20th June 2017 – Helford River Rally

  • Start position – Helford River
  • Start time – 11:40
  • Start engine hrs – 680.0
  • Towards – Helford River
  • ETA –
  • Finish position – Helford River
  • Finish time – 16:00
  • Finish engine hrs –
  • Distance travelled – 7nm
  • Skipper – Richard
  • Crew – Louise
  • Weather – E0-2
  • Tide – HW 14:30
    • np->sp %
  • New faults –

SE3 wind is forecast, which should provide a great reaching race up to Falmouth and back. By race time, the wind is more like F1, so the course is round the cans off the mouth of the river. We start just behind ‘Gwenili’, but clear of her wind and ahead of all the smaller boats. We see ‘Gwenili’ come to a stop ahead of us, so tack back to catch the light breeze on the North shore of the estuary. ‘Gwenili’ gets going again and follows us, as does our host, Don Garman in ‘Mary Ritchie’. The problem is that the mark is tucked in below the cliffs on the South side of the estuary, where there is no wind and a slight flood tide pulling us back. We put in an extra couple of tacks, after the others try to cross. That puts us clear ahead of the fleet when we cross into the calm. We get a couple of the tiniest breaths of wind and after an hour we’ve covered the 0.85nm and round the first mark. Halfway back across the bay we come to a complete standstill. everyone else is in the same situation, but they haven’t made the mark. We hear Don on the VHF concerned that we don’t know where we’re going as ‘Ivy Green’ spins helplessly in the calm. An hour later the race is on the brink of being abandoned, when the first hint of a sea breeze appears. The course is shortened and 5 of us complete a 2.5nm course after 3hrs. We cling on to line honours, with the Memory ‘Gimli’ and ‘Gwenili’ close behind. ‘Mary Ritchie’ looks dangerous 10 minutes further back.

There’s a rally supper and prize giving at Helford River Sailing Club. As expected, ‘Mary Ritchie’ has squeezed ahead of us to win class 1 and we collect another 2nd place. ‘Gimli’ takes the overall win. We have a sociable and enjoyable supper, before Don ferries us back out to the boats.

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