Thirty-five yachts raced on a manky, cold and eventually very wet Saturday 29th July 2017, for the Flushing Village Regatta hosted by Flushing Sailing Club. Heaps of sandwiches and cakes were prepared in the morning by a host of volunteers, the Club was decorated with banner flags and a party atmosphere prevailed.
All starts with the exception of B and M class were from the club line and Kay Price the Race Officer, ably assisted by the numerous ops room staff had their work cut out with radio calls and flag signals to start the classes.
First away at 1410 hrs were the four Q class boats with Pasco's Viper jumping the gun and recalling for a second start. The wind was SSE and this entailed a starboard beat off the line trying to make the corner of the fairway. They were followed 5 minutes later by the nine boat fleet in U class. It was a very crowded start line and you had to be in it to win it! Ron Jones in Deep Purple took the clubhouse end and got a good line for the corner, Trifle came out of the stalls mid river in stronger ebb tide and more breeze and quickly established a lead. We could hear calls for starboard behind us as Ron ran out of navigable water and had to tack. Trifle all but made the corner but was forced to make a quick hitch to clear the fairway moorings. Popincoota managed to pinch their way around the mooring, but in so doing lost out to Aurora who had made the trip from start to the mooring in one and continued to lead the remainder of U, with Trifle well out in front.
A solitary Sunbeam then started which gave Lawrence Bysouth a sailover in Racy Lady. Later in the bar at prize giving some wag said that the Sunbeam fleet were conscious of getting their hairdos wet, that accounted for the lack of numbers! Two W class then sailed with Jack Penty in Noon Hi taking the line honours. Zephon, sailed by A. Nonymouse was placed in first on the results (by a very magnanimous Jack).
Four G class braved the weather. Katy, Sue Grigg, was 19 seconds behind Clementine, Alan Perham at the finish but took the trophy by 35 seconds on handicap. Close racing in such light and fluky winds. Next to go were three C class small working boats. Chris Bell jumped ship from his usual steed Hawk and navigated Lottie, helmed by a subsequently very wet Paul Ferris. It worked because they had a five and a half minute lead on Leila, Adam Bird, who beat Zilpha, Simon Berryman into third place.
Ten B class-working boats then started on a transit from Frigate Buoy to the docks. Demelza took an early lead in the light winds but eventually lost out to Jon Peters driving Rita through the fleet to take a commanding lead and eventually winning the trophy. Ten minutes later to give a bit of clearance two M class Firebirds started and whizzed of in the light fluky winds to complete their course. Ultra Violet, Peter Stephens beating Cornish Meadow, Steve Hutt to the finish.
Q and U class were given two rounds comprising Vilt to starboard, Governor to starboard, FSC turning mark to starboard, Vilt and Governor again and finish. Pasco's Viper, a large dinghy with her three crew decked out in bright red oilies had a commanding lead and the Race Officer sent the Q class off for a second round. In U class we set a shy kite from Governor into the turning mark and could see Kaimana, Nigel Rowe closing up on our substantial lead with Deep Purple, Ron Jones, snapping at his heels. Just off the Jack-up Rig we hit a soggy patch where the wind headed – lifted – headed – and died. Then it filled our bedraggled kite and we slowly made the fairway and could see the Q class coming back for their second round. A quick glance back and I saw Kaimana and Deep Purple in a big hole with spinnakers looking like drapes in a Greek Tragedy! We rounded the turning mark and thankfully were given a shortened course of Vilt then finish. On the way out of the fairway into the inner harbour we could hear the radio calls from four of the U class announcing their retirement from the race. The rain was steadier now and the wind coming and going so perhaps tea and cakes all washed down with Lushingtons was a greater incentive than to carry on sailing.
Pasco's Viper, Craig Brown, beat Tai Mo Shan, Neil Chamberlain in Q class with Robin Edwards in Fuxache coming third. Trifle Chris Jelliss won U class some ten and a half minutes in front of Deep Purple, Ron Jones. Kaimana, Nigel Rowe came third and later told me that he gave away second place as he touched a mooring buoy on the second round and did a turn to exonerate himself. A shame as he did not go inside the moorings and as it was not a mark of the course the penalty was unnecessary!
A big thanks to Dave and Mandy Owens for the hard work involved in organising the ever successful event. Kay Price and her very competent band of ops room staff as Race Officer, the results guru for producing the placings in speedy time. Giles our indefatigable boatman who was soaked through and kept going delivering crews to and fro the club. John and Peter who threw beer and drinks at us on demand and the sandwich and cake makers who provided a glorious spread.
Next Saturday sees FSC provide sailing for all in our Family Day, then the rigours of 7 days of Falmouth Week. I do hope the Jet Stream listens and makes an early visit to Santa.
The overall results may be found here.