Hine Downing series, 1/07/14

QuicksilverTony Cook, skipper of Jackdaw, the OOD deserves a medal for finding such good courses after very difficult starting problems. The flooding tide was lit by beautiful sunlight and a warm easterly breeze had plenty power so conditions were ideal. However a gaggle of tankers were jilling about the docks and the Roads getting in everybody's way. It was thought that we had a new 'T' class for racing tankers but at last they got out of the way and the fourth race in the Hine-Downing series started. In U class, where eleven boats started near misses happened as they went for the line, Popincoota and Aurora came very close on the port biased line. Wild Child, Gap Year, Aurora and Popincoota were very close on the first beat but Popincoota got round the windward mark first and escaped. They had two long reaches too shy for spinnakers followed by a beat into St Mawes where the awkward short waves, out-going working boats and a very irregular pattern of moored boats made it very challenging to get to the mark quickly. At last they did where they bore away and hoisted the spinnakers for the long run to the finish by way of Castle buoy where they gybed and carried starboard poles to the club line.

ArthurWinnie, one of our oldest wooden working boats was hauled out on Monday for scrubbing and anti-fouling and I was pleased to row in my inflatable to pick up the bowline which I then tied to their bow lead to enable them to line up the boat on the sloping beach. The crew's work was well done and effective because they came third in a competitive fleet but after a slight surprise. They were hard on the wind with Arthur Williams, the helmsman, down to leeward carefully watching the set of the sails, when the already well heeled boat was hit by a sudden strong gust and the boat lurched over even further and took in green water over the gunwales and over the helmsman. This did not matter because working boat sailors are used to getting soaked but he was wearing a modern automatic life jacket which on finding it self underwater did the correct thing and suddenly and dramatically inflated much to Arthur's surprise and the crew's delight. They just had to work extra hard to bail the bilges and return several gallons of seawater back to its proper place.

Several boats had problems in finding the Waterloo buoy because it is one in a long line of inflated yellow spheres off the St Mawes shore. It was suggested that it was painted with purple stripes or some other tasteful and identifiable pattern.

The Sunbeams found the entry to St Mawes to be quite a challenge and it was said that Pixy went the wrong way on every possible occasion. Neil Andrew, Verity, was squeezed out at the start but he recovered well to finish first in class.

In Q class it took Orijin a long time to pass Encore who then had to cover the all opposition which he did to win on handicap.

Dragon Fly and KathleenI was the OOD for G class in their backwards race up the Penryn River which had a spinnaker start and a strong flooding tide. From two hundred metres back Mike Maguire hoisted his spinnaker and came to the line too fast and he was well over before the signal. I think that the power of the tide was too much for him. He had to drop the spinnaker and return to re-cross the line which set him well behind the others. It is easy to see these effects from the quay but it is much more difficult to judge from on board. With their advice they had a long course which gave them plenty of sport in very interesting surroundings and wonderful weather. Everyone enjoyed the ideal evening sport.

Harold Martin