The Brook was in one of her usual moods today for the running of the 2016 Southern Tasmanian IOM Championship. When I arrived around 9:00 AM, a solid A Rig breeze was blowing down the dam from the NNW to maybe 6-8 knots with a few B Rig lines of pressure coming down every few minutes or so. Within half an hour the wind had strengthened to B Rig, 10 to 15 knots and it looked like it would stay that way for a while. Ideal conditions, one would suggest, however the forecast was to swing to the west and lighten later in the day.
PRO for the day and commendation to Les Hanson who, although entered in the event, kindly undertook the duties of PRO as someone else had not organised one. Well done Les, you did a fine job except for one small omission in the provisional results, Race 13! (unlucky) With a fleet of fifteen IOM's the first race got under way a little after the scheduled time with all skippers opting for B Rig. The course was a standard windward leeward box course, start between 1 and 2, beat up to 6 to 5, run back down to 4 then into 3, back up to 6 and 5, run back down to 0 to STB then back to finish between 1 and 2.
Race 1 line honours went to one of Risdon Brook's masters, Michael Hickman with Rod Jackman sailing to his usual standard in second and the wily Silver Fox, Peter Darcy in third. With a few lighter patches affecting the last half of the first race, and the wind easing more during the mandatory break after the first race, the fleet changed up to A Rig. Race 2 and Andrew Wardrop showed his presence with a good win from Sir Rodney again in second and John Hall getting amongst the action in third place. Andrew bagged a double in Race 3 with another win from Sir Rodney and a hat trick of seconds, and Chris Wood showing plenty of skill and boat speed to claim the minor podium. Race 4 and another win for Michael with another master of the Brook, Lisa Blackwood taking second and Rod with his forth podium in four races. After the first drop, no surprises who was leading. Sir Rodney first with 6 points, Andrew Wardrop in second place with 8 points, Michael Hickman third with 9 points, Lisa Blackwood forth with 12 points and John Hall rounding out the top 5 with 13 points.
Race 5 saw the experienced Ray Joyce claim a win from John Hall on the podium again in second spot and Michal Hickman with a third. Conditions were now much lighter with quite a few patches of frustration and more frequent westerly shifts, so with the clock agreeing, lunch was called. Racing resumed with Race 6 and a win for Peter Darcy with Rod on the podium again as too Michael Hickman. Race 7 and Michael threw down the gauntlet with a strong win from myself in second and Lisa Blackwood in third. Race 8 and a double for Michael with Darcy sailing consistent again in second place and Lisa likewise for third spot. After the second drop the leader board had changed with Michael Hickman leading the pack comfortably with 10 points, Rod Jackman second with 15 points, Lisa Blackwood third with 24 points, the Silver Fox forth with 26 points and Ray Joyce rounding out the top 5 with 27 points.
With the wind now more westerly, the course was changed to best suit the conditions using the two small white marks as the start, out to the wing mark 9, run down to 3, reach back to the committee mark, two laps, finish between 1 and 2 after the final rounding of the committee mark onto port tack , which would cause a few incidents as one would expect. Race 9 and the battle for top dog got better with Rod taking a good win from Tony Brewer coming to grips with the #8 Britpop in second place and Andrew Wardrop visiting the podium again in third place. Race 10 and not to lie down without a fight, Michael Hickman claimed another bullet with Lisa sailing well into second place and a minor placing for myself. Ray Joyce showed contention for overall results with a good win in Race 11, and Rod tightened the screws with a second place and Andrew Wardrop taking the third spot. Race 12 and the final discard for the series. The screws were now being countersunk with another outstanding performance from Rod Jackman taking only his second win for the day from second place Chris Wood and Michael Hickman fighting for every point he could in third place. After the final discard, Rod Jackman on 25 points had overhauled a 5 point deficit to led Michael Hickman by 2 points, both comfortably ahead of third place Ray Joyce on 46 points, Lisa Blackwood forth with 51 points and Andrew Wardrop fifth on countback from Chris Wood with 58 points.
The final race for the championship and Lisa Blackwood took the honours from a consistent Ray Joyce and Sir Rodney driving home the final nail in third place. Despite the provisional results not including the final race, it did not change the results.
The 2016 Southern Tasmanian IOM Champion is Rod Jackman with 28 points, a comfortable win in the end from Michael Hickman runner up with 37 points and Ray Joyce taking out third place overall with 48 points.
Next Sunday is Round 1 of the IOM Winter Series (already!), button press at 11:00 AM.
Once again, congratulations to (Sir) Rod Jackman, 2016 Southern Tasmanian IOM Champion.
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