Monday morning and I’m stiff and sore from a weekend’s boating. Friday and Saturday I was on the south coast pottering about getting Temptress ready to go to sea for a couple of weeks next weekend; provisioning, polishing and trying to tick off a few jobs on the eternal to-do list that every boat has. Sunday morning I joined other Minima Yacht Club members on the balcony (piccie left is the same location on another sunny day back in July 2002) to watch umpteen hundreds of crazy people complete a swim from Hampton Court to Minima YC’s landing stage opposite the clubhouse in Kingston. That’s around 2.25 miles in the river Thames. I know the river is much cleaner nowadays but its not somewhere I would voluntarily swim! Will upload some pictures later when I can retrieve them from my camera.
Later it was Barclays Bank Trophy day – handicap dinghy racing for a cup donated around 10 years ago by said bank. I took part on (rather than in) a Topper. For those uninitiated in sailing the Topper is a slim plastic bathtub-sized, indestructable dinghy. The red deck and once white hull are instantly recognisable as is the multi-coloured single sail that needs lots of wind to make this boat skim over the water. The Topper is really designed for teenagers but still can be fun for a middle aged adult. For once, despite the light winds I managed to complete all 3 races which is something of a personal best but the lack of wind meant even with the massive handicap the Topper has I couldn’t get a placing much above last but one! However I don’t do it for the prizes but for the peace and enjoyment of a bit of constructuve drifting round the River Thames on a sunny Sunday afternoon sitting on the leeward side of the boat. For relaxation there is nothing better but for the next few days my neck, legs and arms will remind me that there is no gain without pain.