Porthpean Sailing Club  
Webmaster's Sailing Blog 2010
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Please Note. The comments and pictures on this blog are solely my own personal views & are not necessarily the views of Porthpean Sailing Club.

December 19th
The yard with snow
Well thatís it, our sailing season all over for another year. All in all not a bad year for the Club, as we have probably sailed more races than normal and also experienced a very successful Osprey Nationals. The autumn series has been quite cold and windy at times and mainly bedevilled by north easterly winds, which have been the main source of the colder weather. Although today should have been our last sailing day, the biting cold wind and the large waves crashing onto the beach plus the snow was enough to deter even the keenest sailors and had the desired affect of keeping everyone ashore. The next 12 weeks or so will be devoted to Club maintenance and readying ourselves for the 2011 season.

A few people have been commenting that there was no blog from me last week. Well the reason for that is that I wasnít here, but I have heard that sailing last Sunday was quite lively for the intrepid few sailors that took to the water. Yes only 4 boats launched, 2 Tasars, an Enterprise and a Scorpion, not the largest of fleets but they did make for some good entertainment for the watching thousands. The entertainment happened when launching and recovering, due to the easterly swell that has plagued us this autumn series.

Chris & Tony provided the most entertainment and almost lost their Tasar when launching, but our Sailing Secretary, Nigel, stepped up to the mark and helped them clear the surf, otherwise it might have been another expensive repair bill for Chris. The remaining 3 boats launched without any drama. The safety boat was manned by Ron & Michelle, who had to endure the cold wind, though Ron tells me that they were quite warm as they have quite a lot of thermal clothing that they wore under their dry suits. The lively breeze produced some good down wind planning, and I believe that the gybe mark was a little tricky due to the steepness of the waves. This caught out Andrew & Sarah in their Scorpion and they took to the water, which actually is not as cold as you would imagine just yet, though without adequate wetsuit or better the cold would soon get to you. Beacky somehow slowed down quite a bit until he found that he had become entangled in crab pot line. The marker buoy was just under the surface and I believe that it took him a while to disentangle himself. That and tacking round the gybe mark was enough to cost him 1st place in the results. Steve & Polly had no such problems and after an indifferent start soon swept past Chris & Tony to claim 1st place in the Tasar fleet.

Returning to shore was another Chris & Tony inspired show, Chris waited until everybody else was ashore before he made his final approach. Once again disaster was averted by the quickness of the shore party who seized his boat and carried it out of the sea with Tony sprawled out and languishing in the bottom of the boat.

Kay almost impressed everybody with her keenness when she started rigging her Scorpion last Sunday, but the rigging up was not for launching, just to display a new suit of sails that hopefully will be given a full airing next spring when our season will start once again.

The AGM was held after the racing and we now have a new Commodore. Gary, after 3 busy years has stood down and Chris Hazel was elected as our new Commodore. Tony Dunn, our new Social secretary, was busy with his camera to provide me with some new mug shots of the Committee which can be seen on the Committee page.

I took my boat home during the week, just in case we went to Restronguet for their Christmas Pudding Race, but thought better of it with this weekendís weather, but I had to spend quite sometime cleaning all the weed out of it that was swept onboard during last weekís battle with the swell on the beach. I had sea weed everywhere. It was clinging to all the sheets and ropes and clogging up the bailer. Fortunately it is almost all gone now as once it dries it tends to set like glue, making it even more difficult to remove. However I think that Jeremy and Suzanne did make the effort, but I have yet to hear how they got on.

Our next big social event will be the annual dinner and prize giving which this year will be held at the Cliff Head Hotel on January 22nd. Now I know that some members are not keen on going there as the last two visits were clouded by poor food and service, but I am told that it has changed hands and some of our members went there for the Osprey Nationals prize giving in the summer and were very impressed with the food etc, so things looked to have improved on that scale. We will also be having the very popular band ďHigh TideĒ playing and the size of the dance floor will enable the extroverts to really strut their stuff, so to speak. So for anybody who is still undecided, then it should be worth making the effort and attending the social of the year. It is also one of those rare occasions when we get the chance to see everyone in their finery, with the men in Dinner Jackets and the Ladies in some very glamorous gowns. Such has been the depth of sailing this year that the various trophy winners are spread out over a greater number of people.

Donít forget that the Clubhouse is also open on Wednesday evenings for a social drink and will be open on Boxing Day morning from 10.00 ish to witness the brave swimmers and out little Christmas party on the 29th which is open to all members, but they are asked to bring a plate of food, which will be pooled to provide a light supper. Hopefully Tony may have a few party games to liven up the evening.

We originally didnít have any Nationals scheduled for 2011, but this week we have been approached by the B14 fleet to see whether we could host their Nationals sometime in the summer. I am not sure if anything has been fully agreed yet, but I think that as far as Porthpean is concerned we will host it. It will most likely be a long weekend affair sometime in July. It will mean that we will lose a weekendís sailing, but should help keep the bank balance in good condition, and will cause the minimum of disruption. I will let you know more when I find out.

I have introduced a ďforumĒ to the website. I am not sure how well this will go but it will give everybody the opportunity to open and have discussions on sailing matters. Hopefully it will be used by Club Members. I havenít operated one before and I hope that I donít get any problems, nor get people miss-using it. There may be a few teething troubles but I am sure that we can resolve any that come about.

All that is left to do for this yearís blog is to wish you all a Happy Christmas. Try and keep warm in this very cold weather and I am sure I will see most of you over the next few weeks.

December 5th
Unloading the RIB from the road trailer
Our sailing season is rapidly coming to an end, unfortunately for me I wonít be here to compete next week as a Family trip away to Basingstoke has been arranged and then the weekend after will be our last race for 2010, though Ken & I may well be going to Restronguet to take part in their Christmas pudding race. There is usually quite a good turn out for this race of well over 30 boats, but it does seem a bit of a chore to have to pack up and go down there when we will be putting on racing at Porthpean, so a final decision will be taken nearer the time.

The icy cold weather produced by the bitingly cold easterly wind of the last week has faded away, and although not very warm out today, it was a considerable improvement on the previous 5 days. In fact quite a few turned up for racing today, which in itself looked encouraging, but unfortunately there just wasnít any wind. A light north easterly had been forecast but it never materialised and the bay remained windless We stood around, drinking coffee and talking with the hope that a breeze would appear, but by 11.30 it was clear that the bay would remain windless and the decision was made to abandon for the day. This proved to be the right decision as the rest of the day passed by without any breeze appearing. Our No1 RIB has been away for maintenance and repair, so our time was usefully used to transfer the RIB back onto itís launching trolley and will now be locked away until next spring, then in a few weeks time it will be time for No2 RIB to go away fro some TLC. Beacky & Nigel lifted and retrieved the beach marks last week, so they can be checked over and readied for next season also.

I hear that the Council is well on the case for moving the gate at the bottom of the field, so that they can reopen the Cliff path to Blackhead. There are quite a few walkers who regularly use the path and I expect that they too will be glad when the footpath will be reinstated. The concrete path up towards the field has suffered badly due to the weather over the last few weeks,breaking up badly in quite a few places, so I hope that the Coucil deem it prudent to renovate that also. Unless something is done soon then it will all crumble and wash away. I walked along the beach today & noticed that there has been another minor cliff fall, just beyond the cafť area, again a softer part of the cliff has succumbed to the weather and has been washed away, though that fall will have no impact on us.

Tony tells me that the Club will be having a Christmas party on the Wednesday after Christmas, which will be the 29th. Everyone is welcome and if you could turn up with a plate of food then it can be shared out. I am sure that Tony will be making proper contact with everyone after the AGM, which is next Sunday at 15.00. I also here that we will be producing and selling a new range of Tee shirts and other clothing in the new year with samples being shown at the Dinner Dance. I believe that the embroidering on them can be customised to show your boat name and number as well as the Club logo should you so wish.

November 28th
Clearing the slipway
Last week it was the floods that caused us a problem with part of the cliff falling down and this week it was the big freeze, with the top of the slipway covered in ice. Yes Cornwall as is the rest of the country is in the grip of very cold weather. On the plus side we did have a nice sunny day with only a light easterly breeze, which did make it feel very cold, but even so it did feel that much warmer if you stood in the sun. I came down during the week to take a look for myself at the cliff fall and if you do approach it from our field then it certainly looks very imposing as there is a magnificent view of Porthpean that has appeared but with the entire hedge missing looks quite dangerous as well, especially as there is nothing of any substance under what is remaining of the pathway, so even more could disappear at any time should circumstances change. The good news for us is that the Council wants to reinstate the coastal footpath and will require some of our field but will cooperate with the Club and provide us with a new gateway at the top of the existing path up from the roadway. At least the fallen hedgeway has solved Kenís problems with the Japanese knotweed!

Yes today, we had enough bodies to sail but the top of the slipway was in a dangerous condition with a sheet of ice covering a good portion of it so the first task was to try and break it up and make it safe enough to allow the safety boat to get up and down the slip, plus make it safe for us with our boats also. Note in the photograph that we adopted the traditional role by having plenty of people standing around watching the few actually working. Anyway the hard effort worked and it only delayed sailing for an hour which in turn allowed the very light easterly to fill in a bit which in turn made sailing possible.

Chris & Tony struck gold today as they were scheduled for timekeeping duties, so instead of having to change off and brace the cold weather they could afford the luxury of drinking cups of tea, whilst watching us suffer. Seven boats launched or attempted to launch. Unfortunately Mike and Dave came unstuck in their Merlin, getting caught by a rogue wave which swamped the boat, filling it so much that they just couldnít get the water out so reluctantly had to call it a day, which left six of us out to ďenjoyĒ a leisurely sail in what proved to be very light and frustrating conditions, as the wind proved very changeable in both strength and direction.

Beacky, Nigel & James, our safety boat crew for the day, laid an initial course that would have suited a north easterly breeze, but there proved to be too much easterly in it that we started at the beach marks with a beat out to sea. The start line turned out to be the most biased port end line that I have ever sailed as no one could cross the line on starboard. However that didnít stop the usual melee as we all closed down at the favoured Committee boat end. Unfortunately for Jeremy he was just that too much eager and crossed the line 2 seconds early resulting in a recall for him, which suited us just fine as we were slightly behind and upwind of him, which gave us an advantage right from the start. Jeremyís recall didnít do him too much harm as he & Suzanne were still 2nd boat to the windward mark, with Stacey & Steve just a little further back. There were only 3 boats in the handicap fleet also but Andrew and Sarahís Scorpion was very evenly matched against the slightly faster Kestrel of Janet &Pete. We managed to hold Jeremy & Suzanne off on the down wind legs but they closed up nearer to us by the end of the 2nd beat, Stacey & Steve also closed the distance, with no more that a 100M separating the 3 of us. Andrew got the 2nd beat spot on and rounded with Jeremy and Stacey and importantly putting a good distance between him and Janet.Steve Wingrove, had a lonely race in his Solo, but sheer concentration helped him and although finishing last on the water had enough time in hand to take 2nd place on corrected time.

The 3rd round proved even tighter with Stacey taking a different route up the beat and at one time just passed behind us, but the next tack favoured us and we opened up some of our lead again, with Jeremy dropping back to 3rd. There was still nothing much in boat speed in the broad down wind leg but as we started the final reach in towards the beach marks felt relieved to hear the shortened course sound, which allowed us to relax knowing that it would need a disaster to stop us crossing the line first.

Coming back to shore was the next problem as there were some dumping waves around and Ken & I got this one completely wrong when I failed to get the boat straight enough into a wave and found myself being dragged through the surf, desperately trying to stop the boat rolling over. In the excitement my hat came off and disappeared, never to be seen again. Fortunately no one else came to grief and a cold, cold fleet of sailors made our way back to the dinghy park to begin a mammoth task of cleaning all the cloying sea weed that had engulfed us. By the time we had finished washing off the boats ice was forming on the decks, yes the temperature was that cold and we were indeed ďfrostbiteĒ sailors.

November 22nd
A slightly different blog today as I was away for the weekend visiting Family in Bristol. However I was aware that we had a problem with the path from the field down to the yard. Justin & Donna sent me some pictures that they took the day after the deluge and then Stewart Page sent me 2 more after visiting the scene himself. Well as you can see we have suffered from a major cliff fall and the result is that the remainder of the path is considered too dangerous to use as the underlying ground is too soft and could itself be washed away or collapse at any time. This clearly gives us a problem to overcome for next year, and with the help and cooperation of the Council then I am sure that we may be able to create another entrance to the field which could put us well away from the present problem. However the remainder of the concrete path is in a very poor state of repair, breaking up in quite a few places so all in all quite a problem to overcome, but at least we do have a few months in front of us to carry out the work, so hopefully we should be ok for next season.

I am not sure if any racing took place on Sunday. The forecast when I left predicted south easterlies for Saturday and only moving a little northwards for the Sunday, which may have built up enough waves to make launching quite tricky, especially with low spring tides which lately have been concealing too many rocks just as we launch, causing some damage to some of the boats.

Path from the field Path from the field
Path from the field Path from the field
Path from the field Path from the field
November 14th
Anfrew & Sarah rigging ready for racing
A very grey day with some rain greeted the hardy few who turned up for racing today. Taking pride of place in the yard was Jeremyís new Tasar. He picked it up on Friday, spent a lot of yesterday changing some things around and was raring to go this morning. However an almost windless looking bay proved to be a bit of an obstacle, but Steve & Polly arrived to do their stint I the safety boat, so all in all a depleted fleet of only 7 of us rigged our boats to try and race. At least we had 4 Tasars out including Tim & Hannah in their new to them Tasar, plus Stacey & Steve Coello. We all had to paddle out from the shore until we found a very light breeze towards the beach marks. The forecasted breeze was to be a westerly and sure enough it appeared that it was the case and Steve duly set a course to reflect that. As we moved out towards the start line there was a major wind shift as the wind swung around to a south westerly direction, which caused Steve to reconfigure the course. No sooner reset than the wind swung back to the west again, so once again there was a quick change to the start line and this time the wind held, in fact it actually grew stronger to give full hiking conditions. Half way up the first beat Stacey & Steve, who had been lying 3rd took a good wind shift and swept passed us and almost up to Jeremy. Our first beat started promisingly but turned into a bit of a disaster as a couple of bad tacks in headers meant that we were only just ahead of Janet & Peteís Kestrel on the beat and then for a while we were closed right down on the reaches as their spinnaker gave then that extra bit of speed. Then the breeze picked up a little and we pulled away from them. Just behind the Kestrel were Tim & Hannah, still getting to grips with Tasar sailing. Stacey passed Jeremy on the 2nd reach and pulled further ahead on the next beat, this beat was our best chance and we closed the gap only for me to make a bad decision when we spilt tacks with them and ended up losing too much ground. Jeremy had taken the lead by the end of the beat and this time held on to take 1st place. The handicap fleet only had 3 boats in it today the other 2 being Andrew & Jennyís Scorpion and Steve Wingroveís Solo, but it was the Kestrel that dominated their fleet, winning handsomely.

We were down to 5 boats for the afternoon, with 2 of the Tasars packing up at lunch time. The wind had died to almost nothing again and it took us quite a while to sail out to the start area, but as we were sailing a very dark cloud that was over Porthpean was making its way out to us and when it arrived we had plenty of wind and this time cold stinging rain. We had an excellent start but Jeremy sailed out from underneath us and took the lead. There was hardly any difference in down wind speed but we sailed the last beat better in a dying wind and almost pipped the Hawkins to the shortened course finishing line. We were on port and had to dip their transom before tacking for the line, so all in all a lot closer racing for us.

Once again the Kestrel was in fine form pulling well ahead of the Scorpion, Steve in his Solo, came a cropper as he was further back in a dying breeze which slowed him down too much for him to have any hope of making any inroads on the handicaps. For once there were no Lasers racing, which is quite a rare occurrence but as it was so cold out there it was probably as well. I certainly came ashore feeling very cold and wished that I had worn my dry suit instead of my long john wet suit. Oh the days of Tee shirt and shorts are well behind us now, with at least 6 months to go before they will be considered to be worn again.

November 7th
Anfrew & Sarah rigging ready for racing
For a start itís congratulations to Stacey & Allan who last week attended the Contender Inland Championships at Rutland Water. Stacey & Allan finished 9th & 10th respectively out of a fleet of 45, which was extremely good going as the pair of them have been sailing their Tasars for much of the season. Both now have their eyes on the Contender Worlds next year which will be held at Weymouth, home of the Olympic sailing 2012. I believe congratulations are also in order to James Dowrick. Not for his sailing this time but for his prowess in St. Dennis Brass Band, winning a prize at the recent Band Competitions at Pontins, Prestatyn.

Well on to today and what a contrast to last weeks weather. The weathermen had forecast quite a nice day with a fresh northerly that was to fade during the day before swinging round to a westerly and in essence thatís what we got. So we were greeted by a much colder day, as the wind as forecast was from the north but we also had lots of blue sky, which gave a warm day when sheltered from the breeze, but we did have a day of drama, with some good sailing yet also some very frustrating sailing, including breakages.

The Tasar fleet was boosted this weekend by the first outing of Tim & Hannah in their new (to them) Tasar which they have bought from Mike Voyzey. Their first outing was quite eventful as, and this happened to 2 others, they managed to hit a submerged rock whilst leaving the shore which in the confusion caused their first capsize, which must be record from time to launching their new boat to first capsize, 2-3 minutes? Fortunately no obvious damage done and they arrived at the race course a few minutes late so had to try a bit of catching up, but nevertheless enjoyable for them as they had the pleasure of catching and passing a few slower boats. They were impressed how easily the boat came on to the plane as they sailed onto the reaches. The hidden rocks were a big problem today as we were leaving the beach at the bottom of a very low spring tide. Steve & Polly were also in the wars as they too hit a rock whilst leaving the beach, and took a chunk out of their dagger board, then early in the race their mast rotation lever sheered off, causing their retirement. Allan Orton and Steve Coello, sailing Staceyís Tasar, also managed to hit a rock, which in turn split the bottom of their dagger board, then on the last beat one of the toe straps brackets broke away from the hull, causing more damage. I know the feeling well of hitting hidden rocks as that fate befell Ken & I when sailing at Falmouth week. We were sailing quite fast when we hit a rock and the sudden impact almost capsized us as we were flung about in the boat.

Stacey & Steve Wingrove were our duty safety boat drivers for the day and set a good course for the northerly breeze which gave us a good beat across the bay from right to left before reaching off for the beach marks and then back out towards Blackhead. 10 boats made up the fleet, 5 Tasars and 5 handicaps. Allan and us started close to the committee boat, on what seemed the best beat and it wasnít too long before Allan & Steveís combined weight allowed them to out drag us and start to build up a reasonable lead. Unusually Steve & Polly were languishing quite a bit behind us, but their boat speed was ruined by the breakage of the mast rotation spanner, so after completing the beat they sailed for home. We managed to close the gap a little on the 2 reaches, but we had a lucky break when Allan tacked early on the 2nd beat, which took them into a less pressure part of the course and we managed to overtake them and slowly built up a lead that we held until the end.

The course and conditions suited Paddy Seyler as he dominated the handicap fleet winning by a nice margin, with Beacky and Adam 2nd and Brian Reeves finishing 3rd. Mike & Dave were out in their Merlin, but unfortunately they were late for the start and never got going properly.

The afternoon race was one of those weird races you get from time to time, when the wind completely misbehaves leaving the entire fleet at the mercy of whims of zephyrs here and there. The breeze had been dropping during lunch break and by the time we reached the start line had dropped quite a bit more, but there was still enough to move nicely through the water. Some of the fleet were a bit too eager to start and Jeremy & Paddy were called back for being over, which played nicely into our hands and off we went building up a very nice lead over the rest of the fleet. It was half way up the beat that the wind God played with us all and went on strike leaving us drifting, trying to find that elusive breeze to move us forward. Those of us further out to sea suffered the most but Jeremy and Suzanne despite their recalled start was the closest to the shore and they were the first to pick up the new breeze when it came, taking them right up to the buoy. Beacky & Adam too made the most of the light airs and rounded next followed by a delighted Chris & Tony. We were a bit lucky as we rounded 4th and for a short time closed up and passed both Beacky and Chris, before we parked up for a bit longer. Jeremy too was almost becalmed but still managed to ghost forward. Fortunately for us all, the dark appearance over at Charlestown gave a hint that a new breeze was coming and indeed it eventually came and as we were closest to it we benefited earliest; bring us right up to Chris, whom we passed and almost up to Jeremy. The wind had swung round so the beat was now almost a one tack affair, we tacked off to try to escape Jeremy, but he tacked to cover us, which in turn allowed Chris & Tony to sail past the pair of us and round the next mark in the lead. Unfortunately that didnít last too long as both Jeremy and then us overtook them on the reaches. Jeremy & us continued our duel on the next round before a shortened course brought it to an end, which was just as well as the breeze was starting to die away again.

Kay with Craig and Andrew with Jenny had a good battle in their Scorpions, both leading the other at different times before Andrew built up a 2 Ĺ minute lead. Somehow Beacky & Adam came unstuck, they had a large lead after the first beat but eventually ran out of wind as did Paddy who never got going after his recall, both boats after finishing 1st & 2nd this morning were forced to retire.

October 31st
Surf's Up
What a contrast todayís picture of the beach makes with last weekís. Unfortunately the weather finally got the better of us today. There was no doubting that we wouldnít sail when we saw the force of the surf running up the beach this morning as the picture alongside shows. Despite that there was still a goodly number of people down to get their weekly fix of Porthpean. Rather than get the covers off the boats it was a case of drinking cups of coffee and discussing the latest gossip. It appears that Jeremy has bitten the bullet and gone for an upgrade of his Tasar by agreeing a deal to buy one of the newer Bethwaite boats that comes with a good racing record and the benefit of not being used much in its short life, so we look forward to seeing that one at the Club in a couple of weeks time. In the meantime Jeremy is in the process of repairing bits and pieces of his present boat that have deteriorated through age and use and will make a very good buy for anyone looking to get a good competitive Tasar.

A few years ago we would have normally finished our sailing for the year at the end of October so today would have been our last day. I know itís hindsight now but I wonder whether we should have pulled our beach marks up last weekend whilst the weather was still benign. The late autumn, early winter storms have had a habit of destroying our beach marks over the years. We are fortunate this year in as much as our ground tackle is newer, but there is only so much pounding that any tackle can take before the weakest link breaks free, then it all goes. Letís hope that this weekend is only a blip and all we need now is some good weather in November and December to race on for a bit longer, but no matter what happens I think we have had a very good season, managing to sail more weekends than normal. May & June in particular were very good and I for one made the most of it apart from missing almost the whole of July and the early part of August. My big intention this year was to sail more during the week, and was waiting for the warmer weather towards the end of June, before my intentions were scuppered.

Kay had the Club PC fired up and she was entering the bookings for the Dinner & Prize giving which will be held next January, yes I know that it is 3 months away, but there is a certain festive season called Christmas before then & I know that it mean a lot of expense but at least if your place at the dinner is booked and paid for now then you will have a nice relaxing evening to look forward to in the depths of winter.

Paddy had his laptop with him and he was showing the traces from last weeks sailing of the courses sailed by Steve, Jeremy & us. Paddy has written the software himself and the results can be used as a good diagnostic tool showing where differences in speed and headings took us. Jeremy & Steve have even bought their own hardware so that they can use the aid every time they sail. Anyone interested should have a word with Paddy who will be pleased to give them a talk and a demonstration.

October 24th
Getting ready to launch
Apologies for the late appearance of the blog but Sunday proved a very busy day for me, as after the racing I had to shoot off home, change and then drive to Exeter to meet our 2 Grand daughters who were coming to spend the half term with us. By the time we got home, fed them and unpacked, bathed etc then time was getting on and I was ready for a rest, plus gearing myself up for a busy week.

What a glorious day we had today, as proved by one of the best attendances for several weeks for this the last Sunday of British Summer Time. Donít forget, the clocks go back next Saturday night, giving us an extra hour in bed but meaning that it will be dark by 5 oíclock; how depressing as the afternoons will seem so short. The easterlies of the last few weeks had changed to a northerly, which although cold had the affect together with the spring tides of moving the large quantities of weed that have covered the beach, back out to sea. The sand had even returned back to the slipway making the transition onto the beach that much easier. All to be seen on the picture above.

A total of 16 boats raced in the morning with another 2 coming out in the afternoon whilst a couple of the training boats were also out for a play with some of the cadets enjoying the late autumn sunshine. Simon & Sally were in charge of the rescue boat and set us a good triangular course, with the beat across the bay from right to left. We donít get that many northerlies, though we did have a spell early on in the season when we had quite a few every week, however it does give a different challenge for windward sailing. In fact the conditions were very challenging as the wind was quite shifty especially around the windward mark area and was also changeable in the wind strength as some found to their cost.

One person yesterday told me that he helped bring the safety boat down onto the beach. His helm appeared slightly later so the pair of them strolled around talking to various people, then decided to rig their boat to sail. In slight consternation they looked around and couldnít find the boat, then it dawned on them that each thought that the other had brought the boat down, but no, the boat was still in the dinghy park, so off they rushed to retrieve the boat to make a belated appearance.

5 Tasars made up the Tasar fleet, with one or two missing, one being Allan Orton who has gone back to the challenge of sailing his Contender, in preparation of the Worlds at Weymouth next year. Justin & Donna were also missing, due to a house move and Mike Voyzey was out in his new to him Merlin. Just as an aside if anyone wants a Tasar then both Jeremy & Simon have their Tasars up for sale. Both boats have all the current fast sails and equipment and would give anyone a ready made competitive boat right from the off.

The handicap fleet was made up of the normal mixture of single and double handers. Anna & Liz were back from their Grecian holiday and blasted off in the first race to end the first round amongst the Tasars. They even managed to beat Allan in the Contender, who fell foul to a complete lack of wind for a while on the last beat, which cost him dearly. Steve & Polly in their Tasar lead the fleet for 2 rounds before Allan powered through for a while when the wind increased for a time but fell back as the wind decreased. Steve & Polly , increased their lead winning by a strong margin at the end. Jeremy & Suzanne suffered from an attack by Andrew & Sarah Kendall in their Scorpion at the start but overtook us for 2nd place on the 2nd beat. 3rd place in the handicap fleet went to the Kestrel of Janet & Pete Barnes, who pulled clear of quite a few boats but were still 2 Ĺ minutes behind Anna & Liz on corrected time. Steve Wingrove who had a good win last week found the conditions not to the liking of his Solo as he plummeted down the fleet to finish 10th just in front of Colin in his Supernova.

The buoys remained in the same position for the afternoon race but this time it was set as an Olympic course. A large wind shift just before the start, heavily favoured those of us who started on port as many of the starboard starters found it almost impossible to cross the line on starboard. Stacey, out for a change in his Contender made the most of the first beat rounding comfortably in the lead. Very close behind were the 3 Tasars of Jeremy, Steve and ourselves, with no more than about 20 seconds separating us on the next 2 reaches. Ken & I started the 2nd beat right behind the other 2 Tasars, so tacked off to clear our wind, but by the time we reached the next windward mark could see that we had lost out quite a bit to the other 2 and also had Dennis & Brian closing us down. Jeremy although under pressure from Steve held his nerve and position round the rest of the course to take a well deserved win.

Stacey increased his lead in the handicap fleet to take his win but this time the Barnes had the better of Anna & Liz by taking 2nd to their 3rd. Paddy Seyler had a better result in this race by finishing 4th in front of Beacky & Adamís Enterprise, which probably doesnít suit an Olympic course quite so much as a Laser.

Paddy has bought some GPS trackers, which he has loaned to various people to carry with them during the race. His soft ware will allow him to down load the data to his laptop and from there the various courses sailed by the people carrying them can be seen. He has sent me a couple of links of the bits and pieces and you can see what they are by following the links below.

GPS Logger Type Blue 747 A+ http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=250610035157&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT And Otterbox http://www.monkeystores.com/acatalog/info_OB-1000.html

I think he would like several people to buy the kits and then a more comprehensive detail of racing tracks can be plotted.

October 17th
Deciding whether or not to launch
Iíve been back a week now since having 2 very nice weeks in Turkey and the weather here is still good. Yet again today has been another almost cloudless day, but unfortunately was also another day of almost no wind. Well we do have a massive high sitting over us so windless conditions are to be expected. Nevertheless there was at least 12 boats willing at one stage to go out and race. However the extreme lack of wind put several, including yours truly, off so although my boat cover came off the boat stayed rooted in the dinghy park, whilst I waited to see what developments if any materialised. In the event several made it to the beach and some even launched, but others remained on the beach whilst they evaluated the progress of those who had launched. The phrase ďwatching paint dryĒ came to mind as the brave few struggled to make any forward motion. The safety boat had been launched and Nigel decided to lay a very short, windward, leeward course, with the beach marks being the windward marks and the leeward mark being just off the beach. Surprisingly 4 boats managed to drift round and a race was duly recorded, and won by Steve Wingrove, fresh back from his holiday in Mexico. Lunch on the decking became the favourite venue and was enjoyed by quite a few whilst we decided whether the breeze would pick up for the afternoon. One or two decided that enough was enough, packed up and left for home. The more resolute waited a while longer, before deciding that the light breeze might just hold long enough to get a race in. This time 8 boat ventured out to the start and a course was set to give a beat from the beach marks, via the southerly breeze to a mark towards Blackhead.

Launching wasnít too bad, though we did have the remnants of the easterly winds that have been blowing for 2 weeks now, with some large amounts of smelly sea weed on the beach to pull the boats through and some waves still left over, but these werenít too bad and no body had any undue problems.

Luke Bilkey was one of the 8, sailing his new Topper in its first race. Unfortunately the light wind was too light for him and he crawled round being lapped by several of the faster boats. However when you are Lukeís age you have plenty of time on your side and I am sure he will get some fantastic condition over the years when the Topper will fly along.

We had looked at a port hand start earlier and dismissed it as a no no, but for some silly reason, just after the minute gun I decided to give it a go. My logic was that even if it was wrong we would be able to sail into clear wind and hopefully get the benefit of this up the beat. Well all that logic went pear shaped as we and also Beacky dipped the entire fleet and then found ourselves in very little wind. By the time we tacked onto starboard for the beat in to the windward mark it was clear that oh so many boats had passed us including the Tasars of Jeremy/ Finn and Chris & Tony plus the Scorpion of Andrew & Jenny and the Laser of Paddy Seyler. Well it was a case of grit your teeth and try and salvage something. The 2nd beat was our best chance and this time we got it spot on, managing to overtake Chris & Tony and close right up on the Scorpion. Jeremy & Finn were disappearing into the blue wide yonder and there was no catching them, but I did enjoy the distance that we had clawed back and we managed to pass the Scorpion on the next reach to push us into 2nd place, which we held to the end. The Scorpion of Andrew & Jenny hung on and took 1st place in the handicap fleet by a matter of 7 seconds over Beacky as his poor start cost him dear also.

For me it was really nice to be able to sail again after missing the last 4 Sundays, but nevertheless it was still frustrating to sail in such a very light breeze, but at least we were out and hopefully will still get some more sailing in before the season winds to a close in just a few weeks time.

The Wednesday racing has long finished but the Club house is open on Wednesday evenings. Alas there are no bacon butties but the bar is open and the pool table is waiting, so if you still have withdrawal from Wednesday sailing blues then why not come along and be social.

October 10th
low water at lunch time
October is well and truly here and the last series of the 2010 sailing season has started. Yesterday was my first day back at the Club after a 2 week holiday in Turkey, and amazingly the weather here was quite warm, but the wind such as it was came from the south east, which as ever means waves on the beach. I did have the satisfaction in Turkey of enjoying beautiful sunny weather, with the temperature never below 20C even at night. But it is nice to come back, especially when James tells me that he is missing my blog. Well at least there is one happy reader! Unfortunately for me, I missed some good racing whilst I was away, including the September Cup which was won by Jeremy & Suzanne in their Tasar, after a very close battle with Allan Orton, sailing his Contender,

Unfortunately the sea today, looked decidedly unattractive, after the warm, blue Mediterranean Sea that I have been used to swimming in. We had dumping surf, strewn with sea weed and other rubbish, blown in by the south easterly wind, not the most of attractive sights. I did take the boat cover off and start some preparation for sailing but after taking a walk down to the beach and studying the waves, decided not to bother. 7 boats decided to have a go and the safety boat was launched and a course was set. Of the 7 enthusiastic sailors only 4 managed to actually launch. It took Brian Reeves 5 attempts to get off the beach, such was the lack of breeze and the size and strength of the surf but at least he battled on and made it out to the start line. Out at sea conditions werenít too bad, with a light to moderate breeze. Steve & Polly being the only Tasar had an easy sail but still put a considerable distance between them and the Kestrel of Janet & Pete and the Lasers of Brian Reeves and Tim Baily.

Chris & Tony spent the morning repairing damage to their Tasar, which happened whilst trying to land last weekend in what was also quite hairy conditions on the beach. By this afternoon the numbers wanting to sail was down to 3 and as the buoys had already been brought in the decision to abandon racing was made. I donít know whether is was an optical illusion but I am sure that the beach marks have moved quite a distance to the right when looking out to sea, if so may have been the result of some very strong easterly winds during the week.

Mike Voyzey has swapped his Tasar for the Merlin of Tim & Hannah, but unfortunately he damaged the transom on what was his first sail in the boat last weekend when he too came to grief whilst trying to land. Maybe I didnít miss too much sailing after all. Mike too spent some of today shaping and then gluing in a new piece of wood on the transom, so hopefully he will be ready to sail next weekend. I noticed that in Mikeís last sail in his Tasar, he finished 3rd just 9 seconds in front of Chris Hazel so that was another close race for those two.

The Wednesday racing has now finished for the year. Once again the early start has proved a bonus with every race in September being sailed, with a very good attendance. I am sure that an earlier start throughout the year would give us better sailing. I know the earlier start doesnít suit everyone but judging by the attendance figures is still very popular and the more consistent wind conditions give us much better racing. I note from the results that John Mark, who hasnít sailed much this year, sailed in the last Wednesday race with James Dowrick crewing for him. They were lying 2nd in the Tsar fleet until they overtook the in form Jeremy & Suzanne. Not only that but they actually increased their lead to take a much deserved win. Letís hope John will race more often next year.

I noticed a brand new boat in the yard today and after making enquiries found that it was a Topper and belonged to Luke Bilkey. Luke has really taken to sailing this season and is now set to emulate his Father, Chris, who started his sailing career alongside Nigel in Toppers many years, which at the time was a strong fleet at Porthpean, culminating in the Nationals being held here in 1981- 29 years ago!!

September 23rd
Allan & Matt at Torquay
Well we are now into Autumn, so it was no surprise when we sailed in quite dismal, overcast and blustery conditions last night. It was good to see so many boats out, yes 16 boats launched into a blustery south westerly for the 3rd race of the 4 race Autumn series. It was apparent just how strong the wind was as we neared the beach marks, when the full force started to hit us. Nigel & Pete Pope set the course and admitted that it was difficult laying the beat as the wind was swirling around so much, however it looked reasonably fair to me. This was the first time that I had sailed in a south westerly since my heart attack day when we had a capsize and the conditions once again were very similar, so a bit of deja vue were going through my mind, especially with the strong gusts swirling around, as we neared the end of the beat. The reaches were fast and furious and the first time round must have looked spectacular to anyone watching from the shore when 5 Tasars arrived almost in a line abreast at the beach marks. In fact we had 7 Tasars out tonight, probably the highest turnout for a Club race for many years. Leading the pack was Jeremy & Suzanne, just ahead of Stacey with Pete Barnes crewing. We rounded next only just in front of Allan & Matt, who in turn squeezed out Dennis and Justin. Allanís jib broke free from his jib sheets as he gybed and forced him to retire. The next beat saw Jeremy extend his lead and both he and Stacey pulled away from us who were desperately trying to hold Dennis off. Unfortunately Dennis passed us on the last lap and once past was uncatchable. Behind us was another battle between Mike & Vicky and Chris & Tony, with Mike and Vicky dominating.

The handicap fleet for once was missing the Scorpion of Ron & Michelle, so the battle of top handicap boat was down to the Kestrel of Janet and son Tristran, the Laser of Paddy Seyler and the Supernova of John Hill. Janet & Tristran finished 1st on the water, and took the corrected time honours by only 6 seconds over Paddyís Laser. John Hill lost out by having his first capsize of the year. The only other handicap boat to survive the race was the RS400 of Jim Sharratt who is still getting to grips with the boat as he usually sails catamarans, but I think is enjoying his dinghy sailing with us on Wednesdays.

Next Wednesday will unfortunately be the last Wednesday race of the year, but I will be missing as I am going to have to sit on a beach in Turkey for a couple of weeks, where I shall be joined for one of those weeks by Tony & Lynn Dunn.

The long awaited Tasar Nationals at Torquay have come and gone. The Club was well represented with 5 teams from Porthpean entering. Stars of our fleet were Stacey & Steve Coello, finishing 5th overall, with some very high finishes indeed. The rest of us finished almost midfleet with Jeremy & Suzanne in 14th, Steve & Polly 15th, Allan & Matt 16th and Ken & I bringing up the rear in 17th.

The weekend started well enough with 2 races sailed on Friday afternoon, in about 9 knots. We had 3 races on Saturday in what started as quite light and ended up with a stiff breeze blowing. There were 3 more races on Sunday, all sailed in a very fresh breeze, around 2oknots of wind. The course legs were set at 1 mile lengths, which gave very long beats, the reaches though were something else with just about every boat absolutely flying, but the top guys were even faster, as I found out on the first race of Saturday, which turned out to be our best race of the series and was sailed in the lightest breeze of the weekend. We had our best start, crossing the entire fleet on a port end flyer and actually went the right way up the beat being 1st boat to the windward mark, arriving just in front of 3 boats. Our lead was short lived when all 3 sailed over the top of us on the first reach and a further 2 on the next reach, pushing us down to 6th. Even this position fell away on the next beat and we ended up 11th. After 2 days of racing we were lying 15th, but I found the Sunday heavy weather sailing far too much and we struggled on the beats to give us the overall finish of 17th. The Sunday proved the best day for Stacey & Steve as they powered up the beats to take some very creditable positions and almost winning one of the races. Allan did very well with Matt, having some good beats and even better down wind legs. Steve & Polly were very close to us several times and may have been further up the results table if they had managed to sail on the Friday, when the wind was lighter.

Launching and recovery had its fraught moments in the confines of Torquay harbour. Launching wasnít too bad, launching 2 at a time but coming back was more awkward as we had to wait by sailing up and down in quite tight confines until there was a space available to sail onto the ramp. Dependant on the wind direction and strength we had to judge whether to take our sails down before landing.

There were inevitable some breakages and capsizes out on the race course, but I think we all came through unscathed. The event was won on the last day by an Australian couple, who fortunately for them had the Championship wrapped up before the last race. I say fortunate because one of their gudgeons sheared off on a reach in the last race and they had to be towed in. If this had happened in either of the previous races then their title hoped would have vanished, which is one of the unfortunate facts of life when sailing a condensed Championship of 3 races in a day.

Whilst we were away at Torquay 5 of our Cadets plus two from Pentewan went to a Cadetís Regatta at Roadford Reservoir. This is the 2nd time that they have sailed there. Our Cadets were Jake Varley, James Dowrick, Luke Bilkie, Adam Eastham and Lucy Bray. I havenít hear the full story yet but I am hoping to get a report from James which will be appended to the Cadetís web page in a few weeks time. They went under the guidance of Liz & Anna and I think that it is great that our youngsters are getting out sailing at different venues.

September 15th
Chris & Tony
An eveningís promise of some exhilarating racing turned out to be a disappointment last night when we had to abandon all hopes of racing due to 2 boats getting into trouble and needing the undivided attention of the safety boat. The course had been set and we had even started the countdown sequence, when it was obvious that a Laser that had capsized some time ago was still upside down and was not able to right. The countdown was abandoned whilst the safety boat tried to deal with the Laser. After about 20 minutes the safety boat was still with the Laser and it was obvious that we were running out of time to race, so unfortunately the decision was made to abandon and send the fleet home.

The conditions did look rather fierce before we ventured out with a quite strong offshore breeze, blowing out to sea, and it was almost inevitable that someone would capsize in those conditions. The dark patches looked very dark, but they werenít the short bursts that we often get, rather longer gusts that you could see coming and then set the boat up to sail in them. There were 5 Tasars out, of which 3 of us will be travelling to Torquay on Friday for the Nationals, so at least we had one last chance to stretch our legs and our boats before packing everything away for our journey.

Despite the early start there was still something like 14 boats on the water so enthusiasm to sail hasnít diminished just yet. Once again we were blessed with a nice sunny evening, which if we had started the race would have given excellent racing conditions. The breeze, strong as it was to start with followed the normal pattern of dying away as dusk started to fall, which at this time of the year tends to happen far too early.

There will be less boats than normal at the Club this weekend as several of the Cadets will be racing at Roadford Reservoir as part of a Cadet's Regatta. They will be competing against other teams from other Clubs, but hopefully under the tutelage of Anna & Liz they will give a good account of themselves, and we wish them every success.

Here is an early advance notice of the AGM. This year it has been decided to hold it on a Sunday afternoon and it will be on 12th December at 3pm. This is a complete change from the norm, but it is hoped to encourage a better turn out than we have had over the last few years. Full details and agenda will be posted before the date, which is still 3 months away.

September 12th
Anna & Liz
Well here we are, the 2nd Sunday in September and almost as good as a summerís day. Blue skies, warm sun, and an offshore northerly breeze, brought 16 boats out to race, including 6 Tasars. It could have easily been 9 as Steve & Polly were scheduled to be safety boat crew and Mike Voyzey was taking his Dart to France where he had a customer waiting and Chris Bilkey had a broken cleat on his traveler system. As the weather was so nice I elected to wear my sailing shorts for what may be the last time this year. By the time we arrived at the start area I was beginning to wish that I had gone for the wet suit as the wind was pretty gusty out there, but once we had started then the shorts proved to be adequate.

The start was very confusing as the start gun seemed to be late and being at the far end of the line we couldnít see the flag, so thought that we were too early to the start line. Somehow I am sure there was a delay in comms from the shore to the safety boat. Anyway we could see that the recall flag was still up so we quickly ducked back round the line and re-started, just to make sure. The delay was enough to throw us much further back in the fleet and Dennis, crewed by Chris Bilkey, had a commanding lead by the time they got to the beach marks, not too far behind was Stacey, sailing with No2 daughter Millie,. Jeremy & Suzanne also had a good first beat and were 3rd to the beach marks. The wind shifts around the beach marks were many and confusing and some major changes took place on each beat. Stacey made the most of their light weight and took the lead on the 2nd reach and started to pull away. We pulled a position back on the 2nd beat and finally on the 4th beat had a major bit of luck when we had a terrific lift by sailing towards the cliffs, which swept us through into the lead, which we managed to extend to the end, giving us a very satisfactory race win.

Meanwhile the handicap fleet was having quite a battle also with the gusty and changeable wind affecting them just as much as it affected us, but in their fleet the honours went to Janet & Pete in their Kestrel finishing almost 3 minutes ahead of Anna & Liz in the Vago, leaving Beacky and Adam to take 3rd almost another minute behind. Steve Wingrove, sailed very well, pushing his Solo into 4th place ahead of the 3 Lasers that were out by a margin of 5 seconds over Paddy Seyler.

The afternoon race was sailed in a bit less wind, but was shiftier in the beach marks area. After a good start we were the leading Tasar approaching the beach marks, but on our approach the wind started to head us so I made the decision to tack onto what should have been a lifted tack. For some reason this all went wrong and we ended up losing a massive amount of time and distance, allowing both Jeremy and Dennis to round in front of us, leaving us with a massive deficit to try and make up. Even now I find it hard to believe that we lost so much ground so quickly. Despite closing up on the reaches we were still behind Dennis as we started the beat. Somehow I managed to get the beat wrong again and Justin and Donna overtook us, pushing us down into 4th position. The only beat that we managed to get almost right was the last one when we passed Dennis, who in this race was crewed by Bruce Keeping, Bruce had been sailing his wind surfer in the morning race, but there was no way we could catch Justin & Donna, who took a well deserved 2nd place.

The handicap fleet had another exciting race. Liz was feeling tired after a hard weeks work and asked Nigel to take her place as crew for Anna in the afternoon and what a difference it made. 3 of their rivals retired for various reasons, but the Vago finished first on the water, which was then converted into a handsome win by the margin of almost 3 minutes on the Laser of Tim Bailey, who in turn reversed the finishing positions on Paddy Seyler from the morning race. Janet & Pete could only manage 4th, which I am sure was a disappointment after their fantastic turn of speed in the morning.

Sunday sailing may be a bit depleted next week as at least 6 Tasars will be away at Torquay for the Tasar Nationals and quite a few of the Cadets will be away at a Youth Regatta at Roadford Lake, so we wish them well.

There will be a beach clean next Saturday morning @ Porthpean Beach 10.15 for a 10.30 start. This is part of Marine Conservation Society Beachwatch BIG Weekend, so if you feel you can take part then I am sure you will be welcomed. The beach is looking rather disheveled at the moment, suffering from an enormous amount of rubbish swept in on the easterlies of last week.

September 8th
Beach on Sunday
Unbelievably the weed piled so high on the beach on Sunday (see the picture alongside) had all but vanished by Tuesday evening when the Capsize Club set sail for another training session. The high spring tides coupled with the lack of wind has allowed the weed to be sucked back to sea with the falling tide The Capsize Club has been well attended this year and the Club Picos have been regularly used. I even used one myself a couple of weeks ago when I took my Grand Daughters out for a sail. I hadnít realised how wet a sail a Pico is as quite a lot of water and spray was flying in over the bow.

Tonight was the first of the Wednesday Autumn series races and due to the light starting to fade so quick we have set a start time for 6pm and we were rewarded by a turnout of 16 boats, with at least 4 of our regular boats missing. By starting earlier we also have the blessing of sailing in better winds because by just after 7pm the very pleasant westerly breeze was starting to fade away to practically nothing. It appears that the majority of our sailing fraternity can make the earlier start time without too much hassle and I think it would be beneficial to have a 6pm start time throughout the season for the Wednesday racing. There will be a good opportunity to discuss this at the AGM and I think it would be well worth trying for a season to see how it goes. The tide was almost at the wall so grabbing a bit of beach to hoist our sails was at a premium. The beach was also in the shade from the setting sun but we only had to sail out a few metres to suddenly find ourselves in sunshine as we sailed off into the clear blue yonder.

Tonight was another good night for attendance in the Tasar fleet and with only just over a week to go for the Nationals at Torquay gave everyone a good chance for some final tuning or bonding with new crews. Talking of new crews, Dennis took a new crew out tonight, unfortunately I donít know her name, but she has done a little sailing before but I donít think she has done any racing, nor being in a Tasar. She turned up last week for her first sail but the conditions were such that they didnít actually launch, but last night she saw how tranquil and ideal for sailing Porthpean is. The battle for line honours turned out to be a very competitive affair, between Stacey & Steve, Allan & Matt, Jeremy & Suzanne and Ken & myself. Not too further back was Mike & Dave. There was quite a bit of tacking going on up the first beat with the majority going up the middle of the course rather than chance committing themselves to either side, but at the first mark the fleet was lead by Stacey, Allan, Jeremy, us and then Mike. I was quite pleased with our progress as we crept up on Jeremy to start the 2nd beat reasonably close to him. Allan closed right up on Stacey and managed to overtake him, we managed to pass Jeremy, pushing us up to 3rd. We then slowly caught up Stacey on the next reach, but suddenly lost out as the breeze where we were just died away and Stacey continued and pulled away from us. Allan extended his lead throughout and by the end was a very satisfying distance in front of the rest of us.

Things were very competitive in the handicap fleet. The start line was very port biased and one or two went for it but no one benefited as there were too many boats up at the pin end. John Hill has the best start of all, leading the fleet away on the starboard tack, closely followed by Ron & Michelle in their Scorpion and Janet & Pete in their Kestrel. The course set by Nigel & Brian Reeves was good sized one and so even that the spinnaker boats could fly them on all the reaches, something that gave them a good advantage over the 4 Lasers that were out. The handicap boats were doing so well that some of them were in front of Tasars after the first beat and moved further ahead under spinnakers on the reaches. Ron & Michelle took line honours, followed by Janet & Pete, but John Hill managed to end up in 2nd place after the computer had done its stuff. The returning Paddy Seyler was once again 1st Laser, convincing Steve Coello that he had sold his boat far too cheaply!

Well I had my first Jenny March bacon butty tonight since July 1st and boy did it taste good, however I did limit myself to just the one so not too bad, but the aroma in the Clubhouse was enough to tempt anybody and judging by the number of people tucking in were well received. Thanks Jenny, a very good facility to have after sailing. The forecast is good for the weekend so hopefully we will have a good turnout of boats and we now have the buoy line removed thus giving us more sailing area as we sail back to the beach after racing. In fact we are fast approaching the last of the nice weather for sailing so hopefully more and more will take advantage of it. Who knows the new ďblackĒ shorts may well make an appearance.

September 5th
Preparing a Scorpion
I, like quite a few others doubted whether we would be able to sail today. The forecast last Wednesday promised fresh to strong south easterlies, which would be a continuation of Wednesdayís conditions and increase the amount of surf on the beach. In the event the Weathermen were once again wrong. Yes we woke up to rain but most importantly, very little wind. However the conditions certainly made sailing look doubtful, so I was really pleasantly surprised to see so many people at the Club when I arrived getting their boats prepared for racing. Anna & Liz our duty safety boat drivers for the day had the RIB out and fully prepared. The surf on the beach was very small and with the light easterly wind meant that launching and recovery would be ok without, hopefully any dramas. However the beach itself looked awful. The week long south easterly winds has brought huge piles of thick sea weed in and dumped it all along the high tide mark, which gave us quite a slippery hill to pull the boats over before we could access the sea.

We are into September now and the 2010 season is quickly slipping by, but there are still 3 weeks left of the Sunday summer season to come, before the autumn series starts. 12 boats sailed out to the start line for the race. This week we were missing 3 regular Tasar boats but still had 5 on the water, which was a good effort, only 2 Lasers launched, but one of those saw the return of Paddy Seyler, who has re joined the Club after quite a few years away doing other things. Paddy has bought Steve Coelloís Laser and on todayís showing is certainly going to give Simon Pryce a good run for his money.

Justin & Donna had an excellent port hand flyer off the start line. A few shenanigans between Nigel & James and Simon Pryce saw Nigel doing penalty turns as they both strove to get away on port also. Stacey teamed up with Allan Orton for the racing and from a good start was the leading Tasar at the windward mark, the rest of us reached the windward mark several boat lengths behind and leading this small pack was Chris & Luke Bilkie, just ahead of us, and we in turn were just in front of Justin & Donna and Mike & Dave. Our downwind speed was very quick in the light conditions and we pulled through Chris and away from the rest as we slowly crept up on Stacey. It took us 3 rounds to catch them and we started the last beat right on his transom. We had no option to tack off early and head out to sea on what had been the unfavoured tack, but when we finally came together at the end of the beat, we had just nosed in front, which boded well for the down wind legs as we slowly eased out enough distance to win the race at the next time at the beach marks. Chris & Luke who normally go well in these conditions slowly dropped back each round. It wasnít until the closing stages of the race that Chris realised that he had picked up a lot of sea weed on his dagger board and rudder. Yes weed was a continuous problem during the race. There was masses of it out at sea and we had to constantly check our foils to shake it off when we caught quite a few strands.

The handicap fleet is made up of a wide variety of boats and today was made up of Kestrel, Lasers, Scorpion, Solo and RS Feva. The Feva is the slowest boat sailing in our fleet, but in the hands of Nigel & James, proves very competitive and once again when all the calculations were taken into account proved to be the fastest of all, taking another win. Paddy Seyler in his first race wriggled past Simon on the last beat to take 2nd place overall.

Steve Mitchell turned up during the morning with a Tasar he has been restoring. He should have increased our fleet to 6 but unfortunately Chris & Luke and Mike & Dave decided not to race in the afternoon, so we were down to a fleet of 4. The first beat was one of the closest beats seen this year when 3 of us arrived at the windward mark together. We just had the edge and started the reaches in the lead, we held this position for the next beat, but lost out big time on the run, where Steve & Polly took the lead in front of Allan & Stacey. Steve opened up enough distance on the next beat to make life very comfortable for himself, whilst we battled away trying without any success to catch Allan & Stacey.

The handicap fleet was increased by the appearance of another Laser, Tim Baily. Once again Simon took the lead and this time made sure he covered Paddy, beating him by over a minute, who in turn was another minute in front of Tim. However the race again belonged to Nigel & James, who still came in ahead by almost 2 minutes on corrected time in front of Simon.

Recovering onto the beach was a struggle. The small waves proved no problem but the tide was fully in and had pushed the weed into even bigger heaps and we struggled to get the boats and trolleys over. Just wading through the surf was awful as we had to contend with huge swathes of weed trying to wrap itself round your legs. However with everyone helping one another this problem was soon overcome and eventually all boats were safe and sound on their trolleys. There is still loads of weed floating around in the bay and this too will add to the weed on the beach whilst the wind continues to blow from the east, so we could have quite a few weeks of struggles until the weather pattern changes and sweeps it all out to sea again, where hopefully it will gradually decompose and sink.

September 1st
Launching
Some people use the 1st of September as the start of autumn whilst others wait until the quarter day in a few weeks time, but which ever way you look at it, summer 2010 is coming to an end. Just to emphasize this tonight was the last Wednesday race of the summer series, and ended in a bit of drama. This year we have had very few south easterlies, but they have finally come in this week and look like staying with us for the next 5 or 6 days as well, which may well compromise our Sunday sailing in a few days time.

13 of us rigged for the race on a nice sunny evening, with a bit of surf running on an incoming tide. I went down before all the boats to look at the height of the surf and thought that it was do-able so we rigged the boat. Meanwhile some had already taken their boats down to the beach and suddenly the prospect of launching through the surf looked more challenging. I always claim that if you wait long enough you can usually find a flat spot between waves and launch, however returning to the beach can be far scarier as you are almost completely at the mercy of the waves.

launching and recoveryNick Haskins

Jeremy & Suzanne launched first and finally got away on their 2nd attempt. Dennis with new crew on board struggled in the surf when his rudder came off and it proved impossible to get back on even with the help of 2 or 3 others trying to keep the boat steady, so he abandoned all hope of sailing. Tim Baily, broke his tiller extension when trying to launch and came back for a spare. Brian Reeves struggled to launch and gave up after being swept back onto shore more than once. All the others with help, mainly from Nigel & Steve managed to get through the surf. By this time I had seen enough, with the Tasar Nationals less than 3 weeks away I decided that I wasnít going to risk any damage to the boat so we remained in the yard and gave away a certain 3rd place for the series.

Mike & Dave set a small triangle with a beat out to sea. Stacey & Matt were first out of the blocks heading left and had a considerable lead over Jeremy & Suzanne when they reached the windward mark. Much further back were Chris & Tony and that is how the positions remained for the rest of the race. Their was more to be watched in the handicap fleet when the first round the windward mark was Andrew & Sarah, followed by Ron & Michelle, both sailing Scorpions, surprisingly the much faster RS400 of Steve & Nigel were behind the pair of them and even with the use of their spinnaker could not make up the difference on the first set of reaches. Ron & Michelle eventually overtook Andrew and Sarah and then both were finally passed by Steve & Nigel by them making better use of the angles.

Returning to the beach posed the next set of problems. Jeremy & Suzanne sailed straight in without any trouble. Dennis and Ken who had stayed in their wet suits waded in to help others get onto the shore. The biggest drama came when Ron took off his fixed rudder and then was hit by a gust that swung him round and straight into the side of the RS400. Fortunately I donít think any damage ensued though the Scorpion has probably got some scrapes showing on itís gunwale.

I donít think that Allan wanted to take his new Contender out in those waves and had to relinquish his 1st position in the handicap series to Ron & Michelle, who had been consistently 2nd to Allan throughout the summer.

Next week sees the start of the Wednesday autumn series, which is only 4 weeks long but the start time will be 18.00 in order to be able to sail in some daylight!!, So donít be late.

August 29th
Luke & Jamie
Our Cadet section is thriving at the moment, mainly due to Maria, Anna & Liz, who have put a lot of time in, with various activity meetings, so much so that a mini regatta was organised to be sailed this weekend, Saturday 28th August. Anna & Liz brought their fleet of 6 Picos around from Pentewan to be used by the Cadets. Nigel Dowrick & Chris Bilkie set a nice little course for them and Gary and Kay in aother safety boat went through a start procedure and off they went. I am waiting for James to give me a full account of the race, but the winners were Luke & Jamie Bilkie, who can be seen here holding the Cup that was presented after the racing.

A fun relay race was organised for an after the main race and at some time or other all the cadets ended up in the water. The weather was really nice and sunny with a light to moderate offshore breeze that kept the Picos scampering along. All in all a very successful regatta and it bodes well for the future of PSC that as we oldies gradually come to the end of our sailing days ( not that I am ready to hang up my tiller just yet) then we will be replaced by a talented supply of youngsters; and so the cycle continues.

James & Fin

Now on to today, the August Cup and in particular, racing for a Cup donated by Family and friends of Dennis Stone, and what a lovely looking trophy it is. The August Cup was run by the handicap fleet and in particular Nigel & James. The conditions at the Club looked excellent as we all arrived from 9.30 onwards. The sun was shining and a light offshore breeze tempted our race Committee to give us a long distance race for the first race. The tide was in and it was decided to make the start a Le Mans type start. The idea was that the crews would hold the rigged boats in the water, whilst the helms gathered at the top of the slipway. At the sound of a horn the helms ran down the slipway, jumped into the boats and off we headed for the SW Water mark. This was a nice reaching leg and the first to show its heals was a new RS100, sailed by Justin Eplett, who was home at Fowey for the weekend and decided that Porthpean would give him better racing than the River Fowey and boy does that thing go on a reach. In no time at all he had built up quite a good lead. We were the first of the Porthpean boats to get into our stride and pulled away from most of our fleet, but Jeremy crewed by son Fin, using their lighter weight soon caught us up and we reached the SW Water mark side by side. The leg across the bay back towards Blackhead proved to be a very tight reach and proved too much for Jeremy who dropped back. We overhauled the RS and started the beat in lead position, but behind us and closing fast was in their Tasars were the pairing of Stacey & Steve Coello also Dennis & Brian, plus the Osprey of Simon Pryce, crewed by Kelvin, and only just behind them the Merlin of Steve and Polly. By the time we got to the beach marks, Stacey had taken the lead. I am not sure where we were in comparison, but we did have another circuit to do. Somewhere towards the end of the 2nd set of reaches we were overtaken by Dennis & Brian and we started the last beat in 4th position. Stacey and Steve were untouchable, but Simon wasnít far enough ahead to beat us on handicap. We persevered on the beat with a few windshifts and lucky gusts and caught Dennis and Brian right up, enough to tack in front of them for our final hitch into the beach marks, beating them by a matter of 3 seconds, which was nothing really when compared to the amount of time that we had been racing. The single handed boats apart form the RS only had to do one round, which was more than enough considering how windy it was out there.

A ďPĒ shaped course was set for the afternoon and a slightly reduced fleet left the beach in a much fresher breeze which was recorded at Polruan weather station at over 20 knots, peaking at 25. Once again Stacey & Steve dominated the race building up a terrific lead. The wind had really got up by this time and the beats were extremely hard in the strong gusts and the reaches electrifying, with some hairy gybes thrown in for good measure. By the time we were on our 3rd beat I realised that the conditions were just too much for my health and we reluctantly headed for the beach, amongst a few other retirees. Allan Orton crewed by Matt Searle, sailed well moving up from 4th Tasar to 2nd overtaking the heavier crew of Dennis and Brian, but unfortunately for them capsized on the last beat handing 2nd place back to Dennis.

Only 5 boats crossed the start line for the 3rd race and again the first beat was dominated by Stacey, but only just behind was Jeremy with replacement crew, Steve Wingrove, who found the morning race to be too much for his Solo. Stacey pulled away on the reaches but somewhere on the 2nd beat disaster struck, when the tack of the jib came away from the bow fitting. They had to stop and tie it on again, but not before Jeremy had swept into the lead, a lead which he held and increased to the end.

So ended a very good day of racing, though far too hard for some of us, hopefully the wind may ease up somewhat over the next few weeks as about 6 Porthpean boats prepare for the Tasar Nationals which will be held at Torquay in 2 weeks time.

Apologies to anyone who may think this is a bit one sided, but it was so strong out there that it was impossible to look round much to see what was happening over the race course. Due to the evenings drawing in it has been decided to start the Capsize Club at 18.00 from this Tuesday to the end of September.

August 25th
Picture by Chris Hazel 15/08/2010
Wednesdays have a record of usually being one of the best days of the week and over the course of a season this can be backed up by how few Wednesday races that we lose. Unfortunately tonight was the exception to the rule. It was raining when we woke up this morning and windy too. The rain and wind continued all day and as evening came along so too did the mist as the rain petered out into heavy drizzle. On top of that we had a big sea running and with high tide scheduled for 18.30 so we also had the waves breaking on the sea wall.

Next week will be the final race in the summer Wednesday series. The following week will see the start of the short, 4 race, Autumn Wednesdays when the start will be at 18.00, so make a note as with the evenings rapidly drawing in it is imperative that we start on time.

Just to cheer you all up it is only 4 months to Christmas and most shops will have all their Christmas goods out before the Wednesday series finally come to an end!! One other thing, The Picture Galleries web page has been updated, only I forgot to upload the updated page!! All is running correctly now.

August 22nd
Jeremy & Fin
What a miserable day Friday was, in fact what a miserable month August has turned out to be, but despite the weather I took a trip over to Rock to look at the racing there as Camel Week was taking place. There was thick mist and drizzle in St. Austell, but surprise, surprise only cloud and a very fresh 4-5 breeze over at Rock. There are something like 70 dinghies on the entry list, ranging from a Flying Dutchman to an RS Feva, including 3 Tasars, plus some dinghies that I havenít seen before, though the onshore breeze was strong enough to put quite a few off from even taking off their boat covers.

I have been sailing for 40 years now, but Friday was the first time ever that I have seen a Flying Dutchman sailing, and what a sight it was. It was absolutely flying, but hard on its heals was an Alto, which as some of you know is a new design of boat based on the lines of a 505, but carrying an asymmetric spinnaker. The crew on this Alto is an ex Tasar crew, Nicky Griffin and has spent a lot of time in some very high performance boats and her helm sails at top level too, so they certainly know their way round in performance boats. There was also one of the new RS100s sailing. This is a very pretty looking, single handed boat, but it proved quite a handful for its skipper who hasnít had the boat very long. It capsized on one of the broad reaches and true to the reports that I have read is a very difficult boat to right. It took him so long to get it upright that he had no option other than to retire. The leading Tasar was battling with a top Merlin and for quite a while held the Merlin off, which was enough to beat him on handicap.

I suppose I had a bit of good luck on Sunday as I knew that I would be missing the first race as we were going to Mariaís Baptism, which was a very jolly affair and you could see that Maria and her family were really happy with the occasion. We could have stayed on at the Church for lunch but the lure of sailing enticed us away and I managed to get down to the Club for about 13.00, which should have been just enough time to prepare for the afternoon race. I arrived to find that the fleet had been confined to the beach all morning as the breeze was non existent, however a very light breeze had now sprung up and the plan was to do 2 races back to back, so I struck gold as in affect I hadnít missed any racing at all.

Today saw the first outing of the new black sailing shorts which have replaced the yellow shorts of old. I suppose they are a lot smarter, but some how lack the style and panache of the yellow ones!!, but nevertheless are very nice shorts indeed and if I am lucky should give me years of service, especially if the weather turns out to be as bad as this summer, as they wonít be coming out of my bag too often.

The conditions were so light that one or two decided that it wasnít for them but 8 of us left the shore to see what we could do with the conditions. Beacky & Kelvin set a small triangular course giving us a beat from the beach marks towards Blackhead in the fickle southerly breeze. My plan was to start further down the start line and sail as fast as possible in clear air. Unfortunately we sailed faster down the line than I anticipated and had to do some serious slowing down to prevent us getting to the end of the line too quickly, which then impacted on our speed starting the beat. Jeremy and Fin initially had the best of the beat, but tacked too soon and let both Justin & Donna and us through. Then we sailed into a flat spot and Jeremy passed us again, leaving Justin & Donna to start the reaches with a very nice lead indeed. Our beat was so poor that we arrived at the windward mark just behind the Feva of James & Nigel and once their spinnaker was up they had almost equal boat speed to us, so it took an age to overtake them. Ahead of us all was Steve and Polly in the Merlin which was ghosting along very nicely indeed, under spinnaker. There were 2 Scorpions out, Andrew & Jenny racing against Kay & Craig, but Andrew & Jenny triumphed in this race. Jeremy overtook Justin on the 2nd beat and we closed right up but were always behind at the start of each beat and forced to tack onto the unfavourable tack in our attempt to get out of their dirty air. Finally on the 3rd round we managed to catch and edge in front of Justin, just before the leeward mark, which then allowed us to sail in clear wind on the favoured tack. Jeremy & Fin had built up a good lead and after 5 laps had a good win.

The 2nd race was much better for us. Again I elected to start further down the line, but this time my timing was better and we hit clear air almost straight away, though Nigel & James tried a port hand flyer, which didnít work as the Feva is a bit too slow to manage to slip across the bows of some of the faster boats. This time it was us who reached the windward mark first, with Jeremy & Justin much further back, but not too far behind was Steveís Merlin, who was just a shade faster than us on the reaches, aided by the spinnaker. In fact he did overhaul us on the last set of reaches, but our goal was to stay in front of Jeremy & Fin, which we did achieve. The 2 Scorpions were again engaged in a battle for supremacy and for a while Kay held the advantage, but once again Andrew & Jenny took the lead and finished with a good winning margin. Poor old Nick was the only Laser racing and he had quite a lonely time of it, sailing in conditions that certainly didnít favour a Laser at all.

Once again it wasnít the most exciting racing at Porthpean but it was still tricky and frustrating at times and required an immense amount of concentration to build up speed and then to keep the speed going. Fortunately we donít get too many racing days like that over a season.

Next Saturday will be the Cadetís regatta. This is a first, but we have the benefit of quite a few cadets sailing nowadays, and this event will allow them to compete against each other without us interfering golden oldies interfering with how they sail. Anna & Liz are bringing some of their Picos over from Pentewan and those together with ours will be sufficient to get them all on the water to take part in fun and racing. The afternoon will be followed by an open mike session, which I think we all know about from Kayís e-mail. All we need now is some fine weather, though the likelihood of that is pretty slim if this month is anything to go by, plus it will also be a Bank Holiday weekend. But we are due some good weather again sometime and I suppose we could strike lucky; who knows.

August 18th

Beach at Lunchtime
The Summer Wednesday night series is drawing to a climax, with only 2 races left in the series. Luckily for us, despite my sojourn into hospital, we are still able to qualify and do reasonably well in the overall results, with only 1 point seperating the first 3 boats. Letís hope that the weather is kind and we get both races in.

14 boats sailed out tonight, reaching away from the shore in a fresh westerly breeze, to engage wits, on an excellent course laid by Stacey & Steve Wingrove. We were a few boats down on the normal attendance, with several regulars on holiday or couldnít sail for other reasons. The fleets were evenly split with 7 Tasars and 7 Handicap boats. Tonight in the Tasar fleet, we welcomed visitors from Scotland, John & Susan Trip; Chairman of the TAUK arrived today with their Tasar, for a short holiday and will be sailing with us again onSunday. The Trips are no strangers to Porthpean having attending previous Tasar Open Meetings here and really enjoy the delights of St. Austell Bay, though tonight was there first taste of Club sailing. Another first for the Tasar fleet was the re appearance of Allan Ortonís refurbished Tasar, resplendent in Battleship Grey, with Beacky riding in the front seat.

The handicap fleet has been consistently dominated this series by Allan in his Contender and Ron & Michelle in their Scorpion, between them winning all the races, but with Allan sailing his Tasar and Ron & Michelle away on holiday, the scene was set for a new winner tonight. John Hill steppes up to the mark in his Supernova, taking a good first position being 4 minutes ahead of Andrew & Sarah Kendall in their Scorpion. John was clearly having one of his best races of the season and actually finishing on the water ahead of some of the Tasars. Quite close to the Kendalls came the Lasers of Brian Reeves and Nick Haskins.

The victory spoils for the Tasar fleet went to Jeremy & Suzanne. We had one of our worst starts of the year. I got completely bogged down with an enormous pile up of boats at the Committee boat end of the line. I managed to stall out and we just sat there while boat after boat sailed passed us. When we eventually got under way, I found that our tack onto port to clear our air was not even good enough to clear the Committee boat and had to tack off again which allowed me to see a fast disappearing fleet zooming off on starboard. The only pair worse off than us was Allan & Beacky who were late for the start, but even they were only a few seconds behind us. Dennis & Brian were also caught in the melee but managed to convert their disaster to the enviable position of first to the windward mark, quite a few lengths in front of Jeremy & Suzanne. We sailed into 3rd position, and were quite relieved to find that Allan & Beacky were stuck in the next clump of 3 Tasars.

Jeremy & Suzanne couldnít catch Dennis downwind but managed to sail through them on the 2nd beat. We passed Dennis on the 3rd beat and by the start of the 4th beat had closed Jeremy down quite a bit. However Jeremy kept a close cover on us for what we knew was going to be the final beat, and we had to eventually settle for 2nd. Further back Allan had sailed clear of the other 2 Tasars and was closing on the 3 in front and was looking menacingly close to Dennis, but could not close the gap, finishing almost a minute behind.

The wind slowly faded as the evening drew on and there was good atmosphere in the Clubhouse afterwards, with Jennyís bacon butties making their inevitable aroma and attraction at the galley.

August 15th

Beach at Lunchtime
Today was my first sail back at Porthpean for 6 weeks, but unfortunately I couldnít make the morning race as the boat was still undergoing repairs. Jeremy had very kindly repaired the dagger board, but I still had to make sure that the bracket that I had made for the front of the dagger board case would be allow it to fit properly. We also had Sarah, Terry & the girls staying with us for the weekend, so I didnít rush down too quickly.

The very fresh winds that we had at Falmouth Week on the Friday, continued on Saturday and I could even hear the wind howling in the night but by morning time had almost blown itself out leaving a moderate north easterly wind for the 17 boats to race in. By the time I arrived the wind had eased quite a bit more and the progress of the fleet was looking very sedate, but nevertheless, Allan in his Contender had opened up a large gap on the rest. Jeremy & Fin were having a close tussle with Justin & Donna before gradually easing away to take an easy win. It was nice to see 5 Tasars out, with Mike & Vicky coming 3rd. Dennis & Brian found the ever lightening conditions too frustrating and retired early, leaving Richard Morley & Matt in 4th place.

We even had 5 Lasers out which maybe the highest turnout in one race this season and these were lead by Simon yet again, who finished 2nd to Allan though a massive time distance of 7 minutes behind Allan. Beacky & Adam, slotted in just behind Simon, just 14 seconds behind.

The wind became progressively lighter which really slowed down the rest of the handicap fleet and by lunch time the bay was looking extremely flat. So much so that 11 of the boats from the morning race declined to sail again in the light southerly breeze that had replaced the former north easterly. Despite the light breeze I rigged the Tasar and took it out to see how well the dagger board and case fitted together, in the event all worked well. My attempt at a port end flyer went disastrously wrong when most of the fleet sailed straight over the top of us. Half way up the beat Justin & Donna lead from Jeremy & Suzanne, with us trailing in a lamentable 3rd. We did perform half a miracle on the 2nd beat when we overtook Justin and closed right up on Jeremy, but I over did my port tack and when we eventually tacked for the windward mark had lost all our gains on Jeremy. Meanwhile Allan sailed on ahead in his Contender, but was actually caught and passed on the 3rd beat by Jeremy, but Allan overtook them on the next reach and then as we sailed towards the beach marks at the end of the 3rd round the breeze such as it was started to fade, which really put us on the rack for the 4th round. In fact it went so light and changed around that the last reach turned into a beat but non of us could make any headway, so rather than abandon the race a countback was performed from the previous rounding so at least we did get something for our endeavours.

So my first sail on home waters so to speak turned out to be a bit of a damp squid, but at least the boat is performing better again. One thing I noticed at Falmouth was that the boat pointed quite well until we damaged the dagger board and case and now that it is repaired then the pointing ability has come back again. Itís amazing how subtle changes can make so much difference. Having said that the Friday racing at Falmouth was in force 5-6 conditions so that alone can cause some changes into how a boat will handle.

It is Fowey week this week and for once I have declined to enter. It hasnít been too good over the last few years as the dinghy entry has been falling off and the weather itself hasnít been too good. In fact the forecast for this week is pretty bad, not at all what I would call good August weather. Itís also Camel week over at Rock this week and what a contrast. There are almost 60 dinghies racing there of all different sorts and is probably the best attended dinghy week in the south west. Yet it is very tidal there and todayís racing, Sunday, started at 09.00 due to the tide. There are also 3 Tasars racing there and most dinghy classes are represented. Hopefully the weather will be good enough on Friday for me to take a trip over there and see how things are going.

August 13th
Falmouth Week Day 6

Large Ship at Falmouth
Well thatís it, a weeks sailing gone in a flash, but what started as quite a pleasant week weatherwise, when I wore my sailing shorts for the first time ended in very autumnal weather, with a very brisk northerly wind blowing down the estuary, strong enough to fill the river with white caps. The rescue boats were kept busy with quite a few boats capsizing, then struggling to recover and stay up.

The weather wasnít bad enough to cancel the racing, unlike some previous years, but it certainly was tough, much tougher than I wanted and the last day certainly didnít suit my style of sailing. We only managed a 7th and a 6th in the final 2 races and we dropped our overall position from 2nd to 4th. The results for the top 3rd of the fleet were very close apart from Mike Lyons in his Blaze who won most of the races. Our best result was 2nd in the very first race, so I guess I peaked too soon. The most disappointing race was the Harbour race when after the pleasure of leading for over Ĺ hour disappeared when we had a disastrous beat up the river from St. Mawes to the Vilt buoy.

Fridayís races were also difficult for us as we were sailing with a damaged dagger board and broken dagger board case, which could not hold the dagger board in the right position. The course that we had on Friday was the best for us as it did give us some reaching, but the wind strength at times took away some of our advantage as every body was screaming along. The gybes them selves were a tricky operation as no one wanted to wear round and risk losing any time, but in the event everybody at our end of the fleet managed it.

In hindsight I think I threw away our best chance of finishing 2nd overall when I blew the 2nd beat of the last race. We had a good start and easily flew up the beat to be just behind a Fireball on the rounding. The subsequent reaches pulled us further away, but I went the wrong way up the 2nd beat, with the result that a Blaze overtook us and then the 420. AnRS200 and the Albacore both made up some ground. We managed to get back in the groove for the last beat but lost out in the end and only managed 6th.

Jeremy & Suzanne had a hard week in the B14 and I think only suffered 1 capsize, which was on the blowy Tuesday when they broke their mast. They still finished 2nd overall which they enjoyed and their collection of coffee mugs will take pride of place in their kitchen. They are hoping to return to Restronguet in a couple of weeks time for the asymmetric open meeting. Restronguet has quite a large fleet of assymetrics. I counted 8 RS400s plus quite a few RS800s and B14s, Isos in their dinghy park. Itís rather a shame that more Restronguet boats donít support Falmouth Week as more than 90% of the boats in the dinghy park were kept under wraps whilst we were there.

Usually the prize giving is held outside but it was so cold there yesterday that the awards were given in the Clubhouse. The biggest plus sign for me and I suppose it is equivalent to winning the whole week is that I have come through it all albeit with some very demanding sailing at times without any after affects of my recent heart problems so I think I have been extremely lucky, but I am glad that I havenít decided to tackle Fowey Week this year, especially as the weather forecast isnít very good. However they werenít very accurate for this week, they were predicting fine settled weather but we certainly didnít get that. Instead the weather deteriorated as the week went on.

The race organisation was very good and the courses set were better than previous years and the race duration apart from one race was in the 45 minutes plus range which they set out to achieve. The start lines were long enough and there was no major bias on them which did prevent too much piling in at the pin end or Committee boat end. I was quite pleased with our starts, getting at least 9 of the 11 correct. It was very satisfying leading the fleet at the end of the first beat in a few of the races, showing that a Tasar is still a very competitive boat. Now only another 12 months to wait for the next Falmouth Week.

August 12th
Falmouth Week Day 5

Beach at Low Tide
Day 5 and another grey breezy day greeted us when we arrived at Restronguet. The forecast was for moderate to fresh north westerlys and though it started off light by race time the wind had increased to quite a moderate breeze. For once we had a different course to the windward leeward courses that have been the chosen course all week. The Race Officer gave us a triangular course, which for once gave us a 2 better reaches. Another good start saw us 2nd to the windward mark, close behind one of the Fireballs. The Race Officer only gave us 2 rounds and we were finished within 30 minutes, far too short and we must have waited for more than 30 minutes whilst the rest of the sailors finished and we entered the starting sequence for the next race.

The 2nd race saw us back onto the windward leeward course again and by this time the breeze had increased quite significantly, making the beats quite hard. This race was a much larger course and took us almost an hour to sail. The finishing line was over just below St. Just which gave us a long, long beat back to Restronguet. It was a relief to be able to sail into the moorings close to the Clubhouse as the wind was much lighter there. We were within 50M of the ďbeachĒ when disaster struck. There was an almighty bang and we realised that the dagger board had suddenly crashed into a solid object, either s rock or a mooring block. The damage is quite significant. The dagger board has a bad split on the leading edge and the trailing edge has a big chunk missing where it ploughed into the rear of the centreboard case. The centreboard case itself is quite badly damaged on the front where the dagger board crunched into that also. All these things can be repaired but they do take time so tomorrow we will just have to patch up the board as best we can and sail with it until I can start proper repairs next week.

At this stage of the week with only 2 races to go sees us in 2nd place overall. However there are some boats very close to us, one of which is a 420, which under normal circumstances wouldnít give us much of a problem but these boats go like a rocket in a breeze and tomorrow is expected to be equally as windy. The other boats are a Blaze and a Fireball, which again go well in better breezes. The forecasted winds are much higher than I wanted them to be, though fortunately I havenít felt any twinges so hoping for the best.

As an aside I have had email from Simon Pryce to say that as we were sailing around the Carrick Roads on Monday, he was crewing out in the bay on one of the Superyachts as part of a crew of 40. The boat is called ďAdelaĒ and the spinnaker alone costs more than the £26000 I14 that Jeremy & Suzanne are up against. Simon had the very responsible task of managing the running backstays. No doubt he will tell us all about it on Sunday when he comes back down to earth and joins us at Porthpean.

August 11th
Falmouth Week Day 4

Beach at Low Tide
Day 4 and the harbour race was on, but unfortunately it turned out not as well as I had hoped. The course was smaller than planned owing to the very low tides we are having this year. The organisers didnít want to take us into any area that may have caused a grounding so we never got as far as Loe beach. The breeze was quite fickle, and quite a bit lighter than we would have liked. We had a good start and were first to the windward mark and again held our lead into Falmouth, but on a long broad reach out of Falmouth to the Pendennis buoy, we were passed firstly by one of the Fireballs and then just before the mark by the extremely fast Blaze. The long reach across the river into St Mawes was disappointing as we just couldnít get enough power to get on the plane and we were passed by the 2nd Fireball and only just held off the RS500, which under spinnaker is an extremely fast boat. The next leg was a beat out of St Mawes and up the river to the Vilt buoy and this is were everything went wrong. Initially we were making good progress, but in trying to stay out of the tide I managed to sail into much less wind whereas quite a few of the boats that we had been dropping sailed out into the tide but more importantly for them, more wind. Nevertheless we struggled on, but realised that a lot of slower boats were not too far behind. It was another nice reach from the Vilt buoy to St. Just buoy but again just not enough wind to get us planning for more than about 20 seconds at a time. The next leg was a beat up the river, to a mark that had been laid near the Messack channel buoy and again we made up some of our deficit. The final leg was back to the Committee boat which was anchored in the middle of the river between St. Just and Restronguet this was a nice reach but again the breeze was too light for us to capitalise on. The really bad news for us was that we could see that the breeze was starting to increase from behind, giving lots of the slower boats a better advantage. I think the race took us almost and hour and a half, but when the times were computed we only came 10th, which was a very disappointing result after such a good start.

Tomorrow sees us back in the normal sailing area with 2 more races. The weather isnít as nice as was forecast earlier in the week. It seems that the lovely high to the south west is being bullied by the low pressure area to the north west, with the result that we are sitting in quite a dull bit of weather. Yet another poor summer is heading for the record books as July wasnít too good either.

We had a look down at the Club this evening to see how the racing had gone and noted some interesting results in the very light conditions that our sailors had to contend with. Chris & Tony did extremely well by finish 2nd out of the 5 Tasars sailing, and Ron & Michelle logged a first in the handicap fleet, after some consistent 2nds. Steve Wingrove had a good night sailing his Solo into 2nd, in conditions that suited the boat a lot more than some of our blustery breezes.

August 10th
Falmouth Week Day 3

Mylor YC
Golly, day 3 and half way through the week, but today wasnít so enjoyable. We were greeted this morning by heavy drizzle and quite a fresh offshore breeze, certainly not at all summery but quite typical of some of the August weather that we have had over the last 3 or 4 years. Quite offputting was the noise of the wind blowing through the rigging of yachts moored at Mylor, plus the sight of the trees bending over with the wind. The first thing to do was to change into our sailing clothes in order to try and keep something dry for after sailing. We were told that the Committee boat was out in the mist, somewhere on the far bank of the Carrick Roads. The tide was dropping to one of the lowest spring tides of the year. Anyway we eventually launched and arrived in the starting area, in driving drizzle and a good 18 Ė 20 knots of wind. These were conditions neither for the faint hearted nor persons recovering from heart attacks. The sight of several boats capsizing, focussed on the race to come and the concentration needed to stay upright. Our large fleet came in to the start line and once again we squeezed in right by the Committee boat, but this time we had clear air and managed to drive above and stay above the host of boats below us. The beats were very hard as the wind was constantly veering to give some big lifts and also big headers. By the end of the first beat we rounded 2nd, several metres behind the leading Fireball. By this time the wind was gusting in the 20s and the ride downwind was wild and wet, with the boat skitting around beneath us. Well we survived the gybe on the run and the 3 rounds that followed without any real problems, but couldnít save our time against 2 Blazes and a 420 behind us and had to settle for 5th. We were beaten by the 2nd Blaze by 2 seconds on corrected time, which I blame on myself for tacking just short of the windward mark on the last beat, which meant having to do 2 quick tacks to round the mark and so went the 2 seconds and more.

With the wind still blowing hard and no sign of easing I took what I considered the best decision of the day and retired from any more racing for the day. We are allowed 2 discards so used our DNS for the 2nd race to be one of the discards. The results have been posted on the Falmouth Week web site but unfortunately they are having problems getting the correct boats recorded for the right classes and so some of our results look bizarre, but hopefully all will be put right in due course.

Jeremy & Suzanne did brilliantly well to finish the first race, but they suffered quite a spectacular capsize, stuck their mast in the bottom of the river and cracked it towards the top. Jeremy is hoping to replace it with his spare mast for tomorrow. The I14 that he is sailing against retired in the 2nd race when his dagger board started fouling the river bed at low water. A similar fate affected one of the Fireballs, they suddenly ran aground just after rounding the windward mark. The lady crew was catapulted forward and landed round the front of the boat, which then capsized. She was quite amazed to stand up in only waist deep water. Yet another sailor in an RS700 had a bad moment when he capsized. He landed on his sail and went right through it. Yes quite a lot of boats suffered damage today and the numerous capsizes kept the rescue boats at full stretch. I suppose that we were rather sheltered in the Carrick Roads as the Bay fleets had their racing abandoned due to recorded wind strength of over 30 knots. The weathermen predicted the rain Alright but were way adrift of the wind strength.

Tomorrow there is only 1 race, which is the harbour race and a journey that will take us from Restronguet into Falmouth, then out alongside the coastguard station, across to St Mawes before we zig zag up the Carrick Roads to Loe beach before sailing back to Restronguet. The forecast a couple of days ago was for light winds but the BBC local forecast tonight promises a bit stronger than that, so at this moment in time we are just playing a waiting game.

August 9th
Falmouth Week Day 2

Sunday's Prizes
Day 2 and a miserable drizzly stat to todayís racing. At times it was difficult to see the windward mark, but as the day wore on the drizzle petered out and even the sun tried to shine but had to vanish behind the clouds again as once more the drizzle tried to enforce itís will on the weather.

The racing isnít going too bad, but it is taking ages to work out the results as there seems to be some uncertainty as to which class some boats are racing in, so I believe todayís results will need to be checked again but at this stage appears that we may have had a 4th and a 3rd. I was disappointed by the 3rd as we were pipped by an Albacore by 8 seconds. We appeared to have finished a lot further in front of it but the recorded times are what are used and so a 3rd is what it must be, but we did have a brilliant 1st beat and reach in the 2nd race today, but once again the run must have been our downfall, though the wind had swung round quite a bit and the beats became very one tacky but the result was more of a broad reach. We flew up the first beat rounding in front of 3 other faster boats and held our position until the 2nd run, so how an Albacore took us on time seems very strange indeed.

So far our fleet is being dominated by a Blaze sailed by Mike Lyons, ex Blaze National Champion and runner up this year, so he really knows how to sail the boat, so I am not too surprised when he beats us, though for once today we did beat him on the water. The Blaze seems to power along much faster than a Tasar on a run and unfortunately our courses so far this week have produced lots of runs.

Jeremy & Suzanne are having a disappointing time as today their fleet was reduced to just 3 boats, an I14, RS700 and themselves. The I14 is brand new and is state of the art and at £26000 costs considerably more than most of us would ever contemplate. It is being sailed by last Yearís Merlin Champion, so again another sailor who knows what he is doing.

The forecast for tomorrow is for more rain and slightly fresher winds so will mean a bit more effort from me but so far I have had no adverse reaction from any of our races. The after tomorrow the winds are set to become lighter, which should make sailing a little easier. My backside is still aching and will do so for a few more days before becoming used to sitting on a hard deck. Actually it is more of a relief to hike properly as the painful parts are not being used as much so maybe the windier forecast for tomorrow may be a good thing after all.

August 8th
Falmouth Week Day 1

Preparing to race
Just a short blog as time is pressing but today was a bit of a landmark for me as it was my first sail for 5 weeks. Not only that but it is the start of Falmouth Week, an event in which I have sailed for the past 6 years and I didnít really want to miss it. I do moan however each year that the courses never suit a Tasar and today was no exception. Our course for both races was the same and that was a beat , followed by a close reach, which was nice then a very long run followed by a beat back to the start of the run and then another run before a short hitch to the finish line. The wind was quite light and the sun was shining so I was just pleased to be out sailing again in the sunshine. The forecast for the next 2 days is for rain and fresher breezes, before the sun puts itís hat on again for the rest of the week.

Jeremy & Suzanne are also competing this week, but have chosen to do the week in their B14. Over the last few years the asymmetrical fleet has been well supported and they have had a large fleet. Unfortunately this year hardly anyone has entered in their class, so they have a very small fleet to sail in. Whereas our fleet has quite a variety of boats, which include about 8 Blazes, 2 Larks, Fireball, Albacore, RS500, 3 RS200s, Vareo, 420 and Lasers so a good number of boats to jossle on the start line with. Our start for the first race was quite reasonable and to our delight we rounded the windward mark in first place, but dropped back to 2nd on the run when we were passed by one of the Blazes. We took back the lead on the 2nd beat but again fell behind to the Blaze on the run, so we were the 2nd boat to finish. Unfortunately the results havenít been published yet so donít know whether we have finished 2nd or not as one of the RS200s wasnít too far behind us as was the Albacore.

The 2nd race wasnít quite so good for us as this time we were behind the top Blaze after the both beats, but we still managed to take 2nd gun at the end of the race, but again we will have to wait another day to find out where we actually finished. Oh the joys of handicap sailing are frustrating at times.

As the weather was still a bit summery I elected to wear my new ďblackĒ sailing shorts today. They look rather bulky as there is a pair of pads fitted in the rear,, which are supposed to cushion some of the pain of a hard deck but even with those I still have a sore backside. Iím afraid that 5 weeks off has softened me up somewhat, so this week is going to give me some pain as well as some pleasure.

August 5th
Resting after Sailing
The 6th race of the Summer Wednesdays took place last night. So far all races have been held apart from race 4, when the wind blew a bit too hard. Last nightís race was looking rather dubious until the fresh north westerly wind that had been so strong during the day moderated to a nice easy breeze that still had some stronger gusts in it which caused a few capsizes amongst the Laser fleet. I arrived down at the Club about 2 minutes after the delayed start to see Jeremy & Suzanne round the windward mark leading the Contender of Allan Orton. Not far behind these 2 was the Tasar of Mike Voyzey, crewed by Dave Saunders. I did hear that Mike had sold his Tasar, but word in the Clubhouse was that he is now going to keep it after daughter Vicky expressed her angst! A little further back was the Tasar of Chris & Tony, striving to catch the other 2 Tasars up . Janet & Peteís Kestrel with spinnaker flying on the reaches was the best placed handicap boat to challenge Allan but alas halfway into the race both main & jib were pulled down and they were towed back to the beach by our duty safety boat crew, Dennis & Brian. The furling gear on the Kestrel had sheared which almost allowed the mast to go over the side. This will give Pete quite a bit of work to do if he intends getting the boat back on the water on Sunday.

The small Laser fleet were lead throughout by Nick Haskins who ended up 2nd overall, beating our latest Members Sarah & Jaques in their RS Feva into 3rd place. However Sarah didn't want to risk the spinnaker in the fresh breeze otherwise her result could have been higher if she had stayed upright but much worse if they had capsized. Sometimes it's a difficult call to make.

Overall the fleet was down a bit this week with Stacey, John Mark and us missing from the Tasars. The 2 RS 400 werenít out neither were the Scorpions of Kay, Ron & Andrew. Ron & Andrew are at Looe this week sailing in the 81 fleet Scorpion Nationals. The stronger wind during the day caused both our boats to retire, when only 50 of the fleet managed to finish. Fortunately for all there was only one race sailed rather than the normal 2 so no doubt that result will be used as a discard. Thursdayís wind is forcast to be a lot lighter.

Soon after the finish, the Clubhouse started to exude the very pleasant aroma of bacon being grilled by Jenny. Well after 20 minutes of smelling the bacon cooking I had to leave to come home as the temptation to have one was becoming unbearable. I had had my meal earlier and was determined to resist the temptation of a bacon butty. Maybe next week will be different.

August 3rd
Tractor towing up the slipway
The blog has been missing somewhat just lately, but hopefully we can get back to almost normality. Healthwise I am still making good progress. I am taking my medication as prescribed and feeling very well indeed, with no twinges of any sort, so much so that I am intending starting sailing again this weekend, when Ken & I will be trying our luck at Falmouth Week. This year we will be joined by Jeremy & Suzanne who are going to campaign their B14. Actually it is a much better boat to campaign at Falmouth Week rather than a Tasar as the assymetric courses will suit the B14 whereas the dinghy courses invariably have broad reaches that favour conventional spinnaker boats and not Tasars. However the mixing it with other boats still creates some good moments, though frustrating at times.

The Osprey Nationals were hosted by Porthpean last week and a fleet of 33 thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The sailing conditions were perfect with light to moderate offshore winds all week, making launching and recovery so easy. All 7 races were sailed, Maybe there wasnít enough wind for the heavy weights, but enough to make the Championship very interesting with the result not known until the result of the last race. There were 5 different race winners over the week so no one completely dominated and the Championship could have been won by at least 4 different teams. The Osprey fleet enjoyed their week with us so much that they have booked to return in 2014, when the Ospreys will be celebrating their 60th anniversary.

The compliments for the Club were excellent, varying between location and organisation. All races were completed, the courses were large and true, Kenís team on the water was exceptional, which complimented Kay & Garyís shore side organisation. There was so much going on that it would be wrong of me to try and pick out individuals to praise as I would be bound to miss someone out by mistake, so I will say more on that score. The appearance of a tractor to pull the boats up was inspirational and proved very popular. Hopefully it can be repeated for future Nationals as even our own safety boats are a struggle to pull up after a hard day on the water. The pasty run when there were 2 races a day proved to be equally popular. Here is a report that was submitted to the Yachts & Yachting which tells the tale of the week from one of the younger competitors.

Three ambitions launched us into this Ė to race each race with nerve, not to come last and not to fall over Ė four days in and we have met each one in style. Porthpean was the club we wanted to do our first nationals in as we had been told that the friendliness of the club matched the great sailing conditions in St Austell Bay. Everything so far has surpassed expectations. Four days in and we have sailed in light winds building to f5 with enough variety and challenge to keep us thinking. Today the sea reflected the sky like a mirror and hearts dropped at the prospect of a day on the shore. However, whispers of wind began to play across the surface of the sea and race 4 began with a solid breeze that enabled 33 boats to bustle into an assertive and noisy start. Most of the fleet powered down the port side of the course but we tacked into clear wind and chased down starboard side to meet the fleet at the windward mark. Sweet gusts and lucky lifts brought us to the windward mark much nearer the head of the fleet than we had ever been before. Unable to believe the people we were sailing near, we tacked too soon and sailed perfectly along the lay line into the windward mark. This was a mistake as we promptly got headed by a gust and found ourselves heading directly towards the mark at high velocity with no room to get around. The fleet congregated around us and very patiently sailed past without making any comment. In the silence of their departure, we did our turns for hitting the mark, and started to chase them back again. Several tight and exciting reaches followed as we fought to gain ground again. Dogfights at the back of the fleet are just as much fun as at the front and one of the joys of the Osprey fleet is the fact there is always someone to race against at whatever level you sail. We battled hard with 1260 (sailed by Chris Woodward and Andrew Wilson) all the way and finally they triumphed on the last tack of the final beat. We came in 30th out of 33. Not last, and we sailed with nerve and there were no capsizes. Result. After lunch from the infamous pasty boat, we started again. The wind built over the course of race 5 so that conditions changed from leg to leg. The cracking start of race 4 was sadly a distant memory but we managed to hold ground throughout the race to match our best result of the week with a 25th. Still no capsizes, still not last and our nerve is building. Porthpean has opened our eyes to the sailing skills at the top level of the fleet. We havehad so much advice and assistance from everyone and our sailing is changing daily. Clear seas, sunshine and a willing welcome have made it a pleasure to sail at the club. Next time we will be ready for more wind. Next time we might have to modify our ambitions... by Kirstie McAlpine Crew 1245 Two Bob Bit.

So now we are back to our normal Club life. Racing resumed again last Sunday, but I was away for a trip to Bristol, to my Grand Daughtersí combined birthday party. I was still in my driving ban period so Sue had to drive us there. It was her first drive ever on a motorway and at 3 hours the longest drive she has ever undertaken and a drive she was dreading. However she did brilliantly well, with no wobbly moments and even returned 63.3 MPG. The traffic was quite heavy on the A30 and M5 but no real hold ups. The wind was very light almost non existent in Bristol, so I guess was fairly light here as well, which maybe explained why Allen failed to win the morning handicap race, instead the honours here went to Steve & Polly in the Merlin, followed by Janet & Pete in their Kestrel, demoting Allan to 3rd. Jeremy with son Fin, dominated the Tasars but Chris & Tony had an exceptional race to finish 2nd, beating Chris & Luke Bilkie, who have been going really well lately, into 3rd. Steve & Polly made it a clean sweep by winning again in the afternoon, beating Allan on corrected time by 6 minutes. Sarah Fryer, holidaying with us from Luxemburg, sailed her new RS Feva in both races, with I assume one of her sons. Sarah is introducing them to sailing with the RS Feva, which is an excellent boat for that purpose and once up and sailing to its full potential is a very good boat in the handicap fleet, which reminds me that Jack Hawkins, nephew to Jeremy has just finished 2nd in the RS Feva worlds. He & his crew went into the last day leading the table, but fell back to one of the other British teams.

Ron & Michelle and Andrew & Jenny Kendall have all gone to Looe this week to take part in an 80 boat Scorpion Nationals. The weather so far has been very light, causing a few delays in the racing programme. Ron & Michelle finished 28th in the first race, a creditable result in such a large fleet.

July 25th
Returning to the beach
The long awaited Osprey Nationals started yesterday and a fleet of 33 has arrived to compete against each other. I was hoping to play a full and active role this year as this is the first Nationasl hosted by Porthpean that I have been free to attend all week. Unfortunately my heart attack has prevented that but I am managing to play some minor part in it and the walk down to the Club surely must be doing me some good. I am pleased to say that health wise it is a case of so far is so good. I am complying with doctorís orders, taking the medication and I am feeling very well indeed, in fact so well that I almost consider myself a fraud in that respect. I suppose only time will tell, but at this stage everything is positive.

Well the long hard work and planning by the Chamiponship Committee has come to and end and the ďfun?Ē part of the week is now here. We have 2 Committee boats, loaned by David Phyall and Ken Higman, which will be the platforms for the race team, headed by Ken Fobbester & Ron Barrett. We have 4 fast RIBS headed up by Nigel & James and for the first time ever, a tractor that has been loaned to the Club for the week, driven by Andrew Kendall, which is proving invaluable for hauling all the boats up after the racing. The shore side is headed up by Kay & Gary, plus probably the most important job of all, the catering, which has been ably coordinated by Ray & Maria. There are also many Club members helping out, with different jobs, on safety boats or beach duty on the water and the bar and galley on shore. Once again the Club and its members are rallying around to make ensure another successful Championship event.

The first Championship race took place yesterday in perfect sailing conditions, with a 12 knot northerly breeze. The fleet sailed out beyond the mussel farms and were given a triangular course of mile legs which was sailed Olympic style. Commiserations must go to Simon Pryce who sails his Osprey during the week at Poole. Simon was sporting a brand new mylar mainsail and was lying about 5th when the sail split in two. One of the seams had come unstuck, rendering the sail completely useless and forcing him to take an early retirement. Simon has been loaned another new sail from a different sail maker which will be used today when 2 Championship races will be held. Fortunately for Simon there was only one race yesterday whereas there will be 2 races today and again on Tuesday.

Yesterday was also perfect for anyone down at the Club. The beach was packed, those who wanted to sunbathe or swim could do so. The sky by the afternoon was cloudless and the aprŤs sailing atmosphere for the Commodoreís reception in the evening was perfect, with most of out guests taking the opportunity to sit outside basking in the late evening sunshine to the backdrop of the one of the nicest views in the country. The weather is set to be similar for the next few days. Whether or not we will get as much sun is debatable but the winds should continue to be light northerly / westerly breezes all week which in turn will make launching and recovery fairly easy.

I noticed that several of the Osprey sailors have come to an arrangement with Petherickís car park and a range of camper vans and tents are lined up along the perimeter of the car park, bringing a carnival atmosphere to the event.

July 18th
Returning to the beach
Today was my first time down at the Club since my heart attack and it was great to see so many of you and whatís more you all seemed genuinely pleased to see me as well. So a quick update on my health. It is only 5 days since having a stent fitted and I am feeling very well, but a word of caution here, from the booklets I brought home from the hospital is a statistic that 1 in 5 people having my treatment have to return within 6 months for further treatment. So whilst feeling optimistic I also realise that I may not be entirely over the hurdle just yet.

Sue & I walked down to the Club after our lunch, taking about 45 minutes to do the journey. Fortunately it is all down hill and then Stewart very kindly drove us home after the racing. My little stay in hospital has lead to the nice bonus of losing 5 lbs or so in weight, which is no bad thing. Now the challenge is to keep that weight off and maybe lose a lb or so more. Does this mean no more of Jennyís bacon butties? Hmm easy to say yes now but when that aroma greets you as you walk into the Clubhouse then maybe I will succumb and have just 1 economy version!

Well the racing or what I saw of it was fast & furious today, with a brisk south westerly keeping everybody on their toe straps, well not everyone as for some it was a ducking in the water that caused them some grief. I only saw part of the afternoon racing but by the time we arrived it was apparent that Allan Orton had carved out a massive lead on the rest of the fleet and the Tasars, all 4 of them were spread out over quite a large area, with Jeremy & Suzanne way out in front, building a good lead over Denis & Brian, which was up to 2 minutes by the end of the race. Justin & Donna were another 3 minutes further back but at one time were neck and neck with Chris & Tony, but an argument with the windward mark in the gusty conditions resulted in a capsize and a bang on the head for Chris, thus putting paid to their race.

Allanís dominance in his Contender was very convincing finishing some 9 minutes in front of the Laser of Simon Pryce. Janet & Pete Barnes took a well deserved 3rd, as they powered along on the spinnaker reaches. In fact there were 4 spinnaker boats out today, but the only other one to finish was the Merlin of Steve & Polly and they too spent some time in the water dealing with a capsized boat. Andrew & Sarah Kendall found the conditions too much when their repaired tiller extension gave up the ghost, making boat control very difficult. Richard & James Kingís Merlin was another boat that suffered a capsize though theirs was rather terminal as one of the stern buoyancy bags broke free from its fastenings, causing the boat to sink in the stern. Only the attention of the safety boat saved them from real trouble and had to help them stay afloat to get them ashore. Simon Pryce was in fact over 3 minutes in front of Brian Reeves who in turn was 4 minutes in front of Tim Baily, who I suspect must have capsized a time or two out there. Having sailed a Laser once or twice I know that in todayís conditions they are extremely difficult to keep upright.

There were 5 Tasars out for the morning race and the victory went to Denis & Brian by a margin of 2 minutes over Jeremy who is trying to do the morning series with his son Finn crewing for him. Their combined weight proving to be too light in the fresh conditions; however they just managed to hold off Justin & Donna by only 1 second. Probably the closest finish between two boats this year. Chris & Luke who won their first race last week retired in this race, whereas Chris & Tony persevered to finish 2 minutes behind the 2nd & 3rd boats.

Allan had a good challenge from Stacey this morning, but still won by a margin of 1 Ĺ minutes. Iím not sure if Allan out sailed Stacey or whether Stacey had a capsize, but nevertheless still a good win for Allan in his new boat. Steve & Polly had a sound 3rd, not surprisingly finishing behind the Contenders but still a couple of minutes in front of Janet & Pete in their Kestrel. Just behind the Kestrel was a fleet of 4 Lasers, lead by Simon, though he was pushed hard by Steve Coello who finished only 8 seconds behind him and Steve was only 9 seconds in front of Tim Baily, so those 3 had an extremely close race.

I know that there was no sailing last Wednesday as the very high tide, breaking on the wall posed what could have been boat damaging conditions. It was quite sailable but the launching and recovery was the problem so maybe quite wisely the racing was cancelled.

Well the long awaited Osprey Nationals will be on us this time next week. At the moment the entry level is disappointingly low but we are still hopeful that the Mounts Bay fleet will turn up en masse to swell the fleet. After all most of them can travel up and down each day, this negating the need for accommodation. Anyway most of our organisation is in place so all we need is good weather, good competitors and good will to make another successful Championship.

July 14th
Hello everyone, as you may deduce I am back home again and feeling fit and healthy, which seems incredible but I have been extremely lucky and feel very grateful to have emerged from my escapade without too much damage. I would like to say a big thank you to all of you who sent me get well cards and made endless telephone calls to Sue enquiring after me. It was all very touching. Porthpean at times is more than a sailing Club, more a family, a family I feel privileged to belong to. I would especially like to pay tribute to Maria who was watching over me at lunch time on the Sunday, realised that I had a major problem and insisted that I get to Penrice hospital immediately, and then drove me there whilst Mike Voyzey collected Sue from home to rendezvous with us there.

Well as most of you know I actually had a heart attack. I had been experiencing some chest pains occasionally during the week and had initially dismissed them as just a pain. By Saturday I suspected that I might be suffering from angina so I ďgoogledĒ it and realised that I had some of the angina symptoms and so I intended to make a doctors appointment on the following Monday to try and get it sorted. However events short circuited that lot and I ended up in hospital much sooner than expected.

I suppose the heavy weather and a capsize on Sunday accelerated my problem. The extra energy used dealing with a capsize was maybe the straw that broke the camelís back. I had been thinking of changing my traveller system for a while and on Saturday replaced the old traveller worn sheets with shiny new ones and everything looked good and all appeared to work well. Unfortunately Sunday dawned with quite a fresh south westerly and right from the stat of the race we found that the new traveller sheets appeared to be too slippery and would not jam in the cleats, thus making sailing upwind very difficult. Somewhere on the 2nd beat, we needed to tack and I noticed that the leeward traveller sheet which would soon become the windward traveller sheet was jammed. Foolishly I tacked without compensating by letting off the mainsheet, with the result that as we tacked the full force of the wind blew against the main before we had chance to properly cross the boat and hike out on the new windward side, resulting in a silly capsize. Unfortunately we messed around for quite a while with me trying to get to grips with the dagger board. Eventually we recovered the boat and I made the decision to abandon the race and sail for the shore, which was as well as during the capsize quite a large volume of water had entered the buoyancy chambers and made the boat quite unstable. I now realise that I need some proper seals on the new hatch covers that I fitted a few weeks ago. We landed, bailed the boat out and made our way up the slip for lunch and by this time I was feeling quite a bit of pain in my chest and left arm, I was also feeling quite poorly and had no appetite for my lunch. Maria had noticed my discomfort and from her nursing training realised that I was having a heart attack and stressed to me how important it was to get to hospital. By this time I knew she was right and was more than happy for her to take me to Penrice.

The staff at Penrice acted immediately when I told them my symptoms and in no time at all I was stretched out on a couch and was hooked up to an ECG and my blood pressure was taken. The ECG was non conclusive and my blood pressure was normal but they insisted that I get to Treliske ASAP and an ambulance was dispatched to whip us down there. The journey down proved quite frightening and to cap it all I was also sick,and I was literally feeling that I was dying. Eventually we arrived at Treliske and after quite a delay I was een by a doctor. A blood test was taken and the results from that indicated that I had indeed suffered a heart attack, but at this time there was no indication as how bad it may be. I was whisked away to the Coronary dept, where I was hooked up to an ECG machine plus heart monitors and blood pressure machine. I was given certain drugs and injections that reduced my blood pressure and slowed my heart rate down. Sometime in the night the pain eventually eased and I awoke the next day, Monday, feeling much better. I was told that I would need an angiogram to assess any heart damage and to see what was happening with my arteries.

Treliske Coronary dept is extremely busy and the earliest I could have an angiogram would be Thursday 8th. Meanwhile I was kept on a regime of drugs to keep my blood thin and my heart rate low. Apart from that I felt very well in myself as maybe Chris & Tony can testify as they visited me on the Wednesday. I was told by the staff that because I didnít smoke, and that I was very fit for my age then I might escape with very little damage. Unfortunately, my Angiogram was cancelled due to some emergency cases that cropped up and I was then deferred to this week. Unfortunately once you are in the hospital then you must stay there until treated and released, otherwise you go to the back of the queue again, so I ended up being transferred from ward to ward until my procedure could take place which was yesterday 13th. Well I wonít go in to detail here what happens in the theatre, suffice to say that the Consultant found that one of my arteries had a blockage whilst the others were clear. Fortunately he couldnít see any damage to my heart and the blocked artery has been expanded and a stent has been fitted. Itís absolutely marvellous what they can do nowadays and within a few weeks I should be back to full strength.

So there we are, another episode in my lifeís history, but fortunately for me one that I should fully recover from. Itís quite spooky really that any of us can leave our homes in the morning to go somewhere and end up in a hospital. I know it happens to 1000s every day and I hope that it doesnít happen to you. Itís not the best of experiences and its an experience that I donít want to repeat.

Just as a footnote I would also like to say how well I was treated by all the staff at Penrice & Treliske. They were always courteous, friendly and responded well to various amounts of humour. Their professionalism can not be faulted and they nearly all work 12 hour shifts. Yes despite the seriousness of it all there was still time for a bit of fun and I really do have some hilarious tales of various episodes that happened, especially the Dadís Army night. It was so way out but true. The food also was quite good. I was always given a menu of a reasonable choice of food. The servings werenít enormous, but the variety was good, especially considering it was all produced on a budget of £2 per head; far less than is allowed for HM prisoners. Overall a very chastening experience and not one I hope to repeat, but to anyone else who is unfortunate enough to be taken ill, donít worry; The National Health is still a first Class organisation.

June 30th
Last day in June
A rather overcast sky greeted us tonight, a marked difference than what we have had lately, but together with a reasonable south westerly promised some good racing conditions. We have been sailing for 3 months so far this year and tonight was the first south westerly that we have had in all that time. The weather pattern for the season so far had been predominantly northerlies, which kept the temperature down, but now it looks like it may be swinging back to the normal weather pattern. Well we will see over the next few weeks whether we can keep this exceptional summer weather or revert to the usual Cornish weather. Nevertheless we had 16 boats out again to race, unfortunately still only 2 Tasars, but then 2 of our normal Tasar helms were in the safety boat whilst others are on holiday or otherwise engaged.

Jeremy & Mike took control of the RIB tonight and set a triangle that due to the breeze direction gave us our first beat of the season across the bay from left to right. The course was a delight for the spinnaker boats as for once they were all able to fly their spinnakers on all the reaches and this was reflected with 4 of the 7 spinnaker boats taking the first 4 places. When we left the beach to head out to the race course the breeze seemed to be a good force 2 to 3 but unfortunately before we had completed the 1st round had eased somewhat, which prevented our Tasar from planning, which in turn took some of the shine of the evening and with only 2 Tasars out took away some of the normal cut and thrust that marks close Tasar racing.

With 16 boats on the course it still requires a good start to be made to be able to get a good position. The start line had very little bias on it and the start line was a little short so a port hand flyer was out of the question, so we queued up with quite a few other boats close to the pin end of the line and came out at the gun sailing agonisingly slowly and we were nearly sailed over by Janetís Kestrel, which although late for the line did come in at a very good rate of knots, but we managed to build up enough head of steam to hold her back. We were upwind of Ronís Scorpion but he was able to sail much closer to the wind than us and we had to tack off to clear our wind, leaving Steve & Nigel and Ron & Michelle to blast out to sea. By the time we closed at the windward mark, we had pulled away from Ron and even caught the RS, port and starboard, but the RS just dipped us and could still make the windward mark. We rounded close behind them and I was hoping that the reach to the beach marks was close enough for the Tasar to climb up and sail over them before their spinnaker could give them full power, but alas, the reach was not close enough and they were suddenly off and all we could do was to follow, whilst keeping an eye on Ron & Michelle who were behind us with their spinnaker flying. Chris & Tony had a good first round but somehow slipped back quite a way as the race progressed and on corrected time would have dropped into 11th place, so maybe the new racing launching trolley needs some tuning yet.

Ron & Michelle Barrett, only seem to be able to sail on Wednesdays, but are leading the series after only 2 races with 2 second places making their consistency felt. Their new sails combination make the boat stand out wherever it is on the course. Allan was missing tonight, so while he was away the others made hay, with Steve & Nigel surging away but only finished 10seconds ahead of Ron & Michelle on corrected time. Indeed before the results were worked out, quite a few expected the Scorpion to have taken the win. Anna & Liz consolidated their 3rd of last week by taking another 3rd tonight, comfortably ahead by over a minute, of the RS Feva, tonight having the experience of guest helm Paul Beacon. John Hill was the first of the single handers to make his mark, a minute down on the Feva, but 2 minutes to the good on the Kestrel of Jan & Pete. I donít know what happened to the Kestrel as they had a very good start and first beat, but somehow slipped back elsewhere in the race. Tim Baily was the best of the 3 Lasers, but tonight wasnít Laser weather as Tim could only make 7th some 23 seconds behind the Kestrel

We only had one capsize tonight and that went to our new sailing members Jim Sharratt and Steve Pitcher in their RS400. They were caught by one of the few gusts we got on the first reach into the beach marks, were unable to bear away and ended up dropping the boat into the water. They did right it ok but lost too much time to be able to make up enough time to give them a better result than 11th. However they are keen and I think that they are enjoying their sailing, which is certainly different than sailing catamarans.

The forecast for the weekend promises a bit more wind than we have had of late so it will give us another opportunity to stretch our legs, but I donít think it will be a shorts day. The Osprey Nationals will be only 3 weeks away and the time is rushing towards it. At this stage we still donít know how many Ospreys will come. There is quite a fleet at Mounts Bay so hopefully we should get at least half a dozen if not more from there, but we are hopeful of a fleet of at least 40. These really are magnificent boats when seen in full flight. I do believe that Anna may be sailing in one also, but I must see her to confirm it. I also think that Simon Pryce will be crewing in one also so we may have some vested interest in the results.

The Cornwall schools sailing regatta took place today at Restronguet. Adam Eastham was sailing there representing Fowey School. Fowey ended up in 2nd place, only 1 point behind the winners who I believe was one of the Truro Schools, so a very good achievement for Fowey school as I believe that many of the Truro school sailors sail at Restronguet anyway so have the comfort of knowing their waters better than most of the visitors.

June 27th
The Yellow Shorts
What a disaster today turned out to be. No I donít mean England losing in the World Cup, that result was to be expected. Come on how did anyone without rose tinted spectacles expect anything else. Our team of fantastic players could only draw 1 all with the USA, and 0-0 against Algeria and then to cap it all just 1-0 against Slovenia. What hope do you thing we had against a proper team. Well at least if they get their finger out they may be home in time for Coronation Street. No the real disaster today was my yellow sailing shorts. Today they finally gave in to the inevitable and ripped as can be seen from the picture alongside. I have had them for over 10 years, but they have at long last torn, leaving me exposed. I suppose I will have to wear my Speedos in future. Thank goodness they are coming back into fashion.

Here we are almost at the end of June and the fantastice weather that we have had all month is still going on and today was another example of that. Yesterday was probably hotter and almost without wind so was perfect for Tom Popeís wedding and what a perfect setting he had with the Club looking resplendent with itís marquee and the Club House all decorated up. This morning was an all hands on work time with the Club slowly being turned back to a Sailing Club. We had an almost inevitable delay due to early lack of wind, but as mostly happens a nice little breeze turned up to get us sailing again. This time it was a light southerly breeze, not much more than 5knots at the most. Nevertheless a small but perfectly formed fleet of 13 launched in a falling tide to do battle, whilst a few more sat around in the morning sun, waiting to see if we became becalmed.

Nigel & Maria were our safety boat crew today. Maria has been taking a level 2 powerboat course at Anna & Lizís sailing school and took the lead role of driving the RIB today, whilst Nigel directed the course laying. Some talk had been mooted earlier about doing 2 races back to back so that we could finish earlier so that those who wanted to watch the football could get home in time. In the event the decision to race as per normal was the correct one.

The start line had enough port bias on it to take a chance and we managed to clear the entire fleet at the start. The Tasar fleet was again very small, with only 3 of us out, but Jeremy had a secret weapon in the shape of his young son Finn, together being a rather light team that I am sure in a few weeks will be very potent in the light stuff. Ken & I arrived at the windward mark 1st only a few boat lengths in front of Jeremy & Finn, and I expected them to close us down on the 2 reaches, but, maybe our experience outweighed the lighter crew and we started the 2nd round with a reasonable lead. It was during the 2nd set of reaches that the wind started to play silly games, it disappeared for a while, then came back from a different direction, disappeared again, before coming back to the original direction. For a while panic and confusion reined, but we were fortunate that we actually made some ground and increased our lead, which we held to the end of a shortened race.

Steve Coello was crewed by my son Neil and although behind us at the end of the beat, started to make inroads into our lead on the down wind legs when their spinnaker gave them much greater speed, but they too fell foul of the strange wind conditions and unfortunately suffered a loss of time. Meanwhile Simon Pryce in his Laser spotted what was happening with us and managed to sail round most of the problems to take an enormous lead in the handicap fleet, who all suffered to various degrees in the flat spots. There were 3 Lasers out but were beaten by Simon by 4 and 7 minutes respectively. The 2 Scorpions of Kay & Craig sailing against Andrew & Jenny Kendall had a good battle, both being able to use their spinnakers on the down wind legs, but the Kendall team finished a minute in front. The lighter conditions once again suited Beacky & Adam, but they were still 2 minutes behind Simon on corrected time. It was another good sail from Anna & Liz in the Vago, finishing 2nd handicap boat on the water but slipping to 3rd on corrected time.

Our lunch today was complimented with scones, jam & cream, plus strawberries and cream courtesy of Peter & Jenny Pop, which tasted extremely luscious. The southerly breeze of the morning had now swung to give a north westerly breeze and the course was reset to take advantage of it. Jeremy was crewed for the afternoon race by Suzanne and this time we had a very close race. We took the lead for the first round and beat but I managed to hit one of the beach marks and the resulting 360 gave the Hawkins a reasonable lead which they then started to build on, in fact by the start of the 4th beat I thought that it was all over but then the wind started to play up again. We sailed the beat on almost opposite tacks but by the time we got to the beach marks we had the lead again. I almost threw it away on the last beat by not covering closely enough, so much so that for a short time we had Jeremy overlapping us to windward, but maybe a lack of concentration came to our rescue when Jeremyís boat touched ours causing them to do turns and allowed us to cruise to the finish line. Meanwhile Chris & Tony were having a much better race than in the morning and by the half way mark were closing both of us down, which would have given another element to watch out for. They have been tuning their Tasar by getting a new launching trolley made and the extra speed that they can now get up and down the slipway is remarkable.

Steve & Neil declined to race in the afternoon, which kept them off our backs, but also helped the handicap fleet. This time the honours went to Tim Baily who managed to beat Simon by almost a minute. Beacky suffered gear failure when his kicker block pulled out from the hog and so retired. Andrew & Jenny had a better race, not only beating Kay & Craig again but finished close behind Simon to take 3rd, pushing Anna & Liz down to 4th , Kay 5th and Nick down to 6th. Nick has made the change back from a Supernova back to a Laser, but hasnít got it up to speed yet.

I should imagine that James and Nigel will be back in their Feva next week and after walking away with the Spring series will find it a little more difficult now that Allan has returned to Contender sailing. It should prove an interesting battle. Hopefully Dennis and Justin should be back in their Tasars next week and we could also do with seeing John Mark out on the water again. Looking at the calendar reminds me that The Osprey Nationals will be with us in only 4 weeks time and the exercise of clearing the yard will be repeated again.

June 23rd
Allan preparing his Contender
Sometimes itís hard to find enough superlatives to describe sailing at Porthpean. Tonight was one of those nights, when everything came together to give superb conditions. We had, brilliant blue skies and together with a very warm sun produced a brilliant blue sea, which was augmented with a light, probably force 2, offshore westerly breeze. It was a stunning background, for the 18 boats that launched for the first Wednesday race of the summer season. Oh yes it was yellow shorts weather as well!!

Letís start with Monday; I took my Laser out for a sail in the afternoon and for well over an hour I planed up and down, trying to erase the memories of my first capsize of the season, when I had a sail of Jeremyís B14 last Sunday after the racing. Neil & I took it out for a jolly and in no time at all we were blasting away from the shore in what is the fastest boat that currently sails with us. It didnít take too long before a stronger gust hit us and over we went. Well what made it worse is that I was still sailing in my yellow shorts and just Tee shirt and spray top. Fortunately we werenít in the water for too long as even now the sea is still colder than I would like for swimming. The B14 isnít too bad to recover from a capsize, we swapped helms and then Neil dropped us in, so 2 capsizes in 1 day!!

We asked for some members to come down on Monday evening to help clear the field and what an amazing response we had. Well over 20 people turned up and in no time at all boats were moved, grass was cut, excess vegetation was cut down and the foundations of an enormous bonfire took place as Andrew Kendall wielded his chain saw, to remove many of the branches that are starting to impede the movements of boats from the field to the beach. The yard itself was spruced up, all the boats that wouldnít be involved in Wednesday racing were removed to the field, then armed with lawn mower, the grass, under the Laser area was cut and the yard was swept. Thanks very much for all who attended, as it certainly helped to have that many volunteers.

Back to tonight; I was down in good time, only to realise that I had left my racing suit of sails at home, so a quick trip home was needed to sort that out. England had won the football match this afternoon, and that combined with the fantastic weather had everyone smiling and in good moods. Whilst rigging the boat on the beach I suddenly found a clevis pin. It was soon obvious where it had come from when the jib was to be seen just flapping around. The retaining clip had come undone and had disappeared. A sprint up to the yard and back was necessary where the contents of my tool box provided a spare clip which was fitted to the errant pin. At last we were ready to launch, but I feared at this stage that we might be late to the starting area. Fortunately for us the majority of the fleet were still making their way out, so even if we were late then it wouldnít have been too much of a disaster, especially as there were only 2 Tasars out.

Mike Voyzey and Dave Saunders were our safety boat crew for the night and set a superb large triangle that was just enough for 4 rounds and a beat. Jeremy & Suzanne who may have been our main competitors in the Tasar, elected to take their B14 out instead. This left only Chris & Tony and us in our fleet, so our mission tonight was to race against the clock and see where we might come amongst the handicap fleet. Well we made it to the start with about 3 minutes to go. A quick check of the line showed that there was enough port bias on it to make the pin end of the line it the favoured end, but the line was a bit short, especially with 2 RS400s, a Contender and the B14 all trying to start as well, so we elected for a safer starboard approach. That almost went wrong as we were sailing behind John Hill, back from his tour of Europe, when a fast port sailing Allan Orton came zooming in. I think Allan intended starting on port but his approach may have been too fast so he sailed down the line and to our dismay tacked underneath us and started to luff up. Fortunately I managed to slip behind him, but John Hill was caught, then pandemonium broke out as the gun went. John was stuck on the mark, I realised that we couldnít cross the line without colliding with John, so we gybed round and shot through the rest of the fleet on port and then straight into clearer air. Behind I could hear cries of ďstarboardĒ from others struggling to cross the line. I think some lost out quite a lot in the lottery of the start.

Iím not sure which boat was the first to arrive at the windward mark, it was a close call between the B14 and the Contender, but we were 3rd just in front of the RS400 of Steve Coello and Nigel, but would we be able to hold them off on the reaches? Both the B14 & RS400 shot off at an angle to give them the necessary angle for their sails to generate enough speed, whilst Allan & us took a more direct approach to the gybe mark. The B14 was first to the gybe mark, followed by Allan and not too far ahead of us. The 2nd reach was Tasar favoured, close enough and sufficient breeze for marginal planning, which was enough to keep the RS400 behind us. The rest of the race went in a bit of a blur. There were quite a few shifts on the beat to play with and the 4 of us gradually pulled away from the rest of the fleet.

We had 3 Scorpions out tonight, Kay & Craig had a battle royal with Andrew & Jenny Kendall, with Kay winning by a margin of 12 seconds, however out in front of that battle was Ron & Michelle Barratt. Clearly the attending of Open Meetings is starting to improve their speed and they finished over 5 minutes in front of the other 2. In fact Ron & Michelle sailed into 2nd overall, just less than a minute behind Allan. Anna & Liz had a particular good race in their Laser Vago, being really pleased to sail into 3rd, in front of Steve & Nigel, who seemed to have a problem with their pointing on the beats. John Hill who had a disastrous start, made it into 5th place, just in front of Jeremy & Suzanne, who were starting to rue not taking their Tasar out to race. Our newcomers, Jim & Steve, in their RS400 came 10th in only their 2nd time out in the boat, they clearly enjoyed the experience of mixing it in dinghies and are looking forward to more racing with us and it will be interesting to see how quickly they get to grips with the differences between dinghy racing and cat racing. Apart from Allan & John Hill it was not a very good night for the single handers, with all the Lasers and Colin in his Supernova, filling the last few positions.

The only thing to blight the evening was that there were no bacon butties!! Jenny has gone away for her summer holiday and unfortunately no one was able to buy in the supplies and cook in the time we had left, although Kay did find sausages and burgers in the deep freeze, together with some finger buns and set about producing hot dogs. The rest of the yard was cleared and an empty yard now awaits the erection of a marquee and all the trimmings for the wedding at the weekend of Tom Pope. The weather forecast is good for the weekend, so we wish them a very happy day and surely a reception at Porthpean will be well remembered for the rest of their lives.

June 21st
The Bug out for a sail
When the weather records for June this year are studied then I am sure it will go down as one of the best for years. The lovely hot weather goes on courtesy of a big high sitting over the country, and for once, those of us living in the west seem to be getting better weather than those living in the east.

My sailing weekend started with several other of our members by sailing at Mylor on Friday evening. Some of our elite members sail on Peter Popeís Yacht ďAlexisĒ, whereas I sail on Mike Pollards, smaller yacht. This weekend we were joined by my Son, Neil, so we had an extra hand on board which would give us much more muscle when we flew the spinnaker. Well as it happened the wind was much stronger than we wanted and Mike was very wary of flying the spinnaker so it stayed in its bag. Nevertheless we still had a good sail and a 3rd looked well on the cards until I committed a Cardinal sin and sailed through the ďgateĒ on one of the down wind legs and we were then disqualified. Afterwards we went into the Club to watch the last 30 minutes of the England game, which was equally demoralising. Peter Pope and his merry band came 3rd in his class, despite sailing with a reefed down mainsail.

On Saturday we held a special Capsize Club afternoon when members of the Canoe Club were invited to have a go at sailing and we had all our training fleet out, including RIB, taking our visitors out for a sail. I went down early with Neil and took the Tasar for a tour of St. Austell bay in a nice brisk breeze. We sailed towards the beacon, way past the mussel farms then took a course to take us to Meveagissey, around the Coastguard rescue tug that was moored there, before returning back to shore, a trip of almost 2 hours. The evening was rounded off by a BBQ and disco, with the food being mainly cooked and prepared by Simon & Sarah Pryce.

Sunday was down in the programme as the June Cup and was to be run by the Tasar fleet. The beautiful day should have produced a very large fleet, but holidays, sickness and lethargy reduced our fleet to only 13. Well our Tasar fleet has been decimated just lately with not many members competing. Justin was without Donna and he and Stacey volunteered to run the first race, we ran the 2nd race and Jeremy & Suzanne the 3rd race. Ken, very generously agreed to do the time keeping, which allowed Neil to sail, but I donít think he minded too much as sitting in the front of a slow moving Tasar is not the most comfortable experience in the World, which must have been confirmed as the first race unfolded.

The conditions were light, the sky was blue with a strong hot sun beating down. Sailing clothing for the day was an easily made decision with the yellow shorts and tee shirt making their 2nd appearance in successive weeks. I was confidently expecting, as forecasted, a northerly breeze and wanted to set a long distance course for the first race, a beat would have been set to the beach marks, a reach to the SW Water mark and then the 3rd mark would have been round the outside of all the mussel farms, that are spoiling our Bay. Unfortunately we were greeted by a southerly breeze, which meant going the other way round in what turned out to be a failing breeze. Just for a little change I asked for the start to be just off the beach, using a bobble mark belonging to the Porthpean Outdoor centre and our RIB as a start line, with a short beat to pass between the beach marks before we set off on the long haul to the mussel farm closest to Blackhead. Well the best laid plans go wrong sometimes and this was one of them. The breeze started to fade big time and it took some of us an hour to reach the mussel farms.

The breeze came in patches and it was like watching a game of snakes and ladders as first one or two boats caught a breeze and left the others becalmed and then it was their turn to catch the breeze and move forward again. Steve & Polly and Jeremy & Suzanne gained an enormous lead by heading for the cliffs. However in one of what we thought was a fresher breeze we were all lifted up way above them and for a while it looked like they had lost out big time, but our gain proved short lived when they caught a breeze that took them right up to the mussel farm. Due to the lightness of the wind, our Safety boat had laid a fresh buoy towards Carlyon Bay and as we rounded the mussel farm the promised northerly kicked in and we had a long beat in flat water to get us to the mark before we bore away onto a nice reach which took us back to the beach marks. That beat and the reach made up for a lot of frustrations incurred whilst sailing our first leg. The race was won by Steve closely followed by Jeremy, with Simon Pryce taking a well deserved 3rd.

After lunch we laid a traditional course and an Olympic triangle was set. This was more to Allan Ortonís liking as he dominated in his Contender from the start, winning by a good margin of almost 5 minutes. Steve and Polly had a bit of a disaster when they capsized under spinnaker and took an age to sort out the sails before finally righting the boat and sailing on. Simon, once again sailing well took 2nd just in front of Jeremyís B14.

A quick run to the beach allowed us to get the Tasar ready so that we could have our chance at victory, but no, yet again Allan powered away, winning yet again, this time by 3 minutes over us in 2nd, whilst Steve and Polly, sailed into 3rd, beating Simon by less than 20 seconds. A result that proved crucial as it gave them 2nd overall, beating Jeremy & Suzanne by half a point, with Simon just half a point behind them. The variety of the conditions gave some excellent results and the

Apart from the breeze being light and fickle early on we once again had a fantastic sailing conditions, itís just a shame so many missed it. Many thanks to Maria who manned the galley, not always the most glamorous job, but nevertheless much appreciated. Another reminder that the yard needs to be cleared this Wednesday after sailing to make space for a marquee for the forthcoming nuptials of Tom Pope. Letís hope that this beautiful weather lasts for the next weekend at least. A last reminder for anyone who reads this blog today that we are having a work party in the field this evening to clear all the weeds and long vegetation that is slowly covering all the dinghies there. Work party from 18.30 onwards, with a light refreshment in the bar afterwards.

June 16th
Mike & Dave
The fine settled weather, fortunately is still with us, but a brisk north easterly breeze greeted us tonight, with white horses sweeping across the bay from the north easterly wind that has been with us so often this season. However as mostly happens in the evening the wind was set to abate somewhat; as it happened not as much as I thought.

A new sailing team joined us tonight, Steve Pitcher and Jim Sharratt from Pentewan Sands SC, have decided to add another string to their bow, so as well as sailing cats they also want to enjoy some of the excitement and challenges of dinghy sailing. Their new steed is an RS400, which hopefully will give Steve & Nigel another similar boat to test themselves against. Well their first sail with us was a bit of a mixed bag as this tale of woe expands.

Peter Pope and David Mackrell were our safety boat crew for the eveing. Peter got off on the wrong foot well off both feet actually, as he tripped up over the safety boat trolley as the boat was being launched and all that could be seen for a moment was his head poking up through the water, with quite a bereft expression on his face as the cold water made its presence felt. Welcome back to dinghy world Peter. Peterís next problem was where to put the leeward mark? The wind was quite strong still out at sea, blowing a good force 4, which was going to give us exciting conditions. From the shore it looked like the beat would be across the bay towards Par, but the wind was actually blowing more from the Charlestown direction towards Blackhead. Whilst we were sailing around the starting area the Safety boat had to rush off to deal with one of the Club Picos that had capsized. By the time Peter and Dave arrived back to the start area it seemed that to get the best beat they would have to move the leeward mark nearer to Ropehaven and make the beat towards the beach marks. But before that could be done the Pico was in trouble again. This time the boom had come off the mast and the whole boat and crew were rapidly disappearing towards France. Fortunately Peter is quite fluent in French, so no worries there. By this time it was looking very unlikely we would be racing as it was going to take some time to recover the Pico, whilst the fleet had to sail around or just sit hoved to. Some of us went off for a jolly, whilst some decided to call it a night and quit before they succumbed to a capsize. Several of us sailed in towards the beach marks to escape the worst of the wind and from where we were, we could see that Peter & Dave had managed to tow the Pico to the start area and they may have even laid a start line.

The OOD, Stewart deputising for Jenny, started a count down and we could hear the horn going, but couldnít see any flags. Steve & Nigel and Ron & Michelle decided that we were having a beach mark start and on what may have been the start gun shot off under spinnaker. I donít know which way round they were going but they both hoisted Spinnakers and both capsized. There was so much confusion that if there was a race then it just petered out, as the rest of us sailed home. Fortunately this would have been the last race in the Wednesday Spring series and all the main winners and runners up places were already decided so from that point of view, losing the race wasnít too much of a disaster, but looking back there are lessons to be learnt. No1 is that safety comes first and therefore Peter & Dave had to attend and deal with the Pico, and if it meant losing a race then so be it. However we could have raced if enough people had stayed out, but the conditions were quite hairy at times and several had capsizes whilst waiting. No2, and I stress that this is my opinion, is that only boats suitable for the conditions on the day should go out to race. The Pico whilst an excellent training boat is no racing boat. Itís rigging and fittings are far too flimsy for the 20+ knots we were experiencing out there. I know that breakages can and do happen to us all from time to time, but racing dinghies on the whole are better built for those sort of conditions. I was out on the training night on Tuesday in very light winds when one of the Picos with 2 lads on board capsized. In those very calm conditions they still required help to right the boat as between them they didnít have enough weight to pull it up on their own.

Whilst waiting for the Pico rescue, Ken & I went off on a jolly and in no time we were flying along on a flat out plane, the relative flat sea and strong wind gave us some very thrilling conditions as we swept across the bay towards the SW Water mark. Being well aware that the safety boat was otherwise engaged, we decided not to venture too far away from our part of the bay and turned back after a few minutes to repeat the exercise in the other direction. All in all a great night for sailing, but I wouldnít have wanted to be out in a Laser as some of our regulars were. Hopefully Jim & Steve, realise that this isnít our normal way of sailing and will come again for some more exciting and satisfying racing.

The yard will have to be cleared next Wednesday after sailing. All boats will have to go into the field as the yard is needed for a marquee for a very important wedding on the following Saturday. I expect that an email will be sent to all soon, but if you are sailing this weekend and know that you will not be sailing next Wednesday then please move you boat or if you know that you wonít be sailing either at the weekend or Wednesday then could you please move it during the next week. We also need to cut the grass in the field and next Monday evening has been set aside for this task. Itís something we do about this time each year; we do need manpower to move boats so if you can help then come along at 18.30. Boots and gloves are almost essential and if anybody has a petrol strimmer then that too would be very welcome.

We will be running the July Cup this weekend and unfortunately for me the Tasar fleet are tasked to organise it. The Tasar fleet has dwindled of late with quite a few away on holiday or not sailing for whatever reason so I think the Cup will be a handicap race to include Tasars, but some of the Tasars will have to miss a race to officiate. Anyway we will try and ensure it runs as smooth as possible and get 3 races in, with the best 2 scores to count.

June 13th
preparing to sail
Fortunately for us, this weekend was almost as good a weekend as last weekend, with another sunny day with an offshore westerly wind, albeit a little lighter. Fine weather tends to guarantee a better turnout and so it was, though again we were missing some regulars. Chris Hazell was back from his holiday, fully refreshed and ready to take on the world, well Porthpean anyway. It was the first race for almost 2 years for Chris & Luke Bilkie. Football has been playing a big part in his sonís lives, but that season is over and it looks like sailing is now back on their agenda. Another nice sight to see was Tim Cockings on the beach with his family and Tim took Chrisís Tasar, formerly Timís, out for a sail with his son. I didnít get the chance to speak to Tim but it is quite possible that he might take out family membership again and become another regular Father and son sailing team.

It was very nice to see Sheila Hadlow down assisting Maria with galley duties. It is only a few weeks ago that Robin passed away and Sheila still wants to be involved with the Club and more importantly we all want her to stay involved with the Club, though she still leads a busy life with the shop still open and also trying to stay in touch with her family, some of them living in the London area.

Today was the last scheduled race in the Spring series and for the first time that I can remember we have managed to sail all 8 races. Yes so far this season, which kicked off at the end of March we have managed to race every weekend. Over those weeks we have had mixtures of various weather conditions and most importantly we havenít had any of the normal south easterlies that usually come along in the springtime. However we have had an unusually predominance of north easterly winds, which have given some tricky beats, beating across the bay from right to left. One of the by products of completing all 8 races is that, all the series results for 1st place in the handicap and Tasar fleets were already decided. Nigel & James comfortably winning both morning and afternoon race series, whereas the Tasar results were shared by Ken & I winning the mornings and Jeremy & Suzanne winning the afternoon series. The last Wednesday race of the spring series will be sailed this Wednesday.

Steve & Polly were our Safety boat crew today and set a triangular configuration that was sailed as an Olympic course. Something like 16 boats launched and headed out to the starting area. Jan & Pete Barnes in their Kestrel being one of them, but the lure of sunshine and a nice force 2-3 westerly tempted them to leave their spinnaker up and head for Cannis and then on to Polkerris for their lunch. I had discussed this with Pete earlier so wasnít surprised, but the tide was just right for them with low water about 13.00 meant that they could beach at Polkerris, lunch and then wait for the rising tide to float them off again. The only problem that they uncounted was the breeze filled in during the afternoon and they had a hard beat all the way back, with quite a swell building over on the Par side of the bay.

The start line for the first race had a nice degree of port bias on it and a few of us took full advantage to cross the fleet and head off into the distance. Our first beat looked very good but as we closed on the beach marks we encountered some light winds and lost a lot of ground to Dennis and Brian who closed us down and then sailed round us to sail off onto the first of the reaches. A position they held until we started the next beat, when they suddenly ran out of wind and we glided past them. From there we built up a good lead on some fortuitous wind shifts, which we held until the end. Dennis and Brian were safely tucked up in 2nd place but behind the other 3 Tasars were having a good race, with the invigorated team of Chris & Tony, beating Chris & Luke Bilkie by just under 20 seconds to claim 3rd. Following them all home about 30 seconds behind was Justin & Donna.

Beacky & Adam, freed from the clutches of the Feva, brought their Enterprise home in 1st place, thus guaranteeing them 2nd place in the series. We also had some different crew configurations today. Anna took Steve Coello onboard, for Steveís first outing in a Vago. They sailed well to take line honours but ended up in 2nd place, some 30 seconds behind on corrected time, pushing Tim Baily down to 3rd. For the first time for quite a while we had 2 Scorpions out. Kay teamed up with Jenny Kendall to give an all ladies team whilst Sarah Kendal crewed for Andrew, so there was quite a bit of family rivalry at hand with Kay getting the upper hand finishing almost a minute ahead. There were 3 Lasers out, and Tim Baily beating both Nick Haskins and Brain Reeves.

A series of triangles was set for the afternoon course and by this time the breeze was starting to build a little, which gave much more challenging conditions. Beacky decided that he couldnít improve on his 2nd place in the series, elected to rest his bad back and didnít race. Colin and Briab Reeves also packed their sailing in for the day, but we did gain Allan Orton in his Contender and also David Mackrell in his Laser.

There was no port bias on the start line for this race and the resulting first beat proved very interesting, we were further down the line and rather frustrating we were prevented from tacking on an increasingly heading tack by several of the fleet just up wind of us. By the time we arrived at the beach marks Allan had stormed off into the lead but behind was a gaggle of us, all fighting to get round and quite a few ďstarboardsĒ were clearly heard. Dennis & Brian came out of this melee in front of us. We caught them up on the 2nd reach and became involved in a bit of a luffing match, which suited Anna & Steve well as they closed quickly with their spinnaker powering them on. In fact they slotted into 2nd place on the leeward mark reading which certainly helped us as it put Dennis & Brian into some dirty air, but they quickly pulled through. Once again we had a good battle with Dennis but once again we managed to hold them off and increase our lead. Just behind Justin and Donna were having a much better race and finished almost 3 minutes ahead of Chris & Tony. Did they peak too early in the morning race?

Allan proved yet again how well a Contender sails in a blow, finishing almost 5 minutes ahead of Anna & Steve. Slotting into 3rd place was Andrew & Sarah Kendall. This time winning the battle of the Scorpions, however were helped quite nicely by Kay as she and normal crew Craig, managed to capsize on one of the gybe marks. Adam Eastham had good fun on the Club Laser but had a capsize and took a while to get the boat up again, but still came home grinning from ear to ear.

Just as we packed up from the days sailing a fine drizzle engulfed us, so we had got away with a yet another brilliant dayís sailing. Next weekend is the June Cup, which is due to be run by the Tasar fleet. Hopefully it will be a 3 race series, so if possible we need to start on time. The Capsize club is now being moved back to an official 19.00 start time, the 18.00 start is proving too much of a rush for some. So far we have been bedevilled by poor conditions. Last Tuesday there was very heavy rain and virtually no wind, so we had to cancel.

June 9th
going training
After the exciting conditions of last Sunday's racing we were back to frustrating light south easterly winds again, which seem to be bedevilling the Wednesday series. The Capsize Club on Tuesday had to be cancelled due to very heavy rain and more importantly absolutely no wind. Today was a pleasant contrast as the rain had moved away and we returned to warmer weather and sunnier skies. The breeze during the day was forcast to be a north easterly, but in fact turned out to be a south easterly with a reasonable enough 8-10knots, which kept the beach cool but was not strong enough to produce a dumping surf.

15 boats launched for the penultimate Wednesday race of the Spring series. The series has been blighted over the last 4 weeks with very light winds giving almost impossible conditions to race in. The breeze when we launched was light but steady, but ominously as the clock ticked towards the start, started to fade away. If only we were on Central European Time we would have started effectively at 18.00 when the breeze was still there and we would have had a good race.

Unfortunately we only had 2 Tasars on the water, which is starting to de value having a Tasar fleet. Jeremy rushed back from Coventry to take part, needing the points as he and Suzanne will be away on Safari later this week and so will miss next Wednesday. Our start proved to be a little controversial, we had Jeremy tucked away below and behind us as we moved along the start line. We were just behind Pete Barnes in the Club Laser and with only a few seconds to the start Pete started to luff very high and in our sightings along the line must have been well over. Just as the race started his transom quarter just touched our boat. Now here is the dilemma, if Pete wasnít over then we were in the wrong, but if he was over, and we were convinced he was, then Pete was in the wrong as he had to keep clear of us. Unfortunately there was no second gun, so we decided just to sail on and see what happened. We opened up a bit of a gap on Jeremy on the very light beat, but Jeremy & Suzanne overtook us on the run to the beach marks and started the 2nd beat with a 3 boat length lead. In the light airs it would be almost impossible to pass them but somehow we just produced enough lift to be able to overtake and put some distance between us, so much so that we started the reaches with a reasonable lead. By this time the breeze had fallen to almost nothing and we literally drifted through the water watching the RS400 of Steve & Nigel in front of us, limping towards the shortened course finish line.

The handicap fleet was well represented, with 4 Lasers out, 2 Scorpions, consisting of Ron & Michelle, just back from another Open Meeting and Andrew & Sarah Kendall in their restored Scorpion. Allanís new Contender, James and Sally in the RS Feva, Colin in his hated conditions in his Supernova, both Club Picos were out but were unable to make the start. I know the conditions were light but these boats are so slow that they should be launched much earlier if they ever hope to get to a start line on time. However the conditions were so dire that only 5 of the handicap fleet stuck it out. Steve & Nigel had a very strong win finishing 20 minutes clear ahead on corrected time over Steve Wingrove whose perseverance brought him home in 2nd place. Brian Reeves in 3rd being 1st and only finisher of the 4 Lasers. Colin was 2nd handicap boat on the water to finish but slipped to 4th on corrected time, just in front of Ron & Michelle whose Scorpion looks fantastic with its suit of new Mylar sails.

After the race I caught up with our Safety boat person and asked whether Pete was over the line at the start, to which he said yes but went on to say that as it was Pete in the Club Laser then he let it go, clearly the wrong decision as it could have affected the race. Mind you if he had said Pete was not over the line then I would have had to retire, but it still cast a shadow over what could have been a critical race.

June 6th
going training
Apologies for not having a blog for a week, but life in the Rigby household has been very busy over the last week with the residence of our 2 Grand Daughters, a very demanding time especially as Sue was working for most of the week.

Anyway I was away for the Contender Open last weekend, but did pass quite a few Contenders on the A30 as we returned home from Bristol, so thought that we had a good entry. In fact we had a superb entry of 23, which is probably one of the highest turn outs to an Open Meeting at Porthpean for many years. From what I hear they had quite challenging conditions on Saturday with an easier day on the Sunday. It was a 5 race series with 2 of the races being held on Saturday, followed by a well attended social in the evening, when they were entertained by a Tony Dunn quiz. Will that bring even more entries next year? 3 races were held back to back on Sunday which produced an early finish which in turn allowed the competitors to make an early exit as some had very long journeys to make. Top performer for Porthpean was Allan Orton in his newly acquired Contender, and a superb looking boat it is. Allanís results showed an improvement in every race culminating in a 3rd in the final race, so I guess Allan reckons it was money well spent. Stacey, by contrast, was way off his normal pace. It just goes to show, sailing like any sport means being at the top of your game to produce the best results.

Tuesday was another night for the Capsize Club. The weather for the past week has been much better but has the affect of giving much lighter winds, but there was just enough for the sailors to get on the water and practice their skills.

The midweek Wednesday race turned out to be a very frustrating affair, very reminiscent of an earlier race this season when the wind at the Club was a very light south easterly breeze. I knew that evening that the breeze would eventually disappear, so elected not to bother launching, and instead watched on as the fleet managed to crawl round one lap in an excruciating slow manner. But finish they did and hence meant no points for us. This Wednesday was another example, though when we arrived at the Club there was a hint of a better breeze from the south, but as we all rigged and changed the breeze ominously moved into the south east and started to fade. Nevertheless Allan Orton & Harry Fryer laid a small course and we almost started on time in a nice light breeze. However many of the fleet were still struggling to get to the starting area, which fortunately for them was the beach marks. 2 of the boats were the Club Picos with Kay on board one and James the other. We were given an Olympic course to sail, which was led initially by Steve & Nigel in Steveís RS400, followed by Jeremy and Suzanne and then us. Both Steve and Jeremy forgot about the run on the 2nd round but still headed us as we started our 3rd beat. By this time the breeze had faded to almost nothing and some had only just started the race, giving the race officer a complete headache as to where boats were, so the race was abandoned, which for Porthpean is a very rare occurrence indeed. At least by sailing/drifting, we did qualify for bacon butties when we eventually paddled back to shore.

The Shark
On Friday we were joined at home by my daughter and her husband and on Saturday went to the beach, Porthpean of course. It was quite a magical day with hot sunshine. The wind was a very light offshore breeze and I was able to fulfil a long awaited promise to the girls to take them out in Grand Dadís boat. I managed to get Katie, Sarah & Jessica arranged across the thwart and we pushed off for Katieís first ever and Jessicaís 2nd sail. My intention was to sail over the old fishing trawler that was moored off Silver mine beach but as we headed towards it I spotted a shark swimming around. We sailed right up to it and what an amazing sight it was. The water was almost completely flat with sun blazing down on it and our shark friend was just drifting along with its mouth wide open trawling for plankton. It was a truly awesome sight and the girls were spell bound and we spent several minutes just sailing around watching it. It was the closest that I have ever been to a shark and I would estimate its size to be about 3M long and the size of its mouth fully open was incredible.

So onto Sunday; and despite an initial poor forecast we actually had a fantastic day for sailing. A shifty force 3 westerly which in my opinion gives us our best sailing conditions was present but unfortunately Ken & I were destined for safety boat duties. Nigel had also designated for Tim & Hannah to join us to get some experience of what is involved. Tim joined me in the safety boat and Hannah joined Ken in the race box to learn time keeping duties. As the wind was so good and I had enough time, I elected to take enough marks with us to lay a P shape course, which was displayed on the board outside the changing rooms with the stark warning that the race would be starting as advertised on time at 11.00. That message caused some panic, but also ensued that the majority of the fleet were out in time ready for the start which was out at sea. I think only one boat in the 15 boat fleet was late for the start, so well done to everybody for heeding the warning. Our start line was too biased to starboard, which lead to a bit of barging and Justin and Donna were forced to abort their start and come in again. Allan was out in his new Contender and thrived in the conditions, leading at the first mark and then pulling away to give himself a lonely race at the front of the fleet. Unbelievably Justin & Donna rounded first of the Tasars just in front of Dennis, sailing with No2 son Nathan, and were closely followed by Jeremy & Suzanne. Justin was quickly off on the plane and started to open up a nice lead. Jeremy took a while to pass Denis and then set off in hot pursuit. They gained the lead on the next beat and started to put some distance between them. Dennis and Nathan, weighing in at 32 stone, suffered in the marginal planning conditions and gradually fell back. John Mark with new crew Andrew Hoban, moved into 3rd place and Mike & Vicky Voyzey 4th place. There was quite an exciting finish to the race as Justin & Donna, took a different route up the last beat and ended up just pipping Jeremy by 4 seconds, to the delight of Donna and dismay of Jeremy. It just shows what enormous gains and losses can be experienced in those sort of conditions.

Nigel & James in the RS Feva had another good race, actually beating Beacky in his Enterprise on the water. I was watching at one time when the Enterprise was planing and the Feva with spinnaker flying came from behind to surge past at a good rate of knots, even overtaking a Laser on the same reach. However they only finished 2nd on corrected time, beating by the flying Contender, which I think is unbeatable whenever the wind is strong enough to enable the helm to trapeze. Colin Wainwright in only his 2nd race of the season found the conditions quite challenging and a series of capsizes lead to his retirement as also befell Steve Wingrove in his Solo. Simon, lacking a crew for his Tasar, outshone all the Laser sailors to take 3rd in the handicap fleet. Steve Mitchell & Polly were almost a minute late to the start, but gradually pulled though most of their fleet to finish 2nd on the water but fell back to 5th on corrected time. We had a guest appearance of Tim Haskins for the race. Tim was down on holiday from Yorkshire, and borrowed Nickís Supernova to sail into 4th position.

The breeze had freshened a tad for the afternoon race. The beat was lengthened, which gave a longer run and the entire fleet lined up for the 2 pm start time. I messed up with the start line again, this time putting too much port bias on it, which did make for some interesting manoeuvring as boast crossed tacks to get over the start line. Again Allan was soon into his stride and shot off, never to be seen again, beating the very fast Laser of Simon into 2nd place by a margin of 8 minutes on corrected time. The fresher breeze proved too much for some as a series of capsizes proved costly for some. Both Beacky and Nigel capsized at the gybe mark. Here the difference in modern and older technology was so evident as the Feva was quickly upright and sailing off again, whereas the old Enterprise came up full of water and took a several minutes of slow sailing to plane the water out of the back and self bailers. Despite their dalliance with the water, the Feva still made it into 3rd place surprisingly in front of Steve & Polly.

Jeremy & Suzanne made no mistakes in this race leading from start to finish, with an eventual 5 minute lead over Dennis & Nathan who found the stronger conditions more to their liking, who in turn finished a minute in front of Justin & Donna. Mike & Vicky were another victim of the capsize syndrome. This was Vickyís first capsize for about 8 years, but she still came up laughing. Itís still disappointing to look at the Club yard when the weather is so good and see so many boats not sailing. I know we all have busy lives to lead and it isnít always possible to sail, but yesterday was one of those special sailing days that will be remembered by those who sailed, judging by the compliments of superb reaches that we had provided.

Sadly Emma & Alex have left us. They sailed a Laser 2 and I met them in field on Saturday as they were packing their boat up as it has been sold to someone in Devon. We wish them the best of luck in the future and hope they have happy memories of being members of Porthpean.

May 27th
preparing to race
Sailing should be the game but frustration is the way things turned out last night. For the 2nd week running we were denied an evening race due to lack of wind. I could tell from the moment I arrived that sailing was going to be very dubious and so it turned out. We were presented with a very light onshore breeze and once again the apparent wind at the Clubhouse showed promise but as so often on an evening the promise turned into disappointment. In fact by 7 pm all we were left with was a glassy swell, with small dumping surf on the beach. All in all very disappointing as we were due a change of direction to a northerly, which in the event never materialised. One or two covers came off for a spot of maintenance and the bar and the pool table became the hub for the evening.

This weekend the Club is hosting a Contender Open meeting. Both Stacey and Allan in his new boat will be sailing and the forecast is for fresher south westerly winds which should allow them all to wire on most legs of the course. The Contender has a very strong following and in years gone past we have had visitors as far a field as Yorkshire, Kent and other Clubs on the south coast. So it is quite possible that we could have up to 15 entrants, hence no Club racing for the rest of us. There will be a social on Saturday evening with food and I know Kay has mailed Club members about this. The high light of the evening will be a Tony Dunn Quiz, so your grey matter will be severely tested.

I will be taking the opportunity of family visits, so will be heading out of Cornwall whilst thousands of holiday makers will be making the journey into Cornwall, before we return on Sunday with 2 little girls in tow, holidaying with us for the half term.

May 24th
preparing to race
The weather men promised us a good weekend, and for once they delivered. Hot glorious sunshine, but unfortunately hardly any wind at all. However there was the lightest of zephyrs, from the south, though there were large, glassy areas out at sea, so no heroic hiking out for us this weekend. Instead it would be a day of patience and utter concentration. The weather was so nice that the yellow shorts just had to be released form my sailing bag, coupled with a light weight tee shirt, buoyancy aid, hat and sun glasses, completed the clothing for the day. John & Steve were pleased to have drawn the short straw, manning the safety boat today. In fact it was a very good day to accept average points for doing a duty as it was far preferable than to having to crouch and crawl round the windless bay. Anyway just for a difference a square course was set, which gave a run after the first reach before giving us another reach back to the start line. So light was the breeze that the course for the morning race was shortened to just 1 round.

Quite a large fleet readied themselves for the race, though some opted not to launch as they did not relish sailing in the near drifting conditions. In fact we were one of the last to launch as we didnít fancy the lack of wind either. However over a long series you do tend to get a full range of conditions, some you like and some you donít and if you want to win trophies then you just have to buckle down and get on with it. This year we certainly have had a good mix so far, from almost survival conditions on some days to todayís drifter.

For once, Nigel & James sailing the little Feva didnít have it their own way. The wind being far too light for them to make any inroads and were unable to be in their normal top position. Instead the day belonged to Beacky & Adam, who cleaned up with first place in each race. Simon fresh back from his honeymoon sailed into 2nd in the morning race and Steve Wingrove excelled to take 3rd.

The start line for the first race was quite heavily port biased, so I elected to try and start at the pin end on starboard, but didnít get my timing right and had to cross the line just a second or so early. Justin & Donna timed their port tack start better and crossed most of the fleet. My premature start forced us to gybe round the pin buoy and we ended up doing yet another Irish port hand flyer, where we pass behind everyone on the start line. At least we had clear air and a modicum of speed. Unbelievably as we sailed along the beat we started to pull through everybody else, apart from Justin, but even he fell behind us just before we finished the beat. Jeremy had a secret weapon on board today. Suzanne was away on maternal duties so No1 son Fin was drafted in as a replacement. This was almost perfect as their combined weight was just about right for the conditions. Fortunately for us their beat wasnít so good and they rounded 3rd, a decent distance behind. The run almost did for us, as what little wind there was, was fading all the time. Jeremy overtook Justin and by the time we started the 2nd reach, was very close behind us. One benefit when the wind is so light is that crew weight starts to a little less important and fortunately we got to the beach marks for a shortened course, still ahead. Mike Voyzey, sailing with daughter Vicky, once again found his new sails beneficial when they sailed into 3rd place in their Tasar, ahead of Chris & Tony.

The afternoon race was started with a lot less boats as several called it a day after the slow morning race, but Richard & James King came out to play with their Merlin Rocket and very encouraging finished 2nd pushing Simon down to 3rd . This time the Feva made it into 4th place but Nigel was sailing with daughter Sophie, who was enjoying (?) her first race, as James elected to have a ride in the safety boat.

My attempt at a port hand start went awry as the breeze appeared to shift as we started our run in thus meaning we had to once again pass behind the majority of the fleet. Beacky and Adam had a brilliant start and their Enterprise powered ahead of the whole fleet to round the windward mark first, quite a rare feat when sailing against Tasars. We were next to round, comfortably ahead of Jeremy, and our positions remained until the breeze freshened ever so slightly at the end of the 2nd round, this was just enough for Jeremy & Finn as they started to close us down quite noticeably, until finally they sailed inside us just before the last gybe mark, then they held the lead to beat us over the line. Chris and Tony were the next Tasar home, followed somewhat later by Richard & Matt Morley who are still learning to get to grips with their Tasar. Full marks also go to Andrew & Jenny Kendall, still sailing their old GP14, quite a difficult boat to sail in the ultra light conditions.

Final landings on the beach were interesting. High tide was at 14.15 so was still quite high as we approached the beach. That coupled with a narrow beach full of sunbathers and then a dumping surf, gave them plenty of amusement as we grappled with our boats, trying to get them back onto the launching trollies. Oh yes I almost forgot, itís that time of the year when all the weed starts to appear and with a few days of easterlies, there was good deal of it floating in the water on the beach. Fortunately everybody was safely recovered, with no major mishaps

May 19th
The beach at lunch time
The Capsize Club eventually got off the beach last night. After 2 unpleasant evenings which stopped sailing, one with too much wind and the other with no wind, we finally launched. We managed to put 5 boats on the water for some training and experience. The breeze was just about perfect for beginners, being a light north westerly, which gave very easy launching and recovery in a very flat sea. The light breeze meant that virtually anybody could sail without getting into any problems.

Some of you may have seen the announcement on the front page about the death of Buck. The newer members of the Club may be wondering who he was. Well Buck has been a member of the Club for many years, but due to age and poor health he hasnít sailed at all over the last 15 years, but he used to enjoy coming to the prize giving dinners and sometimes popped down on a Sunday morning when we were doing Club maintenance, or appear when we were hosting Nationals. His funeral will be next Tuesday at 16.30 and his family have asked to use the Club house for a funeral social after the service. Buckís family have asked not to have flowers sent but for anyone wishing to do so to make a donation to Porthpean SC, which is a very kind gesture. Due to the reception after the funeral the Capsize Club has been cancelled next week.

Well it finally had to happen; we started our sailing season on March 28th and have raced every Sunday & Wednesday since. But finally the weather struck and tonight kept us onshore. Surprisingly it wasnít the south easterlies that we tend to get in the early season, which for some reason this year have been absent, but absolute calm and a thick sea mist. Cornwall is famous for its sea mists, and today the conditions were perfect for one with apparent warm winds from the south meeting the colder sea around our coast, resulting in the mist that we had tonight.

However several boat covers did come off for some essential maintenance. A new kicker was installed on the Feva. Nigel kindly used his ďfibĒ to re splice one of my kicker controls, new halyards were fitted to Chrisís Tasar. Jeremy fitted some new elastic to his B14. Anna & Liz were adjusting their spinnaker halyards on the Vago. RIB No2 had a new tow hitch fitted and I think some excess foliage was cleared from the upper dinghy park.

The picture tonight is one that Chris Hazell sent me and is almost self explanatory, but note the sailing clothing. Yes it really was that bad in those days and you can see how an entire sail clothing industry has sprung up over the years. Not only can we look smarter, but more importantly keep warmer.

May 17th
The beach at lunch time
Well it has been quite a busy week for the Club. On Saturday Liz and Maria took some of the cadets to Roadford Lake Reservoir for some training, BBQ and cadet racing. From all accounts they all had a great time and in the near future I hope to be able to publish some photographs. At the same time, Stacey organised some training for Contender sailors and had people from mounts Bay and Restronguet attend. Once again the training went down well and 2 of the Contender sailors stayed on to race with us today.

The summer weather has still not arrived properly but at least we had a dry day rather than the wet one forecast but we did have a fresh westerly breeze that had been forecast so once again we had some fast and furious sailing. The Tasar fleet was rather depleted, as Chris & Tony had their duty in the safety boat, and they excelled by laying a very good true course that gave a hard beat followed with 2 well balanced reaches that allowed flat out planning at various times. Jeremy & Suzanne have a broken Tasar at the moment, so took out their B14 instead and flew round the course without any mishaps, though they were both feeling shattered by the time we finished racing for the day. The B14 looks a lovely boat as it sails along, but controlling it is very demanding. Justin has bought a new mylar jib for his Tasar and really felt the benefits this morning when he and Donna clung on to our transom for most of the race. The new jib has certainly helped his pointing ability, so he feels that the money was well spent. I think itís full marks to both Suzanne and Donna, for their sailing abilities. Suzanne only started sailing last year and has proved herself to be a very good crew for Jeremy. Donna only started sailing this year and you can see her confidence growing each time she goes out. Maybe it is a good thing but both girls are having to sail in some quite strong conditions at times, such is the vagaries of this seasonís winds. Sitting in the wings, still getting practice are Peggy & Caluna McIntrye who have joined the Club this year and Amy & Katie Eastham, all keen to sail in the Picos. Hopefully with their tutelage in the capsize club, they will get their confidence very quickly.

So for today, we were slightly down on normal attendance with Ron & Michelle and Steve Wingrove away at Open Meetings, Dennis and Nick away on holiday, nevertheless we did have up to 16 boats on the water so the bay at least looked very picturesque. Both races involved starting at sea, beating in towards the beach marks. Launching from the beach proved easy and it was quite a slow lazy sail out towards the start line, but once we hardened up into the wind we could feel the power of the breeze, which in itself wasnít too bad but it was very shifty and quite gusty and as normal more so the closer to the beach marks we sailed. The safety boat was fired up and ready to go by 10.00, which should have been a warning to everyone that we might start on time. Nevertheless, quite a few were caught out and had to start late which probably ruined their race. The Tasar fleet almost became a contest between just us and Justin / Donna as John Mark dropped back quite early and Stacey who had a very late start was too far back to make any impact. Several times I thought that we had pulled out a good lead only to be reeled back in again, but we still had a reasonable lead when we finished.

Well Jeremy & Suzanne whizzed away from everyone in their B14, but at the final reckoning it was again the slowest boat in the fleet, the RS Feva of Nigel & James that took the honours on corrected time. This was their 4th straight win in the morning series and I would think that they are now almost unbeatable, 2nd and 3rd places are very tight with Janet & Pete Barnes very close to Steve Wingrove. There is still time for some others to make a late charge, but this will mean that they have to make the commitment to race every weekend for the next month to do so.

The afternoon race was sailed in similar conditions to the morning race, we lost 2 of the morning fleet but gained 2 more, and so had a similar number out once again. The course this time was an Olympic type, which in a way is a shame for the Tasar as it takes away every other round of a planning opportunity. Nevertheless, most Championship races involve having a runs in them so is a discipline that we need to sail in. There was a fair bit of bias on the short start line which involved a bit of a log jam at the safety boat end. Fortunately we kept out of the melee and started further down the line in comparative free air apart from one of our visiting Contenders. Indeed half way up the first beat we were looking really well placed having established a reasonable lead over Stacey / Colin and John Mark and his new crew. By the time we closed at the beach marks John Mark had shot into the lead and we tacked just in front of Stacey, so in a matter of 2 or 3 minutes our nice lead had evaporated, such are the vagaries of the wind on the beat. We regained the lead on the 2nd reach but Stacey took the lead further up the beat and hels us off throughout the rest of the race. John dropped back and quite strangely Justin & Donna just couldnít make any headway on any of us which must have been a disappointment after the morning race.

Once again the RS Feva took the honours on corrected time, so yet another series they are dominating in. Jeremy & Suzanne were much closer this time, finishing 2nd, pushing Simon Pryce, fresh back from holiday into 3rd place. Steve Mitchell, without Polly took out Annaís Vago, crewed by Tim Baily, finished just behind Simon, though they were counting a time delay of a capsize, so could have finished much higher. Both Picos were out racing with Anna in one and Adam in the other, with Anna winning the duel.

May 12th
Tasar start line
Almost mid May, it's still cool, and summer? Not yet. Iím afraid that about sums things up at the moment. The Capsize Club had its 2nd evening meeting on Tuesday, but once again was blighted by the weather. There was a very light south easterly blowing on Tuesday when we arrived at the Club, which almost always heralds no wind by about 19.00. However the Picos, Bug & Vago were rigged and taken down to the beach as was the RIB. I went out with Liz on the RIB for an inspection, but it was obvious that there was just no hint of a breeze anywhere. So as not to waste the evening Liz managed to take all those interested for a trip in the safety boat, allowing them all to experience driving it. Maybe next week we will be 3rd time lucky. However it was still very cold, so I wasnít too upset that we couldnít sail. Hot dogs had been prepared by Ray in the galley, so there was a welcome smell of onions wafting out of the Clubhouse.

It was all change for tonight though, as on arriving at the Club I could see that we had a nice little Westerly blowing. The tide was high and so just off the beach the water looked so flat and lifeless that many thought that we wouldnít be able to sail. Experience tells me that normally an offshore breeze will remain until sunset, so it is always worth trying to race in it. Kay & Craig were duty safety boat drivers tonight and were quickly dispatched to get a course laid and hopefully another start on time. Well the breeze was playing games with us, as it started to swing from a westerly to a south westerly, but just as the start line was being laid swung to a north westerly, giving a beat into the beach marks from Blackhead direction. Not only that, also the breeze was just sufficient to get 2 on the side decks in full hiking mode (well at times).

The start line was very starboard biased, which caused a bit of a pile up at the pin end resulting in the RS400 of Steve & Nigel doing penalty turns. That in itself was result for us as invariably we get tangled up with the RS somewhere in the race. Stacey was the first to the beach marks, only just in front of us with Jeremy & Suzanne just behind us. Clearly we were going to have a close race tonight. For once we seemed to find sufficient speed down wind to gain the lead at the jibe mark, and pull out a bit on the broad reach taking us back to start the beat. The breeze started to move around again, turning what had been an excellent beat into a more of a one tacker, but there was still enough movement closer to the beach marks to keep everyone on their toes. Well tonight luck favoured us a bit better as we were far enough in front to stay out of the clutches of the RS400, whereas both Stacey & Jeremy had to contend with battling to overtake it on the beats. Thank you Steve, it certainly helped us. However Stacey with his extremely high pointing angles kept us on our toes until the end. Further back the other 2 Tasars of John Mark & Mike Voyzey, swapped places at times before Mike got the better of John, beating him by the slim margin of 9 seconds.

Once again Ron & Michelle lead the handicap fleet, the breeze was just right for them upwind and then their spinnaker proved a godsend on the down wind reaches, though Ron told me that the broad reach was too broad for them to get the most out of it. Only just behind them lurked Allan in his Laser, who finished close enough to the faster Scorpion to beat it on handicap by some 30 seconds. Brian Reeves did well to finish 3rd, pushing the fastest boat the RS400 down to 4th, just I front of Tim Baily. Colin, somehow had a capsize and then damaged his kicker so retired but James in the Pico and Steve in his Solo battled on in the fading breeze to eventually finish.

The nights are noticeably brighter now when we finish sailing, and we still have about 5 weeks to go until the longest day but we could do with more people sailing. It is unfortunate that we always have to take boats off the water to officiate, but thatís normal for a small Club like ours and just something that we have to put up with. On the bright side, so far everyone has turned up for their duties, which always takes the pressure off Nigel & Ken who otherwise would be looking round to see if they could find any volunteers.

May 9th
Chris & Tony sorting out the mast
What a week we have had, sadly Robin Hadlow passed away on Wednesday and we had a General Election on Thursday, which has resulted in a hung Parliament, and is also hogging all the news headlines. Believe it or not the election has a connection with PSC. Some of the older members may remember Mike Baker who sailed a Scorpion, in fact he still was sailing here when I joined the Club in 1987. Well Mikeís son Stephen has just been elected as Conservative MP for Wycombe. Another bit of news is that Adam Eastham has been selected to sail aboard a Clipper Yacht that at the moment is berthed at Fowey. Adam sets off on Monday for a voyage to possibly the Isle of Wight or Bristol, so good luck to Adam and I am sure he will find it a fantastic time, probably a bit different than sailing an Enterprise or Pico around our bay.

Well our miserable weather goes on. It seems almost like an extension of the Frostbite series, yes we have one or two nice days but overall we have had plenty of north easterlies which are starting to get on everybodyís nerves, as it is so cold, not least for the poor people sitting on the safety boat. Today it was Justin & Kelvinís turn to set us a course. The wind this morning was a light south easterly, a direction which I detest as if the surf is low enough to let us launch then the wind is too light for enjoyable sailing. Well today was right on the balance. We all launched without any big dramas and the breeze was enough to get us on the side decks hiking and planning. Stacey teamed up with Allan in Dennisís boat but problems with the main halyard delayed their appearance on the start line. The crummy weather no doubt cut down on our entry as there were only about 11 boats to race, though we did have 5 Tasars out. Nevertheless the conditions once again suited the Feva of Nigel & James and they made the most of the conditions and their handicap to record another 1st. Beating the Kestrel of Janet & Pete, though Pete took the helm this morning with Tristran riding as crew. At the moment Nigel & James are streaking away with the series, though there are several races to go yet so plenty of time for some of the others in the handicap fleet to make their play. Jeremy & Suzanne and us started almost side by side, so much so that we tacked off early to escape their dirty wind, having to dip Mike & Dave in the process, so we were really pleased that as we closed towards the windward mark we crossed in front of Jeremy. The down wind legs suited us a bit better and we pulled away bit by bit on each of the rounds. I said earlier that I donít really like a south easterly as there are almost no wind shifts on the beat so a race can become a bit processional and this morning was exactly that.

The afternoon race was much different, the wind had increased to a good force 3 and had changed direction to a north easterly. We had a few problems when in the process of launching, the boat was floating in the water just off the trolley when I noticed that we hadnít fastened the clew of the main onto the boom. Doh!!!, what a silly thing to do. Anyway with a little struggle, said main sail and boom were joined in holy matrimony. Attempt number 2 failed as this time the rudder blade was jammed, so again we landed back on the beach. By the time the rudder blade was freed we had a boat full of water, far too heavy to bring back to shore, so we launched and sailed rather slowly, with water sloshing around the cockpit out towards the start which was way out to sea, hoping that the bailer would suck it all out and more importantly not being late for another start. Well we made it in time but still had quite a lot of water sloshing around in the boat when we started. Even so we were 2nd to Stacey & Allan at the windward mark but couldnít hold off Jeremy & Suzanne on the reach to the beach marks. Try as we did we couldnít break through on the beats and Stacey & Allan increaser their lead and we finished in that order. Meanwhile Chris & Tony discovered a problem when they noticed that one of their side stays had lost itís retaining pin. They managed to sail all the way back to the shore, accompanied by the safety boat before they turned the wrong way and down came the mast. Well I suppose at least they broke their capsizing sequence!!

Janet returned to helming the Kestrel and for 2 rounds were very close to us 3 Tasars, before dropping further back. However Nigel & James in the Feva were sailing another good race to take another win and tighten their grip on the Afternoon series as well as the morning series. On this showing they are favourites to win several cups this season.

Landing back on the beach was fraught with difficulties for everyone but many hands were available to grab boats and lift them out of the surf and onto launching trolllies. Even the safety boat was grabbed and pulled out of the surf, ensuring that the engine wasnít swamped.

Tuesday will see the Capsize Club trying to sail again. Hopefully this week the state of the sea and the wind strength will allow a full evening of sailing, though the forecast is still for north easterlies, which will keep it quite cold but at least should be dry.

May 5th
Robin Hadlow with John Hill
Tonightís racing was overshadowed by the news when I got home that Robin Hadlow had died in the evening, probably whilst we were out sailing. I, like many others was shocked to hear Robin tell me on the night of the Dinner in January that he had been diagnosed with Cancer. I saw Robin, only a few weeks ago in their shop, he seemed very cheerful and positive about things and was just about to start a course of treatment. However things must have been worse than any of us knew about, to progress so quickly. I have known Robin and Sheila for many years. Sheila used to be the Secretary to our Electrical Manager when I worked in John Keay House in the 70ís. In those days, Robin was a member of PSC and owned and sailed a Scorpion. Robin dropped out of sailing for a few years but always maintained his links with the Club and can be seen on many of the ďsocialĒ pictures in our archives. A couple of years ago Robin was given an old Tasar, which he had been doing up ready to sail, sadly he never got the chance to sail it more than once or twice.

The first of the evening capsize club meets took place on Tuesday but the sailing part of it was curtailed due to a strong north easterly, which looked harmless enough from the shore but was much stronger than it looked on the sea. Polruan was reporting gusts of 30 knots and it was bitterly cold, so James and Adam demonstrated how to rig up the Picos. This was then followed under Anna & Lizís tutelage by a lesson on tying knots. By the end of a session, everyone could tie a bow line round their waists single handed.

I spent most of Wednesday sailing with Mike Pollard down at Mylor. Once again we were subjected to a cold northerly wind. We sailed right into Falmouth harbour and sailed past an Open 60 racing yacht. The name of the boat was in Russian and we couldnít decipher it, but the boat looked a real cool racing machine. Lunch was taken on a mooring in the lee of the St. Mawes, again it was very serene, siting in the sun, slowly being rocked as we ate our sandwiches.

And on to tonight, well the safety boat was on the water in good time and a course was set, so Jenny took the decision to start as advertised on time. The majority of the 16 boat fleet were in the starting area. Unfortunately some werenít, us included. We had a lot of trouble just trying to sail out to the start. The wind was dying and coming offshore, and our speed was too slow. More frustratingly we had been very close to some of the other boats, indeed in front of some, but just suffered from sitting in flat spots We could see from a distance that the flags were flying from the safety boat, but couldnít get there in time and started some 2 Ĺ minutes after the starting gun. Jeremy & Suzanne and Dennis, crewed tonight by Colin were way in front and doing a horizon job on us. Anyway we stuck to the task in hand which looked impossible, but with the shifty wind slowly made our way up through the fleet. We eventually caught and passed Dennis on the 3rd set of reaches and by the end of the next beat had just snuck in front of Jeremy. He managed to pull back and get an inside overlap on us at the jibe mark, which gave him back his lead and so we started the last beat trying to get through him. Dennis made up some of his lost ground on us by sailing in towards the cliffs whilst Jeremy and us continued our duel up the middle of the beat. Eventually we appeared to be climbing up well inside Jeremy and I thought for a while that we were going to win, but the ever changing wind conditions in the beach mark area, suddenly dealt us a bad deal. We were on the lay line for the beach marks when we were started to get headed, so much so, that when Jeremy tacked, he sailed ahead of us to claim the win. What was almost worse for us, was that Dennis too was charging in on the other lifted tack and we did well to mange to tack in front of him to secure 2nd place. Mike & Dave started the race just behind us and managed to overhaul Chris & Tony during the race, once again benefiting form his new sails.

The handicap fleet was once again strung out over a long distance; such is the variety and difference in speeds. Way out in front was the RS400 of Steve Coello with Nigel riding shotgun, but couldnít sail to their handicap finishing 3rd to the very speedy Allan Orton in his Laser. Allanís corrected time placed him ahead of the Tasars. Close behind was Ron & Michelle Barrett in their Scorpion, they finished 2nd, benefiting from being able to fly their spinnaker on both reaching legs, certainly going faster than us on the reaches.

It was a great shame for James Dowrick, who was hoping to emulate his good result from last Wednesday but he too was one of the victims who failed to get to the start line on time. He was one of the first to launch, but the Pico being the slowest boat on the water; just couldnít find enough speed on the long run out to make the start so ended up sailing home instead. Kay and Craig seem determined to wrest the capsize crown from Chris and Tony, by managing a couple of capsizes, which put them right to the back of the fleet, before eventually retiring.

May 2nd
 just after the start of a May Cup race
For the last 2 years we have held our Tasar Open Meeting over this weekend and have had very good sailing winds, but this year another Club had already taken ďourĒ weekend, so we were left with Club sailing. Saturday saw the first day of the ďCapsize ClubĒ, which is a series of sessions dedicated to getting our newcomers and some beginners more acclimatised to sailing without the hassle of racing which when you are learning is more often than not a step too far. The day was perfect for novices as there was a nice little breeze blowing and we had lots of people down for the afternoon. Our Club boats, the 2 Picos, Bug, Enterprise and the Bahia of Anna & Liz were put to full use and the majority of people taken out were encouraged to have a go at helming. All in all, this was a very good start to this aspect of Club life.

The Sundayís racing was the destined to be ďCupĒ day, a 3 races series, which was run by the Laser fleet, and was run on the water by Allan Orton and Tim Baily. The wind was quite a strong north easterly and very cold, with 30 knots blowing almost continuously at the Polruan weather station. It was certainly less than that in the bay but was somewhere in the region of 20 knots blowing from the north east with some stronger gusts thrown in from time to time. It all looked deceptively serene from the beach as we were in the lee of the wind, but anyone studying the sea would have seen that herring bone look, plus white horses further out, which promised fast & frantic sailing.

Allan & Tim set an excellent course, which was to be sailed as an Olympic circuit, with a triangle followed by a run. Due to the strong conditions our fleet was decimated to only 8 boats, comprising 6 Tasars, Beackyís Enterprise and Andrew & Sarah Kendall in their GP14, so rather than have our normal 2 classes, we all sailed as one fleet. By the end of the first beat the race appeared to split into 4 separate races. Dennis with Justin Phyall crewing shot into an early lead from Stacey with Steve Coello crewing. They pulled well away from Ken & myself and Jeremy & Suzanne. Behind us there was another battle between Mike and Dave against Chris & Tony. Further back, Beacky & Adam were tussling with Andrew & Sarah for the honours.

Stacey and Steve eventually gave us all a lesson in heavy weather sailing, finally winning the shortened course by a margin of 2 minutes over Dennis & Justin. Jeremy & Suzanne and us had a very close race swapping our positions several times but the Hawkins eventually triumphed, passing us on the last reach to the beach marks. Mike and Dave are now getting to grips with their new sails and finished 4 minutes in front of Chris & Tony. Paul & Adam found it very hard going in the Enterprise, but finished just behind Mike on corrected time. Andrew & Sarah had a capsize and eventually retired.

Lunch was provided by Emma, Maria & Ray who had produced toad in the hole with mash and peas and gave everybody the chance to relax and talk about the morningís race. Eventually it became time to take to the water again. Mike & Dave, Beacky & Adam decided enough was enough, so we lost 2 of our fleet but Steve Mitchell & Polly arrived, decided that the conditions were too wild for their Merlin, but was loaned Justinís Tasar.

The conditions were almost as windy for the 2nd race and for a change Ken & I lead at the first mark. I think the wind had dropped a little and this was more suited to our weight. Jeremy & Stacey were our closest challengers and for 2 rounds we held them off until we had a bit of a disaster at the end of the 2nd run. I donít know how it happened but the clew of our jib caught on the forestay and we were unable to pull the jib in to start the last beat. Whilst Ken was battling to sort the jib out Jeremy and Stacey shot past us. By the time the jib was sorted the other 2 were fast disappearing up the beat never to be caught, though Stacey did retire due to a port & starboard incident with Andrew at the start.

The wind picked up a tad more for the 3rd race and just to show how windy it was, the spectators were treated to the sight of 3 Tasars capsizing. The first to go was Chris & Tony right on the start line. This was their 4th capsize in as many weeks, surely candidtaes for the annual Capsize Trophy. Next to go was Steve & Polly, whilst tacking and most surprisingly, Stacey & Steve. Stacey told me afterwards that the tiller extension caught in the boom whilst tacking. In those conditions any problems are swiftly dealt with by the wind. Staceyís problems were compounded when his dagger board pulled through the casing and then took time to get it back into position before being able to right the boat. Meanwhile Dennis & Justin powered on through all the carnage, creating a healthy lead which they held to the end. Once again Jeremy & Suzanne had a good race to finish 2nd to our 3rd. The Race Officer taking into consideration the strong conditions wisely decided to shorten this race a round early, which did come as a relief. The results as expected were very tight but Dennis & Justin pipped Jeremy & Suzanne on equal point by his win in the last race whilst we finished equal points with Stacey but they had the advantage of a win in the first race to push us back into 4th. However judging by the smiles on all the faces afterwards in the dinghy park, today was adjudged a very good day of racing. Allan Orton was taking photographs from the safety boat and when I get a copy I will put some onto the gallery page, so look for ďupdatedĒ on the front page of the web site sometime in the next week.

I have also had an advert given to me for someone selling a ďBuzzĒ. Ready to race! Hull, mast and attachments in very good condition. Sails in good condition. Foils in top condition, with padded storage bags. Under and Over covers and West Mersea launch trolley and trailer. Pictures:
Buzz 859 - http://www.flickr.com/photos/jude_anthonisz/sets/72157622484477995/
Sails - http://www.flickr.com/photos/jude_anthonisz/sets/72157622484469263/
Detail - http://www.flickr.com/photos/jude_anthonisz/sets/72157622608993608/
Test sails welcome.... Lying in Devon. Only £1,695 Contact Jude or Jean on 07971 409951 or 07866609769nk.

Meanwhile this Tuesday will be the first of the regular Tuesday nights for the capsize Club. If you know someone who would like to try sailing then invite them down to have a go. Ongoing newcomers are the life blood of the Club. Sailing is like a bug, once tried then you can become hooked on one of the only sports that you can start as a youth and still continue into your later years.

April 28th
Ron & Michelle's Scorpion, just waiting to sail
Iíd had a very pleasant day today, sailing at Falmouth in Pollyís boat. We arrived at Mylor just after 10.30. We had a pleasant cup of coffee in the cafť sitting outside overlooking the moorings, with a weak watery sun shining down on us then decamped to board his boat, which is on a swinging mooring. We spent about 30 minutes, doing some fettling, then unfurled the jib, slipped the mooring and sailed out into the Carrick roads. By this time there was quite a fresh breeze blowing and we were sailing along at about 5 knots, heeled over, so left the mainsail down. Our course took us down to Falmouth and we sailed along in the lee of the Coast Guard Station and then took a heading towards St. Mawes. To our delight in the area of castle buoy we came across up to 8 Dolphins leaping out of the water. It was a super sight to see and at one time came quite close to us and swam in our area for a good 10 minutes before swimming off. The breeze was still quite fresh so we sailed up past St. Mawes as far as Percuil, where we found a sheltered mooring that wasnít occupied, moored up, furled the jib, warmed up our pasties, then sat in the sun eating them whilst putting the world to rights. Afterwards we carried out some more work on the boat, before leaving out temporary berth and sailed out into the Carrick Roads again, onto St. Just, then back across the river to Restronguet before finally picking up our mooring to complete our dayís sail. The water and wind down there were promising of a good nightís racing at Porthpean to come. What a perfect day.

By the time I arrived at the Club I was greeted by the site of Ron & Michelleís Scorpion, rigged at the top of the slipway and a much reduced onshore breeze. The conditions were such that a total of 18 boats were being prepared for the 4th race of the Wednesday series. Ken arrived, fresh from day 3 of his Sailing Instructorís course that he is taking at Anna & Lizís sailing school. By this time Ron & Michelle had launched and were to be seen sailing along at a reasonable pace with their spinnaker flying. However in the course of about 20 minutes the breeze started to drop and it was evident that the good sailing breeze was just fading away. The question now was would it last long enough for a race. Well the majority obviously thought so and hastily launched through the low surf with the tide almost on the slipway. We were rigged at the top of the slipway, but it was obvious that if we raced then it would be a very slow affair, with the crew cramped up in the front of the boat. Frankly after the fantastic day of sailing last Sunday, the thought of just crawling along and maybe becoming completely becalmed, just didnít appeal to us so we aborted our launching. Meanwhile, the fleet struggled to get to the beach marks, where there was a very light breeze. Certainly enough breeze to push the boats along. I started to regret our decision, but the sight of the boats just crawling along, made the decision feel not so bad after all. Steve Wingrove in his Solo couldnít get there at all and was finally towed in by the safety boat.

In many ways the night belonged to James Dowrick. James sailed one of the Club Picos and excelled in the light conditions, finishing 2nd on corrected time, which was a very good achievement for him, so well done James. The handicap race was won, however, by Allan Orton, who finished some 7 minutes in front of James even on corrected time. Ron & Michelle won the battle of the 2 Scorpions. Jeremy & Suzanne, who had to replace their mast pin before sailing, had the best start and managed to sail into the best of the breeze and led all the way round, finishing 7 minutes in front of the next Tasar crewed by Dennis & Justin, certainly not the conditions that Dennis would normally go out in. In distance they were not too far behind, but so light had the breeze become that it took minutes to sail a distance of about 100 metres. Due to the light conditions the race was shortened to just one round, much to the relief of all who were still out there.

John Hill was a victim of the fading breeze, he eventually got to the start line almost 10 minutes after the start, but sailed on and even overtook several boats, which in itself was very satisfactory but couldnít save ant time on his handicap, but put me to shame for not competing.

Patrick from the Eden Project came down last night to see if anyone wanted a crew. He has given me his telephone number, which is 07811174762. He has done some sailing so knows what he is doing in a boat.

April 25th
All quiet in the dinghy park
Well Iím bound to be feeling happy as today we had 2 wins, which in itself was very satisfying, but what made it feel all the better was the conditions were very challenging, with a swirling wind ranging from force 2 to 4 in the gustier moments. Yes dinghy sailing doesnít get much better than this, as after the last few weeks of fairly demure sailing we were at last able to hike as hard as possible and to have some flying reaches.

Stacey & Steve Wingrove, our safety boat drivers for the day took advantage of the stiffer breeze to set a large triangular course for us to sail round which was just right for our bay and the fresh wind conditions, also getting us far enough out so as to avoid some of the affects of trickier moments at the beach marks.

Jeremy was adjudged over the line at the start of the morning race and I knew that we were very close to him, so rather than just blast off into oblivion I thought it expedient to sail towards the safety boat and check our status. As it happened we were ok and could have blasted off, but better to be safe than risk being disqualified. Well Jeremy & Suzanneís early start didnít hurt them as they rounded the pin end start buoy, quite quickly and were almost leading at the end of the beat. In fact it was getting quite crowded at the end of the beat as Justin & Donna in their Tasar were very close as was Steve Mitchell and Polly in their Merlin. 2 good reaches went very nicely for us and we started the 2nd round with a healthy lead but to our consternation Steve & Jeremy were lifted up a long way inside us. What was happening to our pointing ability? It appeared to have just disappeared. By the time we sailed on the opposite tack to try and cross them, Jeremy had sailed through us and Steve was only just behind us. These positions remained on the reaches until we started the last beat. We tacked off early to try and escape the dirty wind in front, shortly after Jeremy tacked to cover us and I was pleased to see that we crossed ahead of them. We then realised that they were having problems with their jib. The shackle holding the sheets on had come undone. Fortunately for them the pin was still there so they managed to re set it and carry on, but were passed by Dennis and Nathan whilst sorting them selves out. So did we get a lucky win or would we have passed Jeremy on the beat? Well Iím honestly not sure, but the boat was certainly pointing better again, so I put the previous disaster on the beat to the fact that Steve & Jeremy rounded straight onto the inside of a large lift and we were stuck on the outside of it.

Back in the handicap fleet it looked like Steveís Merlin would easily win on handicap but not so, the slowest boat in the fleet, the RS Feva sailed by Nigel and James, came out on top on corrected time by 15 seconds. Beacky & Adam sailed well to finish on the water in front of the faster Scorpion of Kay & Craig. Andrew & Jenny Kendall are still waiting to finish their Scorpion so are sailing in their other boat, a GP14, which I am sure is a lot more difficult to control at times.

The wind had swung from south west into a more westerly direction by the time we sailed out for an Olympic configured course for the afternoon race, but as a consequence was still very shifty and quite gusty and the gusts certainly caused quite a few capsizes and retirements.

The start line had quite a lot of port bias on it and a few of us decided that a port hand flyer was the thing to try. We came flying in to the start line from a long way out and sailed across the entire fleet, which in itself is a very satisfying manoeuvre. We took advantage of what appeared to be some useful wind shifts and arrived at the beach marks with a very healthy lead, which we maintained for the rest of the race. Once again Jeremy & Suzanne were hot on our heals and at times appeared to be closing the gap and then suddenly we would spurt further ahead again. The course for this race was an Olympic one and most unusually Jeremy & Suzanne capsized on the 2nd and last run. They were upside down for a time but still righted their Tasar and sailed on to finish in front of Dennis & Nathan. Meanwhile further back, Justin and Donna were sailing well, being quite a way in front of Chris & Tony, who once again capsized, thatís 3 times in as many weeks. Is this going to be a pattern for the rest of the season? Letís hope not.

The handicap fleet was decimated by the stronger winds, with quite a few capsizing and then deciding to retire. Kay & Craig were flung out of their Scorpion on one of the reaches. Kay doesnít know what happened. One moment they were sailing along, the next they were both out of the boat, which for a short time sailed on without them, before rolling in and going turtle. Nigel & James once again had a very good race, at one time being very close to Beacky & Adam in the faster Enterprise. Once again the Fevaís handicap proved to be unbeatable. This time finishing in front of Steveís Merlin by a bigger margin, leaving Beacky & Adam, the only other finishers to get another 3rd.

Donít forget, the Capsize Club starts next Saturday and we are hoping to get full use of our new Picos and Bug. Iím not sure how many people will turn up to sail, but if you think you can help and would like to take someone out in your boat, or man the safety boat, then come along. I believe it starts at 14.00, which means being there a bit earlier. After Saturday the Capsize Club moves to its more normal slot of Tuesday evenings. BTW It's only 8 months to Christmas!

April 21st
Clive Stevens rigging his Laser
Tonight was probably the coldest night of the year for sailing, yes I know we are still in April and the weather is quite nice during the day but this evening the air temperature was very low. Conditions didnít look too good as the wind was almost boxing the compass. There was a Clay ship anchored in the bay and it was laying in a SW direction, but the breeze nearer the Club was swinging form North westerly right round at times to a north easterly.

Anyway there were enough people who wanted to sail, so we all rigged. Mike Voyzey and Dave manned the safety boat and laid a course to suit a southerly breeze. In fact the first round did give us a beat to the 1st mark and as went into the starting sequence everything looked ok for a sail in a very light force 1 breeze. I was anxious to sail in towards the cliffs and for some silly reason elected to try and cross the fleet on port. As the final seconds counted down it became obvious that this wasnít going to work so ended up tacking in front of John Hill. However there was so little wind that our tack wasnít completed in time and we collided. I had no option but to do my turns and then we were off. At that stage I still thought that we might salvage something, but could see Jeremy & Suzanne disappearing into the distance. ĺ up the beat things werenít looking too bad, but then the wind started to fade and we suffered big time. Jeremy was long gone round the mark followed by Steve Coello & Nigel in Steveís RS400, first time out this year. Next to round was Dennis with Justin crewing just in front of Chris & Tony. By the time we rounded the whole bunch were half way up the first reach, whilst we were back with some of the leaders of the handicap fleet. Janet & Pete were alongside at one time. Anyway we made the best of a bad job and very slowly started to catch up with Dennis & Chris. By the time we gybed, we were very close to Chris and managed to drift past them on the ay to the beach marks. By this time conditions were getting bad, the breeze was almost non existent and what was left turned the beat into a one tacker.

By this stage quite a few of the handicap fleet decided that enough was enough and headed for the beach, but the Tasars and one or two others battled on, which proved a great test of everyoneís patience. It was a shame really as we had 18 boats on the water which is the best turn out of the year so far.

We hung on and at one stage closed up quite close to Dennis & Justin, but couldnít catch them before we arrived at the beach marks for a shortened course. Colin Wainwright made his debut tonight and sailed into 4th position. I know he didnít enjoy the sailing conditions but was very pleased to get such a good result. Steve Wingrove was quite a bit further back but sailed into 3rd position, again a good place in the dire conditions. Another sailor making his debut tonight was Clive Stevens who claimed a 7th.

It was a great relief to eventually get back into the Clubhouse for some warmth and Jennyís bacon butties. Now our eyes turn towards Sunday when we should be able to get settled again after the Tasar Open last weekend.

April 17th & 18th
Malcolm & Frank Davies
The Tasar SW Area Championships were held this weekend, rather earlier than we would have liked, but once again blessed with very nice weather. Hosting an event such as this in April, can prove so troublesome as the weather can be very changeable. For the 3rd year running we had beautiful clear skies with plenty of sunshine, but unlike the last 2 years the wind was frustratingly much lighter. Instead of the brisk offshore winds we wanted, we had to put up with the continuing light easterlies on Saturday. In fact the breeze felt quite fresh up at the Clubhouse and there were lots of white horses out in the bay as a south easterly blew straight in to the shore. The forecast was for it to fall lighter as the day went on, which again gives other problems as we would be left with little wind and a wallowing lumpy sea.

4 visitors helped swell the Porthpean fleet to 11. One visitor who couldnít make it was the Tasar Chairman, John Trip, who fell Stacey Bray & Tim Baily
foul of the Icelandic volcanic Ash and was marooned in Finland. However 3 visitors came from Torbay and one other from Wimbleball. 2 races were scheduled for Saturday with another 3 on Sunday. The falling tide on Saturday gave us quite a few waves to sail through but this was accomplished successfully by all. The course to be sailed was a ďqĒ shape, which suits the Tasars downwind speed, well it would have if there was enough wind to plane, but unfortunately there was hardly enough wind to get 2 on the side deck.

Our Race Officer for the weekend was Ron Barret managed to get all 5 races in. He was ably assisted at various times by Michelle, Bruce Keeping, Colin Wainwright and Nigel, James and Sophie Dowrick. The courses were just the right length and time for the light conditions that dominated this yearís open meeting. Lionel Rigby & Ken Fobbester
We all had high hopes for the 1st race but I managed to get ourselves too far down the start line and was forced over early. Fortunately we were by the pin end buoy so a quick gybe and an Irish port hand flyer, which involves passing behind the entire fleet, was our fate. Luckily for us we arrived at the windward mark, in 2nd place just behind Jeremy & Suzanne, a position we held until we started the short run. I made a big mistake here by not gybing straight away and was punished by 2 boats passing inside us. The Malcolm & Frank Davies boat (current double National Champions) was one of them and they went on to pass Jeremy and take the win, and we closed up to take a lucky 3rd place, when John Lawton, one of our visitors hit the final mark and had to do a 360. Just behind was John Mark & Steve Coello, and surprisingly behind them was Stacey & Tim Baily.

Justin Phyall & Allan Orton
For the 2nd race, I managed a perfect port hand flyer, crossing the entire fleet, but this time we arrived at the windward mark in 7th place. Well up ahead was Stacey and Tim, clearly with a point to make. They must have flown up the first beat as they had opened up an enormous lead and looked unassailable. The Davies boat in 6th place was just in front of us, but in the space of 2 reaches and a run had passed everyone but Stacey, who was still travelling very fast. Incredibly the Davies team slowly closed the gap, but Stacey hung on to take the shortened course win by a margin of just 1 foot. Clearly close racing. We did improve a bit to finish 6th but Tony & Steve had a very encouraging 4th, finishing just ahead of Justin Phyall, crewed by Allan Orton.

Tony & Sandy Paine
We had another very good social in the evening with an excellent BBQ cooked by Simon Pryce, with a side salad provided by Maria and her Dad & maybe one or two others but not sure about that. Live music was provided by a duo, vocalist & guitar, part of the Johnny Fuller Band. They proved very popular getting people up and dancing.

Sunday dawned with an ominous calm, the bay was looking glassy, but the sun was shining brightly. The lumpy sea of Saturday had flattened right out but the wind was nowhere to be seen. Postponement was the order of the day, until a very light southerly wind appeared in the bay. A course was set, we launched and at just after midday the 3rd race of the series started.

Simon Pryce & Adam Eastham
Now my secret weapon of the day came into play, the yellow sailing shorts made their first appearance of the season. Clearly this had a devastating affect on everyone but the Davies as we powered away to record a 2nd place, ahead of Stacey. In 4th place this time were Tony & Sandy Paine, our visitors from Wimbleball, adjusting well to the pleasures of sailing on the sea instead of their restrictive reservoir.

A quick pit stop for lunch was undertaken before we all launched into lighter conditions for the last 2 races. This first race gave another win to the Davies team, but once again we had the best of the rest with another 2nd, but the beats were tricky and utmost concentration was demanded at all times.

Chris Hazel & Tony Dunn
Tony & Sandy had a bit of bad luck in this race. Apparently he moved one of his stays forward on the run, the end stop broke and the mast went over the side. At long last a safety boat was really needed to tow them back to shore.

The 4th race proved disastrous for Stacey as he never recovered from being an early starter and couldnít pull enough back to record better than 9th. We had another good race by finishing 2nd again with the Hawkins finishing 3rd, Team Justin 4th and an improving Simon Pryce, crewed by Adam Eastham 5th.

The 5th race started as soon as possible after the 4th race and to nobodyís John Mark & Steve Coello
surprise saw the Davies team, once again leading and pulling away from the rest of the fleet to take another win. Jeremy got the better of us this time, finishing 2nd to our 3rd. Stacey after a better start moved up to take 4th spot and a very happy Simon, pipped Justin to 5th place. John & Steve, tiring of the ultra light conditions, headed home for an early bath.

Porthpean looked its normal idyllic self in the late afternoon sun, with the bay sparkling in the bright April sunshine as the Prizegiving took place.
Since writing this blog I have been down to the Club to get my boat which needs some cleats replacing, plus new hatch covers and it was a perfect day for sailing, with glorious blue skies, sunshine and a cracking north westerly breeze, blowing that would have put is in full hiking mode. Our weather is so frustrating sometimes!

John Lawton & Steve Coello John Mark & Steve Coello
John Mark & Steve Coello John Mark & Steve Coello
John Mark & Steve Coello John Mark & Steve Coello
John Mark & Steve Coello John Mark & Steve Coello
April 13th
Preparing a Pico It was a sad day in the Rigby household today when our 2 Grand daughters finally went home to Bristol. Still they went home happy after almost 2 weeks of laughter and sometimes tears. The words they come out with are really very funny at times. My moments of coupling 2 baby buggies together with pieces of string have come to an end for a few weeks as also dealing with the cry of ďGranddad I want a pooĒ, from Katie. Hopefully we can look forward to some regular nights of unbroken sleep again.

Weather-wise, we are in a fairly settled spell, with some nice sunny days coupled with our continuing north easterlies, but today we were back to grey and overcast conditions, with a cold north easterly wind, so things werenít looking too inviting as we turned up at the Club for the 2nd of the Wednesday sailing nights. Surprisingly we had very good turnout of 16 boats, which looked very impressive as we all lined up on a short beach, at high tide. Just before we rigged the boats, we were entertained for a few minutes by the sight of 2 dolphins leaping out of the water as they swam almost to the beach before veering off towards Silvermine. That was the first time that I and quite a few of the others have seen Dolphins in the bay.

Dennis & Justin were our safety boat cover for the evening and set an appropriate course, giving us a beat across the bay from right to left. We rarely get the wind in this direction, so gave us an opportunity to try and find the best ways up the beat. The wind itself was quite light, with barely enough to get 2 on the side deck and not enough to induce any planning downwind. We had a 5 Tasar fleet; Jeremy was back on the water after a very quick and impressive repair to the bow of his Tasar, and was itching to give it a go.

The start line was slightly port biased, but with a short line, no one fancied their chances of clearing the fleet, which was as well as both Jeremy and us arrived just a little too early at the pin end. Jeremy chose to gybe early and flit through the fleet. I thought I had timed it perfectly but had to shoot over just a second early but as we were so close to the buoy, managed to gybe round the buoy and then try and cut through the fleet, before having to tack to avoid Beackyís Enterprise travelling at ramming speed. The fleet split quite wide going up the beat with some heading out to sea to bang a corner whilst some elected to sail towards the shore before tacking for the mark. We did a bit of both, but gravitated more towards the shore, which proved partly beneficial as we closed right up on Jeremy and lo and behold we arrived at the windward mark first with John & Steve 2nd & Jeremy & Suzanne just behind them. John & Steve made some inroads into our lead on the reaches but crucially we started the 2nd round in the lead and gradually ground out a reasonable distance on the others. Meanwhile the Hawkins closed up to 2nd but on the last round John & Steve used their better offwind speed to overtake and finish in 2nd. Unfortunately it transpired that Jeremy had a leaking bailer and was carrying a substantial amount of water which helped slow him down. Just behind, snapping at their heels were Chris & Tony, excelling after their high positional finish on Sunday.

Meanwhile back in the handicap fleet Allan Ortonís Laser was showing good speed yet again, but still finished behind John Hill in his Supernova, but close enough to take the win on corrected time by a margin of 13 seconds. A minute or so further back was Beacky and Adam in the Enterprise, whilst Kay & Craig in their first outing of the season made it up to 4th. Iím afraid that it was so tense in the Tasar fleet that I didnít have enough time to be able to focus on what was happening with the handicappers, but I am sure that there must have been some close calls at times as I did hear quite a few ďStarboards!!!Ē at various times.

James Dowrick took one of the new Laser Picos out for a sail and enjoyed it immensely, though it was going rather slow due to the reefed mainsail. As usual the slower boats suffered as evening drew on with the breeze slowly dying, thus slowing them right down and making their results appear much worse than they actually were.

This weekend sees the first Open Meeting of the season for the Tasar fleet. We are expecting some visitors from Babbacombe, Wimbleball and one from Scotland. The forecast appears to be for light northerlies, so the safety boats should have an easy life. There is a BBQ on Saturday evening, which is open to all Club members coupled with a live music band, which I am told are very good. Hopefully the Clubhouse will be rocking and rolling.

April 11th
Lunch time on the decking The sunny weather promised to us was actually delivered, together with a building north easterly breeze, it looked like we would be in for purple sailing weather again. Something like 19 boats launched, including 7 Tasars for a course direction very rarely sailed. In fact so rare that I canít remember the last time it happened. The wind was probably NNE which gave a beat from the beach marks towards Polkerris. Anna & Liz, fresh from the first week of their sailing school were our safety boat crew for the day and together with Katie Eastham, set a very challenging triangular course. By the time we started we were into full on hiking weather and only Ĺ hr late we blasted off into the still cold waters of St. Austell Bay. My first big mistake was electing to head out to sea, on port before tacking across to the mark. Ken & I were horror struck when we saw 5 Tasars in front of us. We were only just in front of Nigel & James in the Feva, Beacky & Adam in the Enterprise, whilst Allan Orton was also right up there. Stacey & Lucy were the first to round followed by Dennis & Brian, whilst we just managed to round with Jeremy, sailing with son Finn and Chris & Tony. A long broad reach took us towards Blackhead before we gybed and had a fairly fast reach back to the beach marks, still behind Stacey, Dennis & Jeremy. By the end of the next beat Jeremy & Finn had swept into the lead, helped somewhat by Stacey who retired due to Lucy not liking the fresh conditions. Chris decided to demonstrate to Tony how he capsized the previous Sunday by turning the boat over again. Meanwhile we closed up on Dennis and Brian and were able to overtake them on the last beat. However Jeremy retained his lead to the finish to take the win. Now at this moment in time I donít have a copy of the results so not sure what happened in the handicap fleet, but Nigel & James in the Feva made enough time to hold their handicap against Allan Orton who had pulled miles in front of the other Lasers. Janet & Pete Barnes in their Kestrel were never far behind and surely must have been up there in the results.

The breeze had swung into the south for the afternoon and the course was duly shifted to suit the new wind direction. Justin & Donna had a good port start to cross the fleet, but we pulled through and got to the first mark with a good lead. Stacey, this time crewed by Nathan had an unusually poor start and was lying in 4th, but managed to overtake Dennis and close up a few lengths on Justin. Jeremy had to sit this race out as the bow plate on the front of his Tasar snapped off as he pulled the boat ashore in the lunch period. What a shame as the warranty only expired last week! By the end of the 3rd beat Stacey had passed Justin and closed right up on us, unfortunately the wind was dying by the minute and we started what was the last beat in almost no wind. In fact we sat in irons for quite a while whilst the boat slapped around in the choppy windless water. Sailing was now almost impossible and more than Ĺ the fleet decided to call it a day and paddle back to the shore. We were now down to 3 Tasars and Stacey and us headed out to sea, whilst Chris & Tony, behind by quite a distance chanced their arm by heading in towards the cliffs. Stacey sailed around us and found a slight breeze, as also Chris & Tony, who rounded 2nd. Eventually we found a share of the light breeze and managed to make it to the windward mark before the last painful run back to the beach marks. So I had successfully turned a rock solid 1st position into a 3rd in the course of 2 legs, indeed a bad day at the office. Maybe things could have been worse if the others hadnít retired.

The handicap fleet too was decimated. Allan who had a large lead, retired and Nigel & James who again were doing well fell away as the wind died, allowing Beacky & Adam to sneak away on the beat and take the win.

Actually it was a very eventful day, very sunny and good sailing winds in the main, also a very good turnout, but hopefully not too many days when the wind dies away again like today this season.

April 7th
Thinking about getting ready to sail The weathermen forecasted that the unsettled weather that we have had over the last 3 weeks would finally end, with a high pressure system drifting over us on Wednesday. Sure enough the wet & cloudy Tuesday gave way to much better conditions for our first Wednesday race of the season. Arriving at Porthpean we were greeted by cloudless skies, with the sun sinking in the west and a quite strong and gusty north westerly wind. Not only was it gusty but extremely variable as well and as an extra bonus it felt very cold. Certainly too early for the yellow sailing shorts to come out of my kit bag.

Jeremy & Suzanne had swapped duties with Mike Voyzey and laid a very similar course to Sundayís. The 11 boat fleet only had 3 Tasars racing, so all the close competition was to be in the Handicap fleet. There was a major wind shift right at the start and it was almost impossible to lay the line on starboard. Quite a lot of tacking took place up the first beat, but at the beach marks it was Allan Orton & Tim Baily in their Lasers who rounded 1st & 2nd. We were right behind Tim and passed him quite quickly but Allan proved to be equally as fast as us down wind and started the 2nd beat in the lead, a lead that he held until we passed him somewhere on the 2nd reach. Stacey, sailing with daughter Lucy was very late to start and attempted the almost impossible task of trying to catch Chris & Tony. Maybe they felt guilty about being so far in front of Stacey that they collided with the first of the beach marks. Very honourably they completed their penalty turn only to resume their course and immediately collide with the 2nd beach mark. The resulting 2nd penalty turn, cost them lots of time, so much so that Stacey overhauled them on the last beat to slot into 2nd place in the Tasar fleet.

John Mark, who normally sails with Steve Coello couldnít make it, so Steve took his Laser and had a good race to take 2nd place overall in front of the Enterprise of Beacky & Adam, who dislodged Tim down to 4th. Steve Wingrove sailed into 5th and quite surprisingly, John Hill, who normally finishes in the first 3, only managed 6th. Anna Weld crewed by Jason in the Vago was another victim of being late to the start, clawed up to 7th to beat Nick Haskins in his new Laser.

As it was a Wednesday and as Jenny March was our timekeeper, we were very pleased to see that she continued her tradition of cooking bacon butties, but what a blow, the price has shot up to £1.00 each!!

April 4th
Ron & Michelle preparing their Scorpion Easter Cup 2010, and what a difference a day makes. It is only the 2nd week of the season and we were straight into the Easter Cup, with race 1 scheduled for Saturday afternoon and then 2 more races on the Sunday. Well Saturday proved a washout, with steady rain falling all day. This was coupled to a fresh easterly wind, pushing waves onto a dismal looking beach. There was no rush to take off any boat covers and an easy decision was made to cancel racing for the day and try and get 3 races in on the Sunday. This was a good decision for me as it allowed me to get to Exeter in good time to pick up our 2 Grand daughters who will be staying with us for a week. We also had our Grandson down for the weekend so it was a noisy house at chez Rigby over Easter.

Sunday dawned as forecast with blue skies, some fast moving clouds and an all important north westerly breeze which had flattened the sea down and was the precursor for a fantastic day of dinghy racing. The Easter Cup was to be competed for by the handicap fleet and the Tasar fleet, and there was close competition in each fleet. Both Simon Pryce and Allan Orton elected to take their Lasers to race in the handicap fleet, joining Tim Baily and Nick Haskins. This was also going to be the first race of 2010 for Ron & Michelle Barret, but although they launched, an early capsize put paid to them competing, whilst 6 Tasars made up the other fleet. Both fleets could have been swelled by others entering, but the fresh conditions and possible lack of suitable crews put some of the helms off.

Meanwhile in the Tasar fleet the competition was proving to being very hot indeed. Jeremy & Suzanne were all ready to carry on their winning ways, but had extra competition this week when Dennis made his first appearance of the season, ably crewed by my son Neil. John Mark & Steve Coello were also putting in their first appearance of the year as were Father and Daughter Mike & Vicky Voyzez, with their new sails. Chris Hazel, in the absence of Tony, paired up with super sub Sarah Kendall. Justin was also out with a very nervous Donna for only her 2nd time in racing conditions. So the scene was set for some exciting racing, where legs would be stretched, equipment tested and the temperature of the water would be sampled by quite a few.

The fresh conditions proved rather lively for some, with all four Lasers dropping in at sometime or other. There were some mega windshifts on the beat, which caused quite a few opportunities to either gain or lose positions. Allan Orton proved too good for the rest of them, but was disqualified for not rounding the start line after being adjudged over just before the start, thus promoting Simon to first place.

Jeremy & Suzanne powered straight into the lead, followed by Dennis & Neil. We seized an opportunity on the first run, overtaking Dennis and closing up on the Hawkins, but Dennis was through us again on the next beat. Meanwhile, Mike & Vicky had a rudder issue and retired, whilst Chris and Sarah, capsized, leaving John & Steve to chase us from behind.

A tasty lunch prepared by Maria & Ray was eagerly eaten by us hungry sailors and then we were ready for 2 more races. The deal was that the winner of race 1 from the handicap fleet was to be on Safety boat duty for race 2 and the winner of the Tasar fleet in race 2 was to be on the Safety boat for race 3. This allowed Beacky & Adam out to join the Lasers, but put Simon into the safety boat. True to form Allan had a blinder of a race beating all the others by quite a significant margin. However in the Tasar fleet it was our turn to shine. We took an early lead, but were passed on one of the beats by Dennis & Neil, but a good reach by took us through to the lead again. This time we managed to pull away from our pursuers and take a win. Jeremy & Suzanne had been steadily reeling in Dennis and just managed to pass them to take 2nd place. That was it then a win a piece for the Hawkins and us, but we had to take the safety boat, thus preventing us any chance of winning.

Simon was back out for the 3rd race, but couldnít match the speed of Allan. Beacky had some sort of problem and retired, but there was still a lot of action going on in the Tasar fleet. The Hawkins and Chris Hazell were too eager to start the 3rd race and had to return and start again. Leading at the end of the first beat, almost to their surprise, was Justin and Donna, closely followed by John & Steve. Their downwind speed was too much for Justin, overtaking them to start the 2nd round in the lead. By the time the last beat started, Jeremy was right up with the John & Dennis. All 3 sailed the last beat differently and from where we were sitting in the safety boat it looked like John had sailed himself right out of it. Jeremy swept into the lead and John and Steve, who looked like they had dropped down to 3rd suddenly found a wind shift in their favour and sailed through Dennis, to take 2nd place, and all 3 finished within 13 seconds of each other. Very close racing indeed, and on this showing it appears that 2010 will see some of the closest racing for years, especially as there are quite a few other top helms still to make their first appearance of the season.

March 28th
Waiting to launch for the second race Well weíre off again, yes only 16 weeks since we closed the 2009 season, something like a total of 14 boats launched to start the 2010 season. The winter has been long and hard and as British Summer Time finally appeared so the weather Gods have decreed that we will have some more winter weather with another unsettled, cold week to come, which will probably be worse in the north of the country, but wet and windy for us. Today was the first sail for Nick Haskins in his new Laser, a first outing for Robert & Hadyn McIntrye in their 420, a first sail for Johnny Saville and Rachel Bryant in their Laser 2000. Plus it was also the first sail for Donna in Justin Phyallís Tasar.
Nick with his new laser

Last Wednesday the predicted forecast for today didnít give us any chance of sailing with a forecast of 20 plus knots of south easterly winds coupled with heavy rain. In fact once again the met office was completely wrong. The wind was only a very light southerly breeze and the rain was lurking further out to the west, giving us a very overcast day with clouds hugging the cliff tops. However it was cold and certainly didnít look as nice as we hoped, but then it usually is cold at this time of the year with the water temperature even colder than normal. Roll on the summer.

Due to the clocks going forward overnight the race time was postponed until 12.00 to allow everyone who wanted to sail sufficient time to be ready. The wind for the first race was a very light southerly, so light that there was no hiking, and the boats tracked through the water rather slowly. There was a good turnout in the Tasar fleet with 6 on the water and even better for Jeremy & Suzanne Hawkins, who started the season off with 2 wins, laying down their marker for the rest of us. Allan Ortonís Tasar is still being refurbished so he borrowed Staceyís Tasar and though initially close to Jeremy slowly fell back. We had a poor start and a very poor first beat in both races which dropped us down the fleet and just couldnít make any inroads into Allan nor Jeremy.

It was also a good start of the season for Steve Wingrove in his Solo, winning the first race in the handicap division and a good start also for Janet & Pete Barnes winning the second race. By the time we were ready to sail the 2nd race, the rain had arrived and the wind had swung to the south east, causing our Safety Boat crews for the day, Nigel, James & Beacky to re lay the marks. The second race, held after lunch, was sailed in another light breeze, coupled with a lumpy sea, the breeze did pick up enough in the latter parts of the race to get 2 on the side for sailing upwind, but only sporadically, not what we really want, and certainly not enough offwind to allow the boats to plane, but I am sure the fresher conditions and even stronger ones will be with us at some time this season.

Oh yes, I am aware that some of the pictures on the front page are not appearing, but I should get round to fixing the glitch sometime this week.

March 15th
Wimbleball Reservoir Yesterday Sunday 14th saw the start of the 2010 GP series. I was out sailing so recorded it and what a bore it proved to be. Weíve had months of hype about how close this series will be but in reality it looks as if the pole positions will just about reflect the eventual finishing positions. The cars are slower because they are carrying far more fuel and the only time a driver will pit is to change tyres and that is scheduled for only once in a race. Overtaking opportunities are almost nil. Thank goodness I have a fast forward button!!

I said I was sailing yesterday, well Ken and I started our season off a fortnight early by going to the Exmoor Beastie, which is held at Wimbleball Lake, a 2 Ĺ hr drive from St. Austell and we made up a fleet of 50 boats, the majority of us were visitors, well I think so but the results havenít appeared on their web site yet so canít say for sure. The Beastie is a 3 hr pursuit race, which was scheduled to start at 12.00. There was no doubt that it would start on time as we had quite a fresh north westerly blowing down the reservoir. One thing I noticed that out of 50 entries only 2 of them were built in wood, one was a beautiful 20 year old Merlin and the other was a hornet. There were also some new dinghies putting in an appearance. One of those was the new Devotti D1. In all honesty not the prettiest of boats but designed to suit the larger framed person. It is a single handed boat with mainsail and asymmetrical spinnaker, and thought to be very fast so would be starting somewhere after us. He never caught us and we realised why when we came ashore. He was already there with the boat all packed up ready to go home. He told me that the conditions were too gusty for him and he had a couple of duckings before he retired. The water was COLD, they had ice on it only 2 weeks ago and at over 1000 feet above sea level the water never gets warm. Another new boat that was there was the very pretty K1. A single handed keel boat. Iím not sure how fast this boat is, but suspect that it may be slower than a Tasar. Again we never saw it whilst we were racing so not sure what happened to him. If it is slower then it started earlier and we never caught it. Again I will have to wait and see the results. Last week there was a very nice new modern FRP Scorpion at the dinghy show, with white topsides and a red and white hull. This boat was brand new and was out racing with us. Unfortunately we never caught it in time. We were overtaken by 3 faster boats, a Hornet, Fireball and an RS400. There were also about 12 Phantoms sailing. These are deemed slower than a Tasar, but the top boys pulled away from us whilst we managed to pass a few of the slower ones.

We made up a small fleet of 3 Tasars, and after 20 minutes we were well and truly last. The other 2 were rapidly disappearing in the distance. My boat handling skills were certainly rusty. We were getting left behind on the beats in the very gusty quite fresh breeze. About 20 minutes into the race Ken made the alarming discovery that our spanner lever had split and was in danger of tearing off the gooseneck. He managed to tie part of the outhaul onto it just in case it did snap off and then I wouldnít lose it. Anyway we made the decision to carry on until it broke.

The pursuit race uses the whole of the reservoir and we were doing a lap in about 50 minutes. We started to pull back the other 2 Tasars on the down wind legs and after 40 minutes had taken the lead, which we promptly lost on the next long beat, by just being in the wrong place as the wind swirled around. We took the lead again almost immediately we started the down wind legs and pulled out a huge lead on them which we held throughout the rest of the race. The spanner held together and hopefully will be welded whole again this week. Our official finishing position was given as 15th, which was a huge improvement on last year when we started 5 minutes late sailing in very light conditions. As a shake down exercise the day was a success as it should allow me to have the spanner ready for the start of our season and to sort out one or two other issues I have. The boat had been leaking a fair amount of water towards the end of last year but repairs over the winter seamed to have cured it for the moment at least.

Today I am aching, my bottom is exceedingly sore. 3 months lay off has softened the muscles somewhat and 3 hours of sitting on a hard deck now makes it painful to sit down. Kenís fingers were cut using the kicker and I think we were both relieved to climb back into the car to make the long journey home. So the countdown clock is in the low teens, the weather of late has now started to improve, winter is slipping behind us and Spring is almost here. Yes we are almost ready to start another sailing season.

March 8th
A fraught landing for Andrew We are now into March and as usual the first weekend in March hosts the dinghy show at Alexandra Palace. 5 Members of PSC Steve EWingrove, Chris Hazell, Clive Stepehns, Ken & myself travelled there this weekend. Once again it was a dazzling affair with so much to see and do. It is only on for a weekend and most of us could only be there for one day, but you could easily spend the entire 2 days there if you wanted to look at everything in detail and spend some time listening to some of the talks and lectures.

There were some new boats to look at. The new RS100 has figured a lot in the Y&Y over the last 12 months and the production boats are now rolling of the production lines in Thailand or somewhere in the Far East, where labour is ridiculously cheap compared to UK rates. The RS 100 is a single handed boat with an asymmetrical spinnaker. It looked very nice indeed with its carbon bits and pieces and Mylar sail, and with pre sales topping 160 looks sure of success. The Devotti D1 was another new single handed dinghy, but to my eyes not as pretty as the RS100 and as it is built in Italy, comes out a lot more expensive than the RS. Another newcomer that caught my eye was the ďIconĒ. This is an NS14 hull with a larger rig on it. The NS14 is what the Tasar started life as back in the 70ís, but the boat has been developed quite a lot over they years and has evolved into a very sleek looking dinghy. It has a much thicker rotating mast than a Tasar, a squared off head on the main and really looks the business but whether it will sell well over here without a large manufacturer pushing it is another matter, though at about £3000 cheaper than a Tasar looks seriously good value for money.

I found the Redwing stand in one of the halls. Now the Redwing dinghy was one of the first to sail at Porthpean. It was designed to sail in Cornish waters. It is clinker built, very heavy and not at all pretty when compared with todayís dinghies. Well the one at the show was built last year and was the first to be built for many years. It took the guy who built it over a year to do so, and it is for sale at the mouth watering price of £20000. I donít think that there is any way this boat will ever fetch that amount of money. He started from scratch, made all the ribs and then planked it up, using over 1000 copper rivets to hold it all together. A real labour of love, but just not commercial anymore.

The Hartley stand had newer versions of the Kestrel, Osprey and Wayfarer on it stand plus the new redesigned decked Supernova. Personally I donít think the lines look so good now, but it is supposed to make the boat more modern and easier to right after a capsize. The Supernova also boasts a new mylar mainsail, which again is supposed to make the boat sail better. It all seems a bit unfortunate to anyone who bought a new Supernova last year as the new version really supersedes the previous version.

The stand with the foiling moths on was quite fascinating. These little development boats are incredible to see. The amount of technology that has gone in to them with the controls for the foils, rudder and dagger board and the sails is staggering. They are quite expensive for what they are and constant changes and improvements mean you have to be a serious player to get involved.

Quite a few of the traditional wooden hull classes have now introduced FRP versions, including the Enterprise, Mirror and Scorpion. In all cases the FRP models are much cheaper and in a lot of cases faster than their wooden counterparts but when shown alongside the wooden versions as they were at the show, looked hideous in comparison. Even the Merlin Rockets which nowadays are all Kevlar and FRP looked slightly at odds with the wooden decked version that was on display. However the latest version of the National 12 looked light years ahead of one of the original wooden planked versions that was built some 60 years previous. Both boats carry the same name but look nothing like each other. Another class that was promoting itself in wood and FRP was the GP14, which is a boat I have never liked the look of and even now consider it quite a plain looking, dumpy boat, though I know it has a keen following in the northern part of the country. A very old Firefly had been restored by replacing everything apart from the hull. Once again someone with a flair for carpentry had produced a superb looking example of boat building. The Firely is another class that is now also built in FRP, but to me this looks a nice transition.

Yes there were lots to see and I am sure most Club members would have enjoyed it. I know Kay tried to get enough members to fill a mini bus, but didnít get enough response, which was a shame. Maybe next year we should try organising something much earlier and include other local Clubs, to help get the numbers up to 30 plus or so to make it viable. Unfortunately it is a long way to go from down here and I was fortunate enough to include my trip with a family visit which helped break the journey up.

Oh by the way, our sailing season starts this month. Will you be ready?

February 21st
Allan Orton with his Tasar The previous nightís frost had all disappeared by this morning and it was reasonably mild for a February morning. There was a light southerly blowing and again the thoughts of sailing were upper most in everyoneís minds. Just the right conditions for a shake down sail.

Ken has been preparing a dinghy park plan, which will hopefully prevent overcrowding in the dinghy park, which in turn may help boats from being damaged when too many are packed in side by side. Apparently spaces are being allocated on an attendance related basis, which more or less includes everybody who regularly sailed last season, though we do have to accommodate the 2 new Picos and the Bug that have been purchased. I expect that when completed the plan will be displayed in the Clubhouse so everyone can see where they are supposed to be.

I decided that I would have a go at splicing. Earlier in the week I bought some 3 ply rope, to splice onto our shorter beach mark. Well that sounded fine in principle but when I got down to it found that it was far more complicated than it looks. Yes the theory is fine as all you have to do is follow on one ply over the next etc. Well it turned out to be a bit of a nightmare. Fortunately Steve Wingrove was at hand and ex Boy Scout leader, so knew a bit about splicing. Between the 2 of us we managed to splice the 2 ropes together and then put a soft eye on the free end of the new rope. Well the result doesnít look very pretty but I have no doubt that it will be strong enough and will not separate, plus will have the bonus of being under water so no one will know what it really looks like.

Apart from my foraging into the world of splicing there was still plenty of other work going on. Stacey turned up with a trailer full of bags of aggregate, cement and a mixer, to prepare for the big mix next weekend to finish off the base for the new water tank for boat washing.

The picture above shows Allan Orton with the Tasar he bought last year. Allan is giving it a complete revamp and it has been taken away to be sprayed and will reappear with a hull colour of battleship grey.

Iím going to be away for the next 2 weekends for family visits, so there wonít be any updates on the blog.

February 14th
Coming back after an evenings sail The funeral was held on Friday of Dennis Stone. The funeral service was at Carclaze Methodist Chapel and the Chapel was packed out, The Club was well represented from the Membership and Dennis's love of sailing was mentioned in his eulogy. Dennis had sailed with Russel Moore for over 20 years and had forged a very good partnership between them. Dennis also belonged to St. Blazey amateur dramatic society, so the congregation was swollen with quite a few of its Members as well as ex work colleagues.

For a change it was quite mild down at the Club today & by lunch time the sun had broken through and we were treated to a very early spring day. The bay looked very peaceful, completely windless at first, before a very light offshore breeze sprung up. The thoughts of going sailing again were foremost in our minds. Maintenance is slowly making progress and hopefully we will be ready for the first day of sailing which is now only 6 weeks away. Before that we have the Club walk which was originally scheduled for March 14th. However that day is actually Mothering Sunday, so the walk has been put back a week to the 21st. I believe the walk will be centred on Leryn, but Kay will be emailing everyone before then with the rendezvous time and place.

Towards the end of last season it was quite noticeable that the beach marks appeared to be moving around and we had to keep repositioning them. Each mark is held down with a weight, which usually buries into the sand. As a precaution we have for the last 2 seasons connected a bridal between the 2 sets of tackle so that if one beach mark was to lose its anchoring point then the bridal should stop us from losing all the tackle. When the beach marks were finally lifted at the end of the season we found that one of the anchor weights had parted company with its tackle. The mark drifted about because it was still secured by the bridal, but at least we still have it and all we need now is another weight before we set them out at sea again.

Tony Dunn and Janet were cleaning the glass screens on the decking this morning when Jenny March came out with a very good tip. When cleaning glass, ie windows, clean one side in a vertical motion and the other side in a horizontal motion, that way you can easily tell which side may still have cleaner on it as you polish it off.

February 7th
Area where the water tank will be sited Itís winter and it is slowly passing. However the mornings and evenings are starting to noticeably pull out and spring isn't too far away now. In fact yesterday was quite warm and gave us a hint of what should be coming, but today down at the Club it was a winterís day once again, with a cold south easterly blowing. Yes today was a far cry from 2 weeks ago when the Scorpion launching took place. That was a day of bright sunshine and unseasonably warm weather and I donít think they would have been quite as happy launching into todayís surf driven south easterly. It wasnít a very strong wind today but it was a very cold wind. However, we were back to the more mundane job of Club maintenance. I was away last weekend so wasnít available to lend a hand, but today managed to get quite wet helping Tony with his pressure washer on the decking and entrance steps. Elsewhere the post box was being painted, the external notice board was discussed and plans made to renovate it. Work started on cleaning the changing room duck boards. Quite a few screws are needed to bring them back to good health. No1 safety boat had itís engine oil drained out ready for replacement, the race box was cleaned out, and the windows and clubhouse floor were cleaned. All in all quite a bit of work done but we still need more volunteers.

The picture today shows the area behind the Clubhouse where the water collection tank will be sited. Rain water from the roof will be collected in the tank and then used for washing the boats after sailing. Hopefully this will help reducing the running costs of the Club as we are on a water meter; therefore any cut in our water usage will make economic sense. There is still quite a bit of work to be done yet as the concrete has to be poured to provide a base for the water tank. This will involve a load of ready mix and a good stream of volunteers with wheel barrows to get the base finished, then the tank can be positioned. The plumbing and pump will then be fitted, hopefully it will be all up and running before the sailing season starts.

The next social, only 2 weeks away will be the fish and chip supper, which is always well attended, so no doubt Kay will be in touch with you all within the next few days to take your orders.

Many of you are aware that Dennis Stone died earlier in the week. Dennis had sailed with Russell Moore for many years. They started sailing together at Fowey when Russell sailed Wayfarers but transferred to Porthpean maybe 10 years ago when Russell decided to get a Tasar. They sailed together practically every week until Dennis had to give up due to illness.

January 27th
Offloading the new boats This month is proving to be one of the busiest Januarys ever. So far we have had the Dinner & Prizegiving for the 2009 season, which was a very successful and well supported evening. Last weekend saw the Scorpion 50th anniversary with a full Clubhouse on Saturday evening with many Scorpion sailors from the past and present attending, coupled with the launching and racing on Sunday of our own Scorpions.

Today saw the delivery of the New Laser Bug & 2 Laser Picos that the Club has bought in conjunction with the grant that we have received. Also on the delivery lorry was a new Laser for Nick Haskins. Nick has owned and sailed Lasers for almost all his sailing life. Nick joined the Club in 1974, so has owned quite a few over the years. However he did change to a Supernova a few years ago, but has decided that his heart really belongs to the Laser (& Liz of course), so a certain Supernova in red is on the market.

Nick examining his new boat The pictures today show the boats being offloaded and Nick examining his new Laser, sail number 197479, before wrapping it up until some warmer weather arrives. I did suggest that we could take it for a sail tomorrow, but he politely declined the offer.

The new Picos and Bug require all their ropes and sheets, threading in all the right places, but this has been left for the moment for the Cadets to do to get themselves familiar with the boats. Iím not sure when they will be launched, maybe we should have an official launch party for this. The Capsize Club will be up and running again sometime in April, so these new boats will be getting a lot of use.

There were also some extra Picos and a dart 16 on the lorry to be delivered to Pentewan, plus lots of sailing clothing for Anna & Lizís sailing school, which should be up and running in the spring. The count down clock is ticking and we are now have less than 60 days to go, with quite a few socials to come, plus maintenance of the Club premises to complete.

January 10th
Dinghy Park in Jaunary Here we go, looking forward to the 2010 sailing season, but before the sailing season starts there are quite a few weeks of winter to get through, with Club maintainance taking place every Sunday morning from 10.00am. There are also two important social events to look forward to this month.

The first, only next Saturday will be the annual dinner and prizegiving at the Bosunís Diner in Charlestown. Hopefully this event will not be impacted by the harsh winter weather we have had so far this month, but the forecasted thaw is still some way off, so letís keep our fingers crossed. The resaraunt will be open at 6.45 and we will sit down to eat at 7.30 prompt. Don't forget ladies I want to take a group photograph of all ladies who sailed at the Club in 2009. The best time to take the picture will be right after the prizegiving / raffle, before we start the dancing.

The second event is only a week later, when we celebrate the launching 50 years ago of the prototype Scorpion at Porthpean. There will be a party in the Clubhouse on Saturday 23rd where we are hoping that many Scorpion sailors from years gone by will come down to the Club to reminisceabout their sailing days etc and then on Sunday 24th our own 3 Scorpions will be launched to commemorate the actual launching of the prototype 50 years ago.

In late 1959 the Club was looking to adopt a modern fast dinghy and the word on the street was that the Scorpion still being designed, would fit the bill. This is the boat that brought Porthpean into the modern dinghy days. Before the Scorpion arrived, the Club sailed a mixture of clinker built wooden boats, which were not in themselves very fast and a capsize was a disaster, as it was impossible to be able to right a boat and sail back into a competitive position. It was arranged with the designer to bring the prototype, ready to sail Scorpion, to Porthpean so that a test sail could be undertaken.The test proved successful and so started a new era for the Club, with the Scorpion dinghy taking a prominent role and for many years was the mainstay of Club life at Porthpean, with a fleet of over 20 at one time, before being usurped by firstly the Laser in the 70s and then the Tasar in the 80s.

Snow has been the main topic on the news over the last week, with very heavy falls throughout the country and some even in Cornwall, though I think we have got off a lot lighter than many. Even at Porthpean there was a covering and I am sure in the summer we will look back at photographs like the one here and laugh about it.

Today was the first Sunday of the work parties and the weather forecast obviously put most people off from coming down as there were only a few of us and what work we did was concentrated in the Club house.

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