Hine Downing 2nd Tuesday points series, 2nd August, First Race

What a difference! 57 boats on Saturday for the Flushing Village Regatta and a mere 22 for the start of Hine Downing series 2 on Tuesday 2nd August 2016. The key word is August, in meteorological term the wettest month of the year! The low pressure to the north gave strong winds and the Race Officer Mike Stratton wisely cancelled all open boats and the Firebirds.

The committee boat was positioned south of the South Narrows buoy and used it as the pin end for a South Westerly wind. Governor was the windward mark giving a good beat for the three remaining classes. The wind was quite shifty and big gusts up to 25kts plus made for a lot of sail easing.

Q class went off with 8 boats, Rampage, John Hicks had the cream end start and took an early fleet lead. The tide was just off high water and the ebb provided many tactical gains on the beat with the fleet splitting left and right of track. Having rounded Governor they set spinnakers and set port pole for St Just.

Eleven yachts then vied for a busy start line in U class. On Trifle we were a bit premature and had to bear away behind Kaimana, Nigel and Jess Rowe with 15 seconds to go! All clear was heard on the radio and we powered up and out-pointed Deep Purple Ron Jones to windward of us causing him to tack away and entangle Wilkie, Bob Chapple. Len Trenoweth on Gap Year, back from W class had the better start near the committee boat end and was 20 boat lengths to windward of us. A tack onto port gave us the lee bow of tide against the narrows and with the subsequent lift we lee bowed the sluice from the docks. Gap Year employed the same tactic and made Governor just inside us on a starboard approach. Early hoists of port pole kites to North Bank led us away from the rest of the fleet. Three near broaches on Trifle let Gap Year forge ahead. Kaimana chose not to fly her spinnaker and kept station with Deep Purple. We rounded North Bank and hardened up on port tack toward the Trefusis shore, Deep Purple tacked early and missed the advantage of the big lift on starboard up the shore. Kaimana held on and overtook Deep Purple.

Q and U fleets mingled at the Trefusis buoy and then split as Q went to South Narrows and U to Waterloo. Both on starboard pole kites. The wind started to ease slightly and both fleets mingled again at the Governor Buoy after the beat back. U class carried on to the finish and Q class had an extra leg to Vilt and then home.

Three boats braved W Class with Amneris, Mike Robson taking line honours and first place on handicap. Puffin, Mike Chard had a good thrash against Len Cheshire in Sweet Friday beating him by 39 seconds on the line. However Sweet Friday took second place on handicap by a mere 44 seconds close stuff indeed and well done to Mike, a relatively new helm.

Origin, Andy Denis took line honours in Q class but was down to 7th place after time correction. Martin Eddy in Temeraire 27 seconds ahead of Mel Sharpe in Demolition. David Cunliffe in Encore some 18 seconds behind into third place. Close racing indeed in trying conditions. A good warm up for Falmouth Week ahead?

Gap Year took line honours and first place handicap being 41 seconds ahead of Trifle. That increased to an incredible 2 minutes 51 seconds when corrected. Bob Chapple's Wilkie, another one who didn't fly a spinnaker, came third 3 minutes and 17 seconds behind Trifle.

Thanks to Race Officer and the crew of the committee boat who had a wet and miserable task. To the sponsors Hine Downing and the Catering and bar staff. Saturday sees our Family Try Sailing day and then Falmouth Week!

Chris Jelliss