Porthpean Sailing Club  
Webmaster's Sailing Blog 2009

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December 20th
The Robin having his breakfast Well that’s it, another season of sailing over and done with, but what a joy sailing today was. After weeks of quite strong winds and rolling seas, plus lumpy surf to contend with, we finally had a typical north westerly breeze, which was frustratingly light. A bitterly cold Saturday night was followed by the makings of a fine winter’s day. Plenty of blue sky, gave us a sunny day, and showed anyone sitting on the decking the hint of the spring to come. Even our little Robin was enjoying the winter sun, sitting on the hand rails eating some seeds that Katie & Amy had put out for him.

Any water lying on the boat covers overnight had turned into ice, so we spent the first few minutes disposing of that and then thawing out any frozen sheets. Launching was back to normal today, the 2 foot drop at the end of the slipway had disappeared as the tides over the last week had brought all the sand back, which was a nice bonus. Beacky, Nigel & James were on the Safety boat and they were duly launched without any of the dramas of last weekend. 6 boats rigged up to sail and as 4 of them were spinnaker boats we decided to have an Olympic type course. The north westerly wind always gives us a beat in from the beacon direction towards the beach and usually gives quite a few shifts to make things just that more interesting.

With just 2 Tasars it was almost going to be match racing conditions. Allan Orton crewed by Steve Wingrove passed us on the first beat and gradually pulled away into what appeared to be an unassailable lead, of almost ½ a reach distance. Not good at all & I was feeling rather frustrated as I just couldn’t get the shifts right and our boat speed was particularly bad, but on the last run and beat our fortunes turned somewhat. The wind suddenly picked up a little and we clawed back a lot of the distance on the run, which enabled us to start the beat only some 50M or so just behind Allan. Fortunately the fresher breeze remained and we could see the distance closing, but as the finishing line loomed there still seemed too much distance to make up. However unbeknown to us, Allan was carrying quite a lot of water due to a leaky bailer and I suppose the extra weight was slowing him down. Anyway we clawed up right inside him as we both approached the finish line and to my surprise and delight we were adjudged to have taken the win by 1 second. Very frustrating for Allan, but very satisfying for us, which takes me back to the old maxim, never give in, miracles do happen sometimes.

Back in the handicap fleet things were much tighter. Justin & Kelvin sailed into a lead, which they extended throughout the race, but couldn’t turn it into a win on handicap as they fell foul to the fresher breeze coming in too late to help them. Instead the 2 Scorpions further back, capitalised on the fresher conditions. Kay, crewed by Craig, had a very good race with Andrew & daughter Sarah, with a few positional changes taking place before Kay made her superior boat speed upwind count. Anna who hasn’t sailed for a while really enjoyed sailing her Vago with Jenny Kendall and at times seemed to have excellent boat speed but fell further back to finish 4th on corrected time.

The next few weeks will still be busy for the Club. The Clubhouse will be open on Boxing day, which is always a nice Christmas social, especially watching the brave swimmers. This year if the forecast is correct will pose very cold conditions for anyone brave enough to go for a swim. There will be a New Year's Eve party on the 31st and then in only 3 weeks time the Dinner & Prizegiving night. This season we have more ladies than ever before sailing, which is a very pleasing thing as sailing is a sport that is enjoyed just as much by ladies as men, so I want to take a group photograph of all of them, which I am sure will be able to grace the Clubhouse wall for next year.

So to all readers of the blog, I hope you all have a very happy Christmas and keep an eye on the countdown clock, which will be counting down the seconds until the start of the 2010 season.

December 13th
Slipway showing missing beach Unfortunately the web site has been inaccessible for almost 2 weeks, due to a problem that I have been having with my service provider – Virgin Media. It still hasn’t been resolved and until it is then I can not update anything. I am managing to do this at the moment by taking my computer and using someone else’s router.

The penultimate day of the 2009 sailing season, at last brought some fine weather. The wind was north easterly and cold. Ken & I were down for Safety boat duty and tried to launch in good time. Our first problem was to get onto the beach. The sea had swept even more sand away from the ramp and we had to resort to our grids again to make a path for us. Unfortunately as we tried to leave the beach we fouled the prop with the buoy towing rope and had to pull the boat back up the beach to clear everything. Eventually we launched again, this time without any dramas and set off to lay the course for the 6 boats that wanted to sail. We lost Andrew & Jenny just before the start when their jib sheets snapped. They managed to cross the line to try and better their points, whilst the others set off across the bay for the windward mark, which was posted off and out to sea from Charlestown. Stacey crew by Allan swept into an immediate lead, just getting to the windward mark before the 505 of Justin & Kelvin. The Tasar held them off on the first reach but the broader 2nd reach saw the 505’s spinnaker pull them through and into the lead. A lead that they extended throughout the race, finishing comfortably in front of the rest of the fleet. Denis and Tim Baily were 2nd Tasar but a poor first beat left them too far behind Stacey to be able to make any inroads. Beacky’s crew Adam was suffering from a heavy cold, but I think that he did feel better when they eventually managed to get back to the shore. Steve Wingrove had a little drama on the 2nd reach when he almost capsized, having to do an involuntary tack which pushed him further down the fleet.

Thursday 10th saw the 59th AGM of the Club, which was well attended. A new Committee was elected; which saw a few names join the Committee and a few existing Committee members changed their positions. All in all a little too complicated to define here but there will be a full list of who’s who on the Committee page eventually. The subs inevitably went up again. Initially it was going to be by only a small amount but a question was raised asking about using a professional cleaning service to clean the Clubhouse and the changing rooms. Up until now the premises have been done on a volunteer basis, but it was felt that the time has come to put this on a more accountable position as good volunteers were becoming more and more difficult to find. Therefore an allowance was factored into the subscriptions to budget for a professional cleaner. Again the new subs will be found on the subscription page, when I can update it all..

Everyone will know Chris Millard, who has been a member since the late 60’s. Chris has been running the bar for the last 30 years and now wants to stand down. I believe that Steve Coello will be taking over from him. In thanks for Chris’s devotion to duty he has been made an Honorary Life Member.

The Club has acquired a match funded grant of £200 from the RYA to purchase boats for training purposes. I believe that the Club are now in the process of buying 2 new Laser Picos and 1 Laser Bug, which should be with us before the 2010 sailing season starts. A discussion after the main AGM business, revolved around the sailing season. Most people apparently liked the variety of courses we have had this year. Race start times were discussed and a policy of trying to start nearer the advertised start times will be pursued next year, which may initially catch a few people out. The length of the sailing season was discussed. This year we have intended sailing right up until Christmas, but the very rough weather from November onwards has severely restricted the amount of sailing we have managed. Maybe we will have more luck next year. Incidentally the beach scene shown on the web page was actually taken one November lunch time, hence the absence of people on the beach.

This year we have not held any Nationals as the Club felt that it could do with a rest, but July 2010 will see us once again hosting the Osprey Nationals, which should be another ideal opportunity to help swell the coffers.

Now one last thing; unfortunately for me I have lost all my email address book, so if you could just click on the link here then this will send me an email from you which will allow me to enter you back in my address book fairly easily. Thanks in anticipation.

December 6th
Preparing the Slipway I was missing last week, taking the opportunity to visit our Children and Grand Children "up country", and was quite surprised to find on my return that the keen others actually managed to sail, though this wasn’t without drama.

The wind was once again quite strong out in the bay, though offshore enough in direction so as not to deter the 5 hardy souls who decided to race. Yes I did mention the word drama. Firstly a temporary slipway repair was needed to be built, to get the boats onto the beach. Eventually everybody was launched. The race course once again proved to be a windy affair. Andrew & Sarah Kendall in their Scorpion took a swim and unfortunately Sarah hurt herself during the righting procedure, necessitating her being ferried ashore by the safety boat before Andrew was towed in. Denis & Sabine retired before the end of the race; Denis saying that he had had enough and decided to quit before he damaged his boat. This was probably the right decision as Stacey with Allan Orton remained racing, but managed to bend their mast when it came out of rotation in a vicious gust. Steve Wingrove had an excellent result by beating Beacky by 4 seconds, mainly down to the fact that he didn’t capsize during the race, whereas Beacky capsized in his Enterprise when wearing round at one of the gybe marks rather than gibing. I always think that it is a terrible dilemma whether to tack round or gybe when confronted with strong winds. I know that it is most often safer to tack, but you do have to take your time to get everything right and you can lose quite a few valuable seconds sailing the longer course, whereas the gybe can be very intimidating and you need split second timing and balance to pull it off, but when it goes right does give you a very satisfactory feeling, if only of relief until the next gybe looms.

Today we were all keen and eager to go sailing. For a change the sun was out and the wind was a light westerly, though the forecast was to increase and bring showers as the day wore on. The first job of the day was to prepare the slipway for use. Over the last 2 weeks the tide had scoured part of the beach away, leaving a drop from the slipway to the beach. This was bridged using some grating that we acquired some years ago for this very purpose. Anyway by 11.00, slightly late as per norm we had the safety boat and crew Nigel, James and Brian Reeves, complete with flask of hot coffee, launched through the surf, allowing us to concentrate on rigging our boats ready to go racing. Before we could launch we were told to hold and also get the 2nd safety boat ready as the first one had broken down, with what turned out to be a flat battery. The 2nd boat was launched and had to tow the first one back in. Unfortunately by the time we had recovered it onto its trailer and pulled it back up the slip, the time had moved on, the rain came and with it a stronger wind. Reluctantly the decision was made to cancel racing for the day, which may have turned out to be the right decision as the wind really increased dramatically for a while which in turn may well have given us a few more problems to deal with out there.

So now we are down to just 2 races left for this year. Christmas is rushing towards us, the AGM is almost here but there is a Christmas party to look forward to on Saturday the 19th, of which more details will follow and then the Boxing Day swim before we finally say good by to the 2009 season.

November 22nd
Newquay Harbour summer 1970 Another very wet & windy weekend produced another non sailing Sunday. Several of us gathered at the Club to look out at the grey looking bay. The sea itself appeared to have a very heavy swell rolling shore wards, with small but powerful surf breaking on the beach. Further out the white caps could be seen, so it didn’t take too long to realise that racing in those conditions on the open sea was not a wise decision. Reluctantly we cancelled, early enough to allow people to leave and pursue some other sort of activity if they were so inclined. Today was also the last Sunday with an afternoon race, so from next week it will be one race only, which should help keep us all warm, especially the safety boat crew, whom I am sure will be feeling quite cold by the time we come ashore.

Actually it was about this time 40 years ago, yes 1969, that I bought my first boat, an Enterprise. I was living in Newquay at that time and had learnt to sail as a member of Newquay SC. I generally crewed in Enterprises or Mirror dinghies, but I was fortunate that Tretherras School owned an Enterprise that a school teacher had built as a wood working project and he was quite happy to let me use it from time to time. Newquay bay was and still is a fantastic place to sail, especially as there is very often a good swell, which is brilliant for learning down wind sailing when wind and sea are in the right combination. The harbour was a great place to launch from as the sand was firm and there was no surf whatsoever. The trickiest bit was all the short tacking at times to sail through the gap between the harbour island and the main wall and then the vagaries of the harbour entrance itself.

We had hosted the Mirror dinghy Championships that summer and seeing our bay full of red sails almost persuaded me to buy one. A Mirror kit was about £69 in those days. Even allowing for Paint, spinnaker, trolley and cover there was still change from £100. However as nice as a Mirror is to sail it couldn’t provide the same excitement as an Enterprise, plus there was a nice little fleet of Enterprises sailing there also. My quest for an Ent reached ears at Restronguet and one of their members contacted me to tell me of one for sale. I remember meeting the owner in Truro and he took me round to a garage, where when he opened the door sat a white painted Enterprise, sail number 4573 and called “Boom Bang a Bang”. £115 later the boat belonged to me and as part of the deal it was delivered to my parents house in Newquay, ready for it’s first refit. She was launched in Newquay harbour, together with new paint scheme and name “Catspaw” in the spring of 1970. The name came as one of my parent’s cats had walked across the deck when the varnish was wet.

The picture today is from the cover of “Dinghy Sailing” and shows a summer scene of some of the Newquay fleet after returning to the harbour after racing in 1970, with my tastefully painted Enterprise and a very youthful me standing with my crew. Note the sailing clothing, plenty of hair and my sideburns! Non of us knew that the picture had been taken until it appeared, to our surprise, several years later when it appeared on the cover of the magazine.

November 15th
Safety Boat & Crew returning to the beach Well 3 bits of good news this week. No1, the web cam is working again. The connection to the router had been disturbed and the wire had dropped out thus had no connection. That was easily solved and now we are back on line broadcasting to the world once again. I had 2 emails during the week asking ne why the web cam wasn’t working. One was from Scotland and the other from Tavistock, so our little bay is spied on from far afield. The 2nd bit of good news is that our stolen RIB has been recovered, but more of that later and the 3rd bit of good news is that we sailed today.

Despite the dire weather forecast we managed to sail after all. Saturday was a full on gale, accompanied at times with some very heavy showers, but miraculously enough Sunday dawned quite serene with blue skies and a light breeze. However the breeze, which was a south westerly, did pick up as the day wore on and by the time we set sail the bay was starting to fill with some white horses. Stacey, Nigel & James were our rescue boat drivers of the day and armed with a flask of hot coffee, took the marks out to give us a large triangle course, with a beat across the bay from left to tight. Only 5 of us launched, which almost beggars the question whether it is right to try and extend the season as long as we have this year, as clearly quite a few sailors are not bothered about sailing in November. Anyway the sailing was good, the wind gusted very strongly at times and the reaches were fast and furious, giving us all a very high grin factor. The best incident of the race saw Janet & Pete sail down the start line on port, thinking that they were on starboard, causing panic and alarm to all of us starting on starboard. A hurried tack by Andrew and Tim avoided a collision. The confusion caused by it all allowed Beacky who was late to the start line to be able to sail over them all. A 720 later allowed Janet & Pete to start in last place and give chase to the others in front.

Ken & I decided not to sail in the afternoon as we were the only Tasar and point wise, there was no need to sail, so we could watch the unfolding events from the warmth of the Club house. The conditions at first seemed to be the same as in the morning, but the wind strength soon dropped off and apart from some stronger gusts the wind was down to no more than a force 2 to 3. Tim Baily who had been last in the morning found a new spring in his step as his Laser swept into an early lead, holding off the Kestrel of Janet & Pete and the Scorpion of Andrew & Sarah. Beacky & Adam won the morning race but a breakage with their kicker control dropped them way back and they trailed in a long way behind everyone else. Tim had built up a nice lead by the time he started the 2nd beat, but a failure to cover Janet & Pete allowed them to retake the lead, but just when they were in a dominate position, a poor gybe saw them hit the mark and by the time they had done their 360, Tim had sailed back into the lead. There was no mistake on the next beat and he started the last reach with a comfortable lead which he extended to the finish.

We then had a bit of fun and games as they all sailed back to the beach, the surf by this time was building as the tide was almost up to the wall. Eventually all boats were retrieved with no big damage, but it did make ne feel better for not having sailed in the afternoon as it saved us from potential damage. Last time it was like that I had the Tasar roll right over me, giving me some very impressive bruises.

Now back to the stolen RIB. Last Tuesday I received a call late in the afternoon, from a Policeman asking me whether we had a Quicksilver RIB stolen from the Club. I went down to Porthpean to check and sure enough ours that was in the field was no longer there. What’s more the padlock on the gate had been forced. I went home rang the Policeman back and confirmed that the boat indeed was missing. Now the good luck kicked in. They had had a tip off where the boat was and wanted me to come along and identify it. They picked me up and took me to an address in Penrice Parc where hidden behind a house was a Quicksilver RIB sitting on a trailer. Well there was no doubt in my mind that this was our boat and trailer. The house dweller told that the Police that a “someone” had asked him whether they could leave their boat there for a day or two, to which he agreed not knowing that the boat was stolen. Fortunately the policeman had a tow hitch on his car and we hitched the boat up and took it back to Porthpean, where it is now sitting in the yard. Clearly in future we will have to make sure that we take more care of our valuables as quite a few members have had equipment stolen in the past from the field. I get the impression that the Police don’t have enough evidence to prove who actually stole the boat, so they may well get away with it, but at least we have got the RIB back.

November 8th
The wind swept bay today Whoops!! My apologies to all those trying to view the PSC web page over the last 3 days. We have been offline due to a non payment of the licence fee. The demand for payment had not got through to me because my email address is different than when the site was last licensed. Anyway all has been resolved and as you can see we are up and running again.

Sunday was another non sailing day, the 2nd blown off Sunday in succession. For the 2nd weekend running we have been the victim of a deep depression influencing our weather and the wind strength today was in the 30knots plus area, also the wind was from the north which together combined to give us very low temperatures as well, so totally inhospitable to most of us. Anyway there was still a good number of members, who turned up to witness the bay full of white horses and had the good sense to reason that the abandonment was made in good time, thus allowing us to go and do other things and make the most of what day we had left.

November 1st
Clubhouse suitably decorated Interestingly the weather men, last Wednesday forecast gales for today, but unlike the week before they were right this time. At 10.00 this morning the bay was full of white horses as a very strong westerly wind blew out from the shore. The rain had passed but the wind although supposed to decrease as the day went on was still far too strong for racing. Some sailors hoping to have sailed still had memories of last weekend when quite a few capsized in what was much less wind than today. Therefore we had no option but to abandon any thoughts of racing for another week.

Last night was Halloween night and it was celebrated with a party at the Club with a meal of mussels, kindly donated by Dave Hancock, who runs the mussel farm, anchored out in the bay. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it but it was a well attended evening and John Mark took some photographs which I will add to the social pages when I get a copy of them. The Clubhouse was suitably decorated, see the picture alongside.

Normally Simon Pryce sails every Sunday, but today he is several thousand miles away running in the New York Marathon. Simon runs to support the RNLI and I will put his finishing time on the front page when I find out all the details.

There is nothing much else to report, save that Robin Hadlow has advertised his Tasar at the Club. The boat still needs some tidying up but is at a bargain price of about £550, so could be a very interesting winter project, for anyone looking to take it on.

The Wednesday socials are a regular thing and we get anything up to 20 members, turning out on these dark evenings for a drink, chat and game of pool. The Clubhouse opens from 19.30 so if you fancy a change from sitting in watching the television then why not come along.

October 25th
Adam & Nathan prearing to race With the clocks going back last night and as of today only 2 months to Christmas the season is now into its last few weeks of sailing. Listening to the weather forecast on Wednesday lead us to believe that sailing to day would be cancelled. The weathermen predicted winds of 29 knots westerly. Fortunately for us they were wrong. True the wind was in the west, but the 29 knots was more like 16 knots when we sailed out beyond the beach marks. Yes there were quite a few white horses out in the bay, but we were troubled more with the gusts and the swirls than anything else. The beat seemed to be very taxing, with 100% concentration demanded at all times, but the moment we rounded the beach marks the wind just appeared to go light. Denis, Sabine & James were our Safety boat crew for the day, and Denis set us a “P” shaped course that gave us a very long beat. In fact the first 500 M of the beat had us out in the strongest of the wind and it was a time for depowering and just let the boat slip through the water as fast as possible, whilst constantly having to correct the tiller as the gusts steamed through.

Todays race proved to be one of those days when dinghy sailing was at its most exciting, with some exhilerating planing and hard beating. A day not for the faint hearted, but a good day to gain experience of heavy weather sailing. 14 boats started the race on a heavily port biased line. In fact it was so biased that over half the fleet chanced their arm by sailing across on port. A fortnight ago we had very similar conditions with a strong and gusty westerly, resulting in numerous capsizes, but this morning only Andrew Kendall’s Scorpion capsized a couple of times. It was a very tight finish in the handicap fleet with Justin & Kelvin in the 505 beating Pete Barnes, crewed by Brian Phillips by a mere 1 second on corrected time. I expect Peter was saying “if only” when he looks back at the race and considers just one better tack or one quicker spinnaker hoisting etc, but then life is like that, quite often a matter of “if only”.

There were only 4 Tasars in our fleet, but we managed to keep Simon and Nathan and John & Steve behind us by the end of the first beat. A port & starboard incident, when Simon caught John at the beach marks, forced John to do turns, but they still managed to catch and pass Simon by the end of the 2nd lap. They also made inroads into our lead, mainly by us having a very bad 3rd beat, trying to sail on an enormous header, because we had gone too far into the Charlestown gap.

The westerly wind was still with us for the afternoon race, but by this time there was a bit more bite to the wind. John & Steve beat a hasty retreat before the race started, but there were capsizes for Richard King in his Merlin, Simon in his Tasar, Justin in his 505 and Steve Wingrove in his Solo. Steve was eventually towed in due to a breakage. There may have been more capsizes but those were the only ones that I saw. To be honest there wasn’t much time for looking around at others as the concentration had to be maintained at all time. In fact there was a time during the race when I fully expected it to be abandoned as some very fierce gusts swept the bay. I think be now, just surviving was the main feature of the race, though we still had to go through the process of tacking and gybing. Paul & Adam in the Enterprise finished 3rd this morning but powered through to win in the afternoon, in front of the 505 with Andrew and daughter Sarah taking 3rd. Brian Reeves had quite a good day, beating the only other Laser of Tim Baily in both races. Yes the wind was much stronger in the afternoon and there were times when we were just being powered along on the jib. Actually the mylar sails on the Tasar are excellent in strong winds, the whole top section of the mainsail was as flat as a board as the wind streamed off. The boat was set up for strong winds with the side stays fully back, kicker on, jib cars 3 or 4 holes out, plate half up and traveller constantly dropped down to leeward in the gustier moments.

We were also joined today by Bruce Keeping in his wind surfer. He was telling me that he has been to a few windsurfer events lately and has been doing very well, with some wins. His board is an old one and is much longer and thinner than the short wide ones of today, with the result that he is much faster and closer to the wind on the beats, though losing out a bit on the reaches. He is going to the Nationals next weekend so we wsh him all the best and look forward to seeing how well he can do. Stacey was missing again this weekend as he was sailing at Rutland Water in the Contender Inland Championships, which if anything like our weather today will have been very windy, but then Contenders thrive in a blow.

October 18th
Brian Reeves before the start last week A short blog this week because for once we didn’t go sailing. There haven’t been many Sundays this season that we have had to cancel sailing but today was one of them simply because we had no wind. The forecast promised us a light southerly but this did not materialise until we had cancelled for the day. Indeed the breeze such that it was when it finally arrived was just not strong enough to persuade us to go to the racing, so the covers stayed on the boats and we hung around talking until we all drifted off to do other things.

Our travelling sailors were back this week. Stacey had been at Restronguet to a Contender Open where he came 5th, Jeremy and Suzanne back from Plymouth where they came 6th in their B14 and Simon Pryce back from Itchenor where he had been crewing in a Classic I14, and came 1st. All sailed in quite robust conditions on the Sunday when we too at Porthpean had such a hard sail.

Well the dinner & dance / Prizegiving is now sold out. Yes 86 tickets sold and I am told there is also a waiting list, so well done Maria, her advertising skills are truly remarkable. This is incredible as the event is still over 3 months away, so holding it at a different time of the year has not compromised it at all and it does give us all something to look forward to in the middle of winter.

Kay was saying today that next January will be the 50th anniversary of the first launching of the Scorpion dinghy. I expect that everyone has seen the pictures at the Club of lots of people gathered round Scorpion 1 as it was pushed out through the waves to win the hearts of members of that time, so much so that the Scorpion was adopted as a Club boat and a very strong fleet grew at Porthpean. Well we can still boast 3 Scorpions and the intention is for the 3 to sail on the anniversary, which just happens to be the day after the dinner dance. So will it be abstinence on the dinner night for a clear head to sail in the morning or a liberal taking of Dutch courage to help persuade them to launch. You can be sure that the water will be cold. You never know we may get other Club members wanting to sail as well.

October 11th
Pete Barnes preparing to go sailing After several weeks of light winds we finally had a bit of a blow for a pleasant change. As I drove along Porthpean Road this morning I could see lots of leaves blowing off the trees as they bent over with the fresh Westerly breeze. Low clouds behind me hid the tops of the hills behind St. Austell, all in all quite a change from the gentle weather we have been recently enjoying. However down at Porthpean the shelter from the wind belied what lay await for us out in the bay. We were a bit depleted of sailors from normal as Stacey was sailing his Contender in an Open meeting at Restronguet and Jeremy & Suzanne sailing their B14 at Plymouth. We were also missing another 2 regulars with Simon not appearing and Alan off on holiday in what must have been much warmer climes than our drizzly weather.

14 boats signed on to race, but before they had all launched the 505 of Justin & Kelvin had to turn back, victim to a broken kicker system. 3 other kickers broke today, an almost unheard of number of breakages. A good course was set by Chris & Tony, our Safety boat crew for the day. The start line was slightly port biased, but due to the wind strength we elected to start more conservatively on starboard at the pin end of the line. Mike Voyzey making a long expected return to Porthpean took Colin out as crew and went for the port end start but was caught by John & Steve and had to bear off hard, eventually passing behind the majority of the fleet. Janet & Pete in the Kestrel, unfortunately clipped the safety boat on the start line and ended up having to do a 360 to exonerate themselves. At the end of the first beat we had nice lead over Denis & Sabine who were just in front of John & Steve. The pair of them closed us down on the reaches but we were fast enough on the beat to be able to increase our lead. John & Steve eventually had a capsize that put them so far back that they retired. The safety boat was rushing around the course standing by many boats that succumbed to capsizes. In all there were 14 capsizes, again a statistic that takes some believing, but the conditions in the bay were very gusty, and the wind veered round an awful lot, especially near the beach marks. I would go so far to say that it was probably one of the trickiest days that we have had to sail in for a long, long time, and it was a relief when the course of 7 rounds was shortened, allowing us to go ashore for lunch and much needed time to recover. Andrew & Sarah Kendall took advantage of all the carnage out there, giving them a 1st in their Scorpion, closely pursued by Steve Wingrove in his Solo in 2nd place and Brian Reeves in his Laser in 3rd. In fact of the 9 boats in the handicap fleet, only those 3 finished. The rest retired through either breakages or just too battered to complete the course.

The afternoon wasn’t much better though there was only one capsize. The visibility dropped quite a bit as a bank of drizzle swept over us. We were down to only 3 Tasars for the afternoon race, which quickly developed into a 2 boat race between Denis and Sabine and us. Again we established what seemed an unassailable lead but Denis & Sabine chased us down and closed right up on what turned out to be the last beat, this was quite lucky for us as another round may have been enough for them to have caught and passed us. Tony & Steve suffered another retirement, this time with a broken kicker, with the fitting ripping out of the mast. Once again the conditions proved too much for some but at least 5 of the handicap fleet finished. This time the Janet & Pete in the Kestrel triumphed taking 1st place, with the repaired 505 taking 2nd place just in front of Steve & Polly in their Merlin.

Chris Hazell took Colin’s camera out in the afternoon and was busy snapping away so I am hoping to get a copy of the pictures, which I will add to the gallery page when able, so watch that page for an “update” icon.

The beat in from the beach marks was very fraught, again with some quite savage gusts and swirling winds to contend with, & I think we were all relieved to finally get back on shore. Looking back on the day I think everyone who sailed enjoyed the conditions, which did give some hard sailing to compensate for the very light winds that we have endured for the last few weeks, Tomorrow the weather is set to improve, but it is too early to be able to forecast what we will get next weekend.

October 4th
Simon preparing to go sailing October and for sure we are into Autumn, mind you it is still mild, but after a very blustery day yesterday we were presented with a flat, windless bay again today. September was bedevilled with light winds and October albeit the first Sunday is following on in a similar vein. We spent the morning chatting, plus doing some bits and pieces of work, Stacey had his new Tasar in the yard, for its first sail in Cornish waters after spending the majority of its life in Scotland, so this was getting a certain amount of attention. The breeze such as it was, filled in just after lunch time, so a decision was made to sail 2 races back to back. 5 Tasars and 3 handicap boats launched to sail in a very light westerly breeze. The handicap fleet consisted of Jeremy Hawkins B14 and the Scorpions of Andrew Kendall and Kay Ecclestone. Jeremy elected to sail the B14, rather than his Tasar to get some practice in before an open meeting in Plymouth next weekend. In the first race Jeremy passed the Tasars on the first reach then moved well enough ahead to leave the 2 Scorpions to more or less match race. The beat however was quite tricky and it did pay to head for Charlestown, before tacking across the bay for the beach marks. Andrew spotted this and made up enough distance on Kay to take the first Scorpion place, though had to settle for 2nd against the B14. The Tasar fleet had a lot more competition. Allan Orton crewed by Beacky had a good first beat to lead at the beach marks, followed by us, only just in front of Stacey & Milly, who in turn was just in front of Simon & Tegan. Some place changing took place on the 2 reaches and at one time we dropped back to 4th, and by the time we started the 2nd beat Stacey was in the lead. A good beat by us saw us come through to 2nd, but Stacey pulled well clear on the last beat to take a good win.

The breeze was still just as fickle for the 2nd race and this time it was all change in the Handicap fleet with Kay having an excellent first beat to actually beat the B14 into 2nd place by 5 seconds on corrected time and finished well in front of Andrew as well. We had a mediocre start with all the Tasars sailing on starboard hand up the first beat. We elected to tack away onto port, had to dip Simon but by the time we tacked back onto starboard had sailed into a completely different wind pattern and lifted up through the entire fleet to give us an enormous lead, which we converted into a win. Meanwhile Allan & Beacky rounded the beach marks 2nd with Stacey a little further behind, but Allan covered him hard down wind and up wind to keep Stacey in 3rd. By the time the last beat started the wind had come up a fraction and veered round more to the North West allowing us to hike and sail more towards the mark, which was good enough to give us a very pleasing win.

So though the conditions were not very exciting as in hiking and planing, the competition was close enough to keep everyone on their toes and keep the grey matter concentrating.

Well as you all know the Wednesday sailing for the year has now finished but for those of you who would like to keep socialising then the good news is that the Clubhouse will be open on Wednesday evenings for a bit of music, chat, pool and any other games that people want to play. Maybe we could organise some more talks on rules, safety boat, course setting, race management etc.

September 30th
Lionel & Ken Tonight, the last day of September saw the last Wednesday race of 2009, how sad as it means another summer gone by, but we did manage to sail all 4 races of the series, and tonight despite having a day with no wind saw a very pleasing force 2-3 northerly sweep in over the bay.

Yes during the day things were so calm that I thought that our chances of racing were about nil, but shortly before 17.00 the forecasted breeze materialised. Nigel & James laid a very good course that allowed the 505 to fly the kite on both reaches and still allowed the Tasars to plane. The beat was true with some quite telling shifts to play with. Unfortunately there were only 2 Tasars out again, for various reasons none of the others could make the late series, so it almost came to match racing between Jeremy and Suzanne and ourselves. Fortunately tonight we had a good start. Jeremy’s port handed start went terribly wrong when he had to dip almost the entire fleet to allow himself to hit the right hand corner. Once again we were fortunate as we went for the left hand corner, which certainly paid on the first 2 beats. This gave us a sound enough lead to be able to stay in front of them for the rest of the race, which in turn gave us the autumn series also. However the wind became very shifty as we closed on the beach marks so I suppose anything could have happened. Justin & Allan Orton also hit the left hand corner in the 505, rounded the beach marks first and comfortably stayed ahead of every one and took first place in the handicap fleet. Janet & Pete had a very good first beat which helped them to take 2nd place overall, just in front of Steve Coello sailing his Laser. The good news for Steve was that although he was 3rd it was still good enough to take the series. Justin’s 6th place in the 2nd race cost him dear as he had to count that in his results. Once again there were all 3 Supernovas out, dominated once again by John Hill but tonight he could only manage 5th on handicap. So now we are down to Sunday sailing only, though I believe the Clubhouse may still be open on Wednesdays for socials.

One type of boat we don’t have down here is a foiling Moth. Some of you may have seen pictures of them so I have put a link on the page to see a clip of a Moth race just to give you an idea as to how fast these incredible machines are. Click here.

Tickets for the dinner & prize giving are selling well, of the 86 places we are down to the last 5, I hope you have booked as unfortunately some people may end up being disappointed, though I suppose there is nothing stopping anyone coming to the disco afterwards.

September 27th
Jeremy & Suzanne It’s almost unbelievable, yet another warm, sunny day. September this year has been brilliant for weather, but we have had a lot of light winds, which at times have produced some good tactical sailing, but have been low on the thrills for speed. However, maybe for the last time this year I could wear sailing shorts and a Tee shirt, so I won’t complain. Today was the September cup day, in fact we made a bit of a weekend of it, as yesterday afternoon we had a meeting of the capsize club, which was followed in the evening by a BBQ and a quiz. Simon & Sarah once again prepared the food and the quiz was supplied by Tony & Lyn Dunn, and there was a very good turn out for the BBQ.

There were only 4 Tasars out today; Jeremy elected to use his new B14 for the Cup races, especially as the first race was to be a long distance race, but we had a total of 21 boats racing, throughout the day. We started at the beach marks and went off on a fine reach in very little wind to the SW water mark, then back to a buoy laid about 300M to the sea side of the beach marks. This was another very tight reach and then a short run back to the beach marks. Not a very exciting race as it was a bit too much processional. However we did have the 2 bugs out, helmed by James and Adam, plus Ron & Michelle in their Scorpion. In fact we had 3 Scorpions out as Kay managed to get Craig Varley to crew for her and Andrew & Jenny Kendall made up the 3rd. We also had a visiting Merlin out, enjoying our Cornish weather and Maria and Liz out in the Bahia. As expected the B14 won this race, followed in 2nd place by Kay & Craig. Colin Wainwright had a better race than he expected, beating quite a few boats to finish 3rd. Probably the best result Colin has had this season.

There was a little more wind in the afternoon for the trapezoid course that was set, and this race proved more exciting. Talk about excitement we even had a general recall!! This is so rare an occurrence as I can not remember having another one for years. The start line was heavily biased to starboard so it was almost inevitable that the 16 boats would try for that end, so there was quite a bit of luffing going on. Anyway we got away on the 2nd attempt. Once again Jeremy shot away, but a very good start and first beat by Justin & Kelvin eventually gave them 1st place, Jeremy & Suzanne 2nd and the Scorpion of Ron & Michelle 3rd, so by now there was quite a lot to play for in the last race. Meanwhile in the Tasar fleet, Simon & Nathan had a good start and took a nice lead, we followed tight on their heels with John & Steve just behind us. We closed right up on Simon as we started the next beat and fortunate for us a tack out to sea proved a good one and we took the lead which we held until the end, with John & Steve also passing Simon.

The same start line was used for the 3rd race, unfortunately Gary in the race box missed the 1 minute gun and by the time he realised we had to stop the count down and go back to the start sequence again. This time the wind had swung somewhat and now the line was heavily biased to port. 4 of us realised this including a visiting Merlin sailor, Roger Pass and his son, but we managed to hit the line on the gun and crossed the entire fleet, with only Jeremy & Suzanne in front of us at the end of the beat. Our good work was almost undone on the next beat when we sailed too far into the lighter stuff and we were pulled right back by John & Steve. As we approached the last 2 legs the wind started to really fade away and we literally drifted along without any sounds of the boat going through the water. Unbelievably John & Steve somehow produced some better speed and gradually drew nearer, so much so that at the finish line we were no more than half a boat in front of them. The light stuff really favoured the B14 as it had finished just before the wind died so giving them a huge win, enough to take the September Cup with Justin & Kelvin in 2nd. Kay & Craig who had a disappointing 2nd race came back to 3rd in this one and so finished 3rd overall.

For the 2nd week running Maria was out sailing, this time in the Bahia with Liz. Not the fastest boat in the world, but they were still scooting around with the spinnaker flying and the beaming smiles on their faces showed that you don’t have to be at the front of a fleet to enjoy the pleasures of dinghy sailing. The 2 Bugs were in use all day. James racing one and Adam the other, as they attempted the long distance race. Due to the lack of wind they were stopped at the SW water mark with Adam in the lead. They were then towed home, just in time for lunch. Adam & his Sister Amy took them out again in the afternoon, giving them a good work out.

September 23rd
Nick Haskins Congratulations to Stacey and Alan Orton with their results in the Contender Nationals, which were held over the last weekend and early part of this week. Stacey was a little bit lucky as he couldn’t make the first day due to attending a wedding, but as luck would have it there was no wind on the Saturday, hence no racing. Stacey then went out and won the first and only race on the Sunday. What a good start, but unfortunately fell back a little in subsequent races and ended up 8th overall out of a fleet of 53. Allan finished a little further back but was still in the first half of the fleet. Allan told me tonight that he was pleased with his result as he hasn’t sailed his Contender very much this season, whilst the majority of the Contender fleet attend most of the open meetings, which in turn keeps them very sharp. It goes to show that to succeed in sailing as in any sport, you have to put in the effort to gain the rewards.

Last night saw probably the last evening of the "Capsize Club" evenings. This has been a well attended series of sessions. Last night some of the cadets were out in the Laser Bugs, whilst Maria was having another outing with Pete in the Kestrel. This was good experience as Maria was helming and they were sailing along with the Spinnaker flying, which I am sure pleased Maria no end. This Saurday there will be another session as a prelude to the September Cup to be sailed on Sunday. The weather forecast looks good so why not come along and have a sail. You could even give some tuition to some of the new members. There will be BBQ after sailing, followed by a quiz in the Clubhouse in the evening.

Tonight saw the 3rd of the Late Autumn series, and our “quiet” weather continues. This time the north easterly had switched to a westerly breeze, but as so often over the last few weeks was a very light winded affair. A north westerly was forecast, but at the time we started – 18.00 the westerly was in charge. Steve Wingrove and Brian Phillips, aided by James were our safety boat team for the night and made sure that they launched in good time for the scheduled 18.00 start. In the event we were slightly late starting but that was just enough time for the fleet to make it out from the shore, only Tim Baily was missing as we started. We were down to 7 boats tonight, we could have had 9 but Denis & Pete Barnes decided it was too light for them, so elected not to leave the dinghy park.

With only 2 Tasars out I knew it would be a strong fight between Jeremy & Suzanne and us. I think we both got away to a good start, but half way up the beat it was apparent that the Hawkins team were in front of us. By the time we got to the beach marks, we had pulled them back but had to dip them to let them round the port handed course in front of us. We caught them up and tried to pass on the 2nd reach, but a gigantic luffing match ensued and we had to start the 2nd beat just behind them again. Jeremy pulled out on us on the beat, but once again we closed up down wind. Lucky for us Jeremy left just enough room at the gybe mark for us to get inside them and we took the lead. Now this is where luck comes in. The wind suddenly swung to the North West and the reach across the top turned into a very tight one tack beat, which helped us as Jeremy had to sail in our dirty wind. The next leg which should have been a beat became a reach, which was followed by a run. This was enough to allow us to stay in the driving seat and we crossed the line in front. I think we raced for about 50 minutes and during that time there was never more than 50 metres between us, very close racing indeed. My mouth was as dry as a boot by the time we finished, such was the concentration demanded.

Maybe it was a bit easier in the handicap fleet. The 505 of Justin, crewed by Alan Orton, lead from the start and made lots of ground whilst the wind held in its initial direction. Colin Wainwright was 2nd handicap boat to the windward mark, but eventually fell back and was passed by the Laser of Steve Coello. Steve has been crewing for John Mark in his Tasar but John can’t make the early starts, anyway Steve managed to finish 1st on corrected time, pushing the 505 down a place, leaving Colin in 3rd. Annan & Liz were out in the Vago, with Liz helming and sailing well until a problem dropped them too far back and they eventually retired. This was good news for Tim Baily as it then promoted him to 4th.

So now there is only one Wednesday left before the evenings will be too dark for anymore evening sailing and autumn is well and truly here. I sure am going to miss Jenny’s bacon butties.

September 20th
Jeremy & Suzanne Today saw the end of the summer series and although it is now technically autumn, we actually had a very pleasant day. Unfortunately we had very light to even at times non existent winds but the clouds melted away and left us with a beautiful summer’s day. So nice that I sailed in the yellow shorts with a Tee shirt but would that be the last time I would wear the shorts this year? Hmm we will have to wait and see how long this settled weather will last.

Justin & Kelvin were our Safety boat crew today and in very trying conditions managed to set a course that suited the light northerly breeze that came along in fits and starts. The first beat was very interesting as first it suited one boat and then another. Steve & Polly in the Merlin were first to round the windward mark, followed by Simon & daughter Tegan. John & Steve should have been 3rd but we managed to find just sufficient pressure in the variable breeze to nip inside them at the mark. We managed to pass Simon on the 2nd reach and then eked out a nice lead on the next beat and run to actually pass Steve and Polly on the last beat. Phew it was hard going but as Simon said when asked by a moored up speed boat whether it was exciting he replied “no but tactical”. Well I don’t know about tactical but it was very frustrating.

Beacky and Adam came in beaming as this was perfect Enterprise weather and although they were further back in the race their corrected time put them into 1st position. Andrew & Sarah Kendall finished 3rd which was good enough to give them 2nd in the series, which edged out to 3rd Justin & Kelvin. We wrapped up the Tasar series but Simon’s 2nd place was enough for him to push John & Steve back into 3rd overall.

The afternoon race saw yet even lighter conditions descend on the bay but in order to try and start whilst there was a faint breeze, we actually started on a reach which would lead to a beat. We had a brilliant start and for a while looked like we would be first at the first mark by a country mile but the inevitable happened and just before we reached the mark we ran out of wind, which was enough to let Steve & Polly through, however we were still in front of the other Tasars. Then we had a real dilemma, should we stay on a beat taking us out to see towards a dark band that was wind or tack towards the windward mark in what looked like no wind at all. Steve tacked and we stayed on. Steve’s decision was right and he was first into the new wind and pulled out a massive lead. Jeremy & Susan after a while tacked to follow Steve, made up some distance and eventually crossed our bow. In fact our beat was so bad that we fell into a windless patch and to our horror saw Simon & Robert then John & Steve sail through us, in fact by the time we arrived at the windward mark we had some of the slower handicap fleet up with us as well. Then the real wind came and we had yet another beat to the beach marks, but by this time the wind had settled, which was good news for Jeremy as he now appeared to be in an unassailable position. Fortunately for us we did manage to catch and pass John & Steve, but couldn’t make up the distance to Simon who in turn was quite a distance behind Jeremy.

Inevitably Steve & Polly won the race but Beacky was 2nd which actually was enough to give him & Adam 1st in the series, just beating Justin & Kelvin into 2nd place, who in turn were just 1 point in front of Steve & Polly. The Tasar series was even closer. We won it by just 1 point over Jeremy & Suzanne, who in turn were just 1 point in front of Simon and his various crews. All in all a very hard fought series, which will get even closer in the Autumn series when Stacey gets his new boat and Alan Orton joins the Tasar fleet. I don’t think it will be too long before Steve gets back into a Tasar again.

It was good to see Maria out sailing today. In the morning race she went out with Anna & Liz in the Bahia, and then crewed for Pete Barnes in the afternoon, but unfortunately a date with work forced Pete to retire.

It was really nice to be able to sit on the decking outside the Clubhouse after the racing, it was so mild and the bay looked absolutely fantastic. Surely Porthpean on a good day must be one of the best settings in the entire country. Fortunately it’s our secret so don’t tell anyone or else we will be overrun by all and sundry.

September 16th
Saftey boat allready to go We are now over half way through September and our good run of weather goes on. However we are still in the grip of north easterly winds so have to contend with a few waves on the beach and a lumpy sea at times. When I arrived at the Club I was confronted with lots of white horses out at sea, obviously built up during the day from the slightly fresher wind of the last 2 days. The surf however wasn’t too bad with just the occasional set of larger waves that were there to catch the unlucky ones out. I suppose the sight of the sea conditions put at least 3 off from sailing but nevertheless we still had 9 boats out to race. We have put the early start series on to allow us to finish before dusk, but we were far too late with our race start last night but as the sky was clear we got away with it, but will need to sharpen our act up next week to ensure we do start on time.

The conditions out at sea were quite interesting and there was enough wind before the stat to easily promote planning the moment the boat was eased off the wind, but as happens on so many evenings, the wind tends to go lighter as the evening draws on, and tonight was no exception.

Stacey & Alan were out in their Contenders, getting in some more practice before their Nationals this weekend, so the Tasar fleet was reduced to 3. It was good to see Justin Phyall out, he normally races at Fowey on Wednesday in his Father’s boat, but the Fowey racing has finished for the summer, so he teamed up with Pete Barnes to sail the 505, which judging by the “whooping” down wind with spinnaker flying I guess Pete was enjoying.

A packed start line saw Stacey having to dip several boats as he tried a port tack start, but he still arrived at the windward mark just behind Alan Orton, who unfortunately capsized as he tried to bear away on the reach. The first beat had been very short and the 505 and the Tasars of Jeremy and us all arrived together, making a very interesting pair of reaches with some close mark rounding to keep things interesting.

Yes 3 Tasars started but unfortunately Denis had problems right at the start when his jib tack came undone and Brian was left struggling on the foredeck trying to retie it. They did start albeit late but retired later when the outhaul frayed through. The battle in the Tasars then was between Jeremy & Suzanne and us. They lead at the first mark and sailed away from us on the downwind legs, but a much better 2nd beat from us, brought us right back to them. We overtook on the next reach and gradually pulled away for the rest of the race. Meanwhile Alan had recovered well and was closing Stacey down but yet another capsize at the end of one of the beats dropped him too far back to challenge again. However the Contenders still managed to finish 1st and 2nd. John Hill put in another consistent result to come 3rd whilst Anna Liz had to retire when laying in a very strong position.

The excitement of the night for me was yet to come as we sailed back to the beach. We could see a few waves breaking but as we approached the sea calmed down and we landed ok. Ken went to get the trolley whilst I held the boat, but before we could get the boat on the trolley another set of quite large waves started to roll in. I wrestled with the boat to try and hold it head to the waves but eventually I was forced sideways and then one particularly large wave hit the side of the boat. I was thrown backwards and the boat went over the top of me. I was left sprawling in the surf but fortunately the boat hadn’t rolled and on the 3rd attempt we managed to get it ion the trolley and drag it out, though the cockpit was full of water. Then it was all hands to the rest of the fleet as they struggled in. Today my left side is feeling very sore indeed with bruises on my leg arm and side and shoulders, probably the worst set of bruises I have ever had from sailing in over 40 years.

Now some adverts. The September Cup will be on Sunday 27th so it has been decided to do some social sailing on the Saturday afternoon for the capsize Club and any others who want to sail and then this will be followed in the evening with a social in the Clubhouse. For the first time ever there will not be a Dinner Dance / Prizegiving this year. Instead it will be held on the 16th January next year at the Bosun’s Diner in Charlestown. Details of it are on display in the Clubhouse. I believe that there is a maximum number of 86 and I am sure we will easily reach that number, so make sure you book early to avoid disappointment.

September 13th
Sarah & Jenny, waiting for the wind What a topsy turvey summer we have had. Here we are half way through September and today is a Tee shirt and shorts sailing day, courtesy of a great big high sitting over the UK. Thankyou, thankyou, we do appreciate the nice weather. One of the reasons that it was so warm is that we didn’t have any wind. At 10.00 the bay was a flat calm, so a decision was made to have an early lunch and then 2 races back to back, assuming that the breeze had appeared by then. Well our luck was in and whilst having lunch a promising southerly breeze appeared. Now here is why jet skis are banned from Porthpean. Actually they are banned from launching but there is nothing to stop anyone with one launching somewhere else and then driving round to Porthpean. Well one did just that at lunch time and lucky for him our safety boat was at hand. The owner managed to fall off the back and he didn’t have a kill cord attached to his wrist. With no one aboard, the Jet Ski shut down on the throttle and went into a circle mode, which allowed our safety boat crew to get on board and bring it back to the owner, but think what would have happened if the circles had brought it into the swimming area, which was well used today.

The promised breeze died away as we launched but there was just enough for us to get a race under way. Incidentally we had 14 boats sailing, 4 Tasars and 10 handicap boats so all in all a good turnout. We had a good start and built up a commanding lead by the end of the first beat, but lost quite a lot on the 2nd beat, so much so that Jeremy & Suzanne Hawkins were getting dangerously close. All seemed well on the last beat, until we were caught on starboard by Nigel & James Dowrick, who were a lap behind. I elected to tack, but managed to sail ourselves into one of the no wind areas which allowed the Hawkins to sail past us for the win. Though the conditions were far from exciting there was still enough power in the wind for the 505 of Justin and Kelvin to take a win in the handicap fleet. Quite a few people retired as the race progressed, citing boredom as the reason.

Despite the dire conditions, we still sailed a 2nd race. This time the Hawkins got off to a good start, but we did haul them back and halfway up the 2nd beat we were right with them, but again we sailed into a windless area, which dropped us further back, so much so that Simon Pryce sailing with Emma Dawes, managed to catch and pass us on the 2 down wind legs. Very frustrating indeed, the saving grace for us was knowing that whilst the wind was there the boat was going really well, but a disappointing pair of results for us nevertheless.

Meanwhile Justin & Kelvin were having another good race with another win, with Paul Beacon and Adam sailing into 2nd just in front of Kay Ecclestone and Jenny Kendall. Unfortunately I don’t have an up to date set of results so I can’t comment about things too much, but Nigel & James seem to have the morning handicap series sewn up but the afternoon series is now between Justin and Beacky, so next weekend will be critical for the pair of them.

September 10th
Allan on his way to a win I had an interesting time today as I visited Restronguet SC to have a look at the International 14s, where their Championships are this week. These boats are right at the cutting edge of the sport and some of the newer ones are fantastic to look at with the majority of the hulls, spars and foils made from carbon fibre. Seeing them on the water was another marvellous experience, watching helm and crew stretched out on the trapeze wires, both at the back of the hull whilst they power through the water at incredible speeds. I had the pleasure of watching at the windward mark for the Prince of Wales Cup from the vantage of Polly’s cruiser. The speed, coupled with the boat handling of the top guys was something amazing and was almost out of another league compared to our sailing, but then do you really want to spend in excess of £20,000 for a boat? And they certainly wouldn’t be much use for Club sailing.

And so onto tonight, well are we lucky?? After what seems like weeks of poor weather, the wheel has finally turned and the weather Gods appear to be giving us a more settled spell for a few days. Fortunately this has coincided with the first of the early starts late autumn series. What a good turnout for the first race with 16 boats entering, plus another out for a cruise. I know that some of our regulars can not get to the Club in time for a 6 o’clock start but the appearance of so many on the start line makes this early start series so worth while. We also had the bonus of almost starting on time and the leading boats finishing for 7 o’clock. As a bit of a Brucie Bonus we even had the wind from a north easterly direction. This happens very rarely over a season and tonight was the first time this year, which enables a nice port hand course with the beat from right to left across the bay. Mike Voyzey and Steve Coello set the course and what a good one it turned out to be, though the reach in to the beach marks may have been too tight for Nigel & Kelvin in the RS400, it was a good reach for the Tasar fleet. However the reach out to sea was much broader and allowed them to fly their kite. The beat along the top was also very shifty and quite gusty but the gusts were dying down as the race progressed. Yes what a contrast tonight was to last night for the last of the Capsize Club evenings. This has been a well attended and successful series also, but last night was horrible, wet and drizzly until all launched and then it did brighten up for a while. The 2 bugs were once again in full use and several tried a capsize drill in them. These boats appeal especially to the youngsters and have been a popular acquisition by Anna & Liz.

Tonight was also another good night for the ladies, with 8 of them out on the water. It really is difficult to talk with authority about the handicap fleet because most of them are behind us so I am not able to watch what is going on, but there were 3 Supernovas out, which gave them their own battle, with John Hill the winner taking 3rd pace in the handicap fleet. There were 2 Scorpions out, which included Kay who teamed up with Tim McEvoy, sailing for the first time since his knee operation, sailing against Mother & daughter team of Jenny & Sarah Kendall for them to battle against. Kay came out on top to finish 4th overall, there were also 3 Lasers out, so yes private battles going on right throughout the fleet. Anna & Liz were rather unfortunate as the conditions were ideal for their Vago but a mistake whilst rigging their spinnaker ashore meant that they couldn’t use it so dropped them right down the field. Alan Orton sailing his Contender was the first boat to the windward mark and was never troubled again after that. Behind him was Nigel & Kelvin and their big battle was to fight their way through the Tasar fleet, which was no mean feat as there were 4 Tasars sailing a very tight and tactical fight on every leg of the course. Denis teaming up with his winning crew from Sunday, Brian Phillips took an early lead, closely followed by Jeremy & Suzanne Hawkins, us and then Stacey, who had Sally out for her first sail in a Tasar. We dropped back to 4th on the 2nd reach, but then all things changed on the next beat when Stacey sailed through into first place with us moving up to 2nd and poor Denis dropping back to 4th. These positions remained like this for the rest of the race. Richard and son Matthew Morley, new to the Tasar fleet were quite happy to sail further back in the fleet, just enjoying the experience of sailing amongst other boats.

Ashore the Clubhouse was buzzing with Jenny’s bacon butties selling out in no time. It was quite difficult to get a drink at the bar due to so many customers. Yes it’s just a shame that we are now so close to the end of another season. However there are still 3 more weeks of Wednesday sailing left so any who missed last night then it is well worth making the effort for the remaining 3.

September 6th
The beach today at lunch time Apologies for no blog from Wednesday, I had my Granddaughters staying for the week and times at home were very busy. Anyway with a very strong wind blowing all day and the forecast of even stronger wind to come not many turned up to race. I was extremely guilty as not only was I late but I didn’t even take my sailing kit down. In the event, the wind had dropped considerably and it would have been possible to sail, though with everything looking so wet and the skies so grey I don’t think anyone really wanted to go anyway. Instead we had a talk on hyperthermia given by Dr David Mackrell. Well after hearing that lot I don’t think I want to capsize ever again! Though with modern sailing clothing, survival times are far extended than the guidelines that he gave. All in all a very interesting lecture.

The weather Gods were much kinder to us today, so much so that practically everyone came off the water with huge grins on their faces, after experiencing some fast planning on the excellent course set for us by Anna & Liz. We were greeted by a fresh southerly wind, which gave us a hard beat towards Blackhead from the beach marks, which was followed by fast reaches. The 2nd reach in towards the beach marks gave some interesting waves, to allow us to play with, which made things just a bit more interesting. Today was also Maria’s Birthday and we were honoured to have her help waiting on, assisting Jenny Kendall who produced some excellent food in the galley. Actually today is also my son’s 35th birthday, so Happy Birthday to Neil and Maria and it brings home just how quickly the years are flying by

A good fleet of 18 boats graced the bay today, but only 4 Tasars in each of the 2 races, but nevertheless, the Tasars had some excellent racing, with us dominating in the morning race, but Denis & Brian Phillips getting the better of us this afternoon. John & Steve had a good race in the morning, being very fast on the down wind legs and finishing 2nd but the long demanding race this afternoon was very draining and they suffered towards the end.

With only 2 more races in the summer series, the handicap fleet is shaping up to have an exciting finish. This morning’s race was dominated by Allan Orton sailing his Contender, but unfortunately he hasn’t sailed enough races so far to figure in the main results, which at the moment is lead by Nigel & James Dowrick in their RS Feva. However with 2 races to go Allan could in theory catch up and win. Steve Mitchell and Polly are lying 3rd, which again is very close to the top, so the next 2 weeks will be very interesting. Beacky retired this morning with one of the weirdest excuses he has ever come out with, but that has dropped him right down the results.

The afternoon race was a much harder race, with a course consisting of a triangle and sausage x 3 in a much fresher wind. This time the handicap race was dominated by Stacey who took his Contender out prior to the forthcoming Nationals. This series too is shaping up a for an exciting finale with both Justin & Kelvin tying with Steve & Polly for the lead, whilst only a point behind lies Beacky & Adam. Nigel & James had another good race finishing 3rd on the water and promoted to 2nd on corrected time. I did hear some comments about Bandit handicaps, but then that is one of the problems with handicap racing. What suits one boat one day, doesn’t necessary suit it every day, c’est la vie.

Again there was very tight racing in the Tasar fleet, with Denis and Brian leading at the first windward mark, but were overtaken by us on the 2nd reach, we then eked out a reasonable lead, only to be pegged back by Denis on the 4th beat and finally passed on the 5th beat. We hung on in 2nd as Jeremy & Suzanne closed up, Incidentaly they both wore new matching sailing tops, in fact all 3 of us were quite close on the last run for home. Unfortunately for the Hawkins team a capsize whilst surfing on one of the waves lead to their downfall. They still recovered quite quickly to beat John & Steve over the line. This was a very good win for Denis and Brian, and at the end of the day just shows how exciting Class racing can be.

August 27th
Prpearing to sail All the other Bank Holidays this year have given us surprisingly good weather, but our luck finally ran out today when the miserable weather that we have grown used to this August gave us yet another miserable day, with quite thick mist and drizzle. The beach marks could be just seen from the Clubhouse, but nevertheless there was still a healthy number of sailors who wanted to compete in the August Cup. Today the cup was due to be run by the Tasar fleet, so Ken & I elected to take first shift of the three race series. To spice things up a bit we set a trapezoid course which I think may have been the first time that we have used such a course but it does have the affect of giving a beat and 2 reaches plus a run, so this way every sort of sailing is covered and there should be an off wind leg to suit most people. Ken ran the safety boat with Nigel & James whilst I sat in the race box, which was a bit of a novelty for me, but does have the advantage of watching what is going on out on the race track. The wind was from the south west which gave a beat along the top from left to right, and also makes the windward mark rounding quite interesting when the wind is in gusty and swirling mood as it was today. From the start the 505 of Justin & Kelvin blasted into the lead followed by 3 of the 5 Tasars. Simon Pryce blotted his copybook by having to capsize his Tasar to re hoist his mainsail, before he could trail round well behind everyone else. Chris Hazel & Tony must have had the fright of their lives when they arrived at the windward mark in the company of Stacey and Sabine and John Mark & Steve, but at the end of the reach John & Steve had opened up a 2 boat length lead. Unbelievably they were back in triangle mode and instead of sailing the run they blasted off to the leeward mark. Actually by the time they realised their mistake and gybed back to chase the others their new speed carried them right onto the transom of the others. Once again they took a good lead, and battled it out with Stacey to give an interesting finale to the race but lost out on the last beat. Chris & Tony went on a scenic route up the beats, which dropped them right down the fleet. Meanwhile Justin & Kelvin sailed serenely on, opening up quite a lead on the rest of the handicap fleet, enough to give them a win. Beacky & Adam in arguably the slowest boat sailing, gained quite a bit on the Scorpion & Lasers on the beats but lost out each time on the down wind legs, but made enough gains to come out 2nd on corrected time. Brian Reeves sailed his Laser into 3rd just ahead of the Scorpion of Andrew & Sarah Kendall.

Lunch was a very splendid affair with Maria using up a lot of food that had been left over from the social the night before. So a veritable feast of baked potatoes, chicken and salads, for a first course was then followed with a very creamy desert of strawberries and pineapples for afters.

The Tasar fleet drew lots for the next 2 races and John & Steve were lumbered with running the safety boat for race 2 and Stacey & Sabine for race 3. The course remained the same and we had a brilliant first beat, to round the windward mark with a very healthy lead, only to lose it all on the next beat to Stacey. He passed us on the next reach and held us off the end, finishing just 5 seconds in front, thus giving him 2 wins and the August Cup for the Tasar fleet. Simon & Nathan had a much better race and were only 10 seconds behind us so all in all it was quite a tight finish. Justin & Kelvin once again were too strong for the others and took another win to give them the August Cup for the Handicap fleet.

The wind picked up quite a bit for the 3rd race and we could only make 2nd overall if we could win, so the battle was on between John & Steve and us. A poor start saw us struggling on the first beat, but nevertheless we still managed to get to the windward mark first. Fortunately we had no other dramas and finished almost a minute in front of John & Steve, pushing them down to 3rd overall. Further back in the Tasar fleet Chris & Tony battled out each race with Mike Voyzey and Dave, with Chris & Tony having the edge though Mike & Dave did beat them in the last race.

Brian Reeves had a 3rd in each of the first 2 races and looked odds on to take 3rd overall, but Tim Baily who had 2 fairly poor races, took a well deserved win to halt the 505 express and push himself into 3rd overall.

August 27th
swivel with broken cam Now this is good service!! Last Sunday part of my mainsheet base swivel broke. Basically there is a cam that only allows the swivel to turn so far, thus preventing the assembly from over rotating and jamming the traveller. The swivel is made by Ronstan and I knew that an entire assembly would cost quite a bit of money. Anyway I rang Ronstan to see if they sold spares for the item, only to be told no, not really as the parts seem indestructible. However Rob Crowe from Ronstan found an old one in the store that had been dismantled for some reason and he very generously sent me the spare part FOC by return of post, which has allowed me to repair my boat and so “Midnight Express” will be on the beach on Sunday ready to sail on time. Thanks to everyone at Ronstan.
August 26th
James ready for a sail Tuesday night was the 2nd of 4 “Capsize Club” nights and was well attended with a mixture of some new members and more experienced members to help with their sailing. The new “Bugs” were out, whilst other members used their own boats to take some of the others out, plus a lesson on how to drive the RIB was also put into good effect. The evening was mild but quite grey and we all had to get ashore by 8.00 to beat the darkness. Maria and her team served up a feast of hot dogs, which could be smelt out in the yard, which had the effect of extra sales for those who hadn’t ordered any beforehand. Alongside is a picture of my Grandson who had his first taste of sailing on Monday by having a sail in one of the “Bugs”

Last night was back to business. Anyone waking up on Wednesday morning would have put sailing right to the back of their mind, with the remnants of hurricane Bill blowing at near gale force. Fortunately the forecasters were right and by 17.00 had blown itself out to leave what appeared from the shore to be a light westerly wind. It was pleasing to see quite a few making the effort to sail in what is the penultimate race of this Wednesday series. Yes only one more race left before we start the early Wednesday start time short series.

I doubted for a time whether we would race as we were extremely late in launching the safety boat and laying a course. The tide was coming in quite quickly and was onto the steeper section of the beach; with the wind picking up a little was starting to produce a bit of surf just to make launching a bit trickier. By the time we arrived in the starting area, the wind was starting to play up also as bigger gusts were coming through and what’s more they were swirling around, making it very difficult to sail in a straight direction for long. There was some very fast planning to be experienced before the race started by using the waves and surfing in towards Charlestown. It was almost a toss up whether to carry on flashing up and down on the waves or race. Well we were there to race and so discipline kicked in and we started on a very heavily port biased line

Nigel is away on holiday and tonight the mantle of fastest dinghy in the handicap fleet was taken up by Janet & Pete Barnes in their Kestrel. They dominated the fleet and won convincingly from Brian Reeves who in turn was only just in front of Steve Wingrove in his Solo. We had another first tonight with Kay teaming up with Liz, taking the Vago out which they sailed into 4th position, finishing just in front of Nick Haskins. We also had 2 Scorpions out tonight, Ron Barret giving his recently restored boat an outing with a newcomer, unfortunately they suffered a capsize in one of the gusts, which left them trailing in last position, behind Andrew & Sarah Kendall.

Only 5 Tasars came out to race with Denis, Stacey and John Mark missing. Launching wasn’t easy and unfortunately Richard and Matthew Morley were swamped on the beach and decided to call it a day, though I think they would have had some problems in the tricky conditions out at sea. Jeremy with Suzanne and us had a battle royal throughout the race. Apparently there was never more than 10 seconds between us as we completed each lap. We lead initially, only for them to pass us on the 2nd reach. Positions between us changed several times during the race before we just edged inside them at the start of the last beat. Tight covering up the last beat gave us the victory, but truly it was a very close win which shows just how close Tasar sailing is becoming at Porthpean. Further behind Chris & Tony battled with Mike & Dave, with Chris once more coming out on top.

Don't forget the social this Saturday night. We have food and the live band of "High Tide" performing on the main stage. On past experience this will be a great evening so make sure you come along.

August 23rd
Us chasing a Troy Our miserable summer goes on and today was no exception. Drizzle and plenty of it, greeted us as we turned up at Porthpean for what turned out to be some very hot racing. The weather was so bad that I refrained from taking any photographs so the one on the left was taken last week at Fowey week, and was taken on the Tuesday morning. Note the yellow shorts!! Yes the weather was quite sunny and warm, as again on the Wednesday before this unsettled spell came in on Thursday. Today our normal racing numbers was quite depleted as quite a few regulars have chosen to go on holiday this week. A very good choice for them as the majority have gone to sunnier climes, which I am sure, was a very good decision. 10 boats hit the start line on an excellent course set by Liz and Ron. Even the start line was spot on with only a little port bias. The wind a nice fresh 2-3 was from the south giving us a beat from the beach marks towards Blackhead. Ken was suffering from a bad back and didn’t feel up to sailing but I was lucky as my son was down for the weekend and was quite pleased to be allowed in the front seat, so a partnership that was honed at Porthpean several years ago, once more had a turn at racing together and what hot racing it was. Stacey was back from his holiday and had Nathan crewing for him. Jeremy Hawkins sailed with wife Suzanne, Simon with his daughter Megan, made all the going in the 6 rounds race. Stacey passed us right at the end of the first beat and held us off on the first breach and then we had a bit of luck as he decided that the next reach was rather broad and flew his whisker pole. We sailed a bit higher over them and took the lead and with some tight covering at first, slowly opened up a nice lead which we held to the end, with Jeremy making third. The handicap fleet was much more open, with Steve returning from the Merlin Nationals, but finding the beats and spinnaker reaches hard going, so much so that he & Polly capsized on one of the reaches and had to retire when Polly became sea sick. Justin & Kelvin made the most of the conditions to use the trapeze to its full potential, like wise the spinnaker on the reaches to take 1st position in the handicap fleet, some 3 minutes clear of Andrew & Sarah Kendall in their Scorpion, with Nick Haskin only a few seconds behind.

Pete & Nicola were on the galley and they treated us all to home made quiches and savoury rice salad for lunch, which made a welcome change to the staple diet of pasties and toasted sandwiches. This was followed by cream teas for after sailing. Wow talk about being spoilt. This could be a trend that others may want to copy.

The afternoon race saw even more drama as Simon and Megan capsized right on the start line and Jeremy’s toe strap rope broke leaving him hanging out of the boat. He finally managed to recover but left a big gap to make up on Stacey & us. Again we had a very tight race with Stacey, this time we were first to the windward mark, with him only just behind us, but we just managed to hold him off on the reaches before a tight covering match started again on the next beat. Once more we managed to eke out a reasonable lead but Jeremy was starting to make up distance fast and in the end was only 8 seconds behind Stacey. Simon with his capsize had much more to do, but managed to catch and pass Mike & Dave but couldn’t pass the improving pairing of Chris Hazel and Tony Dunn.

Justin & Kelvin again had a good race beating once more the Scorpion of Andrew and Sarah, who finished in front of Richard & James King in their Merlin. Steve & Polly had called it a day after their capsize. Steve Wingrove had a very close race with Nick Haskin and although Nick finished some 3 minutes in front lost out to Steve by 3 seconds on corrected time. Quite close indeed. Despite the poor summer we seem to have picked up some new members and all seem interested in taking part in the Capsize Club, which will be meeting again this Tuesday, when I think the weather will be improving somewhat!! Well I hope so.

August 20th
Fowey lifeboat with dismasted boat At 5 o’clock this morning the wind was howling and the rain was pouring down. In fact the Polruan weather station recorded gusts of 45knots, not a good omen for sailing, but by 8.00 the wind had moderated and the rain had stopped. By the time I got to Fowey things looked a lot better again, though at Caffa Mill it was quite sheltered. We were given the news that it was considered too rough to go to sea, so we would be having a Harbour race. The wind was from the SW, which blows straight up the estuary, so we were presented with a series of beats one way and death defying runs in the other direction. All started well, we had a good start and immediately pulled into a good lead, a lead which we increased as the rounds ticked by. Conditions were evil, with some very strong gusts coming through and there were boats galore up ended, some with broken masts and others that the crews were unable to right. There was plenty of safety cover and it was all in use. We were told afterwards that they recorded gusts up to 37 knots and maybe it was one of those that did for us. Yes a terrific gust hit us whilst on the 3rd beat and over we went. Of course the Tasar turtled but before it did so I ensured that all sails were released, ready for righting. Our first problem was getting me onto the dagger board. I eventually had to get Ken round to my side of the boat and pull the boom over to enable me to use it to step on and reach the dagger board. After that it was just a matter of time before the boat came up and she just sat there with sails flogging and no harm done. The next problem was getting back into the boat. Once again I needed Ken on my side to put some more pressure on the decks which tilted it enough for me to drag myself on board, then it was a matter of hauling Ken on board and then we were off again. I was feeling rather tired by this time and it was with reluctance that we hardened up and continued the beat. We eased the sheets as we rounded and the boat took off on a massive plane, slowly we bore away until it was necessary to put up the whisker pole. That was when the next problem arose, the strength of the wind ripped one of the pole connections straight out and over the side it went. From now on we had to run very broad and as the wind veered around, from time to time run by the lee. A very mind focussing way of sailing and not to be recommended. Anyway we battled on and completed the course and ended up 4th, not the win I was hoping for but at least we finished, where many others retired. The Troys were supposed to race in the afternoon but they declined!! The sights of so many upturned boats put them off so Fowey was very quiet in the afternoon whilst waiting for the Red Arrows to show up and give their performance. Yes even they were dogged by a bit of bad luck as the clouds and rain swept in just before they did, which kept their display very low key. Tomorrow is the final day, the forecast is still breezy so don’t know what lies instore for us, but so far we have accumulated three 4ths and two 2nds. The life boat was called out at lunch time as one of the yacht racers had lost his mast and they escorted him back into the harbour. Yesterday there was another bizarre incident when 2 Troys collided and locked masts. By coincidence they were Troy 1 the oldest at about 70 years old and Troy 28 the newest, being only a few months old. They had to take a wood saw out to them and cut away one of the masts to separate them. High drama indeed.
August 19th
The new BUG Last week was Falmouth week and this week it's Fowey week. It started on Tuesday and this year there are 4 days of dinghy racing and at the moment we are half way through. So far we have had quite a gruelling series of races. The morning races have started and finished at sea, whilst the afternoon races have started in the harbour, raced around the course at sea and then back into the harbour to finish. The winds have been southerly which have produced the most confused sea that I have ever sailed in. Tuesday morning was quite light and I had one of the worst starts I have had in many a year. The beats are long and fair but the reaches are far too broad for a Tasar, but still it is so different from sailing at Porthpean. There are also many other boats around to keep an eye on and sometimes take evasive action from. We finished 4th in the morning and a better race in the afternoon gave us 2nd. I’m not sure where we finished today but certainly sailed a better pair of races than Tuesday, in the fresher winds, so will be interested to look at the results tomorrow lunch time. I have managed to sail in my sailing shorts both days, as the weather although quite overcast is still very mild. One good thing about Fowey week at the moment is that the Race Officer understands the speeds of the faster dinghies and gives a race length that reflects it by giving us the same course as the Troys. Races now take about an hour so that itself gives good value for money.

Tuesday evening saw the start of the “Capsize Club” and pleasingly we had 8 people down, of which 4 were novices and 4 others were there to try and improve their skills. I am told that everybody got afloat and spent some time sailing them. Anna & Liz have managed to acquire 2 “Laser Bugs” from the RYA. These are very small boats designed for youngsters to learn on. They are quite cute and Anna & Allan Orton took them out for a sail this evening. I am sure that they will soon get plenty of use.

Ken & I were on safety boat duty tonight, but after almost 2 weeks of very hard sailing I was more than pleased when Liz offered to help Ken in the safety boat, which allowed me to take a break and keep my sailing gear dry for tomorrow. It was very overcast tonight and that together with the fresh southerly wind persuaded several others to give it a miss so it was quite a small fleet of 8 boats that took to the water tonight, with only 1 Tasar sailing. Steve Coello took his RS400 out with Kay in the front seat, and Richard & Matthew Morley took their Tasar out, but they both soon came back as the wind was far stronger out on the race track than seemed from the Club yard.

Tomorrow sees the 2nd half of Fowey week and the Red Arrows day. This is always a fantastic spectacle but needs clear blue skies to see them at their best and so far this week it has been very overcast, so not feeling too optimistic. More to come tomorrow.

August 16th
The yard after racing After a week of sailing in the Carrick roads it was great to be sailing on home waters again. Our bay is actually much flatter water than the Carrick Roads, something I noticed many years ago when I left Restronguet for the charms of Porthpean. The Tasar fleet is getting stronger as we have just been joined by Jeremy Hawkins, sailing with wife Suzanne this morning and son Fin, this afternoon. Jeremy has bought Brian Phillips Tasar and Brian is hoping to buy a new or nearly new one. Competition in the fleet is hotting up we just need Stacey to get back from holiday and he and Alan repair their boats.

First of all anyone looking at the results may be puzzled as I only have the morning results on my memory stick, so anyone reading them will have to wait until Wednesday until I can get an updated version for the afternoon race, but I will try and tell it as I remember.

Today was almost perfect Porthpean conditions, we only lacked sun shine and to be honest we could have done with a few more boats on the water. We had a light to slightly moderate westerly this morning, which provided very tricky conditions, especially on the beats and more especially around the beach marks. There was no pattern to it, you either had to tack on a wind shift and hope it worked out ok or sail through the header hoping for the wind to come back or better on the tack you were on. Sarah Fryer has been home for a month and today was her last sail at Porthpean this year, but she teamed up with Robin Hadlow, who allowed her to helm his boat. Unfortunately the boat is way off the pace at the moment and clearly needs a new suit of sails. We started on a very biased starboard start line and right from the off we seemed to have a good position and speed. Dennis & Sabine tacked away early to clear their wind and went straight towards Charlestown and were soon followed by Jeremy & Suzanne, meanwhile we elected to go for a more conservative approach and try and use the wind shifts, which allowed John & Steve to bang the left hand corner. When we all converged at the beach marks, it was Denis & Sabine first followed by John & Steve and we had to slot into 4th, hmm so far not so good, but as we were all so close then there was no need to panic and by the time we finished the 2 reaches we were lying 2nd just behind John & Steve. We managed to wriggle past them on the beat and this time played the Charlestown side of the bay, which helped no end and this took us into a nice lead which we held to the finish. Meanwhile things were hotting up behind us. Simon & Nathan who had been further back came through to close up with the other 3 Tasars. John & Steve managed to hit one of the beach marks and ended up doing turns, which allowed Jeremy & Suzanne into 2nd place and Simon & Nathan also sailed through them. Denis suffered in the light winds and fell back to finish 5th.

Looking back at the handicap fleet, it looked like another first for James and Nigel in the Feva, but Beacky and Adam in almost perfect Enterprise weather surged onwards to take the win by only 10 seconds. Steve Wingrove cut a lonely figure with Colin at the back of the fleet, but eventually managed to spilt the 2 Lasers of Tim Baily and Brian Reeves to finish 4th. Colin in his Supernova was having a good battle with Nick Haskins, but Nick's experience proved the better, eventually beating Colin by almost 2 minutes.

The wind had swung round more to the north for the afternoon race, which gave us a starboard hand course to the beach marks. We had a bit of drama just before the 5 minute gun when bang went the toe strap rope and overboard went Ken!! I managed to sail back to him twice. The first time to retrieve his hat and the 2nd time to get him back into the boat. Then we had a quick repair job to do and all was well again with 3 minutes to go. Again we had another good start but it was Simon & Nathan who stormed up the first beat to round first, just in front of us, with Steve & John back in 3rd, yes Steve was handed the helm for the afternoon race and now he had to contend with the very tricky wind shifts and fickle wind strength on the beats. Simon & us pulled away on the first reach until calamity hit Simon and he capsized right on the gybe mark, which allowed us to jump into a good lead which we extended to the end. Meanwhile Jeremy had swopped crews and this time had young son Fin crewing for him (6 yrs old!!) so very light, which helped enormously on the reaches and runs. They made good use of their new speed and caught and passed Steve & John as did Simon & Nathan. Meanwhile Denis had trouble with a fitting and retired.

We had a smaller handicap fleet this afternoon, but once again Beacky won through to claim his 2nd 1st of the day. This time Brian Reeves won the battle of the Lasers, when Tim Baily broke his tiller extension. All in all quite an exciting day and then as we finished the sun finally came out, leaving the bay looking very tranquil.

This Tuesday sees the start of Fowey week and the early forecast looks like hot sunshine and lightish breezes, so we will have to wait and see how things go. My body is certainly looking for a rest, but will have to wait another week yet. The new Capsize Club starts this Tuesday at 18.00, so why not come along and see what is what. Anna & Liz are running the course and it is aimed at the less experienced dinghy sailor who is looking to improve their technique.

August 14th
Midnight Express waiting to race Wow, well 6 days of racing have flashed by and all in all a very mixed week. 2 days of beautiful weather and only Friday being rather drizzly, and heavily overcast. The first race, today, for us started brilliantly. We had a reasonable start at the pin end of the line, eventually tacked across the whole fleet and when we approached the windward mark found we were in a nice lead, which we extended when we had the one and only close reach of the week. The course set today was the shuttle course. We sail a beat and then reach off to a wing mark, and then onto a run. After the run we have to beat back to what was the wing mark, but is now our new windward mark. We repeat the runs and beats until eventually a white flag is flown and that is the signal for the leading boat to head for the finish line the next time he gets to the end of the run. Well the run was our Achilles heel again we were just overhauled by the top Blaze and the Fireball as we rounded up to start the 2nd beat. Another good beat took us back in front of the Blaze and we again lost out to him down wind. A big mistake on the 3rd beat, basically going the wrong way allowed the Blaze to get well away and for the next Blaze to catch us up, and he too passed us on the last run.

I think we made 4th place but without my mistake should have been 3rd. The next and last race of the week started under similar conditions, our first beat was not quite as good but still saw us up with the leading bunch at the end of the beat. Again we suffered on the down wind legs and then major confusion came into play again. The race organisation intends to give some 45 -60 minutes sailing for the leading boat. At the appropriate time a white flag is attached to the windward mark. The intention is that he will proceed to the finish after completing that lap. Unfortunately some of the slower boats were being lapped and they took that as the signal for them to finish also. So we had the situation of boats like a Laser 2000, 420 and Lasers apparently finishing and getting a finish signal from the Committee boat before or as we were finishing. In affect they had not completed the course. This also happened on Monday and the race itself was discarded due to the confusion. In order to stop another race from being thrown out I had no option but to protest all those who had not sailed the course as per sailing instructions. As this was the last race of the series and some of the Protestees were disappearing and could not be contacted, things were looking rather messy, and even now I don’t know the final outcome as the results have not been publicised. I do know that some of the other fleets had problems with people finishing races and not being recorded and as all this was on handicaps has posed great problems for the race organisation. I’m also sure that the white flag scenario will not be repeated again either. In the end we were awarded a prize for 4th overall, which I think is a fair reflection on our results for the week.

This year was the first time I had competed against a Blaze and although they are a slower boat than a Tasar on the handicap ratings they are very fast when sailed by the National Champion. All the other Blazes came from his Club so they were all up to speed as well. They are also better produced and lighter than the original Topper Blaze and should anyone want a good singlehanded hiking boat then I would thoroughly recommend a Blaze.

In previous years we have always complained about the difficulty in spotting the marks, but for this year bright new orange jubbly ones have been bought and are a huge improvement. Overall the week was pleasant, the sailing not as good as previous years and the white flag finishing procedure a bit of a disaster. The harbour race was a disappointment due to the very light breeze, but hey it really is good just to be out sailing in one of the most picturesque areas of the country, amongst equally minded people.

August 11th
Carrick roads from Restronguet Club Matters; After 2 more races at Falmouth of what more later, we packed up the boat and headed for Porthpean for the Wednesday evening race. I must admit that as I sat on the benches at Restronguet after racing I realised that I certainly didn’t fancy sailing again that day as all my wet suit was wet and I was feeling rather tired. Anyway we got back to Porthpean to be greeted by Porthpean conditions looking their best with a light offshore westerly breeze, yes looking really nice indeed. So the boat was unpacked, rigged, and some dry sailing gear ie yellow shorts and Tee shirt were dug out of my sailing bag and we joined the other 18 other boats for the race. Yes 19 boats, almost the best turn out of the year. I think for the first time for months if not years we actually had 8 ladies sailing, Anna & Liz, Kay, Sarah Kendall, Sarah Fryer, Polly, Sabine and Suzanne Hawkins, a very encouraging statistic.

Allan Orton sailed his Contender and lead from start to finish though was challenged and passed by Nigel & Kelvin in the RS 400. Steve & Polly gave a good account in their Merlin, finally finishing 3rd and guest helm for the evening, Sarah Fryer with James Dowrick in his Feva came 6th, a result Sarah was really pleased with as she had never been in a Feva before. Kay was also glad to be out sailing with Craig Varley crewing for her and won the battle of the Scorpions by finishing 4th, 3 places in front of Andrew & Sarah Kendall. Jeremy & Suzanne, with some broken sheets, powered around in the B14, looking very impressive but could only manage a 10th place, on corrected time, just behind Steve Wingrove’s Solo. Anna & Liz were quite a way behind and when I asked them what had gone wrong I was told that they had been looking for hunky men in the Charlestown gig that was out rowing. Come on girls what’s wrong with the hunky men at Porthpean? (Don’t answer that)

It was a lot less hectic in the Tasar fleet with John & Steve doing rescue boat duty, Stacey on holiday, just left Denis & Sabine as our main protagonists. We had a better start and kept ahead the whole race, though Denis did close us down several times, especially towards the end. The other battle was between Chris & Tony against Mike & Dave, which saw Chris leading for a good way but was finally overhauled by Mike.

An EGM was held after the racing, to hear a proposal from the Committee that Porthpean will affiliate to the RYA and become a training centre for Adult sailing. Some match funding is available which would enable us to buy one or two more suitable boats to encourage some of our newer members who don’t have boats or are not too competent at sailing to be trained by Anna. This will be a service that is only available to Club Members and not open to members of the general public. The motion was passed unanimously, so all in all a good thing for the Club. It is a venture that we are willing to try but if found not to work then will not be problem for us to step away from.

And now to Falmouth week; well today was not a very good day for us, a very light breeze coupled with broad reaches that did not favour the Tasar and a couple of poor starts by me, ensured we struggled on the first beats. Actually the beats when sailed well gave many gains but the Burghfield Blazes are very well sailed and once again we fell behind most of them at different times. In fact I haven’t looked at the results for Wednesday yet. I will wait until we travel down on Thursday for what will be the harbour race. This is the best race of the week as we sail right round the harbour, visiting Falmouth, Flushing, St Mawes, virtually rounding every mark up the river to St. Just then onto Loe beach and finally back to Restronguet. It would be interesting to carry a GPS and clock up the miles that we cover.

Thursday was chosen for the harbour race day as the forecast for Friday was supposed to be quite windy. However today gave beautiful weather but a very light westerly wind. Yes another yellow shorts day. We started at 11.30 opposite the entrance to Falmouth and the selected course took us almost 3 hours to sail. The Fireball, top Blaze and us arrived at the windward mark almost together, but the Fireball pulled well ahead with his spinnaker and once again we fell foul to the Blazes, with one other closing and passing us in the light winds. Though for much of the race we managed to swop positions with them from time to time, the breeze was so light that very rarely could both of us get onto the side decks. Behind us was the Wayfarer fleet, sailing this race as part of their National Championships. We could see that Mike McNamara had built up a good lead and looked fine to take the win, when he started the final mile run in a very light breeze to the finish line. The 2 boats behind him were at least 200M further back and started a luffing match. Up they went and as luck would have it sailed into a patch of wind which carried them down and one of them actually sailed past him to take the gun. Talk about feeling gutted!!, but then this sailing game can be very cruel at times.

August 13th
safety boat on wheels Falmouth Week day 3 and we are half way through the week. Today the weather was beautiful, with a light westerly breeze, so I wore my yellow sailing shorts again. The wind was very light for the first race, in fact much lighter than we would have liked. We had a good start, but lost out to the Fireball and several Blazes on the first beat, then lost more ground on the very broad reaches. These were so broad that we had to use the whisker pole on each reach. Even some of the slower boats were not too far behind. The race was shortened after 2 rounds, but found after time corrections we were down in 10th position, so not good at all, though there were only a few seconds between us and a much better position, so all in all was quite close. The wind for the 2nd race was still in the same direction but just slightly stronger. Again we had a good start and made good use of the wind shifts to be first round the windward mark. Down wind we were again caught and passed by 2 of the Blazes and we started the 2nd beat just in front of the Fireball. Again we had another good beat, this time being 2nd around but had managed to pull well clear of most of the other Blazes and left the Fireball for dead. Once more we had 2 very broad reaches but the extra pressure kept all the other Blazes and the Fireball behind us. This time we finished 3rd on corrected time.

Today’s host Club was Restronguet and they put on a very fine tea accompanied by a band and it was a perfect end to a days sailing just sitting on the benches, enjoying food and drink and watching the Carrick Roads fleets of working boats, Sunbeams, Flying 15s and all sorts of other craft racing to finish on a Club line positioned off the Club. This truly is a beautiful spot when the weather is fine, sunny and warm.

Cast your eyes on the picture above left. This boat caused quite a stir when it just drove out of the sea and straight up the beach. The boat has a separate inboard motor to drive the wheels, which swivel upwards when in the sea, then the outboard is lowered and off the boat goes in a quite conventional manner. Maybe it’s just the boat we need at Porthpean. Just think no more hauling the boat out of the water onto a trolley then heaving it up the beach and slipway, fantastic!!

August 10th
Restronguet with no wind Well Ken & I are at Falmouth week. I had asked Gary to email me the Club results, but racing didn’t happen. Here is a resume of the day as written by Gary.

No results, no sailing, day started very light so postponed till after lunch and although it threatened (and eventually did for an hour) to fill in it was a day for a paddle rather than a sail, James took his Feva out single handed and greeted visiting yachtsman Peter Pope as he motored into the bay, Steve Coello took the 400 out for a sales pitch to Mike Voyzey, Simon his Tasar just for the hell of it and Ron & Michelle appeared having finally got their Scorpion back from Nigel Potters took it out for a jolly, the rest of the world sat and watched them from the comfort of the wall, cold beer in hand, as they followed the wind patterns across the bay trying to avoid the large holes and shiny flat sea.

And so to Falmouth; we did have a race but only one rather than the scheduled 2. The first race was supposed to start at 11.00, but the Carrick Roads were unusually still and at 11.00 the postponement flag went up on the flag pole. A short time later a minute breeze started to appear and gradually filled in and we were told to launch. The courses were set and the start line was up the river on the opposite bank. There are 5 different classes and our class was the 2nd to start. A good start saw us 2nd to the windward mark, (18 boats racing in our class) just behind a Fireball and ahead of 7 Blazes, including their National Champion. The reaches were excruciatingly slow and we were overhauled by 2 of the Blazes, which wasn’t very good as they are supposed to be a slower boat than a Tasar. We eventually finished the race 6th on corrected time, so not so good. We waited for ages for lots of the slower boats to finish and then what wind there was gradually died and racing for the day was abandoned.

Monday dawned quite wet, but more importantly we had a breeze. In fact a good breeze, which allowed us both to hike. A good start saw us 1st at the windward mark, just in front of the Fireball, but he overtook us on the reaches, as did the top Blaze. We passed the Blaze again on the next beat, just as he capsized next to us, which I thought was very sporting. However he gobbled us up again on the following run. We took turns in passing each other, with us eventually getting to the windward mark in front of him again, only to lose out to him downwind again. There was problem with this race as the course shorten flag was flown, fell down and then re displayed, causing quite a bit of confusion. We thought that this was sorted when approaching the finishing line we were waved to do another triangle by the race officer, which we duly did, but some of the boats that we had lapped went on to finish a lap earlier and were given a finishing position. At the moment, the results are still being sorted.

The next race was started on a same configuration, but swung round a bit due to a change in wind direction. This time we had a poor start, being in poor wind of a group of boats just to leeward of us. I decided to bale out and had to duck under several boats, but drove into clear wind. By the time we reached the windward mark we were 2nd boat, just behind the Fireball. The wind in the last 200M to the windward mark was very shifty and quite gusty, calling for immense concentration. The top Blaze man was about 6th around the mark, but by the end of the 2nd reach was just behind us, having passed all the other Blazes. The shortened course flag was flown again but this time without any problems. This time we stayed ahead of the Blaze but just lost out on corrected time, with 5 Blazes just behind us. This is going to be a hard week.

August 5th
Polly & Steve rigging for
 tonight's race Summer seems to be finally here, we had a warm sunny day but with a very light westerly breeze. I managed to repair the thwart so quite happily went out to race making 15 boats in total. Unfortunately we were once again late starting, which rather spoilt the race for many as the wind as usual went lighter and lighter as the evening drew on, which resulted in the slower boats falling victim to the conditions, which in turn affected their finishing positions. Indeed the final 2 boats to finish required towing in by the safety boat as the breeze had all but disappeared by that time. A bit more discipline in getting to the race area in time would be helpful, especially as the daylight is disappearing much quicker now that we are in to August.

Tonight’s race contrived to give such a port biased line that I don’t think anyone could lay it on starboard, with the result that there was an large pile up at the pin end with quite a few boats being OCS, us being one of them. Anyway a quick detour round the mark and we were off, and not going too badly. Alan Orton and Stacey using Denis’s boat and managed to just get in front of us by the windward mark and sailed on never to be caught. We were really missing boat speed on the beats and as the wind became lighter the slower we became. John & Steve passed us quite easily on the 2nd beat and though we pulled them right back on the last reach, still made quite a distance on us on the final beat. My jib has become badly creased ever since I had a capsize a few weeks ago when I sailed with Faye. I suppose the distortion really showed up tonight as the wind became lighter. So that’s a problem that requires solving.

Well we had the full quota of Supernovas out tonight, with John Hill once again showing the others around. John finishing 2nd on handicap but only 5 seconds in front of Nigel & Kelvin in the RS400. Nigel also being a victim to being an early starter! Steve Mitchell with new crew Polly sailed really well, winning the handicap fleet by a big margin, though line honours went to Jeremy & Suzanne Hawkins in their B14. Yes we have quite a mixture of handicap boats, ranging from the superfast B14 to the much slower Solo. They all have their merits but seeing the faster boats disappearing into the distance is very frustrating.

The forecast for the weekend is for light winds, which may be welcomed by some , but Ken & I are sailing in Falmouth week which starts on Sunday, so could do with a decent breeze, though the last 3 years have been bedevilled with quite strong winds, so I suppose we are due a light breeze this year. Mind you it is very rare that the same conditions apply all week so I suppose we will get a fair share of conditions.

August 2nd
Matthew and Richard rigging for today's race Today’s the 2nd of August and the last 4 Sundays have been terrible for sailing, so it was a fantastic treat to come down to the Club today to be greeted by a light westerly breeze and some hazy sunshine. Well there was only one answer to that and that was on with the yellow shorts and a tee shirt, no wet suit for me today, then off we all went out to play with a nice “P” shaped course set by our safety boat crew for the day, Ron & Michelle Barret.

Well the first round went by without incidence and pleasingly, we had eked out a nice lead over the other 6 Tasars, when almost at the end of the 2nd beat we gradually slowed and the wind died away, to be eventually replaced by a south westerly. John & Steve who had been dropping behind us were the first to get the new wind and were off like a bullet, quickly followed by the 505 of Justin & Kelvin and Andrew & Jenny Kendall in their Scorpion. The new wind had destroyed any semblance of catching up as it took the beat away, leaving us all to tag around until mercifully we finished. Sarah Kendall crewed for Kay as she made only her 2nd appearance for the season, so it was good to see 2 Scorpions mixing it with the rest of the fleet. Allan Orton, took his Contender out and was another victim of the disappearing westerly, but eventually got going but too late to save his handicap. Sarah Fryer took the Club Laser out for a sail whilst her eldest son Jacque crewed for Stacey and Milly, but they retired before too long as Milly wasn’t too happy after the exertions from last Wednesday evenings race.

Yesterday, Chris Hazel was a guest of Radio St. Austell Bay, when he was interviewed about the Club. I don’t know how many other people listened to it but Chris was on air for almost 20 minutes, talking to the presenter who did sound quite interested about sailing. It was good to see the Easthams back, with Ray & Maria in the galley, but Adam is away at Air Cadets camp so Beacky was crewless.

The course was changed around for the afternoon race and this time we started at the beach marks, with the beat towards Blackhead. Worryingly, I noticed before we started that the centre board case had detached itself from the front bulkhead, so the dagger board was not staying in the same position all the time, which I am sure didn’t bode well for the beats. Anyway I elected to race with it as it was and hopefully get it repaired during the week as Ken & I are sailing at Falmouth week which starts next Sunday. Well the conditions and events during the race can best be described as “interesting”. The wind was extremely volatile, especially by the windward mark and was also very shifty and in a phrase “all over the shop”. We were beating hard one moment and then bearing off on a violent header the next and several places were exchanged at various times. I think during the race the 3 Tasars of Stacey, this time crewed by Tim Baily, Denis and Sabine and us, all held the lead at different times before Stacey finally broke through and held his lead to the end. Denis and Sabine fell the wrong side of a wind shift on the final beat to drop a good distance behind us. The first round had been very close with 4 Tasars, the Contender of Allan, the 505 of Justin & Kelvin and the RS400 of Nigel, who was crewing for Beacky, arriving at the leeward mark in close proximity, which in turn caused quite a bit of mayhem, especially for Stacey and John. The gusty winds caused at least 2 capsizes, so was strong enough to keep every one on their toes. Some of the offwind legs promoted some thrilling planning, which always makes sailing such a pleasure.

Richard Morley and son Matthew sailed the morning race but found the increase in wind strength in the afternoon to be too much for them as did Kay and Sarah. Emma Dawes, took her sister out in her Laser 2 and managed to keep up and also fly their spinnaker on the down wind legs, without coming to grief. By the end of the race, quite a few boats had been lapped and it must have been rather difficult for Gary in the race box to keep tabs on everyone.

July 29th
Mike & Dave rigging for tonight's race Despite another crappy summer(?) day, the weather Gods finally relented and gave us a pleasant evening for the Wednesday race. Due to poor weather the first 2 races of the summer series races had been lost but tonight was the 4th Wednesday in succession that we have sailed, albeit in not idyllic conditions. Today was another day of heavy rain and wind and again the beach had been eroded by the slipway where gallons of water had poured down the hill. By evening the rain had stopped and even the strong south westerly winds had abated, dropping to almost a dead calm by 16.00. The breeze finally came back and this time from the west which gave us only the 2nd race of the season with the wind in that direction. In fact when we launched just after 18.00 the breeze was quite light, so much in fact that Stacey took Milly out to crew for him. Yet by the time we came to start the race the breeze had picked up quite considerably, producing some big, swirling gusts and shifts that caught quite a few people out. In fact to my knowledge I saw at least 4 boats capsize, caught out by the tricky conditions. Liz & Clive gave us quite a large course, which was compounded when the wing mark dragged its anchor, which made the reach out from the beach marks very broad and very long, and then the reach in from the wing mark to the leeward mark very tight which certainly suited the Tasars.

Six Tasars started the race although Chris & Tony were very late as they had spent most of the pre sailing time with their boat on its side, trying to open the slot to allow a new dagger board to slide up and down. Stacey had to retire as it was a bit too much for Milly and John & Steve had a poor race by their standards, gradually falling back and were passed by Mike & Dave. Denis with Sabine and us had a good tussle, but we managed to hold them off on the beats, enough to take the win.

I suppose most of the fun and problems took place in the handicap fleet, where most of the capsizes came from. Nigel and Kelvin in the RS400 swept past us on the first reach, had a frantic gybe, with the spinnaker up and then found that the reach was far too tight to fly the kite. By the time they had it under control, both Denis and us had shot past them. I later saw them taking a swim on the next beat. They weren’t in for too long, before righting and sailing off to win. John Hill was sailing again and was quick to point out to me that was 2 weeks in a row, so next week could be a hat trick. It’s a shame that John doesn’t sail more as his 2nd position in the handicap fleet shows how consistent and competitive he is. Emma & Alex in their laser 2, came to grief on one of the beats, well within my eye sight, the boat quickly inverted but came up much easier than a Tasar and they were off sailing again. Jeremy and Suzanne were out again in their B14, a very tricky boat to sail but immensely fast when going well, were handicapped by not being able to use the spinnaker, lost quite a lot of ground, plus practising a capsize drill, dropped them down the results. Pete Barnes reinvigorated after his good result on Sunday put in another sterling session to finish 3rd. The next 3 boats, finished with only 13 seconds separating them, which shows how close the racing is in the handicap fleet. Steve Wingrove found the conditions more to his liking, especially the tight reach, where the Solo came into its own. We overtook him on one of the broad reaches and weren’t that much faster than him.

Congratulations to Simon Pryce, who has just finished 22nd at the Osprey Nationals held this week at Mounts Bay. It was a 4 day nationals and had featured strong winds and plenty of rain. Let's hope that the Osprey fleet have better weather next year when they return to Porthpean for their 2010 Nationals.

July 26th
Justin and Kelvin rigging the 505 Ah the July Cup, It sounds rather special doesn’t? Well today was the day for the 3 race series and the best way to describe the weather conditions means resorting to using a four letter word. “Vile”, Yes not the worst word in the world but a very good description of today’s weather. After 3 rotten weeks of weather and at least another bad week forecast to come, we are slowly getting used to the summer of 2009. Strong winds and rain, sailing doesn’t get much worse than this. Surprisingly there were quite a few diehards, 7 in all, who were prepared to go out in such conditions, the white caps in the bay suggested another Sunday of around 20 knot winds and so the scene was set for a gruelling 3 race series between the magnificent 7. The event was to be organised by the Laser fleet and poor old Tim Baily and Dave Mackrell took the safety boat out to lay a course. The beach normally an obstacle course filled with holiday makers was almost deserted with just 2 families pitching tents to try and shelter from the rain. Well we did get 3 races in and well done to Justin and Kelvin, though not winning on handicap, still managed to get line honours in each race. As there were only 2 Tasars sailing it was fairer to lump everyone together to give one result. Allan Orton took Nathan out with him and led us round the course for round after round. I fully expected that with our heavier weight we would be able to pass them on the beat, but it wasn’t to be. The south westerly wind (again) gave us an uncomfortable beat across the bay, in a very choppy swell, before turning for a breath taking reach into the beach marks. Well fortune finally favoured us on the last reach when rounding some 50 meters or so behind Allan, we took off in a big gust and planed right up to them. Each time the wind went lighter they would pull away a bit but each time the wind came stronger we would catch up some more. By the time we reached the beach marks it was neck and neck and on the line we got the win by 2 seconds. Very close racing indeed.

It was all change for the 2nd race, the wind had blown itself out and also changed direction into the west, but the rain was still coming down. The course was re-laid and for the first time this season we had a beat from the day mark direction into the beach marks. The new wind held for about 20 minutes and then swung back to the south west making the course rather processional. Janet & Pete Barnes had capsized in the morning race and Janet opted to stay ashore for the afternoon races, which allowed Nigel to become a guest helm in the Kestrel. Nigel with Pete on the spinnaker got to grips very quickly with the conditions, really making the spinnaker pay off wind, taking the win on corrected time by a matter of 6 seconds.

The course was re-laid yet again, and we all started the 3rd race in quite light conditions, but the rain was still coming down, yes it didn’t stop all day. Allan, very generously, let Nathan helm his Tasar, which he enjoyed and was very pleased to beat Mike Voyzey. Mike had to miss the morning race which would have suited him much better. This was another close race with the Kestrel being in front of us at the end of the first beat, but had to give water to us at the beach marks. Try as we might, we couldn’t pull very far in front but managed to finish about 50 seconds in front of them, which gave us a win by 14 seconds on corrected time. This was another very close race, which kept us on our toes. Andrew & Sarah Kendall had a very consistent run of races, finishing 4th in the first 2 races before taking a 3rd in the last race. With the rain still coming down we sailed back to what was now a totally deserted beach. Our sailing kit was completely wet through. There were no yellow shorts for me today, in fact looking at the forecast for the week, they will not be coming out of the bag at all.

The Eastham family were missing today with reportedly 3 of the 5 suffering from the swine flu, so let’s hope they have a speedy recovery.

I popped down to the Club on Saturday, which incidently was a lovely day for sailing and saw Jeremy Hawkins, who has just rejoined the Club taking his 6yr old son out on a Pico. Apparently Finbar really enjoyed it so expect to see another father and son duo sailing together in the next few years.

PS Don't forget to listen to Chris Hazel, live on St. Austell Bay Radio next Saturday afternoon.

July 22nd
Gary inspecting the yard Anyone looking at the Polruan weather station during the day would have put our chances of sailing tonight as very low. The measured south westerly wind strength was consistently over 20 knots and the trees on the banks of John Keay House were bending with the wind strength, but as on many other occasions the wind eased as the evening drew on. Launching was interesting as the tide was right up to the slip way, so boats were rigged and lined up on the slip way and launched one by one. Needless to say it was a bit too cold and fresh for the yellow sailing shorts. Once launched and out by the beach marks, there was enough meat in the wind to promote instant planning, which boded well for the excitement factor for the 14 boats racing. Amongst them was the B14 of Jeremy Hawkins who had the pleasure of Suzanne crewing for him. Jeremy rarely gets down on time on Wednesdays due to work commitments, but for once he was ready to race. For some obscure reason, Jeremy’s result isn’t on the sailwave results sheets so a little checking will have to take place, but I did see them hurtling around at various times in the race. Once again the Tasars had a very close race, with a bit of nip & tuck going on up the first beat. The start was quite interesting as the flags certainly didn’t go up and down in time to coincide with our watches. At the end of the first beat, Stacey & Alan rounded first with us not far behind, closely followed by Denis & Sabine just in front of John & Steve. John was determined to confuse us all by mistakenly using someone else’s mainsail, but that didn’t stop him passing Denis on the first reach and closing us down by the end of the 2nd reach. We had a moment of glory when we slipped past Stacey on one of the reaches, only to fall back again on the next beat. The beats were very tricky, with the wind strength slowly ebbing leaving a confused sea. On the last lap a very big mistake by me allowed John to get past and he closed Stacey down, being less than a boat length behind at the finish. Chris Hazel had a new dagger board to replace the one he broke on Sunday, but the new one seems a bit too wide for the slot so they had a frustrating sail, unable to keep Mike Voyzey behind them.
It’s so difficult commenting on the handicap fleet, because of the inherent differentials in speeds of the different boats. The corrected times show that the first 5 boats were separated by only 4 minutes. Suffice to say that Nigel & Kelvin, with a brand new spinnaker, pulled out a long enough lead to take the win, with John Hill not far behind in 2nd who finished ahead of Tim Baily who was a minute and a half ahead of the only other Standard Laser in the race, with father and daughter, Andrew & Sarah Kendall splitting the pair of them. Further behind and really suffering from the decreasing wind was Steve Wingrove in his Solo & Clive Stephens in his Laser Radial. The handicap results after 3 races are quite close with only 1 point splitting the first 3.

A talk on Race box management was given after the racing by Gary Lewis, accompanied by Jenny’s bacon butties. Very encouragingly, we had 3 prospective new members looking around tonight, all professing a keen interest in joining us and buying their own boats.

I don’t know if many of you will remember a former member of Porthpean called Tony Cole. Well he rang me the other night to tell me that he is moving out of the area and that he has a “scow type moth” that he needs to dispose of. I believe that this will be “free to a good home” and if no one wants it then it will be cut up and disposed of. The boat is complete, and has been sitting in Tony’s garage for the last 20 years, so if any one is interested then please contact me and I will pass on Tony’s details.

July 19th
Chris & Tony before their epic sail What a day for sailing!! We must be masochists, or we just love the great British summer or maybe we were lulled into a false sense of security as the Club was in the lee of a very strong wind, blowing west south westerly, so all seemed quite benign in the dinghy park, but the white horses further out in the exposed bay told of what was to come. I think 13 boats set out for the morning race, but before I had even launched one of the early launchers came back citing the strength of the wind.

I had teamed up with Faye for the day and knowing that she had travelled up from Camborne to sail I was determined to give it a go. We went through a capsize routine before we went out so knew what to do should it happen to us. Well I saw a few capsizes, but before I could make the decision to sail for home we too suffered a capsize, being blown in by a vicious gust. Fortunately a 2nd safety boat had been launched, and they were kept busy scurrying from boat to boat, finally arriving to attend to us. Anyway I managed to right the boat first time, only for it to blow straight in on top of me. I realised that the jib was still cleated so that was released and tried attempt number 2. Again the boat came up but rather than float in a normal position, slowly rolled in on top of me again. The 3rd attempt proved successful and I managed to climb on board and pull Faye in as well. Unfortunately by this time the jib had blown the wrong side of the fore stay and it proved impossible to pull round and then this was compounded by the pin coming away from the clew, just leaving a flogging jib. Fortunately as the safety boat was standing by, we pulled down the sails, and they towed us back to the beach. Chris & Tony suffered more than us. They too had a series of capsizes, but their centre board snapped whilst trying to right the boat, so a decision was made to anchor their boat, until they could get ashore and bring out a spare centre board. Needless to say the race itself never started as so may people were getting into difficulties. Some made it ashore without capsizing, but the majority of us did spend some time in the water and quite a few of us had scars and bruises to show. I think we all thought that enough was enough as no one was interested in trying to race in the afternoon, so racing was abandoned for the day.

Congratulations to Jenny Pope who celebrated her 60th Birthday last Friday. I believe she was trying to keep it a secret so please don’t let on and say that I told you!! It was also great to see Sarah Fryer with her three boys down at the Club, on their annual holiday, home from Luxembourg. Sarah went out with Pete Barnes and took her eldest son Jacque out for his first sail, unfortunately they too suffered a capsize, so I hope that Jacque’s first outing won’t be his last.

Last Wednesday after racing, we had a rules seminar lead by Stacey and this week, after sailing, we are having race box procedure by Gary. Looking ahead at the forecast this lecture nay be instead of sailing, but either way there will still be bacon butties served up from the galley, so I hope to see an equally good turnout whatever the weather.

July 15th
Liz and Anna preparing their Vago for tonight's race July this year is going down as quite a poor month weather-wise. For over 2 weeks now we have suffered from strong winds and heavy showers though last Sunday would have been ideal sailing conditions, but there was no Club sailing due to the Contender Open meeting. Tonight brought some relief with a dry evening coupled with an initial good sailing breeze that as happens so many times gradually fades away as the evening draws in. Actually the breeze blew from a different direction than normal. I suppose it was somewhat west of south west, which gave a beat from Charlestown area towards the beach marks, with a reach out to sea, where the wing mark was laid to take us back towards Charlestown. Only 12 boats turned out but 6 of those were Tasars so to me seemed quite a large fleet. We were pleased to see Pete & Nicola back sailing their Tasar again. A very heavily port biased start line saw lots of incidents as we started, with one or two having to take some heavy course diversions to avoid collisions. Stacey with Alan crewing took the early lead, with 3 other Tasars in hot pursuit at the end of the beat, we were 2nd with Denis, just returned from France and reunited with Sabine, tucked in behind us with John Mark & Steve, just behind them. John & Steve managed to pass Denis and Sabine on the 2nd reach and we closed up on Stacey, but determined covering from Stacey prevented us from passing them despite us getting close to them on a few of the reaches. I suppose the race developed into rather a procession, though John & Steve closed us down until the last beat when we pulled away from them again. Back in the handicap fleet, things were more difficult to judge. Nigel & Kelvin, though sailing in the fastest boat had a disastrous start, unable to lay the line on starboard had to gybe off and come back in on port behind everyone else. They eventually climber through their fleet but were unable to save their time on correction. Anna & Liz, sailed well in their Vago, the reaches suiting their spinnaker and came through to a comfortable win, with Tim Baily in his Laser 2nd and a very good result for Steve Wingrove, sailing with new stays, obviously a good tuning aid for his Solo, finishing in 3rd.

Hopefully you are all aware that St. Austell has its own radio station “St Austell Bay Radio”. Well they are interested in featuring the Club on a forthcoming radio programme and Chris Hazel, our media correspondent, will be appearing “live” on the radio on Saturday August 1st to talk about the Club.

July 12th
Contenders getting ready This weekend was the Contender Open Meeting, which resulted in no Club racing. I don’t thing anyone would have minded when we saw the weather that was dished up on Saturday. Heavy drizzle which was followed by even heavier rain and that was accompanied by a quite fresh south westerly wind. 15 visiting Contenders joined Stacey & Allan to swell the fleet to 17, which was a very impressive number considering that some travelled from as far away as Halifax, & Southend, such is the lure of Porthpean. However despite the inclement weather all 3 scheduled races were held under the Race Officering of Ken Fobbester. The fleet had a well deserved social in the Clubhouse in the evening, where they were well fed by Simon Pryce’s cooking. Today Sunday dawned in much better weather. The rain had gone and the wind had swung around to the west, and was slowly fading from the strength of yesterday. The plan was to get another 3 races in ASAP and under Ken’s stewardship the first race started at 10.00. The fleet itself was well behaved and all races started 1st time with no one getting an OCS. The Contenders were strong enough to withstand the fresh conditions, despite sevearl capsizes, so the safety boats were not needed to go to the aid of any of them. By just after 13.00 all the racing was over with and the fleet made their way ashore to pack up and relax with some more fare from the galley, served by Emma & Kay.

The bay itself looked perfect for Club sailing for those of us watching from the shore. The forecast for the week ahead is rather mixed with no imminent sign of the weather settling down for another fine spell.

One other thing, Jenny Pope tells me that Peter actually owned his Enterprise for 23 years before he sold it, well that just shows how quickly time flies by.

July 9th
Preparing the safety boat After losing the first two weeks of the Summer Wednesday’s series, we were finally back in action in earnest last night. A beautiful sunny evening with a swirling north westerly wind provided perfect conditions for the 16 boats that launched. The tide was within a few meters of the slipway, so there was no great distance to walk for either launching or recovering. The wind had been quite fresh during the day, I had been sailing down at Falmouth, where the recorded wind was often in excess of 25 knots, but as so often happens, tailed off a bit in the evening. It was a welcome back to the Club for Tim Haskins, who is down on a family holiday this week and took Nick’s Supernova out for the race. Mike Voyzey& Dave laid a large course which suited the conditions, and allowed us all to blast off from an unbiased start line. Allan Orton, powered away in his Contender, never to be seen again, building up a large lead by the time he arrived at the windward mark. John & Steve in their Tasar arrived in 2nd place, a good few lengths in front of us. They found much more speed downwind to start the 2nd round about 1 minute and 20 seconds in front of us. Somewhere down the 1st reach we were also passed by Nigel & Kelvin, in the RS400, powered along by a new spinnaker. We eventually hauled John & Steve back and took the lead at the end of the 3rd round, but they closed us down on the 2nd reach so much so that we started the last beat only just in front of them. I opted not to cover them when they tacked off and paid the price further on up the beat when they slipped past us back into the lead. We dug in hard and tried in vain to retake them but at the finish line they were 2 seconds in front of us. Yes very exciting and close racing for the pair of us, and just goes to show that for excitement, you just can’t beat boat on boat racing. Meanwhile back in the handicap fleet Tim in Nick’s Supernova was sailing very well, even though he hasn’t sailed for quite a while, and capitalised on a problem that Nigel had with his spinnaker pole by taking 2nd place on corrected time, but where was John Hill to compete against? Janet & Pete made the best of the spinnaker reaches to take 4th spot just ahead of Beacky and Steve Winfield in the Enterprise.

Unfortunately there will be no Club racing this weekend due to the Contender Open meeting, though the weather doesn’t look too good, so no doubt our racing numbers would have been depleted somewhat. Robin Hadlow’s Tasar is almost repaired and should be back in action very soon, and Stacey & Allan should be back in their Tasars after the Open Meeting.

July 5th
Brian rigging his Tasar What a blustery day we had today for the first Sunday in July and the blustery breeze did wreak a fair bit of havoc to the 16 dinghies that set off from the beach to race in the south westerly wind, blowing across the bay. I took a relatively new comer out to sail, and had problems almost straight away. The boat was difficult to control and must have been like a nightmare to my crew for the day, Trevor. Within a few minutes of reaching out towards the start there was a terrific bang and the rig went slack. The strange thing is nothing seemed amiss, but the forestay was certainly slack. Anyway I soon realised that the conditions were too much for us so I headed back to the safety of the beach. It was there that I discovered that one of the side stay screws had pulled up through the thread, the fitting itself was bent but was held in place by the strength of the other screw. So unlucky on one hand but lucky on the other that we managed to return home without needing assistance. This reflects on poor maintenance from me as I hadn’t checked the screws tightness lately. Usually once a season is enough, but clearly not enough this time. We were soon followed in by Nick Haskins in his Supernova, citing the strong conditions, and then by Justin & Kelvin with a broken rudder downhaul. Several boats were capsizing in the bay so I was asked to man and launch the 2nd rescue boat. This proved a good decision as the other safety boat was in the process of towing in Steve Wingrove’s Solo. So no sooner had we launched then we were straight into action to stand by Steve & Ken who were giving the underside of the Merlin a thorough examination. It must have passed because they managed to right it and sail on. Then we were sent straight to a dismasted Tasar. Chris and Tony, had suffered the same fate as me but unfortunately for them, both screws had failed and the mast was over the side. Eventually we managed to sort out all the rigging, removed the sails and towed them back to the beach.

Of the 4 Tasars that had launched in the morning only one made it out for the afternoon and Simon with Nathan crewing did really well to sail through all the squalls without any major dramas. In fact it was quite a reduced fleet who took to the water. Jeremy Hawkins had taken Anna out to crew for him in the B14 in the morning but they swopped over for her Laser Vago in the afternoon, and for a while were flying on the reaches when they could use the spinnaker, but came to grief on one of the gybe marks, as did the 505 and the Laser of Brian Reeves. Stacey & Allan took their Contenders out for some training before the Contender Open Meeting next Sunday. They were revelling in the blustery conditions, though Allan succumbed to a capsize which left Stacey to romp away to win by the country mile. Beacky managed to give some people on the beach the fright of their lives by driving his safety boat at high speed right up the beach, stopping about 3 meters from them. Probably in hindsight not a good thing to do as the sea state was such that a normal landing was the best option, especially as the boat had to be dragged back into the water to recover to it’s trailer.

All in all a hard days sailing for all, but in my opinion, the 2 Lasers of Tim & Brian deserve all the plaudits going for struggling round in extremely harsh conditions.

July 2nd
Proud Mother & Son Oh dear, yet another race day lost to the excellent summer weather. Inevitably when the high pressure comes in to give us long hot sunny days then the result is usually a south easterly, which can either be too strong or so light that it just fades away in the evening. That is exactly what happened. The previous Wednesday & last Sunday fell victims to the former and last night victim to the latter. How frustrating, well at least I made the most of it by doing some family visiting last weekend, though didn’t know at the time that the weather would be like that.

Our other travelling contingent fared better for sailing conditions. Of the 3, Stacey had the best result. He and Allan went to Hayling Island for a Contender Open Meeting. Stacey won the first race and came 4th in the next on the Saturday, but fell foul of the lighter conditions on the Sunday and eventually finished 5th overall. Allan didn’t fare so well and finished mid fleet, but then he has been sailing his Tasar lately. Steve & Ken travelled the furthest distance to Whitstable in Kent, but had a very poor weekend by their standards, with a result towards the back of the fleet. However the Merlin travelling fleet is a very hot fleet, with many excellent sailors, the boats themselves have very complicated controls, which need a great deal of learning to get the most out of them. Still it does look a beautiful boat when seen in full flight.

Yesterday, Restronguet SC hosted the Cornwall Schools Championships, in which our own Adam Eastham competed. Below is an account that Adam has written for the blog.

It was an early start for me and 12 of my friends as we made our way to Restronguet Sailing Club to represent our school, Fowey Community College in the Cornwall Schools Sailing Regatta. There were more than 80 of us competing consisting of 1 race in the morning and 2 back to back races in the afternoon. We were all sailing in lots of different dinghies such as Toppers, Laser Picos, RS Fevas, Optimists, Mirrors, Lasers and an RS 300. My dinghy for the day was a Laser Pico, I was helming and one of my friends in Year 9 was my crew. In the first race we sailed 3 laps of a triangle course and we finished 5th out of 20 in our class - yippie!! After lunch it was a 2 lap race as the wind had died but then picked up again for the final race and we came 6th, again out of the 20 in our class. Although we didn't get any individual medals for our sailing we were happy that our contribution of points gave Fowey Community College an overall win in the regatta, we were really proud to have won considering that some of the more well to do schools that competed have sailing lessons as part of their PE curriculum. As you can imagine our trip back to school was a very noisy affair even though we were really knackered. While we were at the regatta a news crew from the Spotlight South West programme came to film the event and I asked Mum to record it for me. When I got home from Air Cadets I watched it over and over again with a big stupid smile on my face!!! Well I expect that when we have our next assembly in school we'll have our regatta trophy presented to us, the only problem is that we've got to wait another year to do it all over again. Just a thought....isn't it a shame that the local schools in the area don't have sailing lessons for PE.....how much fun would that be - or maybe it would be too much competition!!!.

Well done to Adam and all his School friends.
Many of you may have noticed that the field is overgrowing and so we are having a “field clearing” evening next Thursday 9th July. There will be an email sent round to everyone and if you can turn up and help then it will be very welcome. It is a job that needs doing and we also have the Contender Open the following weekend.

News reached me today that peter Pope has finally sold his beloved Enterprise. Peter has owned the boat for well over 12 years but hasn’t used it much of late, preferring the delights of his Yacht “Alexis”, which is moored at Mylor. Peter races the yacht, quite successfully, on Friday evenings at Mylar with a crew assembled from members of Porthpean.

June 24th
Safety Boat ready to go Unbelievable, after the perfect sailing conditions last Sunday, we were greeted tonight by a fresh south easterly. The wind had been blowing quite strongly all day and the resultant affect was a very lumpy sea with some not too big waves dumping on the beach. I had spent the day sailing at Mylor, with my friend Polly in his cruiser and the wind had been very strong down there, blowing straight in to the moorings, so much so that we had to seek shelter up the river at Malpas, where we anchored up for a leisurely lunch. Anyway on to tonight; after a lot of consultation, between the sailors, some who wanted to go and some who opted for caution a decision was made to abandon the race. What made it a real no no was the state of the tide, which was up to the slipway and there was still an hour to go before high tide. That meant that the tide would have been up to the wall when the boats that would have raced would have been returning. More importantly it meant launching and recovering the safety boat in very poor conditions where the boat could have been easily swamped by the waves. There is too much money tied up in the boat and if it was put out of action, could have incurred a lot of expense and inconvenience, so when weighing up those sorts of facts then the abandonment was the correct decision. Other than that there isn’t a lot to report, apart from Steve & Ken are going to Whitstable for a Merlin Open this weekend. I believe that Stacey & Allan are both going to a Contender Open at Hayling Island and Sue & I are visiting Children and Grand Children, up country, so there may be a shortage of sailors this weekend. The Council have rather belatedly installed the buoy line which should segregate the swimmers from the boats, but has it ever? It only seems to keep the boats to a certain area, whereas the swimmers just go in the water anywhere, so a degree of caution should be taken when we come ashore from sailing.

P.S Only 6 months to Christmas!!

June 21st
Preparing to sail Launching
Out of a sailing season of some 9 months there are only a few really excellent days when the weather produce champagne sailing conditions and today, the longest day of the year, was one of those days. The forecast had promised us warm & sunny weather with a light to moderate north westerly breeze; the ideal permutation for Porthpean. Today was scheduled to be the June Cup, which also meant 3 races. The handicap fleet were responsible for running the event. Paul Beacon ran the OOD box and Nigel & James ran the safety boat. I fully expected a lot more people sailing as the weather was so good, but Denis is away in France and John Mark was in Leeds. Nevertheless we still had about 18 different boats on the water during the day.

As the conditions were so good it was decided to make the morning race a long distance affair, which took us from a short beat to the beach marks, then on a long reach out to the SW water mark and then on to a RFYC mark somewhere off Blackhead before a long beat back to the beach marks. This was a perfect course for everyone, the wind was moving around quite a bit in both direction and intensity, so at times equally favoured the spinnaker boats as well as the Tasars. Stacey had the best of the early parts of the race, managing to start the beat in the lead with daughter Millie, crewing for him. Steve & Ken in his new Merlin passed us just before the start of the beat. I say us, well I owe a big thank you to my wife Sue, who agreed to crew for me. It was the first time Sue had been in the Tasar for about 9 years, and she is now battered and bruised, yes she has quite a few bruises on arms and legs, plus very sore hands. Stacey had quite a lead on us and our only hope was to try and sail the beat differently. Stacey took the under the cliffs route, whilst we elected to sail the right hand side of the beat. This proved a good decision when we finally met up nearer the beach marks, we had just squeezed into the lead, not only passing Stacey but also the Merlin. Anna & Liz were a little further behind, finishing in a good solid position in the handicap fleet. Justin & Kelvin had an excellent blast in the 505 as they streaked along on the reaches, though I think the reaches were maybe just too close for them to develop their maximum speed. Simon Pryce with a potential new member Zoe and Allan Orton, crewed by Adam had a good battle with only a few seconds separating them on the water, with Allan having the better result.

A “P” course was set for the afternoon racing and things changed a little this time. Jeremy Hawkins, came out to play with his B14, ably crewed by Marcus Royle, ex member who is down on holiday. Stacey elected not to sail but lent his Tasar to Steve Coello and wife Sharon, which was her first time sailing for a few years. Simon Pryce changed crews to Colin for the afternoon races, which were now coming under the influence of a much stronger breeze. I was surprised when Steve & Ken didn’t launch for the afternoon racing but they fell victim to a broken halyard, which played nicely into the hands of Anna & Liz. Again the Tasars had a close contest, with a very gusty and shifty wind playing its part in positional changes throughout the race. Allan & Adam had the best of the first race, with Simon & Colin surprisingly coming last, beaten by Chris Hazel and Tony. The 3rd race was the deciding race for us and it developed into a good battle right from the off, with Simon & Colin taking a good lead. Chris and Tony had a capsize that put them out of the running, Steve & Sharon had had enough, but the remaining 3 of us battled on with Sue & myself, eventually taking the lead, which we held to the end. I don't think that Sue & I were the only ones feeling tired, judging by many of the comments that I heard later. Nevertheless it was a fantastic day for sailing.

June 17th
Colin's latest works Alongside is a picture of Colin’s latest creation. A handrail to help any one slightly infirm to negotiate the steps up to the main floor of the Clubhouse. He and Tony Dunn fitted it today.

Well the forecast for today was diabolical, with rain and strong winds the predominate features of the day. However in the event the rain didn’t come to too much and the wind, strong during the day, had died down to a lighter but gusty westerly wind by the time sailing started. I think the earlier conditions had put a few people off as only 10 boats sailed. It was amazing to see how the torrential rain on Monday had eroded the beach at the bottom of the slipway. We are on neap tides at the moment and the tide hasn’t been up to the slipway for a few days, so until that time the beach there will look rather odd.

Ken & I were destined for safety boat duty and made sure that we launched in good time. We even launched with enough time to move the replaced beach mark and try and align it better with the other beach mark. We apparently achieved that but I think the new beach mark probably has a longer securing line than the other mark so will inevitably drift about as windage takes its toll.

Our attempt to start on time almost caught most of the fleet out, with the last boat just getting to the start line about 15 seconds before the starting gun. There were only 3 Tasars out and disaster struck 2 of them within a minute of starting. First Chris Hazell’s main sail slipped down, which took them a few minutes to re fix, then almost at the same time, after a good start, Denis’s jib halyard snapped. This was terminal for Denis and he and Colin had to sail back to shore under mainsail only, thus leaving Allan & Beacky to sail on serenely to take 1st place, talk about a gift! This result also gave Alan & Beacky the Wednesday series beating Ken & myself by 0.2 of a point. John & Steve who could have influenced the race couldn’t sail and so had to settle for 3rd place overall.

The blustery conditions gave the single handers quite a hard time, with the Lasers in particular capsizing more than once. The conditions best suited Jan & Pete in their Kestrel, sailing to another assured win, but not enough to beat Nigel & Kelvin who had the luxury of winning the handicap series and not having to sail. John Hill sailed another consistent race to take 2nd place and 3rd overall in the series.

It was good to see Jeremy Hawkins coming out to play in his B14, a magnificent looking boat when under full sail. He and Kelvin had quite a good time pelting along with the spinnaker flying.

Now one thing I noticed whilst watching the racing, was how some people reacted or more importantly didn’t react to some of the stronger gusts as they came along and that was dumping the power. Quite a number of times I saw boats going onto their sides and almost capsizing, because they were not dumping the power. It is essential when sailing in those conditions to be aware that stronger gusts sweep in and the power i.e. the main sail must be spilled immediately to try and prevent the boat from doing just that. In a case of a two man boat then the crew too must be able to release the jib. This will help control the boat and then as the gust passes the sails can be re trimmed again. This has the affect of not only preventing a capsize but also keeps the boat speed up and more importantly gives you more confidence when sailing in stronger winds.

June 14th
Paragliding in Oledeniz Another of my holiday snaps, Quite often there were up to 50 plus of these paragliders as they descend from a take off point in the mountains of 17,000 ft, before landing on the promenade at Olendeniz. Yes I have done it and got the video, it's really quite scary when you first take off and immediately shoot upwards as the thermals catch the wing and give lift. 30 minutes later you land at Olendeniz after a very scenic and thrilling glide down to the ground.

Almost midsummer’s day and this week brings an end to the spring series. I think we have been quite lucky with the weather, sailing 7 of the scheduled races, plus the May Cup, meaning that we have only had to cancel 2 Sundays due to adverse weather. Fortunately Ken & I had the Tasar series already sewn up, so did not need to sail today’s races. I say fortunate because Ken has now jumped ship so to speak as Steve Mitchell has decided to forsake the Tasar fleet and have a go at campaigning a Merlin Rocket. Ken used to sail those regularly before he moved to Cornwall and couldn’t resist the lure of sailing a Merlin again. So for the moment I am crewless, which I am sure will adversely affect my results in future. No doubt this will be good news to some as Ken & I have dominated the Tasar fleet for a few years now and this will open the doors for others. Hopefully Ken & I will sail together on the Wednesday series and we are booked to sail in Falmouth Week.
Due to the growth of the Tasars fleet and the number of other boats regularly sailing, Ken has created a Tasar Fleet and a handicap fleet, which at a stroke creates more prize winners. The handicap fleet has been dominated by Paul Beacon with Adam Eastham in an Enterprise and Nigel & James Dowrick in a Feva, with Anna & Liz pushing hard in their Laser Vago. So three different boats competing, and the pendulum swung in favour of the Feva, for both Morning and Afternoon series. With only 0.5 of a point separating the Dowricks from Beacky in the morning series and 1.6 points separating the Dowricks from Anna & Liz in the afternoon series, in a series that went right down to the wire.
Much depended on the result of the morning race and the light to moderate southerly breeze suited the little Feva, with Nigel & James romping away to win by over 2 minutes on corrected time over Anna & Liz in their Vago, pushing Beacky into 3rd position. The mathematics showed that Nigel & James were already winners of the afternoon series so lent their Feva to Beaky and Adam to try, but they couldn’t beat Anna Weld who took on board Allan Orton in place of the aching Liz, who had hurt her ribs. The extra drive from Allan on the wire pulled them into 1st place. Steve & Ken had a few teething problems with some of the equipment on Steve’s new Merlin and could only manage 3rd in both races.
The Tasar fleet series was dominated by Ken & me, though Steve Mitchell was doing very well in the morning series, but missed too many races to qualify. The new pairing of John Mark & Steve Coello has proven a success as they finished 2nd in both series. Their improvement showed well today, when they won both races. In the morning race they had a hard battle with Denis and Brian Phillips who had built up a considerable lead, before taking them on the reach, to win. Simon Pryce is now starting to reap the rewards of buying a Tasar as he had his son Robert crewing for him in the morning race and then daughter Tegan for the afternoon race. I managed to secure the services of Amy Eastham for the morning race and though we were overpowered, sailed through into 3rd position; though later found out that we were disqualified owing to me being a bit too eager to cross the start line!
John & Steve continued their winning ways again in the afternoon managing to lead from the start this afternoon, pulling well away from Denis again. The wind increased somewhat for this race and Amy soon became cold, forcing us to retire. Nigel from the safety boat swapped over with Amy and we belatedly gave chase to the boats in front and quite satisfyingly we did manage to pull back and pass some of the boats in our fleet.

June 10th
Our new Yacht Another of my holiday snaps, with Sue & our friend standing in front of the yacht we are negotiating to buy.
Quite a few remarks about the weather were made to me last night due to no sailing because of adverse weather when I was away on holiday, and the fact that now that now I’m back we are sailing again. Well lucky me, I must admit that I did wonder at times, sitting on a beach in Turkey what the sailing was like back at Porthpean, but certainly didn’t know what the conditions were like, though we did hear that you were all having a bit of a heat wave too.
Today was a mixed bag of weather, in fact was quite a pleasant day until about 4.00pm when the clouds thickened and then it started to rain, which for a time was very heavy and what wind there was just disappeared. I had been down at the Club earlier in the day for a bit of boat maintenance and at that time there was a nice southerly blowing. However by the time we all arrived at the Club the rain had stopped, the road was steaming and very slowly a light north westerly appeared, giving a beautiful smooth herring bone affect on the sea, and that together with blue skies appearing, promised some good sailing conditions.
16 boats launched from a very small beach as the tide was almost up to the slipway, and what a nice sight they made as they all glided out to sea. Dennis had drawn the short stick tonight, sitting in the safety boat (our turn next week) and set a very nice course with the beat in from Blackhead direction. The reaches were broad enough for Nigel & Kelvin to fly the kite on their RS400 which propelled them to a good win in the handicap fleet. Another beneficiary of that particular wind was Anna & Liz in the Vago, driving it into 2nd place, behind them came John Hill in his Supernova, beating Janet & Pete Barnes by just 7 seconds, so quite close racing in the handicap fleet. Despite a capsize, Emma & Alex managed 6th in their Laser2 and must have been feeling “If only”. It was good to see 3 Lasers out. They have been rather conspicuous by their absence this year, with not many turning out at the same time. Of the 3 Dave Mackrell had the best and Steve Wingrove who was sailing the slowest boat of the fleet in his Solo managed to finish in front of Clive in his Laser Radial.
5 Tasars battled it out on the water, and right from the start John & Steve punched into a good lead over us with Allan & Beacky just behind. John & Steve drew a little further ahead on the 2nd round, but with the wind offshore there is always scope for positional changes in the shifty winds and tonight was no exception. We worked up close enough to John on the next beat, to give them some hassle on the reaches, actually managing to pass them on the penultimate reach and then pulled away from them on the last beat to take a very satisfactory victory. To make matters worse for John & Steve, Allan & Beacky also managed to pass them as well on the last beat. The other 2 Tasars were Chris & Tony in Chris’s new Tasar and Mike & Dave in the 9th oldest Tasar in the country, but they managed to get the better of Chris and Tony, showing how competitive the old Tasars are.
June 7th
Fethiye Bay After almost a 2 week sojourn in Turkey, I’m back to typically British weather. I’m not the only one who has been away though. Steve & Hilary went to Portugal, Gary & Kay are in the States and I believe Nigel and family are having a short break in London. We were staying near a place called Fethiye, which sits on the edge of a very large bay that is idyllic for sailing, but unfortunately there are no dinghies there, which seem such a waste. Yes lots of yachts etc but no dinghies.
The picture alongside shows the bay with Fethiye itself in the background, you can see that it is a lovely great expanse of water, and much warmer than Porthpean Bay. We stayed with some friends in their Villa and if anyone is interested in a Villas type holiday in that area then get in contact and I will pass your details onto my friends.
I left whilst the May Cup was in Progress and note that Janet & Pete Barnes won the handicap fleet whilst Stacey crewed by Allan won the Tasar fleet. Steve Coello persuaded John Mark to sail with him in his RS400 and they came a way with 2nd overall, which pleased them immensely. Since then it seems I haven’t missed any Club sailing (lucky me), due to either very strong winds or no wind at all. Anyway today we were back to the bread & butter Sunday sailing and the spring season is almost at an end, with only one more Sunday to go before we start the summer season. Today was one of those very frustrating race days that we get from time to time. The initial breeze was a light westerly and which allowed Andrew Kendall & Emma Dawes to set course starting out at sea and with a beat to the beach marks. Ah the beach marks; the missing beach mark was re-laid whilst I was away but somehow it has drifted somewhat, so that now they are too close together and well out of alignment to give a square line to the beach. As it was mild I was determined to show off my tan so the yellow shorts were the preferred sailing clothes today and in general seemed to be the right decision, as they put off Anna & Liz as they were sailing quite close to us up the first beat. 16 boats sailed, including 6 Tasars, and initially we all had a good race, but the wind went very light, stopped and eventually filled in from the North West, which turned the course to a one tack beat, run and a fetch, so went very processional. From this, Stacey crewed by Jenny Kendall, closely pursued by John Mark & Steve Coello, and with us trailing just behind sailed on to win. Denis was missing Sabine and was crewed by Allan Orton, and they were some were further behind, but closed us down, but the new wind direction gave them no opportunity to pass. Beacky and Adam had the best of the handicap fleet and took an easy win, now they are leading the series by one point over the Feva of James & Nigel Dowrick. It’s more difficult to work out final positions with the handicap fleet until the times are entered into the computer for a definitive corrected time. At one time Liz & Anna in the Vago were looking very strong but the change in wind slowed their progress.
The afternoon race was a long drawn out affair. The change in wind direction necessitated a change of course and this time we were beating in from Blackhead towards the beach marks. The wind itself was fickle, one moment enough for both to hike and then almost as quickly go lighter causing the crews to move across the boat. The wind too was very shifty, giving great joy on some lifts and groans of disappointment when the inevitable header came along. The reach out to sea proved disappointing as it was a very broad reach, hence slow in progress for a Tasar. However for once we had the edge on Stacey and John Mark as we reached the end of the first beat in the lead and managed to eke out slightly more distance on every round apart from the 5th beat when Stacey pulled us back quite a bit. Simon Pryce has now joined the Tasar fleet, buying Steve Mitchells Tasar, Steve is in the process of buying a Merlin Rocket, which is almost considered the Rolls Royce of the dinghy World. Beacky once more proved the better of the handicap fleet winning by over a minute from a rarely seen John Hill, proving that a Supernova is quite a competitive boat.
May 20th
Kelvin & Nigel getting 
ready to race Yet another grey Wednesday for racing, and quite blustery too, though the fresh wind died away to a gentle breeze by the time we finished, but at least we had a better turnout for a change. We even saw the first appearance of ex Commodore, Peter Pope, acting as Safety Boat Cox. Tonight’s fleet was made up of 7 Tasars and 5 handicap boats. After a mix up with the race starting procedure, we had an aborted start, but all got away cleanly on the next attempt. The Tasars had the best of the racing with Allan & Beacky establishing an early lead, closely pursued by Stacey & Colin. I thought we weren’t doing too badly in 3rd at the end of the first beat just ahead of Denis & Sabine and John & Steve, but on the off wind legs, John & Steve caught and passed us and despite us overtaking them on the next beat, couldn’t prevent them passing us again, and they slowly pulled away from us. After 4 rounds of very close sailing, Stacey just sneaked into the lead at the end of the last beat, but Allan managed to just pass Stacey on the final run in to the finish line, winning by 2 seconds. Very close racing indeed. Further back Chris & Tony were having a battle with Mike Voyzey and Dave, but a good last beat by Chris & Tony pulled them well in front of Mike & Dave. Back in the handicap fleet, Nigel & Kelvin made all the running, finishing almost 4 minutes ahead of the 2nd boat, the Kestrel of Janet & Pete Barnes, but when the handicap times were worked out the result favoured Janet by almost a minute. Tim Baily, battling with Brian Reeves made it into 2nd on corrected time, leaving the Scorpion of Andrew & Jenny Kendal back in 5th position.

This weekend is the late May Bank Holiday and sees the May Cup, which all being well will be a 3 race series sailed on Sunday. To make the weekend a bit more special, we will be having a training day on the Saturday. The Sunday sailing will end up by having a Chilli & Rice meal, cooked by Simon & Sarah after sailing, plus a mega general knowledge quiz, hosted by Tony Dunn. Well the weather forecast looks fair for the weekend. All we need now is for a good turnout to make a very successful weekend. Unfortunately I am going to have to miss the festivities as Sue & I will be heading off to what should be a lot warmer climate in Turkey for a couple of weeks.

May 17th
A wet dinghy park An angry looking sea

stormy beach A spot of maintenance
The magnificent seven Sundays that have been with us since the 2009 series started finally crashed at the 8th time of asking. Yes after 7 good Sundays, the weather finally turned sour for us and instead of the balmy weather that we have experienced on earlier Sundays, today turned out to be very wet and very windy, as had been forecast. We were monitoring the Polruan weather station and between 10.00 & 11.00 we were seeing gusts of up to 60mph. Certainly not as windy at the Club, as were sheltered somewhat from the southerly wind, but nevertheless the white water in the bay told its own story of strong winds, and then to cap it all we had some very hard showers. Encouragingly quite a few turned up in the hope of sailing but all quickly realised that as far as sailing goes today would be a no no. On the plus side, Colin & Tony did some maintenance on the dinghy park gate, Nigel, James and Beacky readied the new beach mark for next week, whilst others took some time for boat maintenance. Maria and her angels (sorry Ray) prepared some bacon butties which certainly helped as the majority of us stood around watching the conditions, but any hopes of sailing were obviously doomed to failure until just after lunch, sailing was formally abandoned for the day.
May 14th
Allan Orton preparing to sail “Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun” extolled Noel Coward, many years ago. Well last night it was a case of “Only mad sailors & Englishmen (& ladies) went out in the evening gloom”. Our now normal Wednesday evening gloomy sail gave the extremely keen “mad” sailors another dose of drizzle and overcast conditions. The wind was still in the east and as I forecast last week, we are now in the grip of large amounts of sea weed being dumped on the beach. In fact there are still lots more to come as floating seaweed was a constant menace to progress, floating just on and just below the surface, resulting in us constantly checking for weed and clearing it off as and when it accumulated.
Yes the easterly wind was again light and progress was painfully slow as we had a sloppy, muddled sea to beat through, before the luxury of a sedate pair of reaches to bring us back to the beach marks again. John Mark & Steve Coello aided by James ran the safety boat, they were keen for us to sail as it gave them average points for a duty. Still they only kept us out for 3 of the 4 rounds as it became obvious that the breeze was beginning to die as the evening drew on.
Nigel & Kelvin were first over a heavily biased port line, helped by the fact that, confusion in the Clubhouse meant the start was a minute early! With only 2 Tasars out I knew our main battle would be with the pairing of Allan & Beacky, but to my surprise we gradually pulled away from them. We discovered afterwards that Allan had forgotten to put the bung in the back of the boat and they had been slowly filling with water before realisation dawned on them. Nigel’s main competition came from Janet & Pete in the Kestrel and Andrew & Jenny Kendall in their Scorpion. Their progress could be easily followed by those watching from the Club House, but the 2 Tasars with mylar sails were very difficult to spot.
Anyway we all managed to get back on to the beach safely, but both boats and crews became covered in clingy seaweed, as we hauled the boats out of the surf. The things some of us do to be able to have Jenny’s bacon butties!! Well I suppose we did contribute to Club funds, though the fuel used probably negated that.
May 10th
Steve & Hilary with their Enterprise The beach at lunch time
Unbelievable, another sunny Sunday; yes that’s 6 on the trot of sunny Sundays, maybe a world record, but gratefully received all the same. The only blemish was that the wind was very light and from the east. I fully intended wearing the yellow shorts today but cloud before the racing and the coolness of the wind necessitated the long john instead. It was a first outing for Steve Wingrove with his wife Hilary in their newly acquired Enterprise, which may herald the start of a regular sailing partnership.
The best description of the racing was boring. Due to the light easterly wind, we were beating out into a lumpy sea, with no discernable wind shifts, however no matter what the conditions, we are there to deal with them, but the enjoyment factor was very low. I bet Gary & Kay are feeling frustrated as they were away this weekend and could have sailed in conditions that would have suited them.
Due to the large Tasar fleet that we are now attracting Ken has separated the results to give a Tasar Fleet and a Handicap fleet. This is a welcome change as the Tasars appear to dominate the results when combined with the rest of the dinghies. So in the handicap fleet, today almost belonged to James and Nigel, they won the morning race quite convincingly, and were 2nd in the afternoon race, and congratulations also to James as he has just passed his level 2 power boat certificate. Of the Tasars, Ken & I got away to a good start and lead all the way round, but the whole fleet ground to a halt before the finish when the wind decided to fade away and we had to wait for a new wind to arrive, which came from the south to enable us to finish.
The sun came out before the afternoon race and on came the yellow shorts and Tee shirt. Is summer almost here? The afternoon race promised a bit more wind and the course was reset by Stacey & Craig to accommodate it. Yes we all started in slightly more wind allowing us to hike up wind, which made the racing more enjoyable, but not enough wind to plane down wind at all. Again we managed a better start which paid handsomely when we rounded the first mark in the lead, a lead which we managed to extend throughout the race until once again the wind faded to nothing. Some were so frustrated that they retired and paddled home but some stuck it out. Chris Hazel and Tony stuck it out and were rewarded by a 3rd in the Tasar fleet. Indeed Chris was sailing better this afternoon as he came up through and passed Russell and was starting to threaten Simon Pryce and Brian Phillips. The Feva was doing really well for most of the race but the lighter conditions when they came swung the balance to Janet & Pete Barnes in their Kestrel, giving them a well deserved win.
May 7th
Brian Phillips Congratulations to Brian Phillips, pictured left, as he retires this week from a life time of toil. Brian is probably responsible for making at least half the launching trollies of the Tasar fleet, plus the RIB trailers. Hopefully Brian will still be able and willing to help out in this manner in the future. Well we are 6 weeks in with the Wednesday series and still the weather has not given the usual sunny light evening we have become so used to. We are promised a better summer this year by the Met men, so lets hope those sort of evenings soon come round again. Last night was almost typical of what we have had lately for Wednesday sailing. Once again it was overcast, looking more like an Autumn sail rather that a spring sail. The wind was in a strange direction too, being a west south westerly and rather blustery, causing a few capsizes. Allan Orton crewed by Stacey hoisted his new sails on his Tasar and flew round the course. It goes to show how competitive older Tasars are. All they need is a good suit of sails and a good sailor and they will perform just as good as a new one. Probably Denis with Sabine and us had the most exciting incident in the race. Denis led us round the first beat but we closed them down on the first reach and endeavoured to overtake them on the 2nd reach. Denis was in no mood to let us pass and went on a mega luffing expedition. Clearly Denis has taken lessons from Russell about luffing. Anyway our battle went on all the way down the reach until we were almost 100 meters to windward, so much so that we had to bear off and run towards the mark. This is where it all went wrong for Denis, because the boat suddenly gybed without him expecting it and over they went. We had to take quick evasive manoeuvres to avoid his mast, which was in front of us, and also avoid Nigel who had caught us up on our deviated course and had just rounded the leeward mark. Such excitement! We put in 2 quick gybes, which we survived to allow us to round the mark and give chase to Allan and Nigel. Nigel was short of his normal crew Kelvin and took Kay out instead. Their combination proved very successful as they finished 3rd overall, without using the spinnaker, which had a large hole in it. Denis & Sabine eventually righted their boat and raced on and just overhauled Chris Hazel and Tony right on the last dash to the finishing line, beating them by 2 seconds.

It was especially nice to see 3 of our newest sailing members out tonight; Tim McEvoy and Hanna Mogford in their Merlin, Emma Dawes and Alex Batson in their Laser 2 and Steve Wingrove in his Solo. Steve was telling me that he has been working on an old Enterprise and hopes to sail it this weekend with his wife Hilary. Assuming she likes it then I think that they will be sailing an Enterprise on Sundays. The forecast for next week promises a high coming in over the UK which will give us easterly winds and I think the beach will become covered in sea weed, which until cleared will eventually rot and start to smell.

May 4th
Tasars on the beach at lunch time Yet another brilliant weekend for both the Club and the Tasar fleet. This weekend was the Tasar South West Championships and also coincided with the Bank Holiday. Now Bank Holidays are notorious for “iffy” weather but fortunately this weekend proved to be a good one. Porthpean and the Bay were looking at their best. There’s nothing like a bit of sunshine and an offshore breeze to make the place look like a Mediterranean idyll. 5 visitors turned up for the start on Saturday, including one from Scotland, yes Porthpean is really that attractive!! The racing was in charge of Ron Barrett, ably assisted by Nigel & James in the other RIB. Credit to James here, as I noticed earlier in the week that he had all the various duties listed with names assigned, which all went together to make a well run and organised event. The course was well out to sea and on the Saturday we were served with a southerly breeze that still had a fair swell on it, which in turn made the reaches that much more exhilarating. The course used was the inverted “P” that is popular with Tasars, which often gives fast reaches and a shorter run and by positioning the Committee boat partly up the beat allows the races to be turned round in a short space of time. The wind itself was a good 14 knots which made for hard hiking upwind and exhilarating reaches down wind. Allan Orton was on the Committee boat, together with his super camera, taking shots of all the boats as they sailed by. He took literally hundreds of pictures and many of them will be sent to the visitors via email. I will endeavour to put most of the Club boats on their own web page in due course. The BBQ was lit after the sailing and Simon Pryce single handed cooked all the burgers and sausages for a well attended evening function, the highlight of the evening was the appearance of “High Tide”, the ever popular live band that have been gracing events in the Clubhouse for several years now.
Sunday brought 2 more visitors, and another Club boat swelling the fleet to 15, which presented a spectacular sight as we all left the beach. The wind for Sunday had swung around to the North West, which flattened Saturday’s swell, but was still very lively and caused a few capsizes. Wind shifts were now more apparent and some quite big gains and losses were made at various times. I know in the last race we slightly overstood the windward mark, which allowed us to ease the sails a bit and we screamed along at a fantastic pace. At one time I saw Denis’s boat completing a spectacular manoeuvre that resulted in him falling out of the boat leaving Sabine looking rather perplexed as she waited for Denis to swim back. Of the Club boats, Stacey sailing with Adam Eastham, was proving to be the most successful until Sunday morning whilst lying 3rd and just about to start the last short beat suffered a snapped boom, which put him out of the race and then in the last race had a near capsize that resulted in Adam falling out of the boat and being unable to carry on. I think the shock and cold affected him and he was rushed ashore, leaving Nigel to help crew Stacey for the rest of the race.
The Championship was won by last year’s winners, going even faster this year, winning 4 out of the 5 races. One of the visitors on Sunday was the current National Champions and those 2 boats were finishing way in front of the rest of us, showing what a difference there is between them and the rest of us. It really is amazing how near identical boats can have such a speed difference as a result of whom is in the boat. For me, well even at my advanced years it is still a time for learning a bit more. After some observations of other boats and a few changes to my settings we managed to improve our position in the last race giving us a 3rd and a thought in the back of my mind “If only”, but then we all say that don’t we?
The galley was admirable manned both Saturday and Sunday by Maria and Ray, who coped superbly with the meal times. Kay and Gary were working hard in the background with entries and results and radio comms with the safety boats. The Club itself was shown at its best, furthering enhancing Porthpean’s reputation for being a Mecca for good sea sailing in a friendly atmosphere.
April 29th
Safety boat ready to Rock n' Roll What a horrible evening we had for the 4th Wednesday race of the season. What a difference from last week when we had 18 boats racing. Tonight in the overcast, rainy and blustery south westerly conditions we only had 6 takers. The others sensibly decided that these conditions were not for them. By the time we had rigged, changed, and launched the safety boat our numbers were down to 5. Yes 5 boats launched and sailed out to the starting area, which was out beyond the beach marks towards the beacon, ready for a beat across the bay towards Blackhead. By the time we got there it was obvious that we were in for some hard sailing with some evil gusts sweeping across the course and the the wind was in the force 5 area. In fact they were recoding gusts of 35 knots at Polruan, but in the bay I think it was no more than 25 knot gusts. By the time the starting line was laid we were down to 2 boats, the rest had decided that it was a bit too much. However Ken & I and Justin & Kelvin in Nigel’s RS400 set out to do battle. All I can say is that it was probably a lot easier in the Tasar as it can be de powered much more easily than the RS. Anyway we flogged around for some 40 minutes until the race officer decided that we had taken enough punishment and allowed us to call it a night. Yes the sailing was certainly thrilling and we very nearly dropped it in when one of our tacks was hit by a gust and I resorted to desperate measures by just letting the tiller go and allowing the boat to come up into the wind whilst we sorted ourselves out. Apart from that it was just a matter of spilling wind when necessary and enjoying the down wind rides in the turbulent seas.
The forecast for the coming weekend is much better, which is good news as we will be hosting the Tasar South West Areas and we are expecting several visitors to swell our strong home fleet. Racing will take place on Saturday afternoon and all day on Sunday.
April 26th
Tim & Hannah preparing Midnight Express
Many congratulations to Simon Pryce who ran the London Marathon today in a personal best time of 3hrs, 29mins and 13 secs. Simon was running on behalf of the RNLI and looking at the television pictures certainly had a nice sunny day to run. Saturday down here was a terrible day, with a quite fresh south easterly wind and I arrived home from Bristol late Saturday evening in showery weather. I awoke sometime in the night to the sound of driving rain and very strong winds, so didn’t think we would have much of a sail today. However when I woke up this morning the rain had passed and also the wind had died down. We appeared to have enough wind to race, with a light south easterly and a lumpy sea, with some surf on the beach. Once out through the surf it was obvious that the wind was very, very light and that coupled with the lumpy sea did not bode well, especially as the course that was laid proved to be a one tack beat followed by a fetch and a run. The light wind went progressively lighter until it disappeared completely, leaving boats sitting becalmed all over the course. Usually when the wind disappears like that it signals the start of a new breeze from the opposite direction and this is exactly what happened. Ken & I considered ourselves very lucky as we rounded the wing mark first and very slowly headed towards the beach marks and then even luckier as the new offshore wind fanned out from the shore to reach us first. The rest of the fleet who had been struggling to reach the wing mark all arrived together. However from all the mayhem sailed Nigel & James in the Feva who took a well deserved win, beating us into 2nd by over 2 1/2 minutes on corrected time. The first 5 positions were all by different classes of boats, which was most unusual.
The breeze increased somewhat for the afternoon race and for the first time we had a race that did not start at the beach marks. Instead we had a beat from Blackhead direction, which was quite weird at times as we were beating with the swell, which does feel very strange. Stacey & Allan Orton took the Vago for a spin and really showed how well this boat can sail, with Allan trapezing on the beats and close reaches, sailing it to 2nd overall. Again this was a very good race for the Feva, taking 3rd place on corrected time.
On a bit of a sad note, Russell Moore has finally sold his Tasar as he feels he is now too old to be able to compete and challenge the rest of us regularly. Russell is 79, and it is amazing that he has still been racing right through his 70’s, which is a shining example to us all. The good news is that he has sold the boat to Richard Morley, so the boat will stay in the Club and I hope Richard can soon get to learn how to sail her competitively.
April 22nd
3 Tasars waiting to sail Another evening of firsts at Porthpean again tonight. It was the first sail of the season for Brian Reeves, even managing to capsize in what were very light conditions. It was a first sail with us also for Emma Dawes and Alex Batson in their Laser 2 and a first sail for Allan Orton in his newly acquired Tasar. Allan has just bought an old Tasar to swell the growing fleet and once again there were 7 Tasars on the water, and it is quite possible that we will have up to 11 boats on the water if everyone turns up at the same time. There will be some very closely fought battles ahead in this fleet this year. In fact I also know of 2 other people very interested in getting a Tasar should the opportunity arise, which all means that Ken will be extracting the results to give separate Tasar fleets and handicap fleets in the various series. I have also had email from Sarah Fryer, who used to sail with us and crewed for me for a few years before moving abroad to Luxemburg and getting married. She loves to look at the web cam and was watching on Sunday when to her surprise she saw her Father, Harry appear. Harry was going canoeing and was looking over the wall at the conditions.
On to tonight and what a good night it was for some of the 18 boats that started the race. This is the highest turnout of the season so far and we are still only in April, so shouldn’t be too long before we are topping 20 boats on a regular basis. Again we were presented with another light southerly wind, which was slowly dying. Liz, Tim Cocking & James set a small course, which suited the conditions and with a non biased start line we all set off on the beat towards Blackhead. We had a disaster; I put us in a poor position when I got trapped by several boats. I could not get enough speed up to sail clear and eventually arrived at the windward mark as 9th boat. Stacey and Sabine had the best of the beat as also Allan Orton, sailing with Justin. Nigel & Kelvin with their spinnaker passed these 2 downwind and sailed away into the distance but could only make 3rd on corrected time. John Mark and Steve Coello were beavering away behind Allan and finally made the breakthrough on the last beat when they suddenly sailed into better breeze and sailed well ahead of them. Ken & I slowly improved our position, but could not break into the top 3. Andrew and Sarah Kendall had a very good race in their Scorpion, dicing with and beating Janet & Pete’s Kestrel. For a change we had all the Supenovas out and once again John Hill proved to be by far the fastest of them all.
Colin is working on another of his projects. He & Tony have been installing a ventilation system that will blow warm air from the Clubhouse which gets very hot in the summer into the changing rooms. This will have the affect of helping to dry out the changing rooms so that they won’t seem quite so stale. All being well it should be completed in a few weeks so we will have yet another improvement.
The après sail was buzzing in the Clubhouse afterwards, with many of us tucking into Jenny’s bacon butties, whilst chatting away about the racing etc. Porthpean is certainly on the up again at the moment and long may it continue.
April 19th
the dreaded bumps Adam with his Birthday cake
For the 6th Sunday on the trot, we have had a lovely sunny day. Today was the 4th sailing Sunday of the season and once again our arrival at the Club was met with a completely flat bay with not a ripple of wind on the surface. However it was Adam’s birthday and so whilst waiting for the breeze a time honoured birthday bumps was organised. After a risk assessment was carried out and ensuring a qualified first aider was present, Adam was duly “bumped” the requisite number.
After an hours delay, a sufficient southerly breeze filled to allow Anna & Liz to set a nice little course of 4 triangles, which took us about an hour to complete. The yellow shorts came out of my bag again as I was determined to make the most of the sun. 7 Tasars crossed the start line and it was a season first for Russell Moore, just getting over a broken rib and 1st outing for Kay & Gary in their Scorpion. Simon Pryce, sailed with his son Robert in Stacey’s Tasar. It was the first time Simon had sailed a Tasar and he did very well in it. Maybe another convert on the way?? The southerly breeze seems to be a feature of this years sailing as we have had the wind in that direction every race so far. Steve with new cadet member Nathan, made the most of the light conditions working themselves into a nice lead. Indeed the light conditions favoured the Tasars as they took the first 5 positions. Adam was presented with a birthday cake at lunch time which he very generously shared with us all.
Stacey had organised a Contender training day for the Saturday and a good number of 8 Contenders from various local Clubs turned up. The training finished this morning and those that wanted to joined in for the afternoon race.
Now what a bonus we had for the afternoon. The light breeze increased to a good force 3, with quite a few white horses in the bay. The yellow shorts were replaced by my wetsuit in anticipation of harder conditions. Anna & Liz increased the size of the course, giving us a much larger triangle which we modified to sail an Olympic configuration. Congratulations girls, this was a superb course. At long last we had conditions that were made for dinghy sailing, allowing us to hike really hard and drive the boats upwind and then to enjoy the pure thrill of bearing away at the windward mark to feel the boats leaping onto the plane and disappearing down wind in a cloud of spray. Stacey joined with Justin Phyall in his 505 and relished the trapezeing and spinnaker work, sailing away to take line honours. We had quite a battle with Steve who led for 2 rounds before we passed him on the 3rd beat and went on to an overall win. Dennis & Sabine enjoyed this race more as it too gave them the opportunity to hike hard, but Denis complained afterwards of a lack of fitness which eventually held them back. Simon again enjoyed this race, having a very close battle with John Mark & Faye, with John & Faye beating Simon over the line at the end. Several of the afternoon entries retired early finding the going maybe a bit too hard for them, but over a season we will get lots and lots of different conditions, hopefully enough to suit everybody. All in all a superb days sailing, long may it continue.
It's the London Marathon next Sunday and we wish Simon all the best as he will be running in support of the RNLI
April 15th
Not going sailing tonight Another disappointing Wednesday evening, not too surprisingly as we had a very wet day, with a very light southerly breeze. By the evening the rain had eased off, leaving everything very damp, but more importantly absolutely no wind at all. The burgees of the boats in the yard were pointing in different directions, the sea had a glassy appearance on the lumpy swell, so nobody was too surprised nor disappointed when the decision was taken to abandon any hopes of sailing and retire instead to the warmth and comfort of the Clubhouse bar. So far we have only managed 1 Wednesday sail out of 3, a disappointing start to the Wednesday sailing. However, the forecast for Sunday isn't too bad and as for next Wednesday well …………….? We will have to wait and see.
April 12th
Preparing to start What a fabulous Easter weekend we had with the weather. We managed to get all 3 scheduled races in, plus a BBQ, Easter Egg hunt, music quiz, and special lunch time catering courtesy of Ray & Maria. All to the backdrop of 22 boats sailing over the weekend. The wind for all 3 races was light, southerly, as we have had all season so far. Saturday saw the first appearance of Allan Orton in his Contender and rounded the windward mark first closely followed by Stacey sailing with daughter Milly. At one time Stacey caught and passed Allan, but Allan regained his lead and went on to win. We were lying 3rd but unfortunately for Stacey Milly became too cold and so retired. The BBQ was lit after sailing and we basked in the late evening sunshine, whilst the cadets eagerly sort out the Easter Eggs that had been hidden around the Club and dinghy park.
Sunday again dawned bright and almost windless, but there was a glimmer of a breeze as the safety boat was launched and eventually a triangular course was set. The better weather brought a lot more dinghies to the line, including our latest recruits Tim McEvoy & Hannah Mogford in their Merlin Rocket. Ken & I were tasked for Safety boat in the morning and it was quite interesting watching the various battles taking place throughout the fleet. Colin Wainwright at the moment enjoying his return to the Supernova again had the better of Nick Haskin. The Vago of Anna & Liz and the Kestrell of Janet & Pete Barnes were embroiled much of the time with Simon Pryce in his Laser and Beacky in his Enterprise. Each of the boats having their preferred points of sailing, but the Enterprise came off best. Brian Phillips also made his first appearance of the year, taking a possible new member, Nathan Blackshire out sailing. My son, Neil was down for Easter and he sailed my Tasar in the morning crewed by another new member Faye Pearson.
Stacey made up for the disappointment of Saturday by teaming up with Sabine Biesman in Denis’s Tasar and after a strong tussle with Allan Orton & Steve Mitchell managed to win, on corrected time, leaving Allan 2nd with Steve in 3rd. Ken & I raced in the afternoon to help swell the largest fleet of the year. Incidentally we had 6 Tasars, all with the mylar sails on the water. Steve Mitchell ably crewed by Nigel Dowrick led round the first mark, just in front of Stacey, closely followed by us and then John Mark. Steve, with his lighter weight pulled away down wind and held off Stacey on each beat, to build a very good lead on the rest of us. At one time we pulled up quite close to Stacey, but lost it later on, falling off so far that we had John Mark & Steve Coello right on our transom, but we managed to hold them off. Again further back there were lots of battles going on and for once no capsizes at all.
April 8th
Days of old A cold, cloudy, spring evening, with the promise of rain to come greeted the 11 entries for what was the first Wednesday race of the year. Nigel Dowrick crewed by Kelvin Kirkham had their first sail of the year in the RS400, likewise Nick Haskin and John Hill had their first sails in their Supernovas. Ken & I were on safety boat duty so I was able at first hand to watch and observe better what was going on. The light breeze was a light southerly, so once again we had a beach mark start with a beat towards Blackhead. Tonight was John Mark & Steve Coello’s night. A good first beat saw them lead Denis & Sabine round the first mark and gradually pull away on every leg of the race. Even though they finished behind Nigel on the water, they still had enough time in hand to win on corrected time. Steve Wingrove had a frustrating time as his mainsail on the Solo came out of the mast track, which totally destroyed his race, and caused him to retire. John Hill was 25 seconds late crossing the start line. I think he was suffering from a senior moment as he had thought we were doing a 6 minute countdown to start rather than the 5,4,1 go system that we have been using for the past 4 seasons!! He made up for it somewhat by finishing quite a way ahead of the other Supernovas. Allan Orton made his first appearance of the year as guest helm in Beacky’s Ent, but I think the conditions were too light for them to show their expertise any better. Janet & Pete Barnes showed some good downwind speed, with their spinnaker to sail into 3rd position, which had Janet beaming with pleasure all evening.
It was a welcome return of Jenny’s bacon butties that sealed the evening. It is so nice to be able to come sailing and then have a bacon butty or 2 and a pint after the exertions of an hour or so sailing in the Bay. Fortunately the promised rain materialised only after we had all packed our boats away, so all in all another good start to the season.
I had no suitable picture for tonight so have included a very old sailing picture form the 1950s, showing what I think is an old Redwing or Merlin on the beach, just waiting to go for a sail. A bit of a flash back to the old “Swallows and Amazons”
April 5th
waiting for the wind to arrive Tim with his Birthday cake
Another sunny day at Porthpean saw 13 boats on the water to enjoy the spring sunshine and light breezes. We have certainly been blessed with good weather for the last few weeks, though the air is still quite cold and the water is even colder as I can vouch as the sunny weather tempted the yellow shorts out of my sailing bag for the first time this year. Once I was sailing the coolness seemed to disappear but I was reminded of it again when it came to recovering the boat after the racing.
The morning race almost didn’t happen. Once again we were greeted with a mirror flat bay, and we spent quite a time sitting around in the dinghy park waiting for the breeze to arrive, but very slowly the breeze did start to appear and though late we managed to start and complete a race on a somewhat smaller than normal course, which was laid by Ron & Michelle Barrett.
Paul Beacon had his first sail of the season, stunning us all by arriving with a red painted Enterprise, rather than his normal blue colour and a brand new suit of sails that looked very nice indeed. They suited the conditions, enough to give him a 2nd position, which pleased him immensely.
The breeze was slightly fresher for the afternoon race and 13 boats started. This time there was more competition throughout the fleet. We had a good battle with the 505 of Justin Phyall, crewed by Kelvin and the Tasar of Denis Bray with Sabine. Denis showed his usual good upwind speed to be ahead of us at the end of the beat, though just behind the 505, which sailed on to win on the water. John Mark, with new member Faye Pearson having her first ever race, were only a few boat lengths behind us. We managed to close with Denis on the first reach, just getting in front enough to round on the inside at the gybe mark. John closed Denis down on the next leg, but lost out as we all started the beat. Beacky, once again made the most of his new sails, managed to keep in front of some of the faster boats but eventually fell to the power of the fast closing Feva of James and Nigel Dowrick. In fact so fast is the little Feva that it passed Beacky on the very last reach and tied for 2nd overall with Denis & Sabine on corrected time. Nick Haskin, returning from a skiing holiday had his first race of the season today and managed to see off the Supenova of Colin Wainwright. Unbeknown to us, today was Tim Baily’s birthday, we found out when Michelle turned up during the lunch break, with a birthday cake. As there was only one candle on it, we had to guess his age, though I won’t say what it is here. Suffice to say, I wish I was that age again!!
The galley this year is being run by Ray Pestico (spelling?) and is proving very successful, with plenty of hot food and beverages for when we come off the water and is much appreciated by all.
Last Wednesdays race didn’t happen due to the absence of wind, but a pool competition took place for those who wanted it. The winner was James Dowrick, who won through every round, to eventually take the prizes of Easter Eggs. We may be more fortunate this Wednesday, but once again it is scheduled for a 6.45 start.
March 29th
Chris Hazel & Tony Dunn We’re off, the 2009 season started today and the weather was first class for sailing, so much so that we had 13 boats make the start line. Mind you it was quite cold when I arrived at the Club, as there was ice floating on the water on my boat cover. The wind initially was a very light southerly, but slowly filled in to give superb planning conditions in the afternoon. All in all a first class start to the season. We actually had 6 Tasars out and initial impressions are that we could have some excellent Tasar racing this season. Battles were taking place throughout the fleet, enough to give everyone some excitement. It was first outings for Robin Hadlow and Chris Hazel in their new Tasars plus a first sail in Porthpean Bay for Steve Wingrove in his Solo. Unfortunately both Robin & Steve capsized, despite us telling them that the water would be too cold at this time of year. Some people just will not listen!!
First win of the year went to Steve Mitchell, crewed by Adam Eastham, who showed us all a clean pair of heals as they eased away in the light airs. Anna & Liz were the first to launch in their Vago and had a good first beat and once their spinnaker was up looked threatening, likewise Janet & Pete Barnes in their Kestrel, but were no match for the Tasars, who pulled away from them. John Marks, crewed by Steve Coello, was getting to grips with his new sails, and was up and dicing with Denis & Sabine, until Denis’s better upwind speed opened up a big enough gap. Further back Chris Hazel & Tony were battling with Robin Hadlow, crewed by Richard Morley. Robin hasn’t sailed a Tasar for quite a few years and Richard had never been in one before, so they had quite a handicap to overcome. Colin Wainwright must have been delighted with his Supernova, easily keeping up with the 2 Lasers of Simon & Tim. Despite Tim having a capsize, he still managed to overtake and beat Simon.
The afternoon race gave us fresher conditions and quickly over the start line blasted the Tasars of Denis, Steve and us. Denis initially held a slender lead but we managed to just overtake him before the end of the beat. Steve, rounding 3rd, sailing fast downwind passed Denis, came up alongside us, but we managed to round the gybe mark inside, which gave us a big advantage on the very fast close reach that followed. This set us up to eke out a long enough lead to win our first race of the season. Again John Mark, proved fast down wind, overtaking Denis, but Denis’s superior speed upwind proved to be sufficient to allow him and Sabine to pull away again.
The fresher conditions brought a few retirements, with the cold water having a big say in whether to continue after a ducking. I remember spending a lot of time in the water last March and know from bitter experience how cold that water can be and so strength sapping after several minutes trying to right an upturned boat.
This is the weekend that the clocks have gone forward giving us lighter evenings and we will be sailing the first of the Wednesday series this Wednesday, which I am sure will be a cold affair, though the weather forecast is for milder weather. Looking at the likely members who will be sailing this season, then I expect that we will regularly top 15 boats and could make 20 plus on several occasions. Yes spring is finally here and a whole season lies in front of us.
March 22nd
The yard this Sunday The yard this Sunday
Having just had two superb weekends, weather-wise, on the trot, we are all eagerly awaiting the start of the sailing season which is now only a week away. The weather forecast gives changeable weather for the coming week so at this stage we don’t know what sort of conditions we will get for our first sail of the season. Today the older of the 2 RIBs and its engine was given a run out at sea, the engine had been playing us up towards the end of last season and it has been away for an overhaul. We are pleased to say all went well. The beach marks were taken out and laid, the flag pole was erected and the boat park is slowly filling up.
The 2009 season looks at this stage as being very interesting as we have some new boats joining us and new pairings in existing boats. Emma Dawes and Alex Barson, new members are looking to get to grips with their Laser 2, whilst Steve Wingrove, another new member, will be trying out his new Solo, which he picked up this weekend. Some new pairings this year will see Chris Hazell and Tony Dunn, sailing in Chris’s Tasar. Chris bought the Tasar late last season and has yet to sail her. Chris sold his Supernova to Colin, who fancied a return to single handed sailing. John Mark is teaming up with Steve Coello, which may prove to be very interesting, especially with a new suit of plastic sails; whilst Tim Cocking is returning to the fold and will be sailing with Brian Phillips, at least on Wednesday evenings. I think that Russell will be taking Richard Morley under his wing for a while and we have a welcome return to Robin Hadlow, who bought an old Tasar last year and has spent quite a long time renovating her.
Dennis Bray, along with Sabine will be starting his first full season in his brand new Tasar, which he bought last year. This is a very fast boat and Denis will be the one to beat this year. Simon Pryce has bought an Osprey for the season and he is hoping to sail it with his Children, but if all goes wrong will revert back to his Laser, which proved a successful pairing so much last year. It will be interesting to see if we can tempt Nick Eggett back to the Club, at the moment he is living down west, quite a way from us, but he has another camper van, so may make a weekly pilgrimage to Porthpean. I’m not sure what will become of our Contender fleet as both Allan Orton and Richard Armstrong didn’t sail much towards the end of the season last year. If they don’t sail this year then it may encourage Stacey to concentrate more on his Tasar, sailing with his daughters when conditions are suitable. I’m also hoping that Ron & Michelle, having taken a sabbatical last year will race their Scorpion, all the repairs have been completed.
My Grand daughters were down over this weekend so we took the opportunity to sample the “delights” of Porthpean beach on Saturday, for a spot of sun bathing etc. The beach itself was filthy, unfortunately we have had south easterlies during the week and the beach was strewn with all sorts of rubbish that had blown ashore. There were also lots of empty lager tins rolling around, which had been clearly left by night time partygoers. However just as bad in my opinion were the heaps of dog muck laying around, especially just under the surface of the sand. This is a real menace for anyone trying to use the beach for recreational purposes and I will be glad when the annual ban on dogs on the beach comes into force at Easter. Sorry about the gripe, but why can’t the dog owners clear up after their pets, rather than just leaving it to the tide to deal with.
This has been a busy 2 weeks for the Club, we had the walk last Sunday, and this Wednesday we have the talk from Pete Barnes and Dave Mackrell about their sail across the Atlantic last year and then on Saturday will be the “Fitting Out Supper”. The clocks go forward that night, meaning we lose an hour in the morning, but should give everyone enough time to make the afternoon start for the first race. My resolution this year is not to be late for any more starts. Last weekend was a wake up call!
March 15th
Wimbleball reservoir Wimbleball reservoir
We have just had the best weekend weather-wise of the year so far. Nice sunny weather, with a very light wind which made it feel so much warmer and almost signals the end of winter. Sunday was destined to be the annual Club walk and this year was arranged by Simon Pryce, taking the members on a ramble on Bodmin Moor. I have seen some pictures and know that they had a very pleasant walk with stunning views, there should be some pictures taken of the walk on the socials page very soon. However Ken and I decided to go sailing instead, going to Wimbleball for their “Beastie” pursuit race. We arrived in good time but slapped wrist to me as we took far too long talking to people, before we rigged the boat and changed to go racing. We arrived at the start line 4 minutes after our start and 4 other Tasars were disappearing up the reservoir. We gave chase and within ½ an hour we managed to pass 2, but in one of the lighter areas, we ran out of wind and they overtook us again. However by the end of the first full lap of the reservoir, which took an hour, we had passed all the other Tasars and things were looking good for us. We were dicing with a Merlin Rocket and 2 Fireballs. In the very light conditions we seemed to have an advantage upwind, but they were much faster downwind in the odd gusts when their spinnakers powered them along. We were still up with them when disaster struck at the last gybe mark. The Merlin in front of us stalled and stopped dead and we sneaked up into an overlap position, which we had no right to as we were well inside the 3 boats length. I was cross with myself as I knew that I should have sailed to leeward of him but I put it down to being a bit rusty and allowed us to sail into the wrong place. We had no option but to gybe early and then come in again to the mark, behind quite a few boats that were behind us. 1 of our pursuing Tasars caught up in the very light conditions and ghosted past us. By now we had only 20 minutes or so of the race left and I thought we could easily catch and pass him but it wasn’t to be. I chose to take a bit of a flyer on one of the beats hoping to stay in a stronger breeze, but it backfired spectacularly when we finally tacked for the mark, when we were badly headed and we lost out big time as another Tasar passed us as well. Anyone who has sailed at Wimbleball before knows how fickle the wind can be, especially in light conditions. Big gains and losses occur quite regularly. Still it was good to get back in the boat again and to feel the pleasure of the breeze driving the boat along.
March 1st
Sabine, showing a woman's work is never done Putting the world right
I was away on Grand Dad duties last week, so today is a chance to update on the Club maintenance, which is rolling onwards. The surface of the yard was addressed on Friday, more of this with pictures is shown on the Projects page. Today the “whacker” arrived and this was used by several persons to compress the newly laid hard core into a compact mass. Today also saw the painting aspect attacked. Colin working indoors, trying to decorate the wall where damp has appeared, Brian Tellam, glossing the exterior doors and yours truly with the aid of others putting a coat of exterior paint on the Clubhouse walls. The sun was out and the temperature was starting to soar. The decking area proving very popular, as it was a real sun spot and it was very pleasant to sit there having a coffee break. The bright sunshine made the wall painting difficult as we were becoming dazzled with the reflections.

Last night was the fish and chip supper night and the Clubhouse, first thing, still had the tang of the supper hanging in the air. I think we would have all gratefully eaten another helping at lunch time.

Well now only 4 weeks to go before we officially launch the 2009 season. The fitting out supper will be held on Saturday 28th, the night the clocks go forward, and this year we are having a curry meal provided by the Cornish Curry Company. They came along and fed the RS800 competitors last year so have been booked to serve us on the night. I am sure that this will be well attended, so I expect to see many of you there on the night.

Yesterday was the last day of the discounted Club subscriptions, so I hope you all responded and made sure that Craig had your subscriptions on time, or else you will be paying the extra.

Those of you who look at the web cam may notice that the view has changed a little, well that’s because the camera has been moved outside and higher up. I think it will be adjusted again to give a better view of the dinghy park.

The next social will be in a fortnight’s time when the annual Club walk will be held. Simon is still preparing the route and I have heard the name “Lerryn” mentioned but as yet as far as I know, no firm decision has been made.

February 15th
Fitting the engine An empty dinghy yard
After 2 weeks of cold, wet and snowy weather, we were given a surprise peek of whats to come today. The weather has warmed up very slightly, helped no doubt by the absence of any wind and eventually the sun peeked out from the clouds. The sea was like a mill pond and so we once again turned to more maintenance to prepare the Club for the sailing season, which is now only 6 weeks away.
The pictures above, show Ken, Beacky & James, fitting the serviced engine to one of the safety boats, and an almost empty dinghy yard. The boats have been moved up into the field, leaving it ready for Andrew Kendall to scrape the top surface off, which will prepare the yard for a covering of hard core. This will hopefully prevent the pooling of water and mud that gathers in the yard after a wet spell of weather.
Wayfarer Fixing a leak
The other pictures show, the Club Wayfarer being checked ready to sell and Tony & Colin, sealing up a loose joint on the Club house cladding.
We were visited today by Emma Dawes and Alex Batson, who have just joined the Club and will be sailing a Laser 2 with us. Liz and Anna are still battling with the Council over their application to start a sailing school at Porthpean. After almost 12 months of trying, they are still waiting for Restormel Council to pass their application. John Mark is back from his extended holiday in Malalga and is raring to get out and sail his Tasar wearing it’s new suit of plastic sails.
Don't forget, there are a few socials to come before we start sailing. Firstly there is the fish & chip night on 28th of March. This is usually a very popular event. This will be followed on March 15th by the annual Club walk. Simon is still perusing the "walk", but as he competed in last year's London Marathon, then don't be surprised if we walk for miles and miles. However there is usually a pub, waiting for us at the end of the walk, so relief will be available. Then comes the Fitting out supper on March 28th, the night the clocks go forward, yes spring will be here and then the next day, we'll be off!!
I came back down to Porthpean again this afternoon, for a walk on the beach, with Sue, Sarah and my Grand daughters. The weather was still mild but by this time a very light westerly breeze had appeared and it would have been absolutely delightful, for a first sail of the season. I just hope it is as nice in March.
February 1st
No launching today No launching today Here we are, into February and almost half way through the winter and this weekend brings our first dose of strong south easterlies, with snow forecast for later in the week. Commiserations to Brian Tellham who has worked so hard over the previous 2 Sundays, cleaning the windows and facia boards, as today they were all covered in a thick salty spray, which has been whipped up by the unrelenting south easterly wind. It was very cold down at the Club and the enthusiasm for work parties was clearly at a very low ebb. Fortunately we are well on top of things so the odd Sunday lost to the weather won’t be too big a deal. The state of the sea as on the 2 pictures above, shows just how rough things were, yes clearly a long way from the calm seas and blue skies that we look forward to in the coming summer months.
The Club has decided to sell the Wayfarer, as it hasn't been used very much over the last 2 seasons. It's weight when recovering it up the beach proving a reason why most people are reluctant to use it. The money raised would be better used buying a more suitable boat for our beach. I'm sure that another firbe glass Enterprise would be used more and be a bit more exciting to sail, for those coming up throuh the ranks. I was lucky when I first started sailing in Newquay that one of the local schools had an Enterprise that they had built and they were quite happy for me to use it. I enjoyed it so much that I eventually bought an Enterprise for myself.
January 25th
Boats awaiting the start of the sailing season OK well here we are in 2009 and only 11 months to Christmas, but before that we have hopefully got a lot of sailing to do. However before the sailing starts comes the work parties. This year the work parties are being organised and run by our new works manager, Tony Dunn. People have already been down for the previous Sundays in the month. Maria & Ray have cleaned out the galley. Beacky & Colin have been working on the RIB launching trolleys. Brian Tellam has been very busy cleaning all exterior windows and facia boards. The field has been tackled, boats moved and a bonfire lit and lots of rubbish burnt. The fire escape passage has been cleared of overgrowth, and the drains have been cleared out. Today marked the assault on the Hydrangea bush, which has been outside the Clubhouse entrance for almost a thousand years. The bush is all well and good but does grow completely out of hand during the season, and impedes access to the Clubhouse steps. Now I think that the bush liked living there and therefore refused to come quietly. Steve & Pete did a lot of digging and chopping before the boys decided to tow it out and that Pete’s big 4 wheel drive was the ideal towing vehicle to pull out the puny bush. Firstly a nylon rope was tried, but snapped immediately it came under strain. Another thicker rope was tried,(Pete's boat towing rope) but that too failed, to pull the bush out. Pete's rope becoming shorter and shorter. in fact it took quite a few attempts before the bush finally yielded. You can see the saga unfold if you follow this link. The battle of the bush
Anyway brute force triumphed in the end and the poor little bush was dragged up into the field where it might be replanted and live to grow another day.

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