FSC/RCYC joint pursuit series, 13th September

The wind was sort of west with a touch of north and most of the UK was bathed in hot sunshine. There was an extended cold / warm front over us with two opposite air masses producing thunder and lightning very, very frightening. The race officer Sue Grigg set a race officer's choice of Carricknath to starboard and finish. The start area was extremely crowded with 31 yachts tacking, reaching, running and generally getting in the way of ferry traffic. Sweet Friday, Len Cheshire went off first and took a long lead in the fickle and ever strengthening wind. Gap Year, Len Trenoweth then went off on an early white sail start time followed a short while later by us in Trifle flying a number two genoa. It soon turned out to be the correct choice as we cleared the docks and were hit by several heavy gusts. We could see Moonlighter, Paul Collins having fun and games with his spinnaker providing spectacular broaches behind us. He nearly caught us up by Carricknath but an early kite drop by him allowed us third place around the mark.

The starboard tack home saw us lift above Moonlighter's track and set our sights on Gap Year ahead. As there were just the two of us on board with the strengthening wind boats behind with more crew were able to catch us up. We saw some spectacular broaches with the larger faster boats coming toward us. Orijin, Andy Dennis was going so fast with his large blue asymmetric kite that it left two large bow and stern waves which we crashed through. Ron Jones in Deep Purple went under our lee and was soon joined by Aurora, Mandy Owens as we neared the docks. Grace, Polly Tregaskes was coming up behind us at a fantastic rate but luck prevailed and we got a lift on the corner of the moorings allowing us to finish without tacking and ahead of Grace

The results mirror the narrative. The sky went very dark as we picked up the moorings. A quick pack away and onto the club launch. Flash, Bang! The impending storm broke and we watched the intense heavy rain from the safety of the clubhouse. Not so for the crews making their way to Mylor, Loe Beach and just waiting to come ashore.

Thanks to Sue Grigg ably assisted by Jack and Inez. Sue Clark for the results. The caterers and bar staff and Giles who got soaked bringing in the crews. Sweet Friday, Gap Year and Deep Purple get their times docked by 1 minute, while Rampage, Excelle and Encore get a 1 minute earlier start time for the next race on Friday.

Chris Jelliss