Seven Stars Flushing Series, 02/09/17, Race 1 of 5

Ideal sunny weather and a nice force 3 southerly was provided for the first race in the Seven Stars Saturday Series, which many consider to be the start to the autumn racing at the Club. Race Officer was the legendary Alan Perham, up and about after a recent operation, with John Maunder looking after the large fleet of B and C Class Working Boats racing for the Chainlocker Cups. In all some 24 boats came to the start line which represented a great turn out after an intense August full of racing.

On the Club line in amongst all the mackerel fisherman on the Quay, south westerly races were set and Neil Chamberlain’s Tai Mo Shan was the sole entrant in Q Class and Charlie, Choccy Coco, Derek and Neil had a nice sightseeing tour around Water Tower, St Just, Trefusis, Water Tower again, St Just and the Turning Mark and then did it all over again.

Seven boats came to the line in the ever competitive U Class who were welcoming Len Trenoweth back after his recent tennis injury and was sailing Gap Year with Annie & Teresa. The fleet were a tad too welcoming letting Gap Year win the start at the Greenbank end of the line and set off to Water Tower, Vilt, Rustler, Governor and the miniscule St Just before the Turning Mark and a shortened course to Water Tower and Sunbeam. Apart from a pretty lively rounding of St Just for the leading three boats in amongst the front end of the Working Boat fleet, the race was a bit processional. Gap Year led home the higher rated Deep Purple followed by Aurora with all three finishing within a minute of each other and enjoying a good gap before the others came home: the 3 GK24s – Popincoota Jane Goddard, Wilkie Bob Chapple, (an all male crew this week: has there been a falling out?) & Kaimana Nigel Rowe – and the Hawk 20 Ida Mike Swingler. Gap Year winning from Aurora and Deep Purple on handicap.

A fleet of four boats came to the line in G Class and the Race Officer set his own fleet to Rustler, Governor and Sunbeam and a shortened second lap out to Rustler and Sunbeam. Charm sailed by Nick Bradley led around on the water and won by 6 minutes on handicap followed by wily old Mike Rangecroft on Miss Agnes and who beat Sue Grigg and crew on Katy by 63 seconds.

A good fleet of 12 B & C Class working boats came to the lower harbour start line and were sent by John Maunder to St Just, Trefusis, St Just and the lower harbour turning mark before repeating and finishing on the club line. Rita was first back to the line closely followed by Moon but fell to third on handicap behind Moon and Cousin Jack. At one point as they raced to the finish it seemed that Olly Graffy's Endeavour might be more highly placed, but coming only 10 seconds on corrected time behind Rebecca isn't too shabby.

Lovely teas were provided by Charlotte Jones; Sue Clark, Nessie Simcock and Inez helped in the Race Office, results calculated by Malcolm Clark and verified by Race Officer Perham, and Giles did a splendid shift on the launch after his holiday in the Lake District. As the Working Boat crews assembled for the presentation of the Chainlocker Cups the club was throbbing. How do we ensure that the Chainlocker closes for refurbishment at this time every year?

Dave Owens