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Henri Lloyd Falmouth Week at Royal Cornwall Yacht Club

by Steve Nicholls 27 Aug 2011 11:03 BST 6-14 August 2011

Henri Lloyd Falmouth Regatta Week came to a close on Saturday evening at the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club. The Regatta entries surprised everyone by increasing this year, especially for Hayes Parsons Falmouth Classics at the beginning of the week. The weather was changeable all week, with very strong winds at the beginning of the week which abated a little by the end of the week.

One competitor who has attended Regatta's at Poole, Cowes, Dartmouth, Fowey, Cork and Bermuda over many years told the Regatta Organisers that he could not remember a better organised, more enjoyable week of sailing.

At the start of the prizegiving the chairman of the Port of Falmouth Sailing Association Steve Nicholls introduced Annie Brogden, the young student who had touched the hearts of the Regatta organisers last year by asking if The Helford River Childrens Sailing Trust could be this years regatta Charity, which it duly was. Steve Nicholls had invited Annie to present this years prizes which she did to everyone's delight.

Steve Nicholls thanked the Regatta sponsors Henri Lloyd, Hayes Parsons, Golder Associates and Duchy Hydraulics. He also thanked all those who had worked so hard to make the regatta such a success, Race officers, Committee boat teams, Safety boat crews and Admin Staff. He reminded everyone that the Regatta is the result of the combined efforts of all the yacht clubs in and around the Port of Falmouth and is a credit to them all.

The Top Yacht Trophy in the Bay Fleet (Yachts) went to the yacht "Aisling Gael" (Sam Newton) whose crew had sailed this ELAN 333 virtually faultlessly all week against some very stiff opposition. In the Carrick Roads (Traditional Classes) the top award went to "Salamanda"(Graham Hindmarsh) who had triumphed in a large fleet of Cornish Shrimpers.

The yacht that had come the furthest to take part in the regatta was the J109 "Vrijgezeilig" (Michael Heidweiller) from the Netherlands. Michael and his crew were awarded a set of glasses and regatta T-shirts. Annie Brogden was presented with a Henri Lloyd sailing bag on behalf of all the competitors by Steve Nicholls, who was then surprised with a present from the Flag officers, Club members and competitors for all his hard work to make the Regatta such a success.

Bay fleet

56 yachts entered the Bay Fleet for Henri Lloyd Falmouth Week 2011 and some very close racing resulted. The boats sailed a mixture of regatta-style and windward-leeward courses and Jack Penty and Chris Davis, the two race officers, arranged the courses to give the competitors close and challenging racing, whilst setting the race courses close enough to the Pendennis and Gyllingvase shores to allow the thousands of spectators a spectacle to savour. As is often the case in week long regattas, we experienced the full range of English summer weather, from 44 knot squalls and hail on Sunday to normal, benign, summer weather on Tuesday: thankfully the only things missing from the week, weather-wise, were ice and snow, writes Chris Davis.

In the IRC 1 division, three local boats (Jacobi, Jackhammer and Extreme) fought it out for podium places throughout the week and for the series. Tony Statham, in his J 109 Jacobi, came first in the series with 9 points, despite determined resistance from Stephen Hills (Extreme, X332), who came second with 14 points, and from the J 109 Jackhammer (John Ballinger), who came third with 16 points.

In IRC Division 2, we had a full range of boats, from the modern RS Elite Limelite, co-owned by Euan Beattie and Charles Wharton, of Mylor YC, to the beautiful 100-year old Clyde Linear 30 Mikado, owned and skippered by Sir Michael Briggs. The individual race results were perhaps less consistent than the results seen in IRC Div 1, but that made for more exciting racing as the series developed. In the end, Limelite prevailed over Mikado by 4 points. The local yacht Scorpion (Geoff Davies) ended the series equal second with Mikado, but came third on best scores.

Aisling Gael, the Elan 333 owned by Sam Newton, sailed extremely well and consistently to score an emphatic series win in PY Division 1, with 6 firsts and a second. The other boats could not match this consistency, although the results were very close for second and places. The Sadler 34 Hawk (Chris Bell) came second, just squeezing the Sigma 33 Tresillian (John Beavis), into 3rd place by 2 points.

In PY Division 2, Pizzicato, the Hunter Sonata owned by Simon Townsend, took the series with 21 points, just beating Amneris, the Hunter 25.5 owned by Peter Hackett, into second place by one point, with Diva of Ardlamont (Moody 36, Chris Greensted) coming third with 24.5 points.

A relatively new feature in Henri Lloyd Falmouth Week is the PY white sail class. This allows boats who might not normally race in the regatta to compete, and support grows for this initiative: eight boats competed his year. Des Teale, in his Contessa 26 Hera, won the series with 6 points. The Twister 28 Helix, owned by Christopher Hoare, and the Parker 31 Hunca Munca (Michael Osborne) finished the series equal on 15 points, but Helix came second on best scores.

Five Firebird catamarans competed in the multihull class. The series was won by Flying Circus (David Healey) with 9 points, just beating Crackerjack (Mike Webb) into second place by one point. Cornish Meadow (Steve Hutt) came third with 15 points.

Finally, the Marieholm Folkboats, a lovely class of boat based largely at St Mawes SC, fielded seven entries. Annika (Bridget Macklin) turned out in all weathers to win the series with 6 points, beating Tringa (Charles Warren) into second place by 2 points. Baru (Oliver Barstow) came third with 16 points. Had Tringa sailed in the heavy weather in the Helford River YC race on Sunday, she would certainly have won the series.

On Wednesday of the week, the Bay IRC and PY fleets race in the Golder Associates Champagne Race. The race format is a long regatta-style race, taking in marks in Veryan Bay, Falmouth Bay, the Manacles area and the Helford River: the race typically lasts about four hours for the fastest boats. Race Officer Chris Davis set up a start line just south of St Anthony lighthouse and sent all boats on the long beat across the Bay to a mark off Rosemullion Head, before sending the faster boats off towards drop marks off the Manacles and in Veryan Bay, then some racing around the cans in Falmouth Bay and the finish off Gyllingvase Beach.

In IRC Div 1, Jackhammer (John Ballinger) beat Jacobi (Tony Statham) by just 5½ minutes on corrected time, with Extreme (Stephen Hills) coming third 50 seconds later. Mikado (Sir Michael Briggs) won the IRC Div 2 race easily, with the Half Tonner Insatiable (Tim and David Cunliffe) coming second and Shenanigan II (Chris Mulcahy) coming third. In PY Div 1, Hawk (Chris Bell) came first, with Ginger (Chris Clarence) coming second and Minx (Charles Choak) third. In PY Div 2, Diva of Ardlamont (Chris Greensted) won easily, with Levity (Jamie Smith) second and Moonlighter (Paul Collins) third. The multihulls have the longest distance to sail and we saw a very close result from the three finishers. Crackerjack (Mike Webb) beat Firebird 1 (Tom Phipps) by one minute, with Flying Circus (David Healey) in third place six minutes later.

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