The fields, parks and lawns are looking like they did in ’76 with the trees still green in contrast. The continued dry spell makes for great evening sailing even if it did rain for a short while!
The Race Officer Mike Swingler aided by Kaye Price, Lizzie’s skipper set the committee boat over on the eastern shore as a “Booze Cruise” ship was about to depart the port during our starts! Vilt and Messack were the favoured windward marks in the North with a bit of west in it breeze. That kept us out of the firing line of the Frocks, Dicky Bows and sharpened cocktail sticks.
Mike Hodges in his mini super yacht set the pin and not for the first time this month we found a gert yellow buoy in the vicinity of the start line. The tide was ebbing and getting stronger as the starts progressed. The depth of water in the manoeuvering area was getting shallower and the start looked like a battle waiting for a result.
First away the two Firebirds, or was it 3 with a non payer? They went off on starboard hitch toward the western shore into more tide but crucially more wind. Eleven Q class had a very orderly start on the adequate line with Per Elisa the eventual winner being pushed off the pin end early and doing a twizzle to get going.
On Trifle we had a headsail snag and sailed the line after Q class ducking a late Hawk! The halyard was partially dropped and the tack re-attached, minus twist. So back to the committee boat end and count off the time to go. Nine U class yachts were all bustling in a narrow space with nowhere to go. All hoping to make a committee boat end start. In my later perceived wisdom I decided to get out of there and sailed off the committee boat down the line with 40 seconds to go! We started in clear air and soon crossed the max tide toward the western shore. Rocket Ron Jones in Deep Purple who had started on the committee boat end almost joined us having sailed through a very different breeze. He tacked early and we almost over stood ours but made the Vilt to port just ahead of him. A tale of two gybes emerged with Ron setting starboard pole and going high off Lugo Rock our turning mark for St Mawes while we elected a port pole after gybe. Further complicated by a mini gybe to avoid sailing through the start line (Afrita take note!). Seven Sunbeams took off followed by 5 W, white sail fleet. Nice to see Len has bought some new aftershave. Four G class entered the proceedings and added a splash of colour with their topsails reflecting the evening sun. Seven Working boats B class gave the final start of the series and filled the harbour with a further kaleidoscope of topsail hues.
So 41 boats on a brilliant evening all enjoying the sparkle of the water, the soft warm wind and the sheer joy of sailing! As we approached Lugo Rock buoy in order to enter St Mawes there was a mini conference on Trifle, “Can we hold him or no?” A two-part question referring to Deep Purple: first, “No” was the answer, he took us to leeward 6 boat lengths from the buoy. The Spinnaker second which was a partial yes almost to the turning mark in St Mawes but the giant header caused us to drop and sail in next to nothing on the headsail.
Round we went and did a chuck and fly hoist on the opposite pole while Ron went high on his headsail trying to sort out pole sheets, guys, halyards and “where the hell are we?” Black Rock was firmly in the crosshairs and once rounded a tough old beat back to the finish off the club with fortunes to be made and lost on each and every tack. Once in the Harbour Deep Purple selected 6th gear and did a stormer up the harbour finishing way ahead of the rest of the opposition, but you guessed it…
The results are on the website and I let you decide on the merits or otherwise. Thanks to Mike, Kaye and the happy elves who keep the cogs turning and burning. Giles for our transportation and some bloke behind the bar occasionally.
The club buzzed with some very welcome old faces and some new ones to mingle with. Flushing Village regatta is this Saturday so polish your bottom, iron the sails, tune up the rig and make it a battle royal out on the water with a feisty bun fight to round it off!
A beaming Sunbeam
examples from the Club's one-designs
Poteen and Wilkie beating up the harbour