Spectators on the cliff-top overlooking the docks watched the arrival of a dozen boats for the second race of the season, writes Harold Martin.

There was a stiff cold breeze coming from the north running straight down the Roads, so that the start line was set 200m south of the Governor to give a good beat for the first leg.

It was a varied fleet in both size and age from the diminutive Vindscreen Viper at about 20ft to the imposing Sarabande at 47 ft, and the new Black Dog, a J111, and the bright orange Nitro contrasted with all the other white hulls.

A pod of dolphins came over to inspect the fleet and entertain the crews who were fascinated by their finely choreographed display.

Soon after the start the IRC1 fleet pulled away from the slower IRC2 fleet and this pleased both halves because it left them clear to compete against their close rivals.

Black Dog started well and with good boat speed and pointing high they pulled away from the rest and on starboard tack came over to the Falmouth shore avoiding the strong ebbing tide.

They tacked onto port and went out towards the deeper water and when they crossed tacks with the leader coming in they were already in the lead. It took some time to wind up Sarabande who is too long to enjoy close tacking duels but once in clear water they advanced through the fleet.

From a long way south Black Dog on port approached the turning mark, North Bank, and bore away onto starboard to reach towards Sunbeam.

It took them some time to extend the bowsprit launch the huge asymmetric reacher but when full, the 130 square metre sail gave them even more off wind speed. Although they take a longer course tacking down wind they still pulled away from the chasing group flying traditional spinnakers.

The red asymmetric of Vindscreen Viper was seen far over on the St Mawes side making good speed and overtaking many larger boats., the two Sigmas with near identical union jack spinnakers were difficult to identify as they ran down wind. far from us.

From the clubhouse finish Black Dog appeared from behind Trefusis Point and headed up harbour and we had to  wait ten minutes before the next boat came into view. While we waited the committee boat crew came ashore chilled to the bone. The last three in IRC 1 came towards the line in a tight bunch but on the last tack Jackdaw got through and beat Sarabande by ten seconds closely followed by Extreme. The warmth comfort and good food were much needed after such a cold evening.

IRC 1: 1st Black Dog S Sawyer; 2nd Vindscreen Viper, D. Adams; 3rd Xtreme, S Hills. IRC 2: 1st Macavity, J Hicks; 2nd Excelle, J Fox & T Claridge; 3rd Temeraire, M Eddy.