The final day of the 2001 Edinburgh Cup on 23 June had the race committee wondering if another race was possible in the flat calm of a perfect summer's morning.
The final day of the 2001 Edinburgh Cup on 23 June had the race committee wondering if another race was possible in the flat calm of a perfect summer’s morning. As Falmouth Harbour basked in the balmy sunshine which evolved from early dawn perfection, Committee Boat, Tyrian, set a course towards Black Rock to survey conditions.
Thirty three competitors held faith that the forces of nature would allow a last battle, and there followed a gentle meandering as the fleet awaited the first signs of a breeze. Patience was eventually rewarded by the first breath, which developed slowly but surely into a south easterly pattern.
Race Officer, Jonathan Money, made the decision to go at just the right time, with some last minute mark laying resulting in a superb windward/leeward course for the competitors.
The fleet looked good beating to the windward mark, and the bevy of brightly coloured spinnakers gybing back towards the leeward mark bore testament to a well laid course, which was subject to a demon tide amidst the light breezes.
It was to be Robert Campbell’s day as he fought all the odds in Quicksilver II to make the windward mark, then eventually get the winning gun ahead of Navaho, skippered by R. Gillingham. The quick succession of finishers proved further evidence to the skill of the fleet as they passed through the line in a processional throng.
Emotions were running high – from jubilation, to the feeling of achieving good results, and possibly the occasional disappointment, but most of the competitors surely headed back to base with a sense of having sailed an incredibly good series of races given the potential of the loss of more races in the light wind conditions.
Falmouth’s Royal Cornwall Yacht Club has shown, once again, that its reputation for providing premier race conditions is unsurpassed. With a little help and goodwill from other clubs within the port, the Edinburgh Cup 2001 will be remembered as that balmy week of good racing, that just could have been happening much farther south – but, hey, it was a great one for Falmouth, and the future looks good.
Photo – Graham Snook