As I awoke on the morning of the first of the Choak's Pasties series and gazed out of my bedroom window down the Penryn River to the Roseland etc. In a sense another glorious day, but the forecast indicated that by evening it was likely that the breeze would be dying and times would be challenging.
And so they were to be.
Race Officer Mel Sharp set a short course from Group 8 for all classes, anticipating that the course might be shortened: Vilt, Governor, finish. Even this was ambitious. From the Ops Room we could see a variety of boats struggling out into the Roads. The smug ones with engines were fine, but the Gaffers, the Working Boats and the Sunbeams were making their way out painfully slowly. Yes, the Sunbeams have broken their hibernation, perhaps in anticipation of Saturday's Silver Sunbeam race.
The VHF chatter from the Sunbeams (a very sociable fleet) indicated that boats were finding it hard to get to the line. In the event, several classes were simply unable to start as the tide swept them away from the line in the very light airs. G, B and W class, more or less the last classes to start almost all failed to cross the start line in time.
Mel wisely decided to shorten the course at Governor. This was more of challenge than usual since it wasn't possible to get the committee boat, Lizzie, up to Governor in time, but they had a good sight of the finish buoy and the finishing boats – until the sightline was blocked by the sails of the Working Boats trying to start. So Mike in the rib was sent out to record the finishers. Quite a task, but back in the Race Office we were able to monitor the finishers over VHF.
Most of the 7 Sunbeams finished. Among the earlier classes to start, M, Q and U, almost all finished. And now began the long journey back to moorings.
Despite the relative lack of racing, there was good cheer back in the clubhouse, and all was well. Thanks to the Race Officer, in trying circumstances, the rest of team Demolition, bar staff and Inez, who rose from her sick bed to be with us in the Ops Room, and Jeanette who came in from a hard day supervising the election. And the ever helpful Giles.
photos: Sue Clark