Hine Downing Tuesday points series, 25/8/15

Looking towards the start near the water tower all I could see was a yachting shambles with boats of all shapes and classes going every which way. This chaos continued until I saw U class start and begin to beat south close to the eastern shore but two tacked onto port and came west. Gap Year, the Folkboat helmed by Lennie Trenoweth took the lead followed by lyulph Wilkie and Amneris. The two leaders pulled away and Gap Year tacked onto port towards the west, but just failed to cross the bow of Deep Purple and so he had to tack quickly. Was it skill or luck that allowed him to pour dirty air onto Deep Purple who was forced to make another tack to get a smooth wind across the mainsail? The leader, now in the middle of the Roads tacked again onto port and aided by the ebbing tide he came to the Governor and took the mark to starboard, bore away, hoisted the spinnaker and began the run to the distant North Bank buoy followed by Deep Purple, Wilkie, Grubby Kid, Amneris and Mary Boon with Quicksilver at the rear. As the fleet passed the harbour the westerly gusts gave problems to the spinnaker handlers. The two Sunbeams followed and after bearing away they opened out their kitty gear for the long run north. In the far distance Gap Year reached the downwind buoy, sheeted in the genoa and beat south west.

I watched Grace, the only B class boat beating south east past the docks already well pressed even without a topsail when I saw a heavy squall approach and when it hit they were laid over even further and I am sure that some fast bailing was necessary to get rid of the green water taken in.

Wilkie At 6.45, half an hour late, Q class started. Their problem had been a mass false start where most of them were well over the line before the gun and so a general recall was signalled and they had to wait to be the last starting fleet and this explained my first sight of them milling about waiting. They beat south along the eastern shore but soon they had to tack to find deep water and get help from the falling tide. As they approached the Governor, Macavity, Elsa and Excelle turned close together with Scorpion behind them. He was chased by Atalanta and Temeraire, Minx and Hawk who was far behind. They all ran towards North Bank in close company. As they neared the Vilt, Gap Year, in U class also under spinnaker passed through the fleet sailing due east but he found a convenient gap.

Coming up to the finish Elsa was five hundred metres in the lead but Macavity chased Excelle and managed to overtake downwind on the final beat and got to the line eleven seconds in front.

It was a good evening for racing with a brisk dry shifting westerly breeze and flat seas but after the finish the weather changed. Suddenly in the clubhouse we heard the downpour hit the roof and when Josh the boatman came in to call for the last crossing to Falmouth he looked as though he had been standing under a waterfall.

Harold Martin