HMS BOREAS MEMORIAL RACE WAS HELD ON NOVEMBER 20Tuesday 22nd November 2011
If Lord Horatio Nelson was sailing HMS Boreas in the winds we had last Sunday, he would have ordered his longboats into the water to tow the ship to where the wind was. That was quite a task as they had no engines in those days and had to be rowed by teams of the ship’s crew. Sometimes four or more longboats were put into the water to pull the heavy sailing vessels to where the wind was. Can you imagine trying to pull a 180-foot wooden sailing ship weighing a few hundred tons?
The steady 1 to 3 knots of breeze did not deter the five yachts that crossed the start line for the HMS Boreas Memorial Race. The Race was held to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the re-opening of Nelson’s Dockyard which opened its doors to the public on November 14, 1961 after having a major refit by the Royal Navy and the Friends of English Harbour.
The race started at the mouth of Falmouth Harbour and was originally set up to be a pursuit race. The course was from Falmouth to a brand new navigation mark at the entrance to English Harbour and back to the Bishop mark off Falmouth. The first race was supposed to set the starting times for the second race with the fastest boat starting last and the first boat to cross the finish line winning the event.
It took an hour and a half to do the course with 18 minutes separating first from last which would have made a very exciting second race, but after 10 minutes of the yachts trying to get to the start line for the second race and having not moved more than a few feet, the Race Committee blew off the race and calculated the winner by corrected time using the normal CSA jib and main handicap rating for each boat.
Finishing in 1st place was Rick Gormley’s Beneteau 38, Elethea; in 2nd place was the Antigua Yacht Club’s Digicel-sponsored 1720 sportboat, Digicel Challenger; in 3rd place was Jerry Bardoe’s Contention 33, Encore; and in 4th place was Sandy Mair’s Soveral 30, Streaker. Pippa Turton’s Jeanneau 38, Danae, decided to call it a day when they stopped the boat off of Snapper Point and decided to go for a swim instead.
Other yachts came for the event but when they saw the steady 1 to 3 knots of breeze, decided that a picnic and snorkelling at Pigeon Point was more their speed.
The after-race party was held in the cockpit of the Race Committee Boat, Elvira D, and the prizes were distributed to the winners. The winners each received a bottle of English Harbour 5-year old rum.
Article by Tommy Paterson, who conceived the idea for the race and acted as Race Officer.
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