Cockwells Tuesday Points series: 10th April

Tuesday 10th April dawned cold and wet. It stayed that way until 1600 when I got ready to drive to the club and race the first Tuesday of the season. It dried up but was still on the chilly side. At the club Dave Owens, the RO (under the supervision of Mandy) was busy hoisting flags and getting shipping movements. The new caterers, Bon Appetit, were in the kitchen preparing and writing up the menu. Giles was getting wet feet as the dinghy is temporarily minus the floorboards.

It was looking like Matt and myself as the rest of the crew are sunning themselves near and far. Michelle, of G class fame was getting ready to go on the crowded committee boat but we made her a better offer and she wisely elected to sail on Trifle. The boat was rigged up and I was pleasantly surprised at how much wind there was in the harbour as there was nil at home. I had flown my drone in the back garden three times to scare the seagulls of my roof! I checked the rigging and found it had relaxed somewhat since putting the mast back up, however I decided to leave it slack, as the wind was not too strong.

Dave got Jack Penty to moor the committee boat Noon Hi in the vicinity of Trefusis as the wind was North East. Twelve boats made it to the start but only 11 ended up in the results posted in the club, as one of W class had apparently not submitted a race entry form! Please remember the form and payment need to be with the treasurer at least 48 hours before you race: the main issue is declaration of insurance cover!

Four yachts in Q class jostled for their start at 1820. Temeraire, Martin Eddy, had the line for the committee boat and manage to luff Jackdaw, Bob Warren, out of the way. Bob lost speed and dived down below Martin's stern and got a good start. Scorpion, Geoff Davies was positioned to leeward and further down the line getting a clear start. Encore, David Cunliffe was last off the line and tacked over to port as their appeared more wind on that side of the course. They were given course 20: Jp Ts Jp Fin. The fleet split with Scorpion to the left and the others joined up to the right.

Five Yachts in U class came to the line at 1825. On Trifle we were a tad early and did a spin 50 yards from the line, which put us neatly underneath Wilkie, Bob Chapple, but being driven by Nick Hurst. Kaimana, Nigel and Jess Rowe were 2 boatlengths behind us. Mary Boon, John Cruise and Aries, David Mitchell were not in my sight line so I’m not sure where they were. We were given course 16: Jp Ts Fin. As time counted down I moved up to shove Wilkie out of the way but he seemed not to want to play so I went high to get above him and he then started to luff up so I dived back under his stern accelerated and started to push him up. It got very close so I just bore away and increased boatspeed slipping easily through his lee and a peachy start.

Aries, followed by Kaimana were up to weather and behind with what appeared to be a better-lifted course. A tack would have put us on a double dip so I decided to continue as the pressure increased slightly and we started to lift above them. Three Q class boats were way over on the eastern shore with better wind and as we approached North Bank there was a dead patch in front of us so a tack up to the Eastern shore ensued. Wilkie had tacked off earlier and we passed just ahead of her, so there was definitely more breeze up there. Near to the Crossroads buoy we got a header so tacked for St Just and stayed steady on it Wilkie was way down below us and lost a lot of ground. Kaimana was up on the same track as us going like a train. Three W class boats started at 1835 although one was not eligible to race. Puffin, Mike Chard led the way ahead of Akamas. Martin Leach and Elli, Robin Roebuck. They had the same course as U class. We saw Temeraire round St Just followed by Jackdaw and Encore. We had almost caught up with Scorpion but a big header close to the mark let her through our weather. She put up a huge white spinnaker, which blotted out the evening sun and went off like a long dog towards Trefusis shore. The Race Officer had called a shorten course for all to finish at Trefusis mark as the wind had completely died in the Harbour. Temeraire went high on a port pole kite towards the docks and gybed back on starboard to take line honours. Jackdaw on starboard pole kite went into Trefusis shore followed by Encore and Scorpion. They then gybed back on port crossing the line in that order.

On Trifle we just plugged the rhum line with port pole kite and took the wind shifts as they came. A couple of nervous looks behind saw us increase our lead on Kaimana and Wilkie. Mary Boon and Aries looked close enough to do us on handicap for a short while but the wind behind was dropping and we took line honours and the race. Kaimana a good second place followed by Wilkie, Mary Boon and Aries.

Puffin managed a finish and Akamas retired. Elli was initially scored DNE, but when her entry form emerged it appeared that it may have been received within the statutory period, leniency was shown and she was reinstated in the published results.

Thanks to the committee boat crew and RO, Giles with his big Blue Boat and the Ops Room boffins wrestling with the results. The new caterers have produced some fine food albeit a bit slow coming. Hope they get faster as the club fills up. Altogether a very pleasant evenings racing as the sun came out. As I drove home it turned into liquid sunshine and continued as liquid moonshine till the morning.

Chris Jelliss