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Wednesday, 18 September 2019

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Perranporth 2014 Race Report

Perranporth 2014 Race Report

This was another fantastic weekend featuring some of the best courses and race action of the year so far. Graham Bobin, BLSA Honorary President and training guru, kindly offered to host the event and officiate the racing. He gave a very clear and concise briefing. It seems to be common practice now for BLSA Race Officers to draw courses which often remind the participants of parts of the anatomy that normally remain covered. Unlike at Elvington this was a very masculine looking course. He then introduced a great way to keep it from becoming a procession; once in every race you had to put in an extra ‘kicker’ leg (like having to drive through the pit lane if you can excuse the motorsports analogy). You could take the extra mark at any point in the race so if you were in with a pack you could break out from it to gain some clean air, for example. This would mean that leaders would often have to fight their way back past other people and gave an extra level of interest to the racing.

Early afternoon saw Sarah Burn (sadly the sole representative of both light and middle-weight Production) on a flyer with John Corkhill dominating the Heavy Production class. Dave Purchase stole a win but he and Kim Chamberlain shared the 2nd places in most races. I had the pleasure of watching the rest of the fleet tearing past me in almost every race, I’m not sure who was more bemused at this out of character behaviour, but it was laughed off by all as a refreshing change from the norm.

Performance class saw team Etherington tearing up the asphalt, Andy was romping the Heavies and Lorraine was uncharacteristically quiet as she stole the show in the first 5 races, although ‘Rocket’ Ron Frewin made her work for her wins and upped his game as the day progressed. Paul Farrow (a ‘svelte’ gentleman) came second overall in one race to show that the big boys can be faster than the lightweights even in modest winds.

We packed in 8 short-course races with both classes running at the same time before adjourning for the barbecue at the control tower.

The evening was beautiful and it was hugely pleasurable sailing the long courses and soaking up the calm, peaceful vibe of the venue. A long tack up the main runway then the rest of the course consisted of pretty fast reaches. Despite the length of the one-lap races there were still some close finishes. Ron and Graham Deal had upped the ante in their respective classes and I rediscovered my errant ‘mojo’ having some excellent close battles with John Corkhill. Paul Farrow also scooped another win.

Sunday saw a return to the short courses around ‘the old man’ (not Mr Bobin!). Most people nailed the starts by following the Performance fleet and shot through the start gate. More than once I found a doldrum and watched the whole fleet go past before crossing the start line. The lost mojo had returned with a vengeance, though, and with the higher winds I took the flag in most races.

In Performance Graham and Ron shared their wins with the Etheringtons. There was a slight war of attrition as some people found they were touching cloth and there were several tubes that either popped or let out that dreaded pfff……...pffff…….pffff as the wheel went round. The tally of dead tyres was testament to the fun that had been had. Not surprising really after a grand total of 20 very enjoyable races with some fast turns and good speeds being reached.

It was great to see Jowan Bobin have his first b-series race; it’s not the norm to have a Junior in Performance class but hopefully not the last time for him. Local racers Darren Hall and Nick Glynn were the only other regulars who sail at Perranporth to take part, which was a great pity as others from Cornwall and the south and west would surely have had a great weekend as well.


Light Production:

Sarah Burn          0

Heavy Production:

John Corkhill       12

Chris Selway       16

Dave Purchase    34

Kim Chamberlain 39

Light Performance:

Ron Frewin             6

Lorraine Etherington 16

Caroline Hart           47

Jowan Bobin            56

John Watts              102

Heavy Performance:

Andy Etherington 4

Graham Deal       19

Paul Farrow         30

Darren Hall          57

Nick Glynn           64


With the low turnout we were forced once again to return to the ‘old’ b-series system of running just Light and Heavy weights in both classes. This was slightly contentious in that Sarah ended up winning in a class (or two) of her own; it made the victory seem hollow and potentially we could have all raced as one fleet in Production despite the weight difference. Nick Glynn, on the other hand, was disappointed to have missed out on a 2nd place trophy (out of 2) due to us not running 4 weight categories. Whatever you do it will not suit everyone, but please be assured, if we could have run 4 weight divisions we would have loved to.

The overall results will be awarded for all four weight categories. 

Chris Selway.