On The Water – December 2013 – Bob Warren

onthewater
© Peter Blyth

Last weekend I took a bit of my own advice! Whilst the waters around the Roseland are looking quiet there are still some hardy souls making the most of the estuary. Truro Kayak club paddle on Saturday and Sunday mornings, from either Boscawen Park or Malpas depending on the tide. I joined them on Saturday morning for a paddle to St Clement. The weather was fantastic but rather chilly and the upper reaches of the estuary were looking beautiful.

The club members were very friendly and welcoming and they have a range of club boats. They are a club who promote racing, like you might have watched at the Olympics last year. The boats are extremely fast and rather tippy certainly a challenge and there were a few members who ended up in the water this weekend, certainly bracing! The club members vary in age from seven or eight to even older than me and new members are always welcome. I certainly enjoyed the paddle and will be back again. The picture shows a K4, quite a boat and a very young crew.

Restronguet sailing club are also still racing on a Sunday afternoon at one. You can get a great aerial view of their racing from the gateways between St Just and St Mawes. The club sail a variety of classes, some tradition fleets like the Firefly dinghy still thrive with ten or more boats sailing each week. Fireflies are still widely used for team racing as they are so manoeuvrable and evenly matched despite being designed for singlehanded sailing in the 1936 Olypics by Uffa Fox. He is perhaps our most famous dinghy designer and actually designed the first planning dinghy an international 14 a development class that is still going today.

onthewater
© Peter Blyth

There is a growing fleet of International fourteens at Restronguet with three boats now regularly joining the asymmetric fleet . I am sure Uffa would be delighted to see the lastest model of fourteen with twin trapeze, huge masthead asymmetric spinnaker and a foil on the rudder to control the trim of the boat. All of that is crammed onto a fourteen foot hull made of epoxy and carbon fibre, probably weighing less than a Mirror dinghy! I am looking forward to getting out in one and having a go. The last race of the season at Restronguet is their Christmas pudding race on the 15th of December usually a morning start at about 11am. Good viewing even if you don’t make it afloat yourself.

St Mawes sailing club have a good variety of winter activities if you don’t fancy getting afloat and the Gig club are still meeting on Sundays mornings if you are looking for activities closer to home. The cold bright weather of the last couple of weeks has been accompanied by light winds so not much  windsurfing action of late but you can always take your old longboard out with a paddle and join the SUP gang!

So no excuses, let’s see you out on the water!

Bob Warren

www.paddleandsail.com

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