A GOOD course awaited sailors hitting the waves for the fourth leg of the Hine-Downing series at Flushing sailing club.

In U class, where 11 boats started the race, near misses happened as they went for the line. Popincoota and Aurora came very close on the port biased line. Wild Child, Gap Year, Aurora and Popincoota were very close on the first beat but Popincoota got round the windward mark first and escaped.

They had two long reaches, too shy for spinnakers, followed by a beat into St Mawes where the awkward short waves, outgoing working boats and a very irregular pattern of moored boats made it very challenging to get to the mark quickly. At last they did where they bore away and hoisted the spinnakers for the long run to the finish by way of Castle buoy, where they gybed and carried starboard poles to the club line.

Winnie, one of the older wooden working boats was hauled out on Monday for scrubbing and anti-fouling and I was pleased to row in my inflatable to pick up the bowline which I then tied to their bow lead to enable them to line up the boat on the sloping beach.

The crews work was well done and effective because they came third in a competitive fleet, but after a slight surprise. They were hard on the wind with Arthur Williams, the helmsman, down to leeward carefully watching the set of the sails, when the already well heeled boat was hit by a sudden strong gust and the boat lurched over even further and took in green water over the gunwales and over the helmsman.

This did not matter because working boat sailors are used to getting soaked but he was wearing a modern automatic life jacket which on finding itself underwater did the correct thing and suddenly and dramatically inflated much to Arthur's surprise and the crew's delight. They just had to work extra hard to bail the bilges and return several gallons of seawater back to its proper place.

Several boats had problems in finding the Waterloo buoy because it is one in a long line of inflated yellow spheres off the St Mawes shore. It was suggested that it was painted with purple stripes or some other tasteful and identifiable pattern.

The Sunbeams found the entry to St Mawes to be quite a challenge and it was said that Pixy went the wrong way on every possible occasion. Neil Andrew was squeezed out at the start, but he recovered well to finish first in class.

In Q class it took Orijin a long time to pass Encore who then had to cover the all opposition which he did to win on handicap.

The G class had a backwards race up the Penryn River which had a spinnaker start and a strong flooding tide.

From 200 metres back Mike Maguire hoisted his spinnaker and came to the line too fast and he was well over before the signal.

He had to drop the spinnaker and return to re-cross the line which set him well behind the others. It is easy to see these effects from the quay but it is much more difficult to judge from on board.

RESULTS B class: 1st Rita – J Peters, 2nd Mildred – Cockwell/Stone, 3rd Winnie – A Williams.

E class: 1st Excelle – J Fox, 2nd Tresillian – J Beavis, 3rd Atalanta – S Higgins.

G class: 1st Kathleen – Brennan/Carter, 2nd Miss Agnes – M Rangecroft, 3rd Katy – S Grigg.

M class: 1st Crackerjack – M Webb, 2nd Ultraviolet – P Stephens, 3rd Cornish Meadow – S Hutt.

Q class: 1st Encore – D Cunliffe, 2nd Macavity – J Hicks, 3rd Demolition – M Sharp.

U class: 1st Gap Year – L Trenoweth, 2nd Aurora – M Owens, 3rd Mary Boon – J Cruise.

V class: 1st Verity – N Andrew, 2nd Saucy Sally – J Lowry, 3rd Audrey – S Sawyer.

W class: 1st Amneris – M Robson/D Layton, 2nd Moonshine – K MacLean, 3rd Sweet Friday – L Cheshire.