Shetlands had more July sunshine than Cornwall according to my BBC news app. Yeah but we donít have the pesky Midges, they have all drowned! Tuesday 1st August, the first of the Hine Downing Series Two, came in with towering Cumulus clouds which went from pearly white to threatening grey/black. The wind was southwest and the race officer Mike Chard set the committee boat over on the eastern shore and used West Narrows as the windward mark. The wind was up and down and appeared to be stronger than it really was. We set off early and put the no 1 genoa on with reservation but also to dry it out after Saturday's rain.
First off were 5 firebirds with a 9.2 mile foray into the bay and out to Rosemullion buoy. They went off on a cracking starboard beat leaving West Narrows to port, Black rock to Starboard and then disappeared into the bay. They obviously had a good time, since later Cornish Meadow sought out the Race Officer to thank him for the course.
Q class then went off with 9 boats. The main fleet on the line and beating toward West Narrows while some were heading in the opposite direction trying to feed/barge (?) around the committee boat. They followed the M class Firebirds around West Narrows and Governor thence into the bay where they then rounded Maenporth.
U class were off next with 10 boats. Nigel Rowe in Kaimana getting the line and a cracking start by the committee boat. In Trifle we were just to leeward of him and keeping pace with Popincoota, Alan Grose forward and way ahead of the fleet like a scalded cat. We were all heading for the eastern shore and the low water submerged rocks. Ron Jones in Deep Purple behind and to windward of us tacked early followed by Mandy Owens in Aurora. That gave us the gap and we tacked over onto port to clear the shore. Popincoota and Kaimana continued on and got a lift very close to the shore. So it was that Popincoota beat us to the Buoy with us just ahead of Kaimana.
A close fetch to Lugo Rock south cardinal and a starboard pole kite run to St Mawes Turning mark ensued with Popincoota way out in front and Trifle mixing it with Deep Purple behind. The mark was rounded and a long beat across Pendennis Point with a fine reach to Gyllingvase saw Popincoota and Deep Purple go southward for at least a quarter of a mile, leaving Trifle to take the rhumb line across the point arriving just behind Popincoota.
Five Sunbeams started, their long waterline making easy meat off the short chop driven ahead of the frontal gale on Wednesday. Audry sailed by Roger Ford eventually beat Pixy, Lyulph Hesling by 43 seconds with Ivy sailed by Nigel Glanville coming third some 19 seconds later. Close racing indeed!
W fleet fielded 4 contestants and followed U class into and around the “Turkey Landers” turning mark. They then rounded Castle to Starboard and Vilt to port, Trefusis to port and finish. There was some confusion on Sweet Friday as to the course and one mark was missed en route! Advice was sought by Elli, Robin Roebuck later in the bar, which resulted in an honourable retirement by Sweet Friday. Elli won beating Jasper, Patrick Tatham and Zephon, Giles Gilbert. It is great to see W class increasing as it provides novices and old salts alike with good competition without the hassle of extra roundy sails, poles and more bits of string.
G class fielded 5 players with Charm, Nick Bradley beating Miss Agnes, Mike Rangecroft over the line by 11 seconds, winning on handicap as well. Clementine, Alan Perham who was second on the line was narrowly beaten into third place on handicap. Some very close racing between those three boats!.
Eleven B class Working Boats completed the 49 yachts† racing line up and Cousin Jinny, Tim Pearce beat Nellie May, Richard Carter who was in turn just ahead of Rita, Jon Peters. Again close racing between the top three boats with only seconds separating them. Iris Elizabeth continues to work on her fine tuning.
At the Gyllingvase mark a gybe ensued and a starboard pole kite run back past the headland and Vilt Buoy to port. Trefusis to port and finish for U class. Again Popincoota and Deep Purple went a quarter of a mile south while Trifle took the rhumb line to Pendennis rounding ahead of both and taking the lead. A gybe onto port pole with more pressure in the sails took us to Vilt and eventually line honours just ahead of Deep Purple. As is the way Trifle shared equal first place with Aurora who was 4 minutes 31 seconds behind.
Thanks to Mike Chard and the committee boat staff of Spotters, Radio Hams, Flag Wavers and Captain Hornblower; the ops room staff of Spotters, Recorders, Hornblower and results Guru. Giles the Launch, Sarah the Cook and Sue and Some Bloke behind the bar serving froffy cappuccino bier!
†49 again, just short of that elusive 50!