Hard to catch speedy lugger Percy Mitchell

SIX luggers launched from the beach for last Monday’s race and there was just a draught of wind from the south-west. The race was of three rounds of the course, writes John Mortimore.

There was a guest sailor at the club, Dan Houston, who was editor of the magazine Classic Boats. He was a crew on the Twilight.

It was a good start on the line with all luggers crossing together.

Everybody sailed seaward for the windward mark except the Scrumpy who tacked away and came into the bay.

The Percy Mitchell made good ground to come up to the windward mark first with Twilight second and Mary third.

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Completing the first round of the race the Percy Mitchell still retained the lead.

The wind did increase a little for a time but fell back to a gentle breeze.

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During the second round all boats sailed into the bay. The Percy Mitchell still held on to the lead from Twilight and Mary.

In the last round the Scrumpy overhauled the Mary to command third position.

All this time the Percy Mitchell went on and on, increasing her lead all the time and crossing the finishing line well in front of the others.

Result of the race: 1, Percy Mitchell sailed by A Green; 2, Twilight sailed by P Bagwell; 3, Scrumpy sailed by G Lockyer; 4, Mary sailed by D Boalch; 5, Puffin sailed by R Driver; Little Wing retired. Result by handicap: 1, Scrumpy.

The previous Monday evening five luggers left the beach in a moderate south west wind.

There was a very strong spring tide running up the channel. This caused the skippers a lot of problems.

The Percy Mitchell was first boat away from the starting line with Little Wind closely behind. Scrumpy was in third position. All luggers sailed a westerly course for the windward mark.

By the time the Percy Mitchell had reached the mark she had already gained a big lead from the rest.

The Mary and Scrumpy were having quite a contest for second place.

All boats had problems on the windward mark. They thought they had the mark covered but when they got to the buoy they all had to put in another tack again as the strong tide carried them away from the mark.

There was a collision between Scrumpy and Mary. As Scrumpy was in the wrong she had to do her penalty turns.

As the wind freshened a little the Percy Mitchell was increasing her lead by some distance and began to lap the tail-enders. The Mary still held second place from Scrumpy, while the Puffin and Little Wind had their own race between them at the back of the fleet.

Results of the race: 1, Percy Mitchell, helm A Green; 2, Mary, D Boalch; 3, Scrumpy, G Lockyer; 4, Puffin, R Driver; 5, Little Wind, D Townsend.

Result by handicap: Mary.

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