The sailing club’s day began with a morning working party replacing the fendering on the pontoon. After a substantial amount of talk, some drilling and a pause for lunch, a new sleek section of black fender could be seen attached to the pontoon. More soon.
By 3.45pm the day had become cooler, greyer and windier. Robin Spiller, sitting in as OOD for Linda, set an excellent course which revelled in the lack of fisherfolk; Inlet Red! Far Cornwall! The wind was coming from points around the North East and so a familiar and comfortable start from this side of line 1 was possible and the straight passage to Inlet was less then close hauled. Annie Quartermain, in her first race of the season, slipped her Laser Radial over the line first, followed by the Commodore’s Solo, the Vice-Commodore’s Radial, the Treasurer’s Solo, John Dabbs’ Gull and the Wills/Heasman Bosun. By Inlet Linda Spiller had got away and was never headed. Adam Hilton was past but close to Annie Quartermain. All found the wind at Inlet Red hard to cope with on each lap. It blew harder as the buoy was rounded and then swerved as the helms tried to fill their sails for the beat to West White. Annie’s boat was flipped over and Geof Floyd appeared to have a moment of sailing backwards before also capsizing. The wind continued to strengthen with its usual gusting, backing and vacuums. Boats capable of planing planed. Linda gradually increased her lead, achieving a couple of minutes at the end. The handicap reduced this to a handful of seconds but a victory nonetheless.
A glorious sunny day, a light but really quite steady breeze, six boats; what more could UTLSC ask of the first day of the season’s Wednesday racing? Well, the OOD (John Dabbs) might have wanted the breeze to have stayed in the east, on the basis of which he had designed the course, rather than moving well to the north, which made for a reaching start rather than the intended beat. And Linda Spiller might have liked the pin in her tiller to stay pinned rather than finding herself rudderless on the lee shore beyond Dam Red. And Steve Axford might have liked a little more time to get on the water so that he knew the course and didn’t (when leading) have to circle West White until the following boat turned up and told him which the next buoy was.
The Streaker of Robin Spiller was first over the start line or perhaps it was the Solo of Adam Hilton, but it was the full sail Laser of Steve Axford which demanded water at Dam Red and rounded that first buoy in first place with the Solo following, the Streaker next and the Bosun after that with Sally Wills at the helm and her mentor Roger Heasman barking the orders. The first lap ended with Adam Hilton holding a six second lead over Steve Axford and it wasn’t until after Inlet on lap 2 that Steve’s dominance was finally established. He finished the race a minute and a half ahead. Adam and Robin continued to skirmish with the Streaker a boat length ahead at Inlet on lap 2 and again at Pinkie only for the extra square footage of the Solo’s sail to pull it ahead each time. The Bosun and Geoff Floyd’s Solo were rarely far apart with Geoff twenty seconds ahead at the end of lap 1 but Sally thirty seconds ahead at the finish of lap 2. Eventually Linda Spiller’s determined fight back got her past the Floyd Solo. The handicaps punished Steve for not knowing the course.
1. Adam Hilton (Solo)
2. Sally Wills and Roger Heasman (Bosun)
3. Robin Spiller (Streaker)
4. Steve Axford (Laser Full)
5. Geoff Floyd (Solo)
6. Linda Spiller (Laser Full)
Many thanks to John Dabbs who ran the race, to Steve Axford who (in the absence of both the computer and John Duncalf) calculated the handicapped results and to Roger Heasman who put the safety boat to bed and closed everything up afterwards.
James Pollard and Steve Axford in full-sailed Lasers were first to cross the start line on their way to Dam Green buoy where James took the inside line. Robin Spiller (Streaker) followed and then most of the rest of the fleet arrived at once, some on port tack, some on starboard. The result was a bunch of boats sandwiched between the buoy on the inside and the Wayfarer on the out. Several helms were severely delayed. The Wayfarer was fourth after the longish run to Middle with Viki Herbert-Coulson getting good use out of the spinnaker but by Pinkie the charging double-hander had got past two Lasers and a Streaker and took a lead that was never relinquished and extended to some four minutes over Steve Axford after the four laps. For the most part the light south easterly winds held up and were powering the boats to fifteen minute laps but helms needed to be thoroughly alert to shifts in direction if they were to make the most of their tacking. Third at the finish was James Pollard with Jane Anderson’s Laser Radial fourth and Nathan Pollard fifth. John Dabbs and Sally Wills had got the club’s Kestrel past Robin Spiller to finish sixth. There was an unfortunate mistake at race command and the official results with handicaps applied could not be produced.
PM: Ladies, Junior, Gosling Gents Cups 3
In an attempt to avoid the congestion of the previous race the start was moved to Line 2 with Home 1 as the first buoy to round. With the winds still blowing from the east a number of helms saw an advantage in starting from right under the end of the pontoon in order to make the buoy in one starboard tack. Unfortunately there were again too many boats in too little water; casualties included Steve Axford with a serious delay and Adam Hilton stuck on the lee shore! The Wayfarer was only just leading at the end of lap 1, Jane Anderson, Nathan Pollard and Sue Murray were only a few seconds behind after an eleven minute lap of the now shorter course. Sue Murray got herself up to second on the second lap and stayed there. She was only a minute behind the Wayfarer after four laps. And Steve Axford was hauling himself up from last to as high as fifth, only to have the Dabbs/Wills Kestrel overtake him on the last lap.
1. Mike and Viki Herbert-Coulson (Wayfarer)
2. Paul Whybrow (Solo)
3. Sue Murray (Laser Radial)
4. Jane Anderson (Laser Radial)
5. Robin Spiller (Streaker)
6. Adam Hilton (Solo)
7. Nathan Pollard (Laser Full)
8. Steve Axford (Laser Full)
9. Linda Spiller (Laser Radial)
10. John Dabbs and Sally Wills (Kestrel)
Retired: Brian Pollard and Cilla Gilbert (Bosun)
Grateful thanks were given to Roger Heasman, Pavol Rovensky and James Pollard for running the races and to Mandy Pollard for her photographs.