As I peered out my bedroom window, the Roseland was obscured. Usually I can see down the Penryn River over to St Mawes basking in sunshine (good fortune favours the rich!) but instead a rather bleak morning, with a chill in the air, mist or fog depending on your definition, and a distinct contrast to the previous weekend. This was the morning of the resurrected Falmouth Town 'Village' Regatta, run under the auspices of RCYC, with Chris Davies RO.
The committee boat, Sweet Briar, was crowded. With the wind whistling down the Penryn River and across the Roads we anchored over towards the Roseland shore.
We're all set up, with the support ribs buzzing around eager to collect entries, all we need now are lots of boats. We knew the Working Boats were not coming, since they had their Toby West Memorial race up at Mylor in the afternoon, and although it was a bit lumpy, it was a good breeze. Of course there was also some competition from something going on in Russia, but it wasn't even rugby, so why should that dampen enthusiasm? Into the start sequence, which begins with the Multihulls: but no multihulls. At least when we get to the yacht classes we have a decent handful. As far as FSC is concerned, we're represented by Tai Mo Shan (Neil Chamberlain supported by Charlie and Derek), Wilkie (Bob Chapple with Rebecca and Mike) and Kaimana (Nigel Rowe with Jessica and a youngster). Where's the redoubtable Trifle you ask. Sunning himself in Dartmouth. Two Sunbeams also appeared, Roger Ford in Audrey and Neil Hopkins in Mary.
In all, ten yachts appeared, including a Shrimper, later supplemented by three Mirrors, to make a grand total of thirteen boats. We figured out on the committee boat that if you added up all the support, we probably outnumbered the sailors!
A word about the Mirrors: they sailed down from Mylor, milled about for a bit, then got off on their course. The average age was somewhere in the teens (even including the weatherbeaten Martin Egan). One had capsized before they got to the start area, and later managed to loose their rudder, but they were there, and they sailed in (for a small dinghy) challenging conditions. And even better, they turned up for the regatta tea.
Firebird of St Just (Robin Edwards) took an early lead and extended it, but Tai Mo Shan had a good race. Hotfoot (Roland Vroon) goes well, but for some reason our two GK24s decided to have a late start to give the others a better chance. Wilkie was reluctant to fly her kite (I don't think I saw it at all) but after they came round the windward mark, Wilkie was easily matching Kaimana with her kite up. Later Jess told me they recognised something was wrong and and made a few adjustments, after which their boatspeed improved. Glad someone was paying attention. Don't know why Nigel doesn't have you helm, but he's probably reluctant to get up on the foredeck.
All finished on the club line (that's another couple of supporters) by which time the regatta tea was laid out (even more supporters). Lots of sandwiches. I don't think we did them justice.
All was going swimmingly, but a request for redress appeared, which slowed down proceedings. Protests are unusual in village regattas: participants usually give one another the benefit of the doubt and since they are there to have a good time rather than to win a mug, and they realise that the process of convening a protest committee means that the prizegiving will be delayed for everyone else, they give it a a miss, talk about how they were robbed over a sandwich and cake and slap one another on the back. Not so today. Eventually the prizegiving got under way, with Falmouth Town's Deputy Mayor officiating, complete with chain of office. And those Mirrors still had to sail back to Mylor.
Perhaps a tad disappointing: a great deal of effort and enthusiasm went into the Regatta, and to have only a dozen or so boats makes it seem like a poor return. But it's the first Falmouth Town Regatta for many years and isn't yet a habit. Sunshine might have helped, but we all know that you cannot depend on the weather around here. Full marks to RCYC for their support and organisation (yes you did read that!). Lets hope they aren't discouraged.
Only a small part of the throng of supporters
Kaimana and Wilkie giving the rest of the fleet a sporting chance
Wilkie and Kaimana
Tai Mo Shan
Audry and Mary
Kaimana and Wilkie, keeping together
Tai Mo Shan pursued by Wilkie
“Though she be but little, she is fierce!”: the Mirrors