FSC/RCYC joint pursuit race Flushing Sailing Club 11th Sept 2018

An extended cold front stretching across the North Atlantic was very slowly drifting SE. The associated wave fronts along it brought dull overcast conditions with some strong gusts of wind, which eased toward the evening leaving us with mizzle and very little puff.

Matt and myself got to Trifle early and set about the rear of the boom with a drill and pliers to remove the broken spinnaker pole support. Much drilling and sweeping up of pop rivet swarf found both of us sweating profusely in our unfamiliar wet weather gear. Gaye arrived and we set about rigging the boat for the first of the Joint Pursuit races, which start and finish on the club line.

The flags on the club were flying toward Trefusis hill so it was a surprise to be given a “simple course” from the NW group. Vilt to starboard and Carricknath to starboard, finish. Off we went under genoa from the end of the quay where the fishermen had wisely withdrawn their lines. The wind was quite forward and we held the genoa till it was time to fly the kite.

We quickly started to catch boats ahead as we brought fresh breeze with us. We slid under Moonlighter's lee and tight to the moorings and the red barge as there was a big spring tide at full flood in the fairway. Popincoota saw us dive off toward Trefusis to get out of tide and disturbed air from the boats to windward. Alan and Jane were white sailing and sat on our stern for a while so we gybed off and went ever closer to the shore. That gave us a better apparent wind when we gybed back onto starboard and left the others a way behind.

Vilt rounded we were lying in 5th place and the soldier's course kicked in. A starboard close reach to Carricknath where nothing gained or lost, except for Falmouth, which had disappeared in the mist. Another close reach, this time on port, gave us the drag back to the harbour where we had one tiny tack to clear a mooring, passed Miss Agnes and finished 4th.

Twenty-six yachts turned out for a very lacklustre, simple soldiers, course with no beat to make or break places. Friday sees the second race in the series so hopefully the weather and wind direction will favour those challengers suitably. Thanks to all the elves and helpers. See you Saturday for the 3rd Seven Stars Autumn series.

Chris Jelliss