Hine Downing series, 19/08/14

Athough the town is still full of holiday makers the local water is much emptier because some boats are still in Fowey, while some crews are tired or still repairing damages after the rigours of Falmouth Week. At five o'clock the sky was clear and a bright sun was shining but a cold 4–5 northerly was blowing down the Penryn river as we boarded the committee boat, Noon Hi. Each skipper who races regularly is asked to be OOD (Officer of the Day) at least once a season and this week it was Mike Swingler doing the job and as one of his crew I was on board to help the team. We motored over to the RCYC to pick up the last crew man and then we went down the harbour expecting the wind to ease as we reached more open water, but it did not and it settled as a north westerly so group eight courses were chosen for the tenth race in the Hine-Downing Summer series. With low water at 19:20 there was not too much tidal movement for the starters from 18:15 to 18:45 but it did mean that there was less room to manoeuvre. Noon Hi was moored a few metres north of the Rustler buoy and the pin end buoy was dropped a hundred and fifty metres west giving an ample length for the small fleets starting.

Per ElisaQ fleet came to the line just before the signal and they bunched at the committee boat end. Per Elisa legitimately luffed up Macavity who was upwind and they crossed the line before the signal, but in his enthusiasm Robbie Tregear in Per Elisa followed, so as the signal sounded they were both called back to start correctly. Macavity heard the radio call and returned quickly and caught Temeraire but Per Elisa took much longer to come back and when they finally did re-cross the line they were a long way behind and so they had to work very hard to do as well as they did. On board Minx they found the brisk breeze ideally suited them and they sailed hard to cross the line second and won on handicap. They all beat to windward for the first leg to the turning mark where they bore away and raised their spinnakers for the long run to the Old Wall a kilometre or so south of the lighthouse where they turned and started a long beat to the clubhouse finish.

Minx HawkThere were only two starters in E class and they stayed close all through the race. Chris Bell helmed Hawk and said how pleased he was to be in the bay because he knew exactly the location of the Old Wall having been there several times in Falmouth Week, so at the end of the race he had a happy and thirsty crew. In V class only three boats appeared but they had good racing with little between the leaders, and Nigel Glanville was pleased to win after only a few races in Ivy.

U class had seven starters and only six finishers because Wilkie had difficulty in lowering the spinnaker at the end of the down wind leg when the bow was pointing south towards France. Finally they had to cut the halyard in order to drop the sail and then return to Mylor to try to sort out the problem. Aurora had a good start when David and Mandy Owen predicted a wind shift and they held off most of the fleet until the entrance of the harbour when Deep Purple found the now fickle wind and got through to cross the line nearly a minute clear of Nitro. At the end of racing a line of flat bottomed clouds receded east piled high with grey threatening mounds and we knew this meant something bad but happily it did not fall on us.

Harold Martin