Fascinating watching chaotic lugger race

Eight luggers launched from the beach for last Monday’s pursuit race which included the Gannet sailed by the Master Mariner Nigel Daniels who is home from the sea writes John Mortimore.

There was a light to moderate south west wind blowing with a strong spring tide running from west to east. First away, sailing westward to the windward mark, was the Little Wing followed by the Katherine, Puffin, Moondance, Scrumpy, Mary, Gannet and Percy Mitchell.

By the time they got to the windward mark, there was chaos because of the strong tide. Six luggers went up to the buoy but the tide took them back, so they had to tack and re tack again. The light wind didn’t help at all. The Percy Mitchell was the first lugger to come through the commotion to claim second place from Scrumpy. Puffin still had the lead at the leeward buoy.

During the second round, the Percy Mitchell overhauled the Puffin and went on to gain a commanding lead. The Gannet squeezed through to take second with Scrumpy third. The Mary overtook Moondance. The tide was still causing the skippers a lot of problems on the wind mark. Through frustration the Little Wing gave up and retired. The Katherine was still having difficulties in getting around. The wind became more variable and positions were changing all the time. The Moondance came through from nowhere and claimed fourth place, Scrumpy struggled to round the mark and dropped back down the fleet but came through again to finish fourth.

After the hooter sounded at 60 minutes, the Percy Mitchell still had a large lead. It was a very interesting race.

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Results of the race. 1, Percy Mitchell (A Green); 2, Gannet (N Daniels); 3, Moondance (G Pook); 4, Scrumpy (G Lockyer); 5, Mary (D Boalch); 6, Puffin (R Driver); 7, Katherine (M Diplock). Little Wing retired.

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