Horn (1) 30s was the order of the day although it was a quiet sound across the water! To sail or not to sail as the vis was coming and going. Eventually the Race Officer turned up and we were off with a S to SSE zephyr. Surprisingly 21 yachts turned out for the start of the Seven Stars autumn series. There were no Q class so first away were 5 boats in U class. The tide was ebbing and it was a beat off the line to the end of the trots before easing away on starboard hitch to Trefusis mark. Then a beat to Governor followed by a run to the turning mark. Do it all again and finish! Whew!
In Trifle we came off the Falmouth side of the start and had one dip us on port tack while letting Popincoota cross our bow by the trot moorings on the FSC side. A gasp and some choice language as one of the yachts moored thought we were a little close. I donít think he realises that a Sonata can turn on a farthing*!. We dipped a starboard tacker and went above Kaimana to the edge of the moorings and tacked onto starboard. We cleared the fleet and with clear air set about close reaching to Trefusis.
Due to a Seawide services barge taking up most of the fairway the 3 C class working boats were delayed and started with the two G class yachts. Eleven B class Working Boats were started by John Maunder by Frigate buoy and set off like a fleet of ghost pirate ships in a Hollywood extravaganza. The vis came and went as the smoke machine in a poor B movie.
Having cleared Trefusis and taken advantage of a lifter from the buoy we elected to tack cross tide toward the docks, which paid off handsomely. Governor was rounded and our old kite hoisted for a port pole run back to the turning mark. We found wind after the RFA Argus and increased our lead on the fleet to the fairway. The second round became interesting when Governor was rounded for the second time as there was nothing to see bar a couple of ghost working boats on the Trefusis shore. It rained and then a slight change of wind direction and speed took us to the finish.
Tea and cakes were thanks to Gay and Jennie Jelliss. Thanks to the ops room staff who all did a magnificent job. Only Florence retired so 20 boats finished in grim, damp conditions. A stark contrast to the summers racing.
*younger readers may not have come across the pre-decimalisation farthing, worth a quarter of an old penny (about a thousandth of a pound). It ceased to be legal tender in 1960. The last mintings had a wren on the obverse.
First attempt for C class: barge just off to the left of the photograph.
After the barge sailed through on its way to Coastlines, C and G started together. Sneaky (and tiny) Miss Agnes kept to starboard and took an early lead.
A ghostly Jean Genie coming in to finish
Newcomer Serica appearing through the mists
Moon, still in Irish colours, at this point leading Winnie and Rebecca (Demelza had already finished about five or six minutes ahead; JA got it right this time).