Light winds work for some

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Roxanne and her new spinnaker

A new series of seven races for the cruisers has begun – the Pocket Cruiser Series –  with the Committee Boat being “Mystic Sky” who regrettably has been absent for the last two months due to gearbox failure. The wind was very light so that the light wind course was posted, and started almost on time. Given that three of the boats had recently competed at Ramsgate Week Regatta and in one case, “Mallard”, had excelled, the crew of “Mystic Sky” expected to see a spectacular start and were all ready with the recall flag.

To their surprise and disappointment, this did not happen and they put the flag away in favour of a camera. Ramsgate had clearly led to changes, as two boats were sporting new sails, a laminate genoa in the case of “Limbo Girl” and a spinnaker for “Roxanne”. We also saw the rare sight of “Lady Jane” flying her cruising chute.

The skipper of “Mallard”, doubtless flushed with the recent successes at Ramsgate, clearly felt that the starting time was just a suggestion rather than a requirement and arrived at the party somewhat late. Despite this leisurely approach to the contest, however, some good sailing and clever tactics (and maybe a lucky wind shift or two – although in sailing you make your luck rather than have it given to you) “Mallard” worked her way into contention, carving her way through the fleet to take not only line honours but also the win on corrected time.

The course chosen for the race started to the West of the harbour entrance with the first mark, rounded to starboard, off the old lifeboat station and from there to the RHSC mark off Camber via the original starting gate, then back to the finish line. The line is a gate formed by the finishing/starting buoy and the committee boat, and was quite short. Given an incident at Ramsgate where the committee boat was hit by a competitor, the crew of “Mystic Sky” expected and experienced some close shaves. The full results can be seen at www.rhsc.org.uk.

Photo: Richard Hopper