar in London.

The event was the first of the Thames Series, and the first of the de May series for 2020, with three more events to come in quick succession at Upper Thames, Tamesis and Hampton.

Photo: A battle, credit John Pahl

Ranelagh Sailing Club would like to thank everyone for coming along and contesting the race in such good spirits. Racing on the Thames, the beating heart of London Town, Ranelagh welcomes new members to the thriving club.

Read the full race report 

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