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Volvo Noble Marine RS100 Nationals at Porthpean Sailing Club - Preview

by Clive Eplett 27 Aug 16:40 BST 12-15 September 2019
Netley RS100 Open © Nick Whidbourne

"Can you please again write a 'runners and riders' preview," asks Sally at the RS Class Association? This for the upcoming RS100 nationals at Porthpean SC, Cornwall, taking place 12-15 September.

Now Porthpean is one of my favourite clubs and is only a five or so miles from Fowey, where I lived until going to Uni (note I avoided saying 'grew-up', as that is still pending) and the invisible elastic keeps drawing me back. This adds to the insight, so here we go:


A Cornish Pasty should contain only real beef (not mince), potato, onion, swede, salt and pepper in short pastry (definitely not puff pastry) all evenly distributed. The best are made in the homes of those brought up in the county (my Great Aunt Joan's were the ultimate) but these are harder to access than the retail variety. Pastries containing cheese, chicken, curry or other such nonsense are not pasties, no matter what anyone says. Historic note; herring at one end and apple at the other is technically acceptable, being the original filling, but not for me thanks.

When eating your pasty, strategically positioning yourself is important, because large, aggressive white rats-with-wings have forgotten their species is called Herring-gull for a reason. Do not feed the [expletive-deleted] things on purpose or accidentally.

Pasties can also be eaten cold (so taken afloat) but you really don't want to get them wet.

West Cornwall Pasty Co.
Acceptable at Waterloo Station but you can do far better locally.

A solid and reliable default performer, local to the St Austell area. Medium size is OK, the large manageable. A 'cocktail-party' size is also available for emergency snacks. Niles make excellent local delicacy Saffron Buns and Saffron Cakes too.

The Cornish Bakery
Many outlets. Tried one once. Pastry too flaky. Meat unimpressive. Not gone back, frankly.

Mr Kittow of Fowey
Our personal favourite retail pasty. Whilst in the shop, pick up the tenderest, tastiest steaks you will ever buy for BBQ-ing later.

Quay Bakery, Fowey, maker of the Fowey Royal Regatta giant pasty
Your correspondent must confess to a due-diligence failure. We love the bread here, but pasties are a relatively new addition to the product range and we've not yet tried one. If anything near the bread quality, it will be exemplary, but looks slightly fragile so possible better eaten off a plate than out of a paper bag on the go.

Malcolm Barnecutt, St Austell
Well reviewed, not tried these yet but looking forward to tracking one down.

I'm sorry, but just NO, never, under even extreme circumstances. Better to go hungry.

A word on cream teas

Much is made of the rivalry between Cornwall and Devon over whether the cream goes under or over the jam on a scone. What the poor old Devonians have not twigged is that the Cornish only encourage this debate to distract them from noticing they are promoting and selling Cornish clotted cream. Personally, I'd rather save my arteries and the calorie consumption for pasties, beer and G&Ts, but each to their own.

But what about the actual sailing?

First thing is to make clear that the RS100 sailors recognise they are not as madly-kamikaze at the bar as the RS300s we are sharing the event with. Accordingly, we've arranged to save our 300-friends' hangovers in the mornings and will help our hosts take the ribs down to the beach in the mornings, leaving the sobered up 300s to do their bit after sailing.

Rooster Sailing are also sponsoring the event and will have the van with parts and clothing available for purchase. Not sure they are stocking pasties though.

The form book is difficult to read this year because we've not had much cross-over between those from the north and south.

However, our young Inland Champion Robert Richardson from Windermere has been sailing all summer and no doubt has got broader-shouldered yet again. He'll probably recover from too many beers quicker than us old-lags too, so that plan is unlikely to work. But has he burnt himself out already, with all that sailing?

Gurnard's Brett Aarons has had a quiet couple of seasons where things have not quite gone his way on the occasions he has come out to play. Motivation will not be lacking therefore...

Brett's clubmate Mark Harrison has been impeded a bit by his hip operation last winter, so you'd expect him to be getting back to form. But clearly, he's getting slower in his dotage, given he was knocked cold for several minutes whilst caravan-sailing at Cowes week and had to be helicoptered off. Doctors concluded his head was all skull, with no discernible contents. Or something like that. Mark is boat-butler to gentleman Giles Peckham, overall winner of Cowes Week 2018. But will Giles' hiking muscles have suffered from another summer's yacht sailing?

Greg Booth has been using his better half's horses as an excuse to not do his regular mega-trips south from North Wales. If the wind is light, there will be much moaning and groaning. Conversely...

In contrast, multiple champion Huw Powell, is getting faster and faster in the light stuff as well as being the one to beat when the wind is up.

Andy Jones of Chew is always reliably/annoyingly quick unlike super-fit pensioner and club-mate David Smart who I've just decided should be known as Flaky, not Smartie (for his results unreliability).

Your correspondent started the season well, but has spent the summer being trounced at Frensham Pond by Ian Gregory (who sadly cannot make the nationals) to the extent he is uncertain his psyche will ever recover.

Finally for now, the regular vain hope must be expressed that the fleet's lawyer and real-life judge, Mostyn Evans, will read a rule-book before the event, bless him.

Not too late to come along

For members of Netley SC and those of you who have not got their acts together yet, or have been vacillating, it's still not too late to enter. The venue is superb and the club one of the friendliest anyone can encounter.

As warm-ups there are opens at Starcross, on the Exe estuary on Saturday 7th September and Exe SC on the following day.

Footnote: The author is not sponsored by any of the retailers mentioned in this report. Sadly. You can always hope though...

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