Login Register

West Briton On the Water round-up

By West Briton  |  Posted: September 13, 2012

  • Porthtowan's Blue Bali row to victory in the European Surf Boat Championship at Perranporth. See story left. Picture by Phil Martin.

Comments (0)

Surf rowing


The European Surf Boat Championship took place at Perranporth. Conditions were difficult with a 2ft choppy swell causing problems for the rowers and sweeps (coxes) alike.

In the Ladies' event, reigning European and UK champions, Porthtowan's Black and Blue, knew that they had a real scrap on their hands from Perranporth's Sirens who had been training hard to wrest the title from their near-neighbours.

In the Men's event the pre-race favourites were also from Porthtowan

Blue Bali, who have been the dominant crew in Europe for many seasons, had to contend with former Olympic rowers in a Dutch crew and a rejuvenated Perranporth boat ("the Tridents") who had claimed a heat win over their old enemy in the recent UK Open.

In the Ladies' final, Black & Blue and the Sirens turned the buoy together and then had to find a way in through the challenging surf. Their sweeps rowed the two crews on to the same wave and as they struggled to keep control there was a "coming together" that saw oars clashed. The Perran boat fared the better and touched home first.

"That wasn't pretty," said Sirens sweep Pete Gaisford later, "but the girls got the job done."

In the Men's event Blue Bali proved a class apart and comfortably retained their title.

The race for the minor placings, however, was far closer with the Tridents boat touching the sand fourth before bowman James Basher put in a storming sprint to the flag to earn second with the Dutch third.

For further information or details on UK surf boat racing please see www.uksrl.co.uk

Gig rowing


A ladies crew from Helford River Gig Club will be taking part in the Jubilee Great River Race in London on Saturday.

The Race, known as London's River Marathon, is a spectacular annual boat race up the River Thames that attracts more than 300 crews from all over the world who race the 21 miles from Docklands to Ham in Surrey in any type of rowing craft powered by a minimum of four oars or paddles. The rules of the Race also calls for a passenger to be carried.

The Helford crew is Sophie Cotton, Penny McGovern, Marian Kent, Grace Maguire, Carolyn Salisbury and Rachel Vague.

The crew will be coxed by Andy Wyke and the passenger will be Serafina Kent. The crew has been training hard since June and hopes to be among the front runners.

The crew is raising money for the RNLI and has set up a donation page with Just Giving.

If anyone would like to sponsor them they can click on the link www.justgiving.com/Helford-Gig-Club-River-Race-Crew and donate.

For more information about the Race visit www.greatriverrace.co.uk

Flushing SC


According to the Google XC weather forecast, a breeze would appear at about 5pm and gradually increase all through the evening and it was correct, writes Harold Martin.

Many crews left the shore in still air doubting that they would get anywhere but slowly the sails filled.

When they read the courses the skippers felt sure that they would never get round, but Google were right and they did.

The first windward leg was helped by the strong incoming tide but after the turning mark those who went inshore to avoid the rising water did well.

In E class on board Hawk the crew sported their new strip sponsored by the Old Quay Inn at Devoran and they looked very smart and it clearly inspired them to come first.

They only made one mistake in gybing the spinnaker but Chris. Bell left the helm and helped to sort out the tangled mess on the foredeck.

Excelle was not so lucky when a boat in another class forced them to sail into a permanent obstruction and the ensuing 360 degree penalty turn meant that they only came second. Geoff. Davies on Scorpion welcomed the return of a crew member who had been absent for eight weeks working at the Olympics.

He lead at the first mark but the crowded mixed fleet caused several problems and they managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory coming fifth out of seven. Tresillian protested at being recorded over the line at the start.

In the IRC fleet Per Elisa, a light air flyer, made a good start, escaped from the fleet and won the class but the rest fought for places all the way round. Encore got into second place on the way to St Just and held the position to the end.

For G class it was the last backwards race of the season which had to be shortened because of light airs so close to the shore. The three leaders managed to stay in contention but the others lost contact and seemed to drift further back. In U class Alan Grose in Popincoota gained a good lead and crossed the line two minutes ahead of Amneris but on handicap Mary Boon squeezed between them to gain second place in conditions that did not suit the heavy Contessa 26.

In W class Noon Hi relished the gentle breeze crossed the line more than thirteen minutes before Wild Child who was closely followed by the rest of the group.

In the clubhouse everyone was in good spirits because the quiet day and dull overcast weather gave flat water and surprisingly good sport.

Results: B class: 1st. Rita. Peters/Watkins; 2nd. Florence. Sundicate; 3rd. Moon. P. Selman. E class: 1st. Hawk. C. Bell; 2 Excelle. J. Fox; 3 Jitterbug. J. Hicks. IRC class: 1st.Per Elisa. R. Tregear; 2 Encore. D. Cunliffe; 3 Demolition. M. Sharp. U class: Popincoota. A. Grose; 2nd Mary Boon. J. Cruise;3 Amneris. P. Hackett. G class: 1 Clementine. A. Perham; 2 Morwennel N. Glanville;3 Ruby. A. Martin. M class: 1 Cornish Meadow. W class: 1 Noon Hi . J. Penty; 2 Wild Child. N. Chamberlain; 3Sweet Friday. L. Cheshire. V class: 1st. Whimsey. Perkins/Mantle; 2 Mayfly. Stedman/Stainer/Watson;3 Pixy. L. Hesling.

Helford River SC


A northerly wind that was constantly varying in strength gave the racing fleet a challenge in race three of the Penrose Sailmakers Late Summer Series .

The handicap fleet started first on a short beat to Toll mark in the mouth of the river. A reach down to Nare followed and constant sail trimming was necessary to maintain speed.

Valkyrie (Chris Symes) led at Nare followed by Kudu (Terry Pascoe) and Supergroove (Miles Kilby) who was a little late on the start. Supergroove worked her way up the fleet but not enough to take the race.

There was a good turn out for the 707 fleet this week with nine boats jostling for position on the start.

The short leg to Toll saw a bunched fleet rounding Toll to starboard.

Sparkle (Simon Kearsley) then went deep off the mark finding good, clear breeze allowing her to develop a substantial lead over the rest of the fleet as no-one could find clean air due to the tightly packed fleet and flukey wind conditions.

Within the rest of the fleet positions were constantly changing with The Wildebeest (Phil Badger) and Swordfish (John Lake/Simon Hill) developing a lead over the remainder of the fleet on the spinnaker leg as they fought for second with Swordfish eventually beating The Wildebeest over the line.

There was constant position changing with a close fought battle for fourth between Big Boys Toys (Chris Broad) and Jambo (Phil Philpott) especially on the last leg after Jambo rolled Big Boys Toys on the last mark gaining two boat lengths for the final reach. However, Big Boys Toys had superior boat speed ending the race two boat lengths ahead of Jambo.

RESULTS: Handicap Fleet: 1 (Chris Symes);2 Kudu (Terry Pascoe); 3 Supergroove (Miles Kilby). 707 Fleet: 1 Sparkle (Simoin Kearlsey); 2 Swordfish (John Lake/SimonHill); 3 The Wildebeest (Phil Badger).


Phil's Ohilpott's battleship grey RS400 was the perfect foil for duelling dinghies on a gusty grey day on the Helford.

A Met office forecast for the Lizard suggesting SW 4 was mirrored on the river with Gusts to + 30 knots by race end. The Biggs' continuing their consistent form regardless of conditions this season , started first in their National 12 – only succumbing to the rapier like speed of the RS400. A minute after the N12 the lasers of Brooks & Ginnie Sykes commenced a chatty & congenial intercourse for the long planning run to Toll before separating for the hard beat upriver.

Both Emily Broad and Ginnie delighted in taking a warm spa treatment in the central section of the river - Ginnie, pausing for a restorative with her sister in law Katie at the safety boat. Emily & Tom with no further need of dagger board inspection saw of any further challenge from the lasers & Chris & Ed Hosken's laser II.

Many's the father and son team have graduated from the Laser II – an experience similar to formula one racing with wet spaghetti for control lines.

Much to Ed's chagrin the spinnaker would not deploy from behind the main halyard, thus reducing downwind speed – but which had nothing to do with their dunking on the long beat home after race end. Or for that matter three little dry ones by Brooks in front of the clubhouse where Phil and Carrie having not quite lapped him were found dry and the RS's all stored away.

Results: 1 Phil Philpott;2 Andy Biggs 3 Emily Broad.

Mylor YC


Eleven boats raced in the penultimate race of the Skinner's Brewery Pursuit Series, on Sunday morning, writes Chris Davis.

The wind was just ideal for racing – a steady force 4 from the south-west, although some more sun would have been welcome, and the race officer sent the boats off on a long course with plenty of windward work.

As is now becoming customary at Mylor, an exciting finish developed for most of the fleet. One mistake on the final rounding at the downwind mark would cost a boat dearly, and a couple of boats will rue their tactics yesterday.

The GK33 General Khaos (Ian Jakeways) is the fastest boat in the Mylor race fleet and so was the last to start, twenty minutes after the first boat away. The race is set up to last ninety minutes for the median boat-type in the fleet, and twenty minutes takes some clawing back.

However, Ian steadily overtook all the other boats, eventually winning by just over two minutes. Owen Taylor, in the Gem Micro Nibbler, came second, just ahead of a clutch of seven boats who all finished within about ten seconds of each other; Khamsin, the Hawk 20 helmed by Richard Chart with his daughter Maria as crew, came third.

There is now one more race to be sailed in the series, which originally was postponed in May due to the heavy winds at the time, and this will be sailed on 22 September.

Nibbler and Mary Boon (John Cruise) are tied in the series, leading the fleet on 8 points each. Stargazer (Liam and Sue McGrath) lies in third place, with Khamsin and Aura (Euan Beattie) one point apart in 4th and 5th places.

Boats not starting the final race will add 27 points to their series scores, so boats must sail in the final race to be sure of their current positions and they could easily improve on them: there will be much to play for on the 22nd.

Results: 1 General Khaos (Ian Jakeways); 2 Nibbler (Owen Taylor); 3 Khamsin (Richard Chart).

Read more from West Briton

Do you have something to say? Leave your comment here...

max 4000 characters