The Indian summer of last week has changed quickly to a cold English Autumn during the last few days. A crowd of boats waited behind the line for their turn to start. Near the top of the tide there was little water movement and only very light airs above so that the early starters sailed slowly down the harbour led by the Sonata Trifle followed by the red Sunbeam Ivy under low grey threatening clouds. At the eastern end of the docks Trifle hoisted their spinnaker and showing real sail handling skill they quietly increased their lead but as Ivy reached the same level they too accelerated and started to catch up. One hundred metres behind, Quicksilver led Gap Year and the red hulled B class Nellie May. A group struggled down the harbour with Atalanta guiding Hecate, Scorpion, Grace and Winnie and as they reached the end of the docks they all parked as the wind disappeared. Encore coming from astern and seeing the problem sailed further south in his own private zephyr and quietly overtook them and menacing them again came Temeraire, Elsa, Clementine and Cousin Jinny.
At the front Trifle was slowly pulling away from Ivy and as they left behind the dozen or so boats stalled in a hole in the wind Moonlighter, Winnie and Minx joined at the back of the waiting fleet. As I looked to the front of the competitors I was astonished to see that Ivy had overtaken Trifle to establish a lead which she kept to the finish line.
A gentle breeze appeared and the stationary group started to move one by one to sail south east. Nellie May struggled to get moving but they enjoyed a peaceful sail. Scorpion was doing quite well until the skipper left the tiller to take some photographs while the boat reached maximum hull speed of 0.8 knots. On the return exhausted by the tension of the race the skipper of Hecate failed to see the Caldy buoy and gently bumped into it, I recommend a trip to Specsavers. After the race many competitors praised the OOD Katy Grigg for pulling a race out of almost nothing.