If only we could average out the wind a bit. Following last weekend’s seriously brisk breezes, the wind on Friday evening for the fourth race of the Penrose Sailmakers Series was a bit light, really, just 8 knots from the south. However, this did not deter twenty-three boats from turning out to race on a lovely, sunny summer’s evening, although the shifty conditions tested skippers in all fleets, writes Chris Davis.

In E fleet, the Westerly GK 33 General Khaos (Ian and Jenny Jakeways) and the Dehler 36 Noon Hi (Jack Penty) both had excellent starts, only to sail into very light air near the Roseland shore. Meanwhile, the Albin Nova Aura (Euan Beattie) and the Sundream 28 Adelie (Chris and Jane Horn) took full advantage of the stronger wind near the Trefusis shore to overtake them, rounding the windward mark first. And so it continued throughout the race, with places changing regularly as skippers had the luck or, some would say, the skill to spot the puffs of wind and use them to advantage. The spinnaker work should have been straightforward in this wind but Aura still managed to get their halyard jammed, so sent a man up the mast mid-race, in a slight lull, to sort it out, at which point General Khaos sailed through them. General Khaos won by just over a minute on corrected time, with Aura coming second and Noon Hi taking third place.

In U fleet, the Contessa 26 Mary Boon (John Cruise) won easily, with the remaining boats becoming widely spread in the light airs. The 29 ft gaffer Roxanne of Restronguet (Charles Taylor), resplendent with its new sails and rig, coming second five minutes later and Wizard of Clee (Tony Hardman) taking third place.

In Q fleet, the conditions suited the lighter boats and Clive Hoyle, sailing his Hunter Europa Rococo single-handed as usual, once again took first place. The Westerly Merlin Chalonnaise, a rather heavier boat, was sailed excellently by Steve Pendray and Fiona Pascoe to take second place, and the 100 year-old gaffer Lady May (Victoria Whitworth) made a fine sight in the conditions to take third place.

Four Cornish Shrimpers and one Cape Cutter raced in H fleet this week, which was a welcome and picturesque sight. Michael Wilson, sailing Henrietta, won the race by about six minutes, but there was a close race between the Shrimper Pelican (Richard Lewis) and the Cape Cutter Nettie (Richard Rickard): Nettie taking third place jus twelve seconds behind Pelican, although this was extended slightly on corrected time.

Results: E class.1st: General Khaos (I and J Jakeways); 2nd: Aura (E Beattie); 3rd: Noon Hi (J Penty). U class. 1st: Mary Boon (J Cruise); 2nd:Roxanne of Restronguet (C Taylor); 3rd: Wizard of Clee (T Hardman). Q class. 1st: Rococo (C Hoyle); 2nd: Chalonnaise (S Pendray and F Pascoe); 3rd: Lady May (V Whitworth). H class. 1st: Henrietta (M Wilson); 2nd: Pelican (R Lewis); 3rd: Nettie (R Rickard).


A record eighteen boats sailed in the second race in the Skinners Brewery Pursuit Series on Sunday morning, in just about ideal conditions for yacht racing: a steady force 4 from the south, sun, and no rain. Perfect. 

It was pleasing to see three Shrimpers start at 11 am exactly, leading the fleet away, the rest of the fleet following as their start times came and went, with the fastest boats starting last. The aim for all was to overtake as many boats as possible in front of you, and hold off those starting later. If the handicapping team had done its job properly and the skipper sailed their boats properly, all the boats would finish exactly together at 12.45 pm. I have no doubt that this is theoretically possible, but it is very unlikely.

All but two boats had good starts, and it was a shame that those two had time penalties imposed for starting early. The first beat sorted the wheat from the chaff, and those boats which did well here tended to hold on to their places for the remainder of the race. The fleet certainly made a fine sight on the first downwind leg towards Pill Creek, in the sun, with spinnakers hoisted or genoas poled out.

The fleet sorted itself out into two or three distinct groups, with some close mark rounding situations as the faster boats inexorably overtook the slower ones. General Khaos (Ian and Jenny Jakeways), the last boat away, had a daunting task as they started 32 minutes after the Shrimpers: 32 minutes is a lot to make up in, for them, a 75 minute race. And they almost made it. Race Officer Bob Shearer first boat away, Henrietta (Michael Wilson), just held on to take first place, with General Khaos crossing the line forty seconds later and Aura (owned by Euan Beattie, but helmed by his son Charlie Beattie) coming third. Most of the remaining boats finished close together, perhaps ten or twenty seconds apart, but even the back markers turned in acceptable performances, once the statistical analysis was complete.

This was an excellent showing for Mylor YC. Of course, the standard has now been set: we all hope that we can maintain this level of turn out as the two series of pursuit races progress through the summer. 

Results. 1st: Henrietta (M Wilson); 2nd: General Khaos (I and J Jakeways); 3rd: Aura (E Beattie).