Skinners Saturday points series race 7, 7th July 2018

The anticyclone has returned and established itself over the UK. The weather carries on like ‘76 for those of us who can remember. Twenty two blokes were kicking another leather sphere in a field east of here which reduced the Saturday fleet to 10 yachts!

Len Cheshire the Race Officer ably assisted by Paul Evans pondered the wind direction and strength. The club binoculars were trained on several yachts in the roads and it was decided that the wind was SE or SW ish. Len remarked that the developing sea breeze would bring it South and settled for that direction which proved right. He wisely gave us Vilt to starboard, Black Rock to starboard and return as we would get a beat whatever the wind did.

Atalanta, Stuart Higgins and his crew set off from the club line with a surprising amount of breeze. They worked hard at tacking out of the fairway even if it was a sail over as there were no other takers for Q class.

Five minutes later four U Class took to the challenge. On Trifle we got ourselves boxed on starboard on the FSC end of the line below Aries and Wilkie with Popincoota staying over on the Falmouth shore.

We tacked, dipped Aries and Wilkie, did a short port hitch and short tacked again to clear Popincoota. Another tack and a long port hitch saw us get the lay line past the damaged Lifeboat into clear air and away from the fleet. A reach to Vilt sometimes close and sometimes not saw us round just a head of Popincoota. Jane Goddard who was helming pointed Popincoota way above us and held her line while matching our speed for some time. A couple of sail and rig tweaks by us saw our speed and pointing increase and Jane fell into our dirty air tacking off. Aries followed our line with Wilkie some way behind her.

Four G class yachts started and there was Galene, James Smith, an older wooden yacht flying W class flag. Perhaps her maiden voyage at FSC. Welcome.

We tacked off the eastern bank and got into the channel hoping for the weak neap tide to do its best to lift us toward Black Rock. The wind pressure was marginally more and we held two more tacks with wind and flow rounding Black Rock ahead of the fleet. Atalanta, flying a port pole spinnaker seemed to struggle the nearer she got to the docks. Gaye did a magic pole-less hoist and we set off for the turning mark hotly pursued by Popincoota and Wilkie having pulled back a lot of distance. We managed a very shy kite all the way in the inner harbour whereas Atalanta had to drop and rounded the mark just ahead of Popincoota.

Next to Trefusis, starboard and finish, which was more of a starboard, beat this time. We forged ahead of Popincoota and got neatly around Trefusis and pointed high to get our pole set. The Tacktick compass decided to release itself from the mast and dropped into the water so a well executed MOB drill saw us sail back. I got it and retrieved it only to let the main bit fall back and sink. There is a crab off Trefusis knowing exactly what direction heís going but wondering why heís got 10 minutes to do it in!

Atalanta and Galene had their sail overs: at least they stuck it to the end and didn't decide to go home early to watch the match, like some.

In the end it was a close finish with Popincoota taking line honours ahead of Trifle and Wilkie. Aries had dropped a considerable distance back by this time and was out of the group. Trifle won on handicap and so takes the series.

Katy, Sue Grigg beat Clementine, Alan Perham in G class with Delilah beating Mike Rangecroft in Miss Agnes to 3rd place. We could hear the oohs & aahs coming from the various beverage establishments as we traversed the harbour and wondered what the result was. All was revealed when we got ashore and mobile phones were interrogated for the happy news!

Thanks to Len, Paul and the two tea ladies who were in the club version of the Marie Celeste. Giles and Hayley for taking us out and back. It was like an oven in the club but donít knock it! See you all on Tuesday. The next Saturday for me will be FVR on 28th July.

Chris Jelliss

GaleneGalene, the “older wooden yacht”.

TrifleTrifle, perhaps making a Tacktick-less move.

3 BKaty, Sue and crew all smiles on a beautiful day, the sea as blue as the Mediterranean

ClementineClementine caught in a bit of a lull.