The anticyclone over the UK is “well” established, to use a modern colloquialism. It gave us quite strong gusts producing white horses in the inner harbour at 1600 and not a lot at 1700. So we tried to make the start by sailing off the moorings to the committee boat. Unfortunately the Jack up Rig was on the move at 1800 so Paul Collins the race officer anchored Lizzie in the vicinity of Water Tower on the eastern shore to keep the fleet out of the way.
Race officers choice courses were ambitiously set with the dying breeze but proved in the end to be workable as he had set Trefusis as a common third mark and was able to shorten course and finish most of us there. 30 yachts braved the light to nothing conditions. On Trifle we had to use the petrol headsail to get to the starting area after an hour's drift in the general direction.
First away were 10 Q class who were very organised sailing ever so carefully near the start except Jackdaw who had fallen into a hole some way back. 11 U class then started. On Trifle we did a brief twizzle just after the committee boat, which left the majority of the fleet to leeward & closer to the pin. Nigel and Jess in Kaimana got the start bang on above us. The wind pressure had gone south and was greater nearer the eastern shore so a starboard hitch ensued to the rocks and a late tack onto port enabled us to lay Cream Cornwall buoy with ease.
Three Sunbeams then took off on their course and were followed 5 minutes later by 5 W class white sail yachts. Charm was the lonely little petunia in the G fleet patch and Grace with Florence represented B fleet.
Kaimana went up the beat in a blistering pace and we passed several boat lengths behind her on our port tack. As we approached CC we had to dodge several Q class who were head on to us flying starboard kites. Kaimana rounded just before us and I reminded Nigel that we were going to WT buoy and not the one Q class were headed. Kite hoisted we bore away only to be blanketed by Wilkie coming up behind us with a fresher breeze so we gybed and after a bit of pulling and pushing of spinnaker pole settled down with a port kite heading above our target.
Kaimana came into WT with a better apparent wind and rounded several boat lengths ahead of us and went off toward Trefusis like a rocket. There was a lot of tide on the buoy and we did a windward takedown kite drop, which on reflection would have been better delayed. The chase was on and I saw Per Elisa in Q class struggling to get around St Just buoy in the distance behind. It was a port reach and we put up our spinnaker pole. Attached the reacher kite but decided that as we were catching Kaimana with the genoa pulling we would leave the status quo.
Per Elisa was also making for Trefusis to leeward of us and fairly tight on the wind. We overhauled Kaimana while bringing up fresh breeze from behind with Wilkie and Popincoota snapping at our heels. Then about 10 boat lengths from the buoy with Lizzie anchored up and two tooting a shortened course it all went soggy and hard to light? The main sail was eased out board and the genoa sheets limply dragging forward. A quick look at the windex and Gaye's ears told us the wind had gone behind. Up with the kite and struggle to find the wind. Jess was scurrying around on Kaimana's deck trying to attach the crisp new spinnaker which was neatly folded in its bag by the sailmaker with no sign of head or clews.
The last three boat lengths were agony as what little pressure there was refused to shorten the distance. Per Elisa got the hoot and a couple of minutes later we crossed the line. First place was secured with Kaimana a good second ahead of Wilkie.
Six yachts retired in the various fleets and the club was empty when we arrived having putt putted back to the moorings. Eventually the various crews arrived and filled the space with tales of daring do.
Thanks to race officer, ops room and results, Giles the launch, Sue and Lynn the bar and caterers. See you on Tuesday as we are off in the wobble box for a few day's rain!