BRIGHT sun, an ebbing tide and a force three north westerly promised good racing for the diminished fleets on flat water and through cool air at the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club on Friday.

Some boats and crew were in Fowey or Dartmouth for their regattas or they were recovering from the exertions of Falmouth week. The committee boat was anchored close under St Mawes castle with the pin end south west of them to give an unbiased start for the first windward leg to Sunbeam.

The IRC One fleet soon split with two going up the eastern shore to avoid the foul tide and Jackdaw took the lead from the close bunch. When they neared Sunbeam in the lee of the Trefusis headland, the wind became very fickle and difficult to judge as the gusts rolled down the hillside, hit the water and spread out in any direction but the expected one.

In the lottery after the turn Daring and Jackdaw ran abreast but Vindscreen Viper pulled away reaching further east on the way to Zone half a kilometre south of Black Rock.

There was not a strong enough breeze for Vindscreen Viper to plane so the longer waterline boats pulled ahead going more directly south. Daring edged away from Jackdaw and Camp Freddy slowly caught up with the leaders leaving Per Elisa unusually at the back of the fleet.

In U class, Nitro lead the Flying Fifteen Midnight Cocktail on the western tack while Wild Child tide dodged going along the St Mawes shore. After turning Sunbeam with it's problems in the wind shifts they bore away but Midnight Cocktail had problems keeping the water out in the gusts and so they fell a long way back.

Even in such light airs there is a marked difference in speed among one design classes so that Vanity got so far ahead of its rival that they gave up leaving only one Sunbeam to record a finish.

In IRC Two, Excelle was well over a minute in front of Hero who was also more than a minute in front of Macavity. Temeraire found the light airs lacked enough drive while on board Minx, Angie the new crew member must have enjoyed the cruise round the course watching all the others disappear in the distance.

After turning Zone mark, Daring, Extreme and Jackdaw on port beat over to the St Anthony shore and beat north close in dodging the strong ebbing tidal flow.

Vindscreen Viper chose to do the opposite and came over to the Pendennis side but because it was a north westerly they lost some of the drive in the wind shadow and fell behind the leading three.

On the way to the finish Extreme fell further and further behind and although Jackdaw came second over the line, they came fifth on handicap. The conditions were as good as one could ask for and it is a shame that more boats weren't out to enjoy them, let's hope that next week there will be more competitors.

IRC One: 1st Daring - D & C Bloor, 2nd Per Elisa - R Tregear, 3rd Vindscreen Viper - D Adams.

IRC Two: 1st Excelle - J Fox & T Claridge, 2nd Macavity - J Hicks, 3rd Hero - C Wilson.

U class: 1st Nitro - M Chamberlain & D Richards, 2nd Wild Child - A Cook.

V class: 1st Vanity - D Carne.