A fine but surprisingly blustery Race 4 in the second Hine Downing sponsored Series saw some 42 boats come to the start area. Race Officer Ian Jakeways set a line close to the “sharks teeth” of the St Mawes shore in the strong north westerly breeze and 40 boats decided to give it a go with two G Class boats wisely deciding that at 25mph it was a bit on the wild side for 18 foot open boats.
The ever-keen Firebirds mustered six boats and had a good start setting off on a single sided beat to Trefusis before a spray laden trip disappearing out in to the Bay. Ultra Violet, Peter Stephens and Farmer Tom winning comfortably by almost three minutes from Mike Webb on Crackerjack in second followed by Steve Hutt on Cornish Meadow. One point covers the top three boats going into the last race.
Next fleet up to start was Q Class who had more of an equal beating first leg to Vilt and while there were no reefs in their mains, plenty had smaller No 2s hoisted. After a forty minute race David Cunliffe sailing Encore won on the water and handicap from Martin Eddy’s Temeraire and Stuart Higgins' Atalanta. Three points cover the top three boats going into the last race.
Largest fleet on the night was again the competitive U Class, with Mike Swingler in Ida deciding that discretion was the better part of valour before the start. On a single sided beat Mandy Owens helming Aurora had a peach of start and won the starboard drag race to Trefusis with most of the fleet only doing a very short port tack to round the mark in the confused atmospheric miasma of a Trefusis wind shadow. A long run down to Carricknath saw Deep Purple with her larger masthead main and a little Trifle being sailed by Peter Jelliss and gang in stealth mode closing the gap to the leaders. A long starboard beat back to the finish saw both Deep Purple and the well sailed Popincoota overtake Aurora on the water but not by enough on handicap, with Mandy winning from Deep Purple, Ron Jones and then Team Trifle. The top three boats are separated by half a point going into the last race so it will be a fascinating clincher to a highly competitive series
Three Sunbeams decided to grace us with their presence with Nigel Glanville winning in Ivy, from Neil Hopkins in Mary followed by Series Sponsor John Lowry in Saucy Sally.
The increasingly competitive W Class had four entries and after a good but wet lap of the Harbour was won by Mike Chard and the merry band on Puffin, followed by Robin Roebuck on Elli, Len Cheshire on Sweet Friday and Rob Buckley on Moonshine. Presumably their allergy to the foredeck only being overcome at departing and arriving their moorings. Three points separate the top three.
G Class came down to a two-horse race after the sensible pre-start retirement of Katy and Miss Agnes, with Charm and Magpie of Mylor, Virginia Davis (or is it?) having a good bash around in what were top end conditions for the fleet. Nick Bradley’s Charm came out on top and all got back to the Clubhouse.
Eight Working Boats started, some flying tops’ls, some not and were led home not for the first time by John Peters on Rita, Family Tregaskes were second on Grace followed by Trevor Murphy on Moon.
In terms of a good night had by all, a big thanks to John Heath for providing the Committee Boat, Ian Jakeways the Race Officer and his team, an extra dram for Jack Penty running the Club Launch at such short notice, Sarah for supper, the Commodore for the Bar and Mike Swingler for the results.
With results so close in a number of fleets, next week’s final race in the Hine Downing Series will be fascinating.