A fresh north-westerly wind favoured both the experienced and the gritty young competitors who chose to brave the boisterous conditions for St Feock and Pill Creek (Loe Beach) Regatta, writes Robert Talbot.

The wind was strong enough to cause the committee vessel to drag its anchor and, after the first race started, there had to be a short postponement.

At the same time, the committee vessel was repositioned to restore proper alignment of the starting line.

The sailing was exhilarating and the sight of both yachts and dinghies healing when sailing to windward and planing off the wind with spinnakers flying was spectacular. In spite of the conditions, there was some very close racing.

In the hotly contested Working Boat Fleet, Abigail Rose beat Moon on corrected time by just a few seconds, having finished slightly behind on the water.

The patrol boats were kept busy attending capsized dinghies and one of the working boats took on too much water over the side to be able to continue.

Henry Hallam and his crew in their RS200 dinghy and Poppy Luxton in her Laser Radial dinghy showed great skill to master the conditions and win comfortably in the two dinghy classes.

Florence Luxton and her crew in their Mirror dinghy were awarded the Owers Trophy for the competitors who best exemplify the spirit of the Loe Beach Regatta for the way in which they ‘hung on’ to complete their race.

At the post-race prize-giving, competitors who had braved the windy conditions on the east side of Carrick Roads enjoyed their well-deserved teas in the contrasting calm sunshine around Loe Beach.

The tea tent was open to everyone; guests, spectators, villagers or just passing visitors but only those who had been out in their boats could have had any idea of how windy the conditions had been.

The regatta was made possible through nearly 50 volunteers from Feock and surrounding communities, including more than 20 who prepared and served the teas, and the sailing and yacht clubs around Falmouth Harbour.

This year the regatta committee said a special ‘thank you’ to Neil and Julie Hopkins for their many years of support with their yacht Kioni, which has served as the committee vessel. They were presented with a tide clock mounted above a photograph of Kioni.