Penrose Sails Champagne Pursuit series, 28/10/17, Final race of 5

The storms have passed for the moment and a large Anticyclone is giving very cold polar air to northern UK and not so warm NW wind to us. Twelve yachts came out for the last race of the season on the 28th October.

First away was John Cruise in Mary Boon flying a starboard pole spinnaker with a gybe onto port pole at the end of the fairway. Next away was Len Cheshire in Sweet Friday goose-winging all the way to the first mark, Guvernor to port. Mike Chard in Puffin went off close to the club quay and was followed by Aries in mid channel with a starboard pole kite. Wild Child then took of and at 1313 hrs we decided to go down mid channel in a little Trifle as there was a lot of ebb tide to help us on our way. The starboard pole kite soon became troublesome as the wind flicked from dead behind us to lots by the lee as we approached the end of the fairway. A gybe onto port pole gave us a much needed boost and we had Wild Child in our sights with Aries down to leeward and just ahead but out of the tide.

Trifle at GovernorAs we caught up Wild Child she started to luff up to prevent us going through her weather. Trouble was the STS Thor Heyerdahl was coming in to pick up the Frigate buoy and we were being led to T-bone her! No contest there! I called for water on the ship and was graciously given it. A strong gust sustained us as we passed to windward of Wild Child and set Puffin and Governor firmly in our sights. A gybe back onto starboard pole gave a better VMG to the buoy and we passed to leeward of Puffin with her port mainsail and goose-winged genoa. Aries was approaching from quite deep on port broad reach. Our genoa was hoisted and a windward takedown of the kite close to the buoy saw us round just ahead of the others. A close reach to St Just then ensued with Mary Boon and Sweet Friday a long way ahead. Puffin and Trifle had a duel all the way down the track with Trifle luffing up as we approached the mark. Aries was left behind as Trifle got the complete overlap before the zone and rounded ahead of Puffin. Mike then tried to steer above us to get to weather but unfortunately went the wrong side of the mark and hit it! Turns were done and distance lost.

Puffin almost at GovernorA further close reach then took us to Trefusis mark to be rounded to port and then back to St Just we played catchup as we saw some of the bigger boats coming down the Governor to St Just track. Looking ahead we could see Len and John almost in irons under the dreaded Trefusis lull and we appeared to be making good gains on them. Not for long as the wind went fickle and they rounded and came back toward us as we struggled with the last 100 yards. I noticed that Mary Boon had not set a kite and I was convinced that we could. So it was as we gybed round we set a very shy port pole kite and held it most of the way back to St Just. Although it gave us ground on the pursuing pack it did nothing to get us closer to the front-runners.

The drag race to the finish line then ensued with the last bit up the fairway the only beat of the race. We made good ground on John and Len ahead and were being chased hard by Robin Roebuck in Elli from behind. I tried to follow the leaders inside the Thor but got headed and passed her stern. We came out quite a way ahead of Elli. Alas she got us by three boat lengths into third place behind Mary Boon and Sweet Friday respectively.

Thatís it for sailing folks! Trifle comes out on Monday and all those jobs need ticking off before the end of December! What are you guys going to be doing on Saturdays? I will be flying my Cub, Spacewalker and Trojan (RC aircraft) in the Penzance sports hall.

Thanks to Tina the Tea Lady, Giles the Boatman, and Roger, Nessie and Paul in the Ops Room.

But it's not the end of the season at the Club! I'm looking forward to seeing you all at the club on Tuesday in your Halloween costumes, then Saturday 11th November for prize giving. Jenny has worked long and hard to put a great Tuesday evening programme together. Come and join in. It's a great evening.

Chris Jelliss