FALLING TIDE PROVIDES A TEST FOR RACERS:
Bright sun and a warm south easterly breeze gave a welcome summery feel to the evening but the falling tide warned of difficulties going up the harbour later on, to the finish, writes Harold Martin.
The IRC 1 fleet got away and immediately Daring and Black Dog showed more power in the light winds, Windscreen Viper does not threaten the larger boats in such gentle airs.
After turning the windward mark, spinnakers were hoisted for a shy reach and this set a pattern for them and the following classes.
Those boats with good spinnaker handlers and flatter cut sails had an advantage and they took the lead. Daring quietly pulled away throughout the race and crossed the line nearly three minutes ahead clearly enjoying such conditions, Black Dog came next in front of Vindscreen Viper.
The three M class multi-hulls were under powered and so they could not really fly and the trimaran dropped back, but after the mark they tacked carefully downwind towards Trefusis and then they started the long fetch to the mark well south of Black Rock which separated them even more.
Four Sunbeams started and they quickly became a procession and then the two in the lead got further away but during the race the fleet closed up again.
Coming up the harbour Jeff Martin in V 10 briefly took the lead but Neil Andrew in V 20 got the lead back again and then sailed so close to the line of moored yachts that further overtaking was impossible and so kept first place.
When E class started they found that the line was too short for them to manoeuvre comfortably but they got away and from the shore it seemed that those who stayed in deep water channel to get the advantage of the outgoing tidal stream missed the best breeze which was further over towards the St Anthony shore.
On Shenanigan Chris Mulcahy was pleased to have read the race instructions correctly and to have won by a minute.
Everyone enjoyed this first feel of summer, long may it last.
Results: IRC. 1 Fleet: 1 Daring D.&C. Bloor; 2 Black Dog. S. Sawyer.; 3 Miss Whiplash. N. Hirst& P. Pullen. M fleet. 1st. Cornish Meadow. S. Hutt; 2nd.Peekaboo. A. Wright. V fleet. 1st. Verity. N. Andrew; 2nd. Saucy Sally. J. Martin.; 3rd. Maranui. Hon. E. Boscawen. E fleet. 1st. Shenanigan. C. Mulcahy; 2nd. Temeraire. M. Eddy; 3rd. Charley Farley. G. Hughes. IRC 2 fleet: 1st. Encore. D. Cunliffe; 2nd. Excelle. J. Fox.&T. Claridge; 3rd.Scorpion. G. Davies. U fleet. 1st. Wild Child. N. Chamberlain; 2 Jemalda. D. Muirhead7 J. Hopkins; 3rd. Gorra Knack. S. Rendle.
SUMMER ARRIVES AT LAST:
This was the first real summer's day, the sun was shining from a clear blue sky and the gentle breeze was warm but all was not well, writes Harold Martin.
At Penryn the temporary traffic lights caused bad tailbacks from 4.30pm onwards in both directions which made it difficult to get to Flushing from Falmouth, Helston or Truro.
At the Ponsharden roundabout I had to change my mind and turn round, getting through Penryn was going to make me very late so I returned to the RCYC jumped onto my recently bought inflatable and rowed over to Flushing.
I climbed on board Hecate and we quickly hoisted the sails and set off for the start. On the way down the harbour the radio picked up a message from one anxious skipper who asked for a delay in the start times because of the traffic problems. The committee boat was moored just off Trefusis which in the light and fluctuating south-easterly gave a beat start towards Carricknath or the Castle buoy.
Nearly 30 boats milled around slowly before the start and the line had to be approached carefully as some skippers found when they were swept over by the powerful tidal stream in the lulls in the breeze and they found it very hard to return.
We heard and then read our long courses with dismay because the idea of passing five buoys in such conditions was hardly credible.
We made a good start and decided to ride the harbour tide until we met the main stream flowing down Carrick Roads. Progress was slow and halting and we all sat to leeward to heel the boat and help to fill the sails which had little tension in either sheets or halyards.
To our surprise some of the earlier starting, bigger and much more powerful boats had even more problems than us as we gently overtook them. It was difficult to concentrate and my attention was taken by the number of small jellyfish who seemed to overtake us easily. Perhaps their presence indicates a much needed improvement in water temperature.
The first 200 yards seemed to take about 30 minutes but to our relief we saw a breeze starting on the water in exactly the right direction and slowly we drifted towards it.
Painfully slowly our speed increased nearly reaching two knots as we continued to overtake others and lead our fleet. It was announced on the radio that we would be finished at the Castle buoy, our first mark. Unwisely our skipper stated that we would be first over the line in our class and just then we saw Wild Child coming in towards the finish at 90 degrees to our course and closing quickly. With luck we crossed the line first by about two lengths and gained second on handicap. Excelle, one of the larger boats that we overtook, towed us back to our moorings and during the trip we put away the sails and all the gear.
In the clubhouse other crews related their problems in getting to Flushing on time. I remarked that counting jellyfish had kept me occupied but on board Jitterbug a certain crew member said that she went below and read a Sci-Fi novel. On Excelle they lit a joss stick hoping that the smoke would show them the direction of the wind but they had little luck.
Fearing that they would be there until breakfast time they unanimously chose the beefiest who was to be sacrificed and eaten, while on another boat a crewman got out his PC and did some important work. So we were all busy one way or another.
On board Hawk Chris Bell relinquished the helm and gave it to his crew member who was celebrating his birthday. Another claimed that his speed got into double figures 2.2 knots. Only a very few boats dropped out and the rest of us profited from the sun and warmth and long may it last.
Results: B fleet. 1st. Rita, KJ. Peters. 2nd. Moon. P. Selman. 3rd. Grace. DTP.Tregaskes. E fleet. 1st, Jitterbug. J. Hicks. 2nd Temeraire. M. Eddy. 3rd. Scorpion. G. Davies. IRC fleet. 1st. Macavity. J. Murrell. 2nd. Encore. D. Cunliffe. U fleet. 1st. Mary Boon. J. Cruise. 2nd. Popincoota. A. Grose J. Goddard. G fleet. 1st. Morwennel. N. Glanville. 2nd. Clementine. A. Perham V. Franks; 3rd. Magpie of Mylor. R. Roebuck. W fleet. 1st. Wild Child. N. Chamberlain. 2nd. Hecate. M. Swingler. 3rd. Amneris. P. Hackett. V fleet. 1st. Verity. N. Andrew. 2nd. Saucy Sally. J. Lowry.
LIGHT WINDS PROVE A TEST:
Once again this weekend we had a lovely summer's evening but, unfortunately, shifty and light winds from the east made the first race of the Mylor Chandlery & Rigging series, on Friday, a challenge for even the most experienced crews, writes Chris Davis.
Despite this, 32 boats made a fine sight, battling it out in the wind holes and wind shadows along the Roseland shore, but Race Officer John Bramley decided to shorten the race for all classes after one round as there was just too much chance involved to reduce unacceptably the effect of skill in boat handling and sail setting.
For all classes, the race was effectively settled by the start tactics and the first beat. In E fleet, the Albin Nova Aura (Euan Beattie) got everything right in those phases of the race and so picked out a convincing lead, which he held on to for the downwind legs of the race: good sailing in a heavy boat in light winds.
Two light boats secured second and third places respectively: the First Class 8 4Play (Jon Kulpa) and the Hunter Formula One Mavis Cruet (Dave Sincock). These three boats finished close to each other, a minute apart, with the rest of the class far behind.
Similar tales were told in the other classes. In U fleet, the light Micro Gem Nibbler (Owen Taylor) finished first, nine minutes ahead of the two, rather heavier Contessa 26s Mary Boon (John Cruise) and Hera (Des Teale), although this lead was reduced somewhat on handicap.
In Q fleet, the Hunter Europa Rococo (Clive Hoyle) won easily, with the Westerly Merlin Chalonnaise (Steve Pendray and Fiona Pascoe) coming second, with the Sadler 26 Souchong (Colin Sadler) third.
Finally, in G/H fleet, the old, wooden gaffers prevailed over the modern Shrimpers.
Chris Gill, in Ark Royal, bent on every sail he could think of and came second on the water behind the equally lovely Lady May (Victoria Whitworth), but these positions were reversed on corrected time.
The Shrimpers Katy of Padstow (Russell Gilbert) and Pelican (Richard Lewis) had a good tussle around the course but Katy of Padstow came third, beating Pelican by just 40 seconds.
Results. E class. 1st: Aura (Euan Beattie); 2nd: 4Play (Jon Kulpa); 3rd: Mavis Cruet (Dave Sincock). U class. 1st: Nibbler (Owen Taylor); 2nd:Mary Boon (John Cruise); 3rd: Hera (Des Teale). Q class. 1st: Rococo (Clive Hoyle); 2nd: Chalonnaise (Steve Pendray and Fiona Pascoe); 3rd: Souchong (Colin Sadler). G/H class. 1st: Ark Royal (Chris Gill); 2nd: Lady May (Victoria Whitworth); 3rd: Katy of Padstow (Russell Gilbert).
It was another lovely Sunday morning for the fourth race in the Skinners Brewery Pursuit series, again in light winds: no more than a force 3 throughout, from the south-east.
The ten starters were reasonably closely matched in handicap terms and so started between 10.38 and 11am, with a target finish time of 12.15. The start times are calculated from handicaps to give a duration of 90 minutes for the median boat-type in the race fleet, currently the Contessa 26 Mary Boon.
In the event, in the light airs the Race Officer decided to finish the race slightly early, in the light airs, at St Just on the third round. Much depended on upwind tactics. Was it better to go left in more favourable tide but less wind, or right in less tide but more wind? Or go for the middle course option?
As ever, in pursuit racing, the final beat settled the race. This was a fascinating and clever tactical battle and extremely close sailing, with the first three boats finishing within 25 seconds.
Line honours just went to Aura (Euan Beattie), but helmed by his teenage son Charlie, with a close port/starboard decision in the last few yards.
Rococo (Clive Hoyle) had to duck Aura's stern and so came second, with Rusalka (Alan Street) coming in on port a few seconds later to take third place.
Pursuit racing is always satisfying and particularly so in this race, where the fastest boat in the race just beat the slowest by about a boat length.
Results. 1 Aura (Euan Beattie) (Tony Hardman); 2 Rococo (Clive Hoyle); 3 Rusalka (Alan Street).