choaks logoChoak's Pasties Series

Tues. 28 5 13

During the day the sunshine and showers gave no warning of the stiff north westerly breeze which coursed down the Penryn river. Our boat was moored just off the end of the club quay where the strong incoming tide held it at right angles to the gusts which came down the river. After hoisting and dropping the mainsail we finally managed to cast off under jib alone and then we ran down the harbour towards the committee boat moored about a mile south east of the Trefusis buoy. Just under thirty boats were manoeuvring near the line trying to judge where to start. Our first mark at Trefusis was directly to windward and in spite of an oversensitive stopwatch we made a good start but the reefed Incite was first to cross the line. As we neared the mark the gusts changed directions with some coming down the harbour while others came over the hillside so it became more difficult to judge the direction of the next tack. In such lively conditions we took care threading our way through the earlier fleet who ran down wind under heaving spinnakers powered by a cold force five plus breeze. I was pleased with my decision to wear two jumpers because as the evening wore on so the temperature dropped and on the final beat up the harbour we felt the discomfort of the wind chill factor.

In the IRC fleet they enjoyed close racing, towards the finish Encore and Minx had a very close tussle but just before the line David Cunliffe managed to snatch the lead and cross the line just three seconds ahead of Charlie Choak in Minx.

Several boats in E class had close encounters of a very unpleasant kind when a tug from Southampton came out of the docks and after a near miss it started to continually signal so that nobody knew whether he was turning to port or he was in a thick fog. This was dangerous and unnecessary because a local fishing boat busily threaded its way through our fleet with understanding and courtesy.

In B class Arthur Willams in Winnie was alone in not flying his topsail, quite wisely in such testing airs but he still came second. He explained that the high sail gives great advantage running before the wind but Tuesday’s course seemed to have more beating and reaching than running so he could sail with confidence being in no danger losing his topmast. Grace chased her class competitors up the harbour but in the congested conditions the skipper was pleased to finish without hitting the quay wall.

In E class six boats finished within four minutes of each other and on board Hawk, basking in the glow of their recent success I was reliably informed that crew members will have to apply for selection next week.

Harold Martin