PASAB 2016 – Cornishman Report and Photographs

The highly anticipated 39th annual PASAB (Penzance Around Scillies and Back) race was held on the weekend of 29th July – 1st August

There were an amazing 32 entries equalling the highest ever entry in 2008. Two of the competitors had competed in the first ever race in 1978!

The first leg began at 8.00pm Friday evening off the lighthouse pier with a fetch to Low Lee buoy which was taken to port. The yachts then eased their sheets and the spinnakers went up adding a glorious colour to the Bay. The spinnakers came down – Mountamopus was rounded to starboard – and a long night in a lightening breeze lay ahead. All boats set their course for the Wolf Rock lighthouse on starboard tack -hard on the wind.  The wind was forecasted to move around to the north, but did not until well after midnight.  By this time many boats were registering 0 knots on their logs and caught in the tide.  As the wind shifted, the boats set a new heading for the finish line off St Mary’s Peninnis lighthouse. The faster boats arrived after dawn. The slower boats not until late afternoon after some 20 hours sailing.

On Sunday – the second leg encircled every rock and island of the Scillies that dried out at low tide. The race was started at 10.30am by the Isles of Scilly Sailing Club in the restricted waters of St Mary’s sound.  One boat found itself with no room and had to complete a 360 degree turn to avoid hitting the start boat.  The finish line was again off Peninnis lighthouse.  The wind was dropping and many smaller boats struggled against the tide.  Once again there were huge differences in time between the slowest and fastest boats. A Prize Giving was held that evening and the Venus Trophy (first boat overall on Leg 2) presented to Juno.

Inn Spirit (PzSC) had proudly received “line honours” in both of these legs – but after sailing the 36 mile Leg 2 – the crew (amongst them the club’s Commodore and Rear Commodore of Cruisers) turned the boat straight around and had another long 25 hour journey as they headed straight off to Ireland to compete in Calves Week!

On Monday – the final leg again started off St Mary’s harbour at 8.30am. One of the slowest and smallest cruisers in the fleet did a port hand flyer and led the fleet for 10 minutes much to the excitement of the crew. The wind reached 40 knots at some points of the journey home with a large sea on the starboard quarter of the boats.  Most boats reefed heavily to counter the winds with life lines on and storm boards in.  The course was Wolf Rock lighthouse to port and then home to the welcome sight of Penzance pier head.

The prize giving was held on Tuesday 2nd August in the clubhouse. Prizes were presented by Rear Commodore John Matthews.  The overall winner and presented with the Manzi Trophy was Geoff Davies in Scorpion

The full results can be viewed at our PASAB website as can the interesting history of PASAB.

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