A strong South East breeze, which gust by gust slowly dropped away, greeted the 15 contenders for the Seven Stars race 4, the last in the series. The small open boats were cancelled by Len Trenoweth as a precaution against the heavy gusts and residual lumpy sea. A wise Race Officer's choice. (An alternate interpretation is that the gaffers among the Gaffers decided to go to the Workingboat Bar at the Greenbank.)
Three Q class went for it although Jackdaw, Bob Warren, was a bit late. Atalanta, Stuart Higgins went off the club line ahead of Tia Mo Shan, Neil Chamberlain, on a long beat to Carricknath and a rounding to port. They were followed five minutes later by 5 U class contenders. Alas! “Starboard” “BANG!” was heard upstream of the line and Wilkie, Bob Chapple, and Quicksilver, Jerry Windebank, were seen to dance around each other and both unfortunately retired after an unfortunate coming together. Then there were three. On Trifle we had a good position midstream in ebb tide ahead of Kiamana, Nigel and Jess Rowe. Aries, David Mitchell was somewhere behind.
W class, Len Cheshire on Sweet Friday started and finished with a sail over. Later 6 working boats were started off the Frigate buoy and made their way into the roads. Rita, Jon Peters. Moon, Patrick Selman and Winnie, Arthur Williams all flew the iconic topsails making it easier for us to spot them.
A few short tacks saw us on Trifle settle on to a long starboard hike to the eastern shore by the castle. As the West Narrows buoy was abeam I noticed some residual ebb tide so a tack onto port saw us going down channel toward Castle buoy. Nigel on Kiamana stood on and appeared to get a lift up closer to the shore. Our port tack developed into a steadily increasing header so we tacked back and saw the advantage made on Nigel by several boat lengths.
We could see Atalanta coming away from the windward mark followed by Jackdaw and Tia Mo Shan, with Atalanta getting an early Port pole kite hoist and the fresher downwind boost. A short tack on port and we over stood the mark by loads! The tack back in had us easing main and headsail lots. A starboard pole kite hoist and we were off down the St Mawes shore about 20 degrees too low for the Trefusis mark downwind. A great gybe by my crew saw us heading for the mark and various tactical options for spinnaker drop and rehoist discussed. The rudder developed a shake and then mega vibration, which manifested itself as a large ball of bootlace sea weed attached. Brother Peter was dispatched with boat hook to free the offending sea anchor on two occasions.
The boat felt soggy and hard to light so after the Trefusis mark was rounded and Kiamana and Aries had caught us up we did a slow tack and allowed Trifle to fall backwards. Sheet in and off like a long dog to Carricknath again then to West narrows and home with a comfortable lead developing
We made it straight to the finish and Atalanta and Tai Mo Shan went back to Governor and finish. Jackdaw misread the signals and forgot about the turning mark, eventually turned round but then didn't realise the course had been shortened, decided against doing the first round all over again, and retired. RTFM! So it was that Atalanta won the race and the series with Tai mo Shan a goodly second. Trifle took line honours but settled for a second when Aries beat her and Kiamana on handicap. Bob Chapple in Wilkie takes the overall 1st place with Kiamana in a well-deserved 2nd. Len sailed over the day and the series and in G fleet Charm, Nick Bradley, takes the series from Clementine, Alan Perham. In the B class working Boats Rita, Jon Peters, beat Moon, Patrick Selman in the race but fortunes were swapped in the overall series.
Next week sees the Penrose Sails pursuit series. The end of season Wash-up is on Tuesday: if you don’t attend and contribute, your ideas will not be discussed! The winter programme then fires off and we all pack up at the end of the month. Where has it all gone? Seems like two weeks ago was Falmouth Week and I launched last month!
Thanks to Len Trenoweth as RO, Jeanette and Inez in the ops room, Malcolm scoring results and Teresa making blueberry pie to die for, Giles the boat and all the other helpers. You know who you are and that none of this would happen without you.
Trifle, without the seaweed trailing from the rudder, taking line honours in U class.
Kaimana, second in the race, and second in the series.
Rita, after she crossed the finish line, first over the water and first on handicap.
Moon, going like a train. She still seems to be getting better.
Cousin Jinny and Rebecca making a race of it.
Endeavor, still working hard and improving.
Winnie, the stalwart of the class.