Photos by James Dorwrick
The weather Gods dug deep into their bag of tricks this weekend, serving up a spectacular light show of CC lightning for Friday night’s entertainment followed by every flavour of wind strength from zephyr to houlie during Saturday and Sunday, all sprinkled with sunshine, large grey clouds and some massive rainstorms. Perfect Bank Holiday open meeting weather then, a little of something for everyone, no?
Porthpean SC were pleased to host the South West Tasar Open this weekend from their delightful little sailing club nestled just above the beach overlooking the beautiful St Austell Bay. Saturday afternoon, the competitors rigged in bright sunshine to the backdrop of a very blowy bay with white horses galloping away, beckoning all those brave enough to go out for a blast - which was everyone, basically.
The Race Team laid a perfect reverse ‘P’ course and the first race got off to a clean start with Lymington Town SC father/daughter combo Knight/Knight taking the lead and making the windward mark first with Porthpean’s Armstrong/Phillips hot on their heels. With each leg however the wind began to ease playing into the hands of the light wind specialists and very experienced local sailors Porthpean’s Rigby/Fobbester who quietly flew down the reaches past Porthpean’s Seyler/Desjonqueres sailing together for the first time in their freshly revamped, rekitted, repainted, re-everythinged boat leaving them to quietly question their downwind sailing set up. Despite Rigby/Fobbester’s efforts in race 1 however, they were unable to catch the 2 lead boats giving the visitors Knight/Knight the win with Armstrong/Phillips 2nd place.
Race 2 saw the wind drop further but the fleet were still keen and it was Rigby/Fobbester who made the most of the conditions this time. The race to the windward mark saw some tight transom passing at times and the fickle wind swinging around at the end of the beat made it touch and go for some trying to lay the mark from a distance. In the end, it was the local knowledge which won through for the second race, which was taken on the line by Rigby/Fobbester, followed in by Armstrong/Phillips with local visitors from the gorgeous river Fowey just around the Gribbon Headland, Wehmeyer/Houlding who nabbed themselves 3rd place.
With just enough wind to sail back to the beach, the happy sailors de-rigged and retired to the the clubhouse for post effort drinkies and a quick race shake down. Team Knight then headed off to spend a wonderful evening at the Rashleigh Arms in Charlestown (picturesque harbour of Poldark fame - among many others) entertained by a local band and welcomed by all the locals. For any of you heading this way for the Tasar Nationals in September, Tim Knight says he highly recommends the Inn as a place to stay…..
Day 2 promised forecasts of no wind and heavy bands of rain sweeping through, but in fact opened its eyes to bright sunshine and a 180 degree wind shift bringing with it a lovely F3-4 and some surf to play with. Porthpean Galley Slave for the day Pascual ran around the beach taking food orders for the hungry sailors and everyone rigged with great anticipation for the 4 races which lay ahead. All was to play for at the top of the leaderboard and team Seyler/Desjonqueres were certainly keen to make the most of the fresher conditions and the mood on board from at the least the crew, was rather buoyant and energetic. With a different race team on call today, a triangle course was laid off Charlestown Harbour and race 3 saw Team Seyler/Desjonqueres make good their optimism in the sailing conditions taking the start line on a port hand flyer, keeping the boat as flat as possible and managing to make the windward mark first. Unfortunately for them it was all downhill afterwards, blighted once more by their lack of speed downwind, their hard work was quickly undone by the end of the next mark having slipped back into 4th from which position they did not recover. It was Team Rigby/Fobbester who made the most of the situation fending off the attacks from Team Knight and taking the win with Armstrong/Phillips coming in 3rd place.
Despite the wind having a crazy 10 mins of mad energy which gave the sailors some truly delicious reaches in race 3, by the start of race 4 it had dramatically swung round and then wandered off somewhere to die. The beat out to the windward mark had become a close reach, the reaches that the sailors were blasting down some 20 mins ago were now floppy and confused and depending on where you were on the the leg you were either close hauled or broad reaching and the leg to the gybe mark had become a stomach churning slow rolling run. Wisely, the Race Team called for a shortened course and in the end it was Team Knight who kept it all together maintaining concentration till the final horn and landing themselves a very well earned win. Team Rigby/Fobbester who caught a cold at the leeward mark caught up some lost ground regaining the place lost to Team Seyler/Desjonqueres but were unable to retake the place snaffled by Team Wehmeyer/Houlding and finally had to accept a 3rd place finish for race 4.
With the last boat crossing the line, the rain came in and a deluge hit the beleaguered sailors sat soaking wet and utterly becalmed in torrential rain, while the RIBs tried to tow them back to the beach one by one. And so, it was, after an optimistic wait over a pasty and a pint and with no prospect of the rain easing or the wind returning, that the Race Team finally called time on the Open Meeting after 4 races and the results were calculated. Big thank you to Porthpean SC for hosting, to the Race Team (James Dowrick, Steve Coello, Andrew & Jenny Kendall, Janet&Pete Barnes) and for the hard working galley and bar team. It was wonderful weekend had by all and we are, I am sure, all looking forward to the Nationals already.
Full Results Here...