Skinners Saturday points series 5th May 2018

David Braine stood on spotlight with a beaming smile and gave us the good news of a Bank Holiday weekend without storms and liquid sunshine! He was true to his word so far as Saturday dawned – Radiation Fog, which burnt off to clear blue by 0930. OK I hear you there is little or no wind but after Tuesday it’s a bonus to get out on the water!

We got on to Trifle, which is showing signs of needing a scrub already! Put all the bits of string as running rigging and hoisted main sail and left the mooring. Sailed out to meet and greet Wilkie and Kiamana coming up the river. It was a pleasant surprise to see Kissy with Luke Godden on the helm joining us for a Saturday romp. Alan Grose appeared in Popincoota a short while later swelling U class to 5 boats.

Q class were represented by Tai Mo Shan and General Khaos who were joined by Stuart Higgins and his merry crew on Atalanta. They had looked at the boards indicating the courses and listened to Inez on the radio. “Give us a clue Chris” was the cry as they had not had a copy of the Sailing Instructions and the numeric system employed. “Castle to port Vilt to port” “I will get you some SIs” was the shout. Giles in his B Blue boat obliged and they were now sailing the line with the confidence of knowing where you are going! So at 1355 the toot went from the race officer Kevin Mclean and off they went tacking into a sort of South East breeze down the harbour.

On Trifle we had the kite connected this week. We sailed up the line frantically trying to stay below it as we spun by the Western trot moorings with 10 seconds to go. Off on a starboard hitch with Kaimana powering under and well ahead of us. Into the eastern trots with Kaimana two boat lengths ahead and tacking on to port hitch. We tacked and tried to get above his line but Trifle seemed dead and unable to point. A big dip of Kizzy coming down on Starboard left us in third place as we went into less pressure toward the docks. Kizzy pointed high as did Kaimana and soon we were sailing in the wake of Kizzy's lee. The tide was still ebbing and I suspect the rivers are flowing strongly adding to the mid channel flow. We elected to stay low as the lift to Castle increased as the wind slowly swung round to the South and then further west.

Meanwhile back at the start two G class started at 1405, Charm and Clementine who were sailing Governor port, Trefusis port. Where were our white sail fleet today? I know Len has gone to a wedding but what became of the others is a mystery. As we cleared the docks I could see Q class approaching and rounding Castle. Tai Mo Shan and Atalanta set port pole kites with General Khaos electing white sails, Kizzy and Kaimana who were now quite high on Castle bore away and set off with port pole kites. We followed and saw Wilkie and Popincoota a fair way behind in the failing breeze. Kizzy amd Kaimana had a distant luffing match which took them into the tide while we struggled to bear away and keep out of the tide while keeping up boatspeed so elected to play follow my leader. It went from catchup the two in front and then being caught up by the two behind. Kizzy rounded the Vilt and went off like a long dog toward the Club. Kaimana followed and we rounded soon after! The chase was on. A bit of technical fiddlums with our mainsail saw us play a big catchup as we came past Frigate and Caldy bouys. Kites up as the wind had freed us and we then overtook Kaimana who was out of the tide and in a reduced pressure. An awesome gybe then took place with the Trifle crew showing maximum potential and we chased Kizzy to the finish. She was just over two minutes ahead and I thought we had slipped too far behind to get a podium finish.

Atalanta was second over the line but got first place on corrected time on Tai Mo Shan by just over a minute. General Khaos brought up the rear. Kizzy beat us in Trifle by 1 second! That’s close racing and well done to Luke! Kaimana followed us in several minutes later and was well ahead of Wilkie who was struggling in the dying breeze. Alan Grose in Popincoota white sailed the course single-handed and did well to finish when he did. Charm beat Clementine by 6 seconds on the line and substantially increased that on corrected time. It was close watching them come up the harbour teasing out each passing zephyr.

Thanks to Colin and Inez in the ops room. A difficult call with unpredictable wind! Polly and girls for tea and cakes and Giles with the big blue launch. As we finished our tea the crew of Atalanta told me of the thick fog on the north coast at Newquay. With that the wind fair whipped up down the Penryn River, flags strained at the poles and yachts became hard pressed as they beat up the harbour. I suspect the North Coast sea breeze developed mid afternoon and then broke through just in time for us to venture home.

See you Tuesday for some fun and games. Hope the numbers increase.

Chris Jelliss