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On the Water

By West Briton  |  Posted: June 21, 2012

Roger Little sails Puffin to the finish at Flushing SC. See story below.

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Helford River Sailing Club


Last Wednesday was the start of the Budock Vean Mid Summer Series of six races with four to count.

After a day of no wind and very heavy showers there was fortunately a light breeze in the Helford River but little or no wind out in the bay.

The officer of the day Roger McDonald set a course in the river and the PY and IRC fleet got away at 18.25.

The 707 fleet which had the best ever turn out of ten boats started five minutes later. Thanks to a long start line the fleet was spread fairly evenly along the line as skippers chose a wind/tide balance with the tide still flooding.

The starboard end of the line appeared to be the correct choice with Swordfish (John Lake/Simon Hill) crossing all the fleet with the exception of Miss Money Penny (Ed Bolitho).

At the windward mark it was still Miss Money Penny followed by Dragun (Garth Weaver) and The Wildebeest (Phil Badger) in third.

The run to the leeward mark caused the fleet to split since they were not allowed to cross the start line.

Miss Money Penny held the lead at the leeward mark followed by Dragun and The Wildebeest with Giraffe in hot pursuit.

On the final beat Dragun and Giraffe showed skill and speed and arrived at the windward mark first and second. A little 'match racing' between Dragun and Giraffe allowed Miss Money Penny to regain the lead.

Roger McDonald sensibly shortened the course in the dying wind. Miss Money Penny was first followed by Giraffe in second, The Wildebeest third and Dragun in fourth place.

Unfortunately due to some confusion the IRC/PY fleet result could not be counted.

The Helford Albia Regatta should have been sailed on Saturday June 16. However in view of the forecast of winds of force seven with gusts to force nine the officer of the day sensibly cancelled the Regatta on the Friday.

We hope to run this Regatta later in the season and will give notice to local clubs as soon as possible.

The Regatta is free to enter and due to the generosity of our sponsors, free teas will be provided in the Clubhouse after the racing.



Itchenor Sailing Club (ISC) challenged Falmouth, team racing for the Sunbeam Bowl.

The ISC Commodore, John Ford, Class Captain, Gayle Palmer and five other helms sailed four races on the Saturday and two on the Sunday, in V5 Whimsey, V7 Pixy, V9 Wendy, V10 Saucy Sally, V15 Mayfly, V18 Polly and V23 Phantasy.

The boats were manned by one member from each club, taking turns to helm, and everyone crewed for the opposing team with enthusiasm, sportsmanship triumphing over narrow club interest.

Even the weather gods relented, providing light variable winds, warm weather, and sending the gales and rain upcountry.

Jack Penty was race officer, and Royal Cornwall Yacht Club (RCYC) provided the support RIB.

V18 Polly showed the fleet the way in most of the races, as she usually does, sailed by Jonathan (for RCYC) and Julian (for ISC) Money.

Peter Crockford in V10 Saucy Sally won one race for Falmouth, which proved crucial.

Itchenor won four of the six races, but lost the Sunbeam Bowl by 37 to 38 points.

An excellent and friendly dinner was held for 24 guests at RCYC and the recently recovered Wendy Decanter was put to its proper use.

There are 26 Sunbeams in Falmouth, designed by Alfred Westmacott in 1923, a 26 foot wooden one design yacht, providing very competitive racing in the prettiest yachts in the harbour.

For opportunities to join the racing as an owner, charterer or crew, contact the Class Captain on 01872 870920. Lyulph Hesing.

Flushing SC


Last week the gentle force two nearly died and it left the fleet to enter the harbour on the rising tide. In order to avoid this happening again the OOD set short courses for everyone and just to be contrary the northerly breeze slightly accelerated, writes Harold Martin.

The initial beat to the Vilt helped to separate each fleet but the quiet spinnaker run down the Roads caused them to bunch again as the leading boats were slowed by the dirty air coming from those following.

After turning to starboard at the Governor those who came in towards the shore got a better breeze than those who kept to the open water.

There was heavy congestion on the final leg to the finish with several classes not only trying to out manoeuvre their class competitors but they also had to overtake slower boats in front of them while attempting to avoid the faster boats coming from astern.

This required constant vigilance from the helmsman but also quick changes of sail trim by the crew. This was the first week of the Hine-Downing series and we just hope that those following are not quite so hectic.

In E class John Hicks rounded the first windward mark just before Hero and then kept the lead to the finish to win on handicap.

U and W start together and during this season, without the challenge of the spinnaker W has become very popular, so that the total of 17 trying to cross the line caused some problems.

The tension was not eased when Puffin managed to reach along just behind the line without actually hitting anybody but some of the misses were pretty close.

We hope that next week the pin will be dropped a little further from the committee boat.

On board Hecate they called "Starboard" to a boat on port but to no avail so they had to take quick action in order to avoid collision, so a protest form was filled in immediately after the race.

In Q class the IRC fleet David Cunliffe was happy to bring Encore home to win against much sportier competitors where the gentle breeze did not allow them to plane away.

Results: B class: 1 Rita. Peters/Watkins; 2 Florence. Syndicate; 3 Abigail Rose. N. Bowers. E class: 1st.Jitterbug. J. Hicks; 2nd. Excelle. J. Fox; 3 Hawk. C. Bell. Q class IRC: 1 Encore. D. Cunliffe; 2 Macavity. J. Murrell; 3 Miss Whiplash. N. Hirst. U class: 1 Wilkie. B Chapple; 2 Popincoota. A. Grose; 3 Amneris. P. Hackett. G class: 1 Wagtail. M. Owens; 2 Morwennel. N. Granville; 3 Magpie of Mylor. R. Roebuck. M class: 1st. anonymous; 2nd. Crackerjack; 3 Firefly. C. Gladwell. V class: 1 Whimsey. Perkins/Mantle; 2 Pixy. L. Hesling; 3 Milly R. Graffy. W class: 1 Noon Hi. J. Penty; J. Penty; 3 Socrates. D. Day.

Devoran Gig Club


Following on from their best ever racing results at the World Championships in May, Devoran Gig Club entered three crews last weekend in the mixed and veterans competition hosted by Caradon Gig Club near Saltash and held over a two day period.

The mixed crew races, consisting of three men and three women in each boat, faced typically barmy Cornish summertime weather.

As the wind whipped up the Tamar and combined with a fast running tide, the 49 crews had to fight it out both with the tempestuous elements and each other, over a course which was just under two miles long.

The mixed A crew progressed through the main competition against stiff opposition, achieving a very respectable position in the quarter-finals. A hard fought first heat saw the mixed B crew advance through to the Plate competition with an excellent first place in the quarter-final and second in the semi-final before finishing fourth in the final. A Herculean effort rowing four races in one day. A stoic performance by both crews given the conditions.

Sunday saw the dawn of a new day, brighter weather and calmer conditions as the crews congregated underneath the Tamar Bridge for the start of the veterans racing.

With a total of 30 ladies crews entered, the Devoran ladies veterans found themselves drawn in the same heat as the current ladies veterans world champions.

Undaunted, they moved forward to the semi-finals finishing third in their race and attaining a place in the top 12, reflecting their recent world championship result.

Devoran Ladies Captain, Janet Mylod, said "This is the first year we have entered three crews over the weekend's competition and the results on both days have been excellent particularly for the mixed crews who had the worst of the weather."

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