Luggers battle for Rattenbury honours

THIS Monday’s race was for the Rattenbury Shield. Jack Rattenbury was the alleged notorious smuggler who operated out of Beer in the 1700s, writes John Mortimore.

There was a full fleet of 10 luggers who left the beach in a very light south westerly breeze and sunshine. It made a very picturesque sight in Beer bay.

At the start of the race there were six luggers who came to the line together which caused confusion, unfortunately for the Gannet, who crossed the line too early and had to go back and restart.

First away, sailing westward to the windward mark was the Percy Mitchell followed by the Twilight and Scrumpy.

All boats sailed seawards except the Gannet who tacked away and soon found out this was a mistake as there was more wind out over the bay.

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First to the mark was the Percy Mitchell with the Mary and Twilight following on. Moondance was in fourth place. The first round of the race was completed in that order.

During the second round of the race the Percy Mitchell increased her lead and the Moondance advanced to second place with Mary third.

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The fleet soon became spread out across the bay, all looking for the slightest draft of wind. This was causing the skippers a lot of problems.

As the race progressed the wind was decreasing all the time. Gradually it became a bit of a drifting match with positions changing all the time.

The Percy Mitchell, with her bigger lug sail, went further ahead of the rest. She even lapped some of the tail enders.

Little Wing found the conditions tiring so retired. Coming up to the finishing line Percy Mitchell was by far ahead of the rest and crossed the mark as winner.

Result of the race. 1, Percy Mitchell (A Green); 2, Moondance (G Pook); 3, Gannet (N Daniels); 4, Mary (D Boalch); 5, Twilight (P Bagwell); 6, Scrumpy (G Lockyer). All the rest retired.

Winner of the Rattenbury Shield by handicap was Moondance.

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