I write this towards the end of October and almost all of us have got our boats off their moorings, out of the water and safely tucked away in barns and boatyards for the winter. The nights are closing in and the season is almost over. ‘Summer’s lease hath all too short a date’ as Shakespeare famously wrote and this year’s lease seems to have been rather shorter than most as the latter part of the summer did not see very much really good weather and we missed out on the lovely autumn we were hoping for.

However we did have some pretty good sailing weather in the earlier part of the year.

I had a lovely week on Scilly with some friends, being especially blessed with an easterly to sail over and a westerly to return, spinnaker up both ways, nothing to complain about there! And I know that others took advantage of the June weather to get over to Brittany for a glorious cruise along the north coast and back via the Channel Islands.

We organised an early summer cruise in company to Fowey which was well attended and great fun. We also had another cruise in company to Fowey in late August when we experienced the most torrential rain squalls I have ever sailed in and which certainly tested my reefing skills and my foulies to their limits!

The annual Helford to L’Aber Wrac’h race was well supported, again mainly by the French contestants despite the loss of some entrants due to a twenty four hour postponement for the bad weather to clear. The French contingent again took all the podium positions. However Helford’s honour was upheld in fine style by Wally Royall in his 90th year sailing his excellent boat ‘Xenia’ and taking the Sundancer Trophy for first Helford boat.

Wednesday evening racing continued as usual throughout the summer but again, despite our efforts to encourage a variety of boats to enter under the PY handicap system, only five 707s were racing. Although we had a much depleted fleet we all still had a lot of fun in some very hotly contested races with almost every contestant winning at least one race. However Charles Richardson and his crew sailed ‘Dragun’ most consistently and won all three series, though when Ed Bolitho and his crew on ‘Miss Moneypenny’ were free from their Half Ton duties, their boat speed certainly gave the rest of us something to dream about.

Who knows what the next season will bring, but rain or shine no doubt we will all be out enjoying ourselves on the water one way or the other and hopefully in the Club over the winter.

Nick Gough – Joint Captain Yachts

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