A foreboding forecast of 40 knots in squalls didn’t prevent nineteen competitors taking to the waters under grey skies in the FSC Inshore Ken Cook Memorial / Consistency Race 2 on Saturday.  Officially the wind was 8 knots from the east but on the course it varied between south easterly and north easterly with periods of glassy calm and gusts to 13 knots by the end of the race.  The lack of breeze bunched up Div. 1 and 2 at the start as each boat attempted to catch a zephyr to take them over the line.  Mid race it seemed unlikely we’d get a finish as spinnakers drooped and boats pointed in all directions on a mirror surfaced ocean.  Fortunately, the breeze filled in from the NE and race control sensibly shortened the course to the second rounding of F, with Divisions 1 and 2 finishing together.

The shakeup in Div. 1 continued with Mick Gillum’s Panacea taking first on performance handicap from John and Jaye Palmer’s Witchy Woman (former X Factor, now resplendent with new graphics) second and fastest ahead of Peter Kennington’s The Cro Connection.  Witchy Woman was also first on IRC ahead of Roger Passmore’s Aquila with The Cro Connection third, meaning all four competitors got a pennant!

Eight boats raced in Div. 2 with extremely tight racing both on the water and after the handicaps were applied.  Peter Williams Pipedream took first on performance handicap after dropping their spinnaker early in anticipation of the incoming north easterly breeze. Richard Webster’s Freddie Fudpucker was second only 27 seconds behind Pipedream on handicap after a neck and neck tussle mid race. Panache II took third, a further 42 seconds behind on handicap.  Steve Delfos’s Minke was fastest.  On IRC handicap Ernie Delfos’s Windswept was first from George Carter’s Eufarria with Minke third.

The JAM fleet fielded seven boats and were advantaged by their shorter course keeping them nearer to the land breeze.  Myra Stanbury’s Sami taking first on performance handicap ahead of Jane Laws Ambience, with Jim Putt’s Morning Tide third.  Franco Pieri’s Medusa was fastest.  Ole Otness’s The Longboat was the sole IRC rated competitor in JAM.

The Ken Cook Memorial race commemorates the life of Ken Cook, and Ken’s widow Del and family were guests of honour.  Commodore Bill Burbidge and Rear Commodore Sail Connor Moran assisted Del with the presentations.  The Ken Cook Trophy for best performed boat on the day was awarded to Myra Stanbury’s Sami.  Following the presentations Ken’s grandson John Cook spoke to the sailors (in a speech he described as “short and sweet like his grandma”!) of Ken’s lifelong contribution to the club as member, committee member and Commodore.

Thanks as always to the Race Control Crew on Success.  Full results can be found on the FSC Inshore results web page.

Inshore Racing returns on 11 November after a two-week break (for the Sail Fremantle Regatta and the Harbour Race).

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