Forty eight boats circled the committee boat anchored near the eastern shore just north of St Mawes castle for the second of the Hine Downing series. It was good to see eight B class large working boats, six Sunbeams and three G class gaffers among the many other craft. The three Firebird multihulls were already slicing their way to the first mark when Q class approached the line. Just before the gun all fourteen starters advanced in a tight bunch and as they crossed the line Jackdaw was already near the front. The first leg against the light north westerly took them to Trefusis, the windward mark, and as the came near the shore the wind coming over the headland became very patchy and difficult to judge. Jackdaw turned first, hoisted the spinnaker and ran south east followed by Per Elisa and these two had already built a lead of a hundred metres. Encore and Jalabeano, who flew their reacher from the end of a long retractable bowsprit, chased hard and they too were followed by a large position changing group. Temeraire seemed to be moving well catching and slowly passing rivals while near the back Minx had trouble keeping their spinnaker full in the flukey airs. This leading fleet had to thread their way through the eleven members of U class beating towards the mark that they had just left and this meant that all the crews had to be alert in order to avoid any accidents. In the second fleet they too had to work hard and Trifle, Amneris, Mary Boon, Hecate and Quicksilver changed places sometimes carefully in the traffic jams. Off the wind in such airs their speed was matched by the Sunbeams who poled out their kitty gear efficiently.
Eight large working boats crossed the line in a group but soon the deep blue Rita moved to the front and stayed there to win on the water by over a minute from Victory. The fleet sorted itself into a line as they closed on the Vilt and then they turned and ran downwind to the eastern shore.
Along the eastern coast there is a line of six yellow spherical buoys which include South Narrows Rustler Yachts, Ancasta and two or three water ski zone markers and from the deeper water it can be difficult to identify the exact one required and B class skippers would like some means of naming them to be attached so that they could turn at the mark with confidence. As they passed St Mawes castle B class was now spread out over five hundred metres
As the different classes crossed courses a small G class tacked in front of Jackdaw who was moving swiftly and they had to turn sharply to avoid a collision, with so many fleets coming together near misses are inevitable but it certainly raised the blood pressure of the skipper of the leading boat.
There are still large barrel jelly fish about decorating the waters. It was a wonderful evening’s sport and afterwards the clubhouse was crowded and my fish pie was delicious.