The Bank Holiday Low Pressure had dumped its rain and blown itself out. A quick tap of the barometer glass gave the pointer another shove to the higher numbers and the wind, such as was, came from just north of east as I left home. The weak sea breeze front could be seen as I approached Flushing with the line of cloud opening up to bright blue skies. The surface wind off the sailing club was more like southeast going south and then nowhere!
Nineteen boats braved the start and slowly made way towards Trefusis where the Race Officer, Chris Bell, and his motley crew had positioned the committee boat. A southeast wind group was chosen and the various courses announced. Just then the wind went very soggy and the AP flag hoisted as a rethink was convened aboard Lizzie. A southerly group was then chosen and all boats given the same course, Governor to Starboard, Trefusis to Port and finish, thus giving the RO the ability to shorten course at the same mark.
Mirri was first out of the blocks with Mike and Alistair threading their way through the crowded committee boat end, it was not a night to be too far away from the start line! They headed off on starboard tack and surprisingly found a mere zephyr just after the start, which gave them clearance.
Q class started next and 7 boats made the best of a drift southwards toward Governor. There was an interesting split of the fleet with the majority standing on starboard tack to get to the perceived wind in the middle of the roads.
U class then fielded an 8-boat start and again the split occurred with three boats going right over to the docks side. In Trifle we, or rather me, couldnít make up our mind as we were buried on the start, tacked off on port got headed, tacked onto starboard, got buried under some Q class boats and tacked off onto port.
W class went off with Sweet Friday and Puffin sporting very shiny new sails. Sweet Friday went off on port tack and Puffin came out to join the middle line pack. Winnie the only participant dominated B class with Arthur and Arty on board.
A few minutes after our ultimate port tack Gay Slater said “Iíve got a transit with West Narrows buoy and we are stationary” Hmm. We had boat speed and the helm was responsive but the tide was our enemy. Brother Peter then remarked that the transit on the Docks and the observation tower showed us going backwards. We then joined the ever-increasingly popular club and retired.
Ron Jones in Deep Purple made the short course finish at the Governor buoy in 1 hour 33.05. Temaraire, Martin Eddy , made it in 1.35.17 and Excelle, John Fox, made it in 1.36.50. Well done to all three for staying the course. Persistence in hugging the western shore out of the tide paid dividends.
Thanks to Jeannette for manning the ops room. Malcolm for the results, Giles for bringing us home and the bar staff and caterers.
Photos by Sue Clark