What with Hurricanes in the western Atlantic, Cyclones and Typhoons in the western Pacific, we just had rain, well lots of rain actually! It poured like liquid sunshine in tanker loads. Never mind, U class took it to heart and we all went out two by two, helm and crew that is.
The race officer set a North West group 8 for all yachts and Jeanette ably gave the courses over the radio. Q class were first off with Atalanta, Stuart Higgins and Tai Mo Shan, Neil Chamberlain on his own. They were given course 8, which was Waterloo (S), Carricknath (S), Trefusis (S), Carricknath (S), finish. Atalanta led all the way with Neil keeping a good pace single-handed behind.
The continuous heavy rain had given way to continuous heavy rain with longer gaps and so it was just before the start of U class. The breeze got up as the rain passed and then dropped on the start line. On Trifle Finn and myself came off the Falmouth side and took an early lead with Popincoota, Alan Grose close behind hoisting spinnaker. Kaimana, Nigel and Jess Rowe were a close third hoisting their kite and Bob Chapple and Mike Chard in Wilkie were still upstream and hoisting a big blue spinnaker.
Popincoota soon went past us like a scalded dog and Kaimana went through our lee by the docks. I was beginning to regret deciding to white sail. Bob and Mike overtook after the docks as we all headed for Carricknath.
Four G class Gaffers made the numbers up to 10 boats as they took off on course 3: Black Rock to starboard. We heard “number 67 you are over the line!” “Yacht Katy you are over the line.” Oops, Sue Grigg had over cooked it! Mr Pill sends his regards by the way.
Popincoota was way ahead as the three of us led by Kaimana went toward the lighthouse. We could see Atalanta and Tai Mo Shan traversing toward Carricknath as Popincoota dropped her kite well to the North of the mark. We could see the bright blue in the sails and the big balloon spinnaker of Katy coming down with wind toward Black Rock.
The Q class yachts rounded and set of to Trefusis. Kaimana and Wilkie followed the track of Popincoota to Black Rock (S) as our next mark. On Trifle we managed to overhaul Wilkie at Black Rock and started our journey to Trefusis. There was a substantial header just before the obstruction itsself and so we took a quick tack onto port and saw Popincoota to leeward and way ahead. The wind was taking us just to the east of West Narrows but we were just out of the channel when a magical series of lifts then put first the keel, lee bowing the tide, then took us 20 degrees further up toward Trefusis. When we tacked onto starboard at the edge of the port lay line we were way ahead of the other three boats. I could see Atalanta having barrel loads of fun trying to get to and around the mark in the ever-flukey winds. Luckily the wind filled in as we closed with Popincoota having taken the lead back and Tai Mo Shan just crept inside us. Q class went to Carricknath and we went to Castle (S) and finish
Kaimana caught and overhauled us before the mark and we all took off on a starboard beat home. Nigel tacked early and stood out in the stronger wind while I played lifters with Popincoota toward the docks. A roll onto port tack saw us dip Nigelís stern and outpoint Popincoota to get into 2nd place. Finally we tacked and took Nigel on the drag race to the fairway. Alan Grose had tacked to early and went paint scraping up the side of the moored RFA.
Trifle took line honours and the race, (who needs a spinnaker any way?) with Kaimana 2nd and Popincoota 3rd: Atalanta took a gallantly singled handed Tai Mo Shan. Charm, Nick Bradley, beat Clementine, Alan Perham and Katy on handicap.
We went back for delicious teas and cakes served by Jenny Dean and Inez. Much talk of flukey winds, French holidays, absent crew and the inevitable end of season blues ensued. Thanks to all the spotters, race officers, bunting tossers, bar man, Giles the very wet launch, and results guru. See you all for Tuesday night, the last of the evening racing unless the pesky wind makes it number 7 cancellation.
Chris said to “attach rain drops for picture”.