Cockwell's Saturday points series 15/7/17, the Ultimate (Race 8 of 8)

I left the north coast at about 1200 where it was dull overcast and drizzle. As I got over the hump at Chiverton Cross the temperature went up, as did the cloud base. At FSC the wind was a lot less and it was noticeably warmer.

Nine yachts turned out for the finale of the Cockwells Saturday Series. The Race Officer Mike Stratton (hard to believe, but his first experience of being RO at Flushing) gave us group 7 westerly and course 3 which was: start, Castle to starboard, Governor to starboard, West Narrows to port and return to the turning mark.

Q class was dominated by Atalanta, Stuart Higgins who went off at 1355hrs, setting a late starboard pole kite. Next off were the 7 U class boats. Aurora, Mandy Owens went off on the Flushing side of the line and took an early lead, which was never relinquished. On Trifle we elected to set our spinnaker from the Falmouth side as the wind looked a little forward of the beam, the intention was to bear away early and run deeper down the harbour! As it was the breeze was all over the place and we carried it with pole forward, backward and every position in-between.

Bob Chapple in Wilkie set his kite a little later as did Nigel Rowe in Kaimena. They were joined by Popincoota, Jane Goddard and then Mr G, Tim Dewhurst and Ida, Mike Swingler. It looked a splendid site as we all tore down the fairway with a lot of jostling by helms and crew to get the advantage over the yachts in front and behind.

Len Cheshire dominated W class in Sweet Friday who I think had a slightly different course (same course, just shortened on the second round). There were some vicious gusts en route to Castle buoy and several boats broached, some quite spectacularly! Wilkie decided to drop her spinnaker early and allowed us on Trifle to forge ahead. As we caught up Aurora. We had been pestered by Mr G all the way from the docks until he decided to go and play with Wilkie to leeward. As we dropped our kite and slowed a little Wilkie took the inside overlap and made the buoy ahead of us. A quick rounding up to weather followed by a tack enabled us to get ahead of Bob again.

After rounding Governor a windward launch of the kite saw us increase our lead on Wilkie as we rounded West Narrows to port and began the beat to the turning mark. Aurora fell off to leeward and ahead of us and the fleet fell off behind us. On one of those rare occasions we managed to get the ebb tide under the lee of our keel, which gave us a fantastic one port beat all the way up the harbour to the turning mark.

The second round, same course and the wind abating slightly. Aurora and Trifle were then quite a way ahead of the fleet. A mishap on the windward launch from Governor to West Narrows saw Trifle lose some ground but held on to second position behind Aurora who won the race and series. Unfortunately Kaimana had to retire with a broken tiller but got safely back to her moorings at Loe Beach and was busy fashioning a new one when I spoke to Nigel at 1700 hrs.

We went back to the club and had teas and cakes thanks to Sue Swingler and Carol Robson. Thanks to Jeannete and Paul in the ops room and Giles for bringing us home.

I made my way back to the north coast where it had been steadily raining on the campsite! Tuesday looks to be a lively evening and Thursday brings the single-handed race.

Chris Jellis