As the yachts waited in anticipation on the still waters of Falmouth Bay a party atmosphere prevailed, with water balloons and cannons firing off throughout the fleet during build up start of the fourth race of the Pendennis Cup 2014. It seemed as though there would not be a contest at all as the wind held off, but just 15minutes before the race was due to be called off an off shore breeze started to build gradually edging across the bay – the final race was on!
A short course was drawn up by the Race Committee, with the initial leg sailing into the ‘Gylly Beach’ mark. Gusts of 12-14 knots combined with the shortened course created exciting close-quarters racing surrounded by a building spectator fleet in anticipation of the Red Arrows display. Velacarina had a great start flying first around the ‘Old Wall’ mark, sailing down to ‘Tango’. Kelpie, who was helmed by her Owner for the first time during the regatta, performed excellently. This lead pair were closely followed by Christopher, then the impressive schooners Adix and Mariette with Breakaway gaining from behind.
With tight sailing throughout the yachts rounded ‘Tango’ in dramatically close succession. However, it was to be Velacarina’s race, maintaining her lead throughout, storming first over the finish line and taking victory of the 2014 Pendennis Cup. Kelpie achieved her best result of the week, taking second place on corrected time, pushing her ahead of Adix and Mariette making her fourth overall and winner of the Spencer Rigging Schooner award. Christopher completed the week in second place overall, after her first week of racing in the UK. She was awarded the Ward Williams prize for Starting Prowess, with an impressive average starting record of just 7 seconds within her allotted start time throughout the week.
The competition between the Little Dennis yachts was no less exciting. The elegantly beautiful fleet of smaller classics had been closely matched all week, with Firebrand and Cerinthe tussling for the lead on each race. All yachts were tight around each mark, with the final elapsed time less than 4 minutes between the first and last boat. Firebrand completed Race 4 just 20seconds ahead of Cerinthe at the final gun, but on adjusted time first place went to Cerinthe by a mere 20 seconds. Although Cerinthe and Firebrand finished the regatta equal on points it was to be Cerinthe’s victory, awarded first place in the Little Dennis Cup on the race count back system.
As the yachts anchored off Gyllyngvase Beach to watch the incredible Red Arrows display they were joined by several hundred smaller craft on the water, with tens of thousands of spectators on the beach and lining the coastal path. The Reds drew a love heart against the blue sky, the competing yachts blasted their canons and the surrounding spectator fleet sounded their horns in a glorious finale to the Pendennis Cup 2014.