The white clouds were driven by a force-four -five cold north westerly so that the line was close to the eastern shore two hundred metres south of the water tower to give a beat to Sunbeam, as has happened many times this season.
Per Elisa led Q class and turned the mark closely followed by Jalabeano and on hoisting their reachers in the stiff breeze they made good speed to pull clear of the twelve other boats. Soon they were a hundred metres clear of the third boat who was himself in front of Encore as they overtook Excelle. Behind them the group spread further with Scorpion, Atalanta, Tai Mo Shan and Hawk at the tail end as they ran in line towards the far Carricknath. The conditions favoured Hawk but crew shortage meant that they could not fly their spinnaker.
U class followed them on the first leg with Trifle, Amneris and Gap Year leading, and Deep Purple up wind of them on the long run. Deep Purple took the lead before turning to windward when they went over to the eastern shore but Gap Year came to the western side where they found a better breeze to cross the line three minutes ahead.In such a wind some but not all in B class flew their topsails and on the first leg four led leaving three others trailing astern all well heeled on the beat. Rita enjoyed the combination of lively airs and flat sea to lead by more than three minutes at the clubhouse from a group of four with less than a minute between them. Nellie May with topsail drawing finally got away from Grace who slipped sideways in the gusts and Cousin Jinny beat Winnie to the line by seconds.
From the quay watching the now mixed fleets finishing it was astonishing to see modern state of the art GRP, Kevlar and Mylar built boats struggling to pass wooden boats built not last century but the one before that!
As the multihull Cornish Meadow came towards us a sudden squall hit and they flew their windward hull so high that even the dagger board flew clear of the water.
Among the Sunbeams Wendy was clear of the two behind who kept very close and on board Tantivy they had to concentrate hard to keep ahead of Ivy who was less than a boat’s length behind and it was interesting to see their synchronised heeling as the gusts pushed them over. I felt sympathy for Mary who was way behind the others, the new owner is in a vey competitive fleet and he has not yet found the go-faster buttons.
On Saturday 8th August at Flushing Sailing Club there will be a ‘Get Afloat’ day from 11am to 4pm and all are welcome – from five to ninety years old – on a variety of boats, so come to the clubhouse and try something different.