SAILING: Decent night's racing at Royal Cornwall

Falmouth Packet: SAILING: Decent night's racing at Royal Cornwall SAILING: Decent night's racing at Royal Cornwall

A PERFECT summer evening gave competitors a clear blue sky, a warm but dying easterly breeze and an incoming tide.
 

The start line was set near Trefusis Point to give a beat across Carrick Roads to Waterloo followed by a run downwind to Sunbeam where the fleets gybed and sailed south.
 

Six boats set out in IRC One lead by the biggest boat in the fleet chased by Vindscreen Viper, the smallest, the leader stayed on port going south east but all the others tacked onto starboard pointing north of St Mawes castle.
 

When the leader tacked he found that he had lost his position. At Waterloo spinnakers were hoisted for the run to Sunbeam and the two leaders pulled away chased by Vindscreen Viper and a spread out procession.
 

In IRC Two the fleet had the same first circuit to follow lead by Insatiable who had done well to profit from the start line bias at the pin end and he was chased hard by Miss Whiplash.
 

At Waterloo, Insatiable bore away and put up their spinnaker and behind them Miss Whiplash did the same and by following directly behind he gave them dirty air and so closed the gap between them. They were followed by a large group chasing hard down wind.
 

They all gybed and reached south. The race officer had thought carefully about congested racing between fleets in a dying breeze so that at Pendennis the IRC One fleet went east towards the turning mark at St Mawes, the IRC Two group went west around Pendennis point and out across the bay while the remaining smaller fleets stayed in the Roads.
 

The separation worked well allowing sailors to enjoy racing against their own immediate competitors without worrying about other fleets.
 

Racing into St Mawes did have its problems because boats were moored and anchored randomly with no discernible clear channel so the racing fleet split up trying to find their own way through.
 

One racer passed very close to an anchored yacht where the skipper and crew were sipping their pre-prandial G&Ts and one of them was heard to say they thought that they must be parked in the wrong spot.
 

They found the elusive turning mark, noted it's position for the second lap in the harbour, and bore away and spinnakered in the gentle breeze towards the Lugo.
 

The IRC Two fleet hoisted their spinnakers at Pendennis to pass south of the point to sail across the bay and as they did so they had to ease the pole well forward to reach to the Gyllingvase Buoy.
 

They had plenty of space but a surprisingly lumpy and irregular wave pattern gave them an uncomfortable ride. Insatiable lead a close procession around the point, behind them were Temeraire, British Beagle, Encore, Tresillian, Scorpion and suffering in the odd waves was Minx. They made a fine sight for the crowd on the headland.
 

Abbi Cooke, the skipper of flying fifteen Midnight Cocktail arrived at the club to find no crew waiting, so by chance she phoned Nick Woodley the skipper of the other same class boat to find that he was in also without crew so they joined on board Midnight Cocktail and won their class.
 

There were only two Sunbeams out no doubt the exertions of the previous week's championships had exhausted everyone.
 

The wind was just fast enough to fill the spinnakers for the final run up the harbour and we were all impressed by the vast white one flown by Sarabande a Swan 47, and the slick way in which it was taken in on the sound of the hooter as they crossed the line.

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