Forty-Nine yachts (just one shy of that elusive Fifty!) turned out for the last of the Hine-Downing sponsored series One race on Tuesday 25th July 2017. Most of us decided to race in Carrick Roads but three Gaffers in G class decided to go backwards up the Penryn River.
The weather was low cloud with the threat of impending rain and bad visibility to come. 10 kts of South westerly wind blew so Neil Chamberlain the Race Officer and his hordes of helpers placed the committee boat in the area of the Waterloo Buoy with a beat to Governor against the flood tide to sort us out.
First away were the four Firebirds who had a Race Officer's choice course, which sent them around the upper reaches of the Carrick Roads. Three of them were on the button at the start with Fiery, Rupert Kidd setting the lead pace. Firefly was quite a way behind the others and had to play catch up which he managed later on.
Ten boats in Q class went off 5 minutes later and John Hicks in Rampage tried a port flier, which ended up in him dipping the rest of the fleet. Per Elisa, Robbie Tregear had a good start on the committee boat end and Encore, David Cunliffe slipped in a few seconds late to get a windward advantage. Although Hawk, Chris Bell was out, he had to return to base before starting due to gear failure.
Ten boats in U class then jockeyed for position with Moonlighter, Paul Collins trying to shove Trifle above the committee boat on the run into the start. The Sonata has a very tight turning circle and a sharp luff and dive away behind the stern of the Sadler 25 then put Trifle to leeward and Moonlighter was gently shoved over the line just before the start. Rocket Ron Jones, in Deep Purple took an early lead and was first around the windward mark with Trifle and Popincoota, Alan Grose fighting for second place. Trifle got there just ahead and set a starboard pole kite to get away from the crowd and over toward the stronger tide. It seemed to work for a while but the wind was had too much west in it so a gybe back onto port ensued. Thatís a bit how the rest of the race went with Deep Purple increasing her lead leaving Trifle and Popincoota to fight for second place.
Six Sunbeams started and looking at the results Audry, Roger Ford had a commanding lead and finish being almost 5 minutes ahead of second place Pixy helmed by Lyulph Hesling. The rest of the fleet were well spread out finishing up to ten minutes behind the lead boat.
Three G class gaffers went upstream to Penryn and back with Delilah, Garry Pidwell beating Sue Grigg in Katy and Mike Rangecroft in Miss Agnes.
W fleet had four starters with Puffin, Mike Chard beating Len Cheshire in Sweet Friday and Moonshine, Rob Buckley. Jasper, Patrick Tatham retired.
Eleven Working boats started and made a grand sight galloping around the course with their topsails giving colour to the ever-greying sky. On the kite run back from Trefusis to St Just we had a fantastic close up view of Rita, John Peters to windward and coming the other way with Victory, David Carne closing in from behind. Victory took the line and the place with Winnie minus the recuperating Arthur Williams in second place. Newcomer Iris Elizabeth, Rob Ferriss, may need a little fine-tuning before becoming competitive.
As we slid northward of the Vilt we heard the crack of sails and grind of winches as Rampage, John Hicks had the lead from Per Elisa, Robbie Tregear. Talking to John later on in the bar he is pleased that the boat has now been optimised with new keel, mast moved and other improvements. “Its up to us to make her go now” he said. Good luck in Ireland late August in the Half Ton Cup to all of you!
Ultra Violet, Peter Stephens son the race and the series for M class. Per Elisa, Robbie Tregear came third and won the series in Q class IRC. a little Trifle, Chris Jelliss came second and won the series in U class IRC. Katy, Sue Grigg came second and won the series in G class. Sweet Friday, Len Cheshire came second and won the series in W class. Roger Ford in Audry won the race and the series in V class. Victory, David Carne won the race and the series in B class.
Thanks to the race officer and committee boat staff, the ops room and results, swelled by Jon Heath, Jenny and Sue Swingler under the watchful eye of Inez, the caterers (good luck Sarah with your sponsored head shave) and bar staff, John and Sue, and not least Giles for getting us out and back with toe and heel injury! Saturday sees Flushing Village Regatta and the start of the Hine Downing series Two on the following Tuesday, see you all there.