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|PRESS REPORT by Chris Davis|
Mylor Yacht Club is always keen to try new race ideas and formats. If they succeed they become regular fixtures; if not, well, we tried.|
The Carrick Roads is a ria, a flooded river valley with lots of creeks, so the idea dreamt up last winter was to visit a few of them in a race setting - thus was the SKB Sails Five Creeks Race born.
The concept is to round marks placed in various creeks in the Falmouth area in any order, making best use of tide and wind, with the winning boat taking least time, after appropriate handicap adjustments, to get back to Mylor.
The inaugural race took place on Sunday and nine yachts took part in thoroughly miserable conditions: plenty of low cloud and drizzle and not much wind.
The race officer decided not to send the yachts to the Helford, one of the creeks on offer, as he wanted to have the post-race barbecue in daylight.
The start line was set just off St Just Pool and all the yachts started together to beat up to a mark off Penarrow Point before rounding marks off Channels Creek, Restronguet Creek, St Mawes and St Just Creek. Two tactical approaches were adopted. Three yachts went down to St Mawes before going up river to visit the other creeks; the others went up river to Turnaware then to St Mawes.
As things turned out there was surprisingly little difference between the two routes, despite a fast ebbing tide for the latter half of the race.
Narnia, the Moody 346 owned by the Mylor YC Commodore, Phil Standley, and his wife Sheila, visited the Percuil first and won with some excellent light airs sailing, coming home about three minutes ahead of Rattler (Anne Ramsden) on corrected time. In third place, just 45 seconds later on corrected time, came Scoter (Mike Selwood), who had chosen to visit St Mawes last.
Those watching the finish saw yachts running downwind to the line from opposite directions: a rare phenomenon. These were close results after about nine miles racing in very testing conditions of wind and tide and all agreed that the race had been a great success, to be repeated next year.
Results: 1 Narnia (P & S Standley); 2 Rattler (A & A Ramsden); 3 Scoter (M Selwood)