Hine Downing series, 10/06/14

A brisk force five westerly made it hard work to put on the sails at the moorings and as there were only two on board we hoped that the wind would ease. We cast off under main and with just one sail we made well over five knots. The committee boat was moored close into the St Mawes shore south of the water tower and as we approached we felt the full force of the now clear south westerly and the choppy seas bounced us around. The very lively breeze, no means of reefing and a short crew was not a good mixture and so we radioed in to retire as did other boats in our class. Mel Sharp, the OOD, arrived well supported by his two lively crew who only wished that they were racing because the weather was ideal for their boat, Demolition.

Because of these conditions the racing for G class was cancelled and no topsails were flown in the gaff sailed fleets. In B class only two boats started and on the first beat where the seas were rough Grace ploughed the long bowsprit into the face of approaching waves causing them to break flinging a lot of spray and broken water aboard. This is not a good idea in an open boat so after the run on the second beat they looked for flatter water. Afterwards the crew said that they had enjoyed the race but they were apprehensive at the start.

Number two or three jibs were flown and many mainsails were reefed but in spite of these precautions minor accidents did happen. Excelle in E class was short of crew with too many jobs and not enough hands to do them. When the main sheet jammed they could not free it before they were slammed by the next gust making them broach and lay over flat, giving Hawk an excellent view of their anti-fouled undersides. Atalanta put in a reef but when they tried to shake it out they badly ripped the mainsail and so they retired.

Jack Penty on Jackdaw reported that on his boat they had exciting racing with full main and a number two jib but that it would have been better with a number three. The boat was very crowded with eleven on board whose weight helped to hold the boat upright when going to windward and he only received a minor blow to the head from the boom when he did not duck quickly enough. One boat rolled wildly when running and it was difficult to control so they were relieved to pass close by the Vilt to port as they heeled to starboard.

Gap Year leads MoonshineThe OOD was very impressed with the start of U class who all appeared at the line together and crossed with only fifteen seconds between the first and the last. Gap Year, Quicksilver, Nitro and Deep Purple had very close combat on the first beat but when they reached the mark and turned Lennie's wife, on board Gap Year would not let him hoist the spinnaker because she was the only crew! On the next leg to Trefusis Nitro got through Deep Purple before the run to Waterloo where jibs were poled out to windward. They all enjoyed the lively sport with Gap Year crossing the line two minutes clear of the second boat Quicksilver. The two Flying Fifteens, Midnight Cocktail and ColdFfeet had very wet and exhilarating rides off the wind but they both had to retire.

Orijin who was doing well in Q class had to retire because of problems with the jib.

Chris Jellis, the club Commodore, was on his newly acquired Sonata Outsider when the kicking strap snapped sending a shudder up the mast which broke the windex. Talking to the club president, Roger Little after the race he said that on getting out his inflatable dinghy after storage he found that rats had been eating it, so if you see plump rodents bouncing along you will know what they are trying to digest. Macavity lost their spinnaker halyard up the mast at the end of the first run but in spite of this they still managed to win. Everbody enjoyed an eventful evening and they were happy to get back into the bar in one piece.

On the ninth of August this year the club will be holding a family try sailing day when people who would like to try sailing should come along and have a go on board a helmed boat; children accompanied by their parents would be welcome.

Harold Martin