Penrose Sails Frostbite pursuit

19 10 13

The sun shone for the third race of the Penrose Sails Pursuit Series and on the quay there was little breeze. On board Hecate we raised the sails and a vigorous force four southerly set in promising lively sport. After manoeuvring with the fleet we crossed the line and beat along the first leg but after two hundred metres a radio message told us that we had crossed the line two minutes early so after a quick tack we ran back towards the line only to see Aurora crossing the line at the correct time. We turned to see our rivals beating a long way ahead and then we made our correct start.

The wind freshened but in the bright sunshine it was not cold, so that as we crossed the Roads going to the St Mawes 'D' mark the lumpy swell threw us about and already Amneris was catching us up to leeward. As we neared the Lugo she sheeted in and beat us to the mark where we both squared off for a broad reach to the mark. After finding the D mark we beat out and we had to make our way through the large later starters who were accelerating past the Lugo in the opposite direction to us.

At the harbour mouth we tacked to the St Anthony shore but it was too threatening so we stood out towards Pendennis Point. After rounding the buoy we squared off for the long run to Trefusis where we gybed for the fetch to South Narrows across the irregular rollers marching north.

We then beat towards the docks and we decided to follow Wilkie's line on starboard to the Governor. We passed it on starboard and bore away for the run to the Vilt. Ahead and upwind Wilkie and Amneris hoisted their spinnakers, we were sorry that it took so little time for them to sort their wine glassed foresail but to leeward Dancer of the Dart poled their jib as we did.

We had clearly made the right decision because the spinnkaer overpowered them and we overtook Wilkie and closed in on Amneris. As we came close to the mark Amneris called for water at the very last moment on Dancer who in a very seamanlike manner passed the buoy to the wrong side to avoid a heavy collision. So we innocently overtook Dancer who had to return to the correct side of the mark and then we started the long beat to West Narrows.

Wilkie was catching us up but downwind when suddenly they had major problem wih their jib which a crewman on his knees slowly sorted out. As we neared the last mark there were some sharp calls for starboard as we all tried hard to keep our distance from each other. Going towards the finish the wind was shyer and the reach became a beat but slowly we caught up with and overtook Meka, a Trintella 29 which enjoyed the heavier breezes, but we all had difficulty in overtaking a well reefed cruiser who happened to be in our way.

We looked back but we realised that the boats behind were not able to catch before the finish so we followed Amneris and we were followed by Deliverance, sweet revenge for last week.

Days like this make winter much shorter. In the clubhouse we enjoyed the teas and I needed two jam and cream scones to make up my energy levels and we are all looking forward to next Saturday.

1st Viper; 2nd Mary Boon J Cruise; 3rd Sweet Friday L Cheshire; 4th Aurora D & M Owens; 5th General Khaos Ian Jakeways; 6th Amneris; 7th Hecate M Swingler; 8th Deliverance M Stratton; 9th Meka; 10th Scorpion G Davies.

Harold Martin