Qantro wins Whitby RNLI Pennant race

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Six boats came out to compete for the RNLI pennant on Saturday, including a first appearance by Scaramouch.

Cold Steel led the fleet away, chased by Samaki. Behind some were already having troubles – Masquerade touched the mark and had to do a penalty while Qantro got it all wrong and found herself at the back after some extra tacking.

Cold Steel was the only boat to use a spinnaker as she continued to lead to the bell bouy.

Next a long leg to Sandsend gave the big boats a chance to show their speed, Cold Steel starting to establish the lead she’d require to overturn the handicap while Qantro overhauled Scaramouch and Masquerade to take third behind Samaki.

The order remained unchanged until the start of the second lap, when Qantro overtook Samaki.

Cold Steel remained clear in front, deciding that she didn’t need to risk the spinnaker again as she completed the three-lap course.

Qantro was second home ahead of Samaki to the line but hadn’t done quite enough to beat her after handicap.

Then the bigger boats had an anxious wait as Scaramouch was sailing along nicely and they knew the diminutive newcomer would have a sizable handicap advantage.

Scaramouch was indeed next to finish, ahead of Masquerade and Double D, and had done enough for second after handicap but Cold Steel had pulled out enough of a lead to take the prize.

Result: 1 Cold Steel, Dey,Jarvis & Gowland, 2 Scaramouch Ian & Alison Paton, 3 Samaki Nigel Robinson.

Sunday saw the continuation of the Coastal series, with little wind at the start a virtual mark set a few of miles north of the Bell Bouy.

It was a downwind start towards Sandsend, Icon taking the early lead from Qantro and Cold Steel, all using their spinnakers to pull ahead of Serenade of Parkstone.

Then a few hundred yards short of the mark Icon ground to a halt as the wind died.

Qantro and Cold Steel pulled alongside then also stopped. Spinnakers were rapidly packed as the wind re-emerged from the other direction. Icon escaped the best and led on what was now a beat to the mark.

Icon re-launched their spinnaker for the leg to the virtual mark, Qantro followed suit while Cold Steel headed further out under white sails.

Then the wind disappeared again. Serenade quickly anchored to avoid being swept backwards by the tide, taking the lead as the others were pushed in the wrong direction. Icon decided they’d spent enough time at sea recently and retired.

An hour or so later Serenade was still at anchor, Cold Steel was drifting far out to sea in search of the elusive breeze and Qantro was having a picnic near Runswick but suddenly lunch was interrupted by the sails gently filling with breeze.

Qantro was moving in the right direction again.

Slowly they pulled towards the virtual mark, Cold Steel was on the move too but was now far out to sea with a lot of ground to make up.

The wind kept coming and going but with the tide now turning the persistence was paying off for those two. Serenade of Parkstone couldn’t find enough breeze to get going and retired.

It was now going to be a race to, rather than around, the virtual mark.

Qantro was again becalmed about a mile short of it, looming rain clouds prompting the crew to grab their oilskins, but the rain brought with it a bit of wind and after over five hours of effort they finally reached their target.

Cold Steel eventually found the wind too and took second.

Result: 1st Qantro, N Drake, 2nd Cold Steel Dey, Jarvis and Gowland.