A “Flat Ridge” of high pressure, as the Met Man described it, sat over the southern end of the UK, giving little or no wind. Indeed the flag at RAF Portreath was as limp as a dehydrated daisy at 1130 on Tuesday 28th August.
Later at FSC there was a half decent breeze and so we sailed out to the eastern shore where Geoff Davies, the Race Officer had anchored Lizzie and the committee team. The wind was a gentle southerly with few holes and a flat sea. High water was at 1930 ish; there was a surprisingly strong flow at the committee boat which reduced considerably toward the pin end on the eastern shore.
The count down over the radio started with droll RO humour as Geoff called “All clear” when the non-existent Mocra fleets’ gun went. We had decided to keep out of tide and in more wind on the pin end and watched the seven Q class yachts start. Jackdaw and Encore stemmed the tide away from the committee boat closely followed by Hawk. The rest of the fleet were struggling to get to the line as they vied for the committee boat end. Temeraire got away and tacked off on port for the western side. The windward mark was Pendennis and eventually we all had to dive over that way!
Nine boats started in U class with Trifle, Poteen, Popincoota and Mary Boon juggling for port hand flyers. Trifle got the pin on the hooter and tacked off onto starboard. We cleared and soon saw the benefit of less tide and more wind as we short tacked up the eastern shore. Pendennis was the goal and so it we made a dive for the western shore across the east and west narrows channel. Deep Purple came up from the docks area as we cleared Governor and Kaimana was lapping at our heels to leeward. A tack to the windward mark gave us the line with a bit to spare as Deep Purple charged ahead and to windward. There was a short lop and the pressure eased which meant we had to drive off and fell short of the mark. A quick tack saw Kaimana ahead and rounded the mark just behind Purple.
Starboard pole kites set with an angle to increase apparent wind and follow the tide. Looking behind we saw Walter, in Poteen, gybe early and we followed suit by the East Narrows buoy. Deep Purple and Kaimana continued over to the St Mawes side as we picked up extra boat speed in tide and wind heading for Vilt. A gybe back onto starboard saw us ahead of Kaimana and closing on Purple as we rounded North Bank, the leeward buoy.
The drag race to the finish ensued with Purple getting stuck in a hole off Trefusis point. Trifle and Kaimana both got a lift which got Purple in time to save the day. Port pole kites were set on rounding the trots and Deep Purple finished first. Trifle in second and Kaimana in third as mirrored in the final scores.
Four Sunbeams raced with Pixy beating Ivy by 16 seconds. Three G class raced ‘backwards’ up the Penryn river with Miss Agnes beating Charm while Katy retired. Three B class working boats raced with John Peters in Rita beating Winnie and Cousin Jinny. W fleet was depleted with Len Cheshire on Sweet Friday eating his supper in the Clubhouse while Robin Roebuck in Elli struggled to make the finish as the wind had died and gone into the north.
Thanks to all the Radio broadcasters, Horn button pushers, Spotters/recorders, Bunting tossers and Ops Room scribes. It is the last HD race on Tuesday, followed by two joint pursuits and the evenings will have been robbed of sufficient daylight to let us race. Were has the season gone?
Q class lining up for the start
U class starters at the committee boat end
W class starters (Galene lurking somewhere out of shot)
some line manoevering in B class
meanwhile, somewhere off Pendennis
some of Q class aproaching Cream Cornwall
Trifle and Kaimana come home