Penrose Sails Champagne Pursuit series, 07/10/17, Race 2 of 5

We are still in an Ice Age! Believe it or not! Anyway enough of this global warming stuff! It were bleddy yucky but not as BY as last week. Race 2 was a slightly shorter course. All to starboard St Mawes Turning mark, then to Black Rock and Trefusis and then to South Narrows (depth problem?), Governor, Vilt, West Narrows and finish.

John Cruise set off in Mary Boon a long way ahead of the fleet and kept that for 99.999% of the 2hr sail. Len Cheshire then went off in Sweet Friday followed by Puffin, Mike Chard and Aries. The tide was still ebbing, just! The rain was typical warm sector, “Everywhere and nowhere baby, That’s were its at!”

We set off on Trifle with a starboard pole kite and went down the fairway. Have we got the right foresail on?” – no 2 genoa! The wind went up and down but was not as strong as forecast or expected. We sat on Aries quarter and stern as the wind shadow dictated and then took her to windward adjacent to Governor and then chased Puffin ahead of us. Lugo Rock South Cardinal rounded and a brilliant gybe by my 12 and 14 year old crew, (and thanks Gay!) saw us powering toward the St Mawes mark. A halyard twist made us drop the kite early and rehoist the genoa before the rounding. Nice work crew!

After rounding the turning mark we chased Puffin who was struggling with a no 1 genoa in the brisk breeze. A swash noise in my left ear saw me look at Aries coming up to windward of us. A quick luff up and pull on the leech dumped all sort of confused air over him so he tried to go through our lee! Ease sails, steer the course and Aries was history as we very close reached to Black Rock. With Puffin to leeward of us we made the mark three boat lengths ahead and went the right way this week!

A port very close reach to Trefusis turned into a drag race as Puffin, Trifle and Aries followed each other at regulation distance enjoying the lulls and reveling in the vicious puffs. Trefusis rounded we set off on starboard pole kit toward South Narrows. We went through Puffin's weather like a scalded cat. Later in the club Chris Bell, Hawk was heard to say, “I draw 1.7 and saw 1.5 when we rounded South Narrows” – Len Cheshire said, “Uh its OK for you, the tide was falling when we went round, at least you had a rising tide!”. A check of the race log revealed that Black Dog had radioed to FSC to state that there was insufficient water so they passed inside the buoy as close as possible! The Race Officer agreed. Corinthian spirit guys!!

We rounded and set to Governor on a very close fetch and held position. OK kite set for port pole to Vilt? Wrong! Back to a drag race on a tight fetch? What happened there? Dunno my wind brain app was wrong or the real wind went further west. We saw Mary Boon flying a very shy starboard pole kite in the general direction of West Narrows. More East Narrows! We rounded and set for the West Narrows. Pascoes Viper went through us on a screamy plane, (wish my Sonata would do that!). After we rounded West Narrows the beat back to the finish ensued. On Trifle we went off like a good un on starboard toward the docks. Lifting, then watching Viper and Sweet Friday ahead being headed. We flopped over to port and got an incredible lift toward Trefusis. Whoa! We tacked three cables from the shore and saw the fleet coming way above us on an incredible lift. We carried on and eventually made just above Black Dog as we tacked toward the RFA boat on the Docks with attendant tugs ready to tow her off the quay! Black Dog went through us on the next pass as we went toward the Flushing side on port. A couple of tacks and we finished just behind Sweet Friday. Pauline Chapple provided us with great teas and cakes while we shook of the wet weathers and soggy undies.

Enquiries in the race office showed that John Cruise in Mary Boon had led the race for 2 hrs-ish and had been pipped by a boat length on the finish! So he was second with Black Dog coming third. Dour faces as they went on the launch to the dark side! Sweet Friday sailed by Len Cheshire came a very respectable 4th some four boat lengths ahead of a little Trifle. We beat Hawk even though they had an ace U class helm, (nice pint in the Old Quay Nige and Jess?). Atalanta Stuart Higgins beat Aries who were a whisker in front of Elli, Robin Roebuck. Puffin was Puffin up the fairway and struggling with tacking on a large genoa ahead of Scorpion, Geoff Davies

Three more to go and lets hope we get some dry sails if not sunny, (that would be balmy).

Thanks to Roger Little, Nessie, Pauline and everyone who helped in the club including Giles the boat. Great sail and see you Tuesday with Jack Penty on Video Shooting, Editting and U Tube stuff.

Chris Jelliss