With a blocking High pressure situated over central UK and a Low to the south the wind was in the East and likely to stay for the evening. The Race Officer Chris Jelliss, with his crew Matt Boyling, boarded Noon Hi with Jack Penty and Inez. We set off and positioned at the mouth of the Harbour just south of Trefusis bouy. Matt spotted the sail numbers and Inez gave clear and concise instructions on the radio. Chris, on the committee boat and in radio contact with Mike Hodges on the RIB positioned the pin end buoy at right angles to the windward mark, which was to be West Narrows to starboard.
Ten Q class yachts came up to the line, all on starboard tack and all on time. A perfect start made a fantastic sight as they powered upwind in a 15 knot breeze. Most kept on starboard tack for a while, but Tai Mo Shan, Neil Chamberlain took an early hitch to port which nearly paid off.
The six U class yachts started 5 minutes later again all on starboard tack and on time. They followed the earlier paths of Q class tacking on the small shifts to gain the advantage over their rivals.
Q class rounded the West Narrows and set off towards North Bank, Afrita, Andrew Laming, was first around followed by General Khaos, Ian Jakeways. The two leading yachts decided that it was too shy to fly spinnakers. But soon their was a kaleidoscope of colour behind them as the various designs of kite cloth unfurled. The fleet was bunched together and made a spectacular sight against the clear blue sky and backdrop of the eastern shore.
U class rounded led by Aurora, helmed by Len Trenoweth followed by Popincoota, Alan Grose. Aurora took a long lead and the blue and white kite popped out way before the crews behind decide to hoist and give chase.
We motored toward the eastern shore to watch the race unfold and saw Q class coming back toward the Governor buoy, the third mark, on a close port reach. General Khaos had a commanding lead followed by Excelle, John Fox. An interesting threesome then followed with Elsa, Tony Statham to windward of Rampage, John Hicks and Afrita, Andrew Laming. As they approached Governor, John Hicks wisely decide he did not want to be the meat in the sandwich and bore away behind Afrita, thus allowing himself an early tack to port after rounding to clear his air.
U fleet were rounding North Bank and Wilkie, Bob Chapple appeared to be returning to his Mylor mooring having got a spinnaker retrieve wrap. Thatís what happens when you invite rival crew on board Bob! Having recovered he made good gains back toward the fleet.
Both fleets then beat to windward to round the St Mawes Turning Mark followed by a port pole kite run around Castle bouy and a dead downwind kite run home.
Q class looked spectacular coming up the river with a paintbox of colourful spinnakers. General Khaos took line honours. But as always with handicap racing ended up in sixth place after the handicap time corrections were applied.
Excelle, John Fox took first place. Scorpion, Geoff Davies was second on handicap with Afrita in third place.
U class followed on with Aurora in a commanding lead, Popincoota was second leaving Wilkie and Kaimana, Nigel Rowe to fight it out. Nigel beat Bob to the line but Bob just made it into third place on handicap. If Ida, Mike Swingler had an IRC certificate he would have been third place handicap as he indeed ended up in the Byron handicap fleet.
Back in the bar the crews were elated after a super evening's sailing with good wind, a great course and a spectacular light caused by the setting sun, blue skys and translucent colours shining through their sails. Jenny the Barmaid served up beer, Sue and Jeanette spotted and timed the finishers and Malcolm processed the results. We look forward to some of the other classes launching their boats and enjoying the fun of a Tuesday evening's racing