Almost 50 yachts turned out for the Hine Downing Series one race five on Tuesday 4th July 2017. The race officer, Dan Tregaskes positioned the committee boat south of Sunbeam and set courses from group 5 southerly wind.
There was more wind on the water than the indication on the land and we made an early departure on Trifle in case it dropped in the Roads. It did about 20 minutes before our starting procedure but fortunately came back to enable most classes to get away.
Four M class started first, including the unregistered mystery sail number 562, and went off at a brisk pace on starboard heading for St Mawes Castle. The tide was ebbing for the duration of racing although it was a weak neap it could be significant with a breeze reduction. Next off were eleven boats in Q class and we watched with interest to see how Rampage and Scorpion would fare on the pin end, in tide, and both on port flyers. Most of the fleet stayed over on the eastern shore with a few splitting over to the Pendennis side.
Nine yachts started in U class and in Trifle we were a tad early near the line and bore away for a few seconds to get a good clean start with Gap Year tacking away just after the start. We kept on starboard tack and saw the Q class boats under Pendennis with very light airs. Gap Year was joined by Deep Purple and then Wilkie as there seemed to be wind by the docks. We were in the channel and saw Popincoota go past our stern on port tack and lifting toward the windward mark at Pendennis. That was the decider and we rolled over and followed suite. Midway between Governor and Pendennis we saw Deep Purple and Gap Year coming back on starboard as they had lost the wind on that shore. A brief increase in pressure saw us pass with plenty of room and continue on toward the buoy. Then the wind went soggy and hard to light! We had boat speed, just and ground speed with tide. Three gert trawlers came one by one from the South East and upset the fleet including the Q class who had all rounded and were flying their kites. The last one did us a great favour as the wind had veered, heading us. The micro tsunami threw our bow to the left and we tacked on to starboard. The tide and wind took us straight to the buoy and we rounded and set kite for Vilt.
Seven Sunbeams took off behind us and were followed by five G class, who included newcomer (and sail number free) Arlette. There then followed four W class boats who fanned out from the start line heading southwards. Finally eight Working Boats fresh from their World Series came out to play and painted the Carrick Roads with their topsails. All but one of them had “junior” (under 25) helms, competing for the Charles Jeffrey Trophy. An impressive turnout and commitment to the longevity of the class.
Wisely the committee boat positioned close to the Vilt and monitored the drop in breeze as Q and U classes struggled downwind. There was a breeze line on the eastern shore but you had to get to it! Some Q class gybed over onto Port and went for a line of breeze by Trefusis. As we passed the Narrows we could see Encore, Rampage and Scorpion ahead with their kites down and beating on starboard tack toward Northbank while we caught a fresh South Easterly on starboard pole kite. The new wind came off the St Mawes Castle and carried us toward Vilt where a shortened course was indicated. It took a while before the remainder of U fleet and Sunbeams got it. The Q class boats continued to Messack and were finished at the Vilt.
The Multihulls retired as the wind dropped. In Q class Hawk and Orijin retired on the run. Scorpion, Geoff Davis was first on corrected time beating Martin Eddy in Temeraire. Trifle, Chris Jelliss beat Deep Purple, Ron Jones with Kiamana, Nigel Rowe in third place in U class.
Katy, Sue Grigg beat Mike Rangecroft, Miss Agnes with Charm, Nick Bradley retiring in G class. Elli, Robin Roebuck beat Sweet Friday, Len Cheshire in W class but I did overhear Robin offering to retire as he used a different sail downwind! Jasper, Patrick Tatham retired. Mary, Neil Hopkins took line honours in the Sunbeams beating Whimsey, Chris Perkins.
Rebecca, Chris de Glanville beat Rita Jon Peters in the working boats. The wind carried us to Caldy buoy from where we graciously accepted a tow to the moorings.
Back in the clubhouse we waited with bated breath as the finishing times were brought ashore to be processed. In particular the Working Boat crews were eager to see who had won the Charles Jeffrey Trophy for junior helms. Unfortunately Rebecca's crew (and helm, Ollie Palmer) were back in St Mawes, but prizes were awarded to the helms who were present, Ollie Graffy of Endeavour, Kathy Wakefield of Cousin Jinny, and of Dale Porter of Cousin Jack.
Thanks to the committee boat staff, Jeannette and Inez in the Ops Room, Lynn behind the bar and the caterers and Giles “Mind that new prop” for bringing us to dry land.
Photos by Sue Clark & Stella Pilsworth
Firebird before the start
Trifle, Ultra Violet and Kaimana
Atalanta, Gulf Kilo and Cousin Jinny
Coming home, Victory paddling
Katy and ?Charm towed back
Rita and Winnie
Charles Jeffrey under-25 helm Trophy, won this year by Ollie Palmer on Rebecca.
Polly Tregaskes, Ollie's friend and Ollie Graffy, Milly and Lottie (courtesy P & D Tregaskes), model the Club's new range of stylish sailing headgear
Sunset over Penryn