A cold & chilly morning at the dam today. 4 deg driving to the dam & definately a bit colder than that at the dam. but the good thing was we had a steady middle to upper A Rig NW breeze coming down the dam making for some good sailing conditions. The RO today was John Smith who ran a 3 race series with 2 shorter races & 1 long distance race. Fleet consisted of about 10 IOM's & 3 DF95's. In the first race with the DF 95's off scratch & the backmarkers off 2 minutes & everyone else in between the DF95's easily filled the first 3 places so for the second race the DF95's were bought back to 90 seconds with the first of the IOM,s. One DF dropped out with rigging damage but the remaining 2 took first & second. As the handicappng was clearly not coping with the DF's the owners in the interest of fairness made themselves ineligable for the days prizes.
There were no changes in handicap for the very enjoyable final long distance race . At the end of the day the winner was Wayne Turner from Dave Murfet & Rob Cooney. So congratuations to the winners & thanks to John Smith for his RO efforts.
Next Sunday is IOM handicap at 11.00 am
After the wild winds of the last few days and a BOM forecast of 10 to 20 knot west to norwesterlies by late afternoon, I was liking my lips for a solid breeze and B or C rig for the F3. On arrival at the Brook things were a "tad" lighter with 1 to 2 knot patches of breeze wafting through nearly mill pond conditions, but racing was another hour away and in the BOM we trust.
Principle Race Officer for the day was Stuart Harris and he ran the event with the same high standards as he has done in the past, so once again, thankyou Stuart. Nine skippers entered for the event including the return of veteran John Cole-Cook from quite a break in sailing, and former state and national champion, Lisa Blackwood, whom, along with the rest of the regular Marblehead skippers, provided some quite spectacular yacht racing for those that were there watching and passers by as well.
By Race 1, the breeze had filled in a little to maybe 3 knots, so Stu set the course as start between 1 and 2, right up to 6 into 5, short run down to 3 and out to 4 (get use to it), back up to 6 and 5 then final long run down to 0 and short windward to the finish. After a tight start and close racing all race, John Hall picked the right shifts in the final windward leg to closely take line honours from myself and Ray Joyce in third place. With the wind building a little further to solid mid range A rig, Stu lengthened the course by taking out marks 3 and 4; down to 1 then 2 on the first lap. Ray improved his scorecard with a win in Race 2 with John Cole-Cook finally washing the dust of his Scalpel crossing the line in second place and Peter Sylvester sailing well as usual finishing in third place. Race 3 and another winner with Lisa Blackwood taking the gun from yours truly and John CC finishing second and third respectively. After 3 races the leader board had the F3 on top on countback from Ray Joyce, both with 8 points, third place John CC with 10 points, John Hall in fourth with 12 points and Lisa Blackwood fifth with 13 points.
Race 4 and the breeze was now a steady 4 to 7 knots I would suggest with cycles of westerly shifts and cycles of northerly shifts. John Cole-Cook joined the dots the best to take the win from myself in close pursuit and Lisa Blackwood close on my hip across the line as well. After the first drop, John Cole-Cook led the field on countback from myself with 6 points, Ray Joyce in third place just 2 points in arrears, Lisa Blackwood in forth with 9 points and John Hall swapping places with Lisa and 12 points in fifth place. Race 5 and a double of John CC taking line honours again, myself close behind in second place and a hat trick of seconds and Andrew Wardrop linking the dots to take third place. Race 6 and a hat trick to John CC showing he hasn't lost any of his sailing skills, and John Hall pipping me on the final tack to cross the line by centimetres and claim second spot. Race 7 was the final race before the lunch break and I managed yo get ahead early and maintain a lead to win from John Hall in second place and Lisa Blackwood finishing in third place. At the lunch break, I held a 1 point led over John CC on 13 points, John Hall third with 20 points, Lisa Blackwood fourth with 23 points and Ray Joyce in fifth position and 1 point a drift with 24 points.
The breeze slowly eased during the lunch break and Race 8 was sailed in softer conditions of around 3 to 5 knots I would suggest. Peter Sylvester had the highlight of his day with a win from yours truly second and John CC finishing in third place. After the second and final drop for the day, things were tight at the top of the leader board. John CC led on countback from myself, both with 11 points, third with 18 points was John Hall, 3 points clear of Lisa Blackwood in fourth place and Peter Sylvester climbing into the top five with 23 points.
Race 9 started after a bit of a wait as the breeze had dropped out for a period, but came back to around 2 to 3 knots for the start. We didn't know it at the time but this would be the last race of the day. As the race progressed the breeze softened again and John CC mastered the conditions to take the gun from John Hall and Peter Sylvester filling the minor podium places.
After a good 3/4 hour wait and rescue of the becalmed SS Minnow in the middle of the dam, a "souvenir" static sail boat of all 20 cm in length, crudely retro fitted with the RC gear out of a racing car with only one channel for rudder, racing was abandoned due to lack of wind.
Final results and the 2016 Southern Tasmanian Marblehead Champion is John Cole-Cook, finishing with 12 points, 2 points ahead of myself in second place with14 points, and John Hall taking out third place with 20 points.
Next Sunday is IOM Handicap racing with racing from 11:00 AM.
Til then, wet sails.
A fine late Autumn day at the Brook with a cool W-NW breeze, 3 to 5 knots at first building over the few hours of racing to B Rig conditions of around 10 to 12 knots I would suggest. Fourteen skippers in attendance including Chris Wood launching his new Dragon Flite bringing the "active" DF95 fleet up to 2 boats, and welcome back David Jones from your "itchy feet" travels, it is good to have you back. Stu Harris although entered, did not sail and effectively did the PRO job for the day. Course was start between 1 and 2, right up to 6 then 5, down to 3 and out to 4, back up to 6 and 5, run down to 0 then finish between 1and 2
Race 1 and the breeze was quite light which wasn't favourable for the two light weight DF95's against the IOM's, and starting only 30 seconds ahead of the IOM's, we got left behind with IOM front marker John Smith taking the gun from the ever present Rod Jackman in second and John Banks filling the podium.
Race 2 and the handicapper gave mercy and extended the DF95 start to 1:30 to go. With the breeze filled in a little, Chris Wood took advantage of the down wind speed of the Dragon Flite to hold off most off the IOM pack to finish in third place behind line honours receiver Wayne Behrens and David Jones in second place. My DF had a small teething issue and missed the race all due to a failed knot on the mainsheet bridle.
The breeze had filled in considerably for the third and final race and most of the fleet had changed to B Rig including the two DF's. Chris and I both got to the top marks before the IOM's and scooted off for the first downwind, extending our lead a little. The IOM's soon came right back on the upwind leg but we were at the top marks first again and enjoyed how quick these yachts are downwind, extending the gap a little by the leeward mark and holding off the IOM's to take first and second with John Smith the first of the IOM's home in third place.
Winner of the day with two podiums is John Smith on 8 points with Wayne Behrens second on 13 points, 1 point ahead of third place on countback to Chris Wood and his DF from Rod Jackman on 14 points.
Sunday is the Southern Tasmanian Championship for Marbleheads with racing from 10:30 AM. All the best of luck to Jeff Byerley who will be sailing the Victorian Marblehead Titles this weekend as well.
Till then, wet sails.
Take two for the 2016 John Emms Memorial Trophy after last week's weather forced the closure of Risdon Brook Park and postponement of the event. Conditions today were chalk and cheese with very light to calm conditions, however the BOM forecast was north to north westerlies to 10 knots but at first arrival conditions were mill pond and things were looking to be a rather slow day. Ten skippers entered the ranking event including veteran Jeff Byerley on his world's campaign, Lisa Blackwood with her mastery of the Brook, along with Michael Hickman and Ken Dobbie who have seen many a wind shift on the Brook over the years. Principle Race Officer was Stuart Harris assisted by the Commodore Dave Murfet and a big THANKYOU to both of you. As the starting time for Race 1 approached the breeze had filled in to a gentle 1 - 3 knots blowing down the dam with a hint of west in it and the course was set; start between 1 and 2, windward beat up to 6 to 5, run back to 1 then 2, back up and around the two windward marks, final run down to the 0 mark before the final short beat to the finish between 1 and 2.
Ray Joyce had his A swing rig trimmed to perfection and got the ball rolling with a win in Race 1 with Jeff Byerley finishing second and John Hall the minor spot. Race 2 and a double for Ray with another win from Lisa Blackwood close behind in second and Jeff on the podium again in third place. Race 3 and the F3 of yours truly took the gun from Jeff with his third podium and Andrew Wardrop getting the Red Dragon over the line in third place. Race 4 and a double for moi with Lisa Blackwood not far behind in second and John Hall with a close third place. After the first drop, Ray Joyce led the fleet with 6 points with myself in second on countback with 7 points from Jeff Byerley in third, Lisa Blackwood in fourth with 8 points and John Hall fifth with 10 points.
Race 5 and Lisa began her dominance of the afternoon with a solid win from Andrew Wardrop and Les Hanson sailing well into third spot on the podium. Pretty much a carbon copy in Race 6 with another win for Lisa and second for Andrew, however Ray Joyce claimed the 3 points for third. Race 7 and a hat trick for Lisa with John Hall sailing better with a strong second place from Wayne Behrens in third place. The final race of the event and four in a row for Lisa Blackwood with John Hall again in second coming good too late and Jeff Byerley filling the third spot.
Final results and the winner of the John Emms Memorial Trophy for 2016 is Lisa Blackwood with an impressive 8 points, 10 ahead of second place Ray Joyce with 18 points and 3 points ahead of yours truly in third place with 21 points, on countback from John Hall.
Next week is the return of the IOM's for Round 2 of the Winter Scratch Series with racing from 11:00 AM.
Happy Mother's Day Mum!
With winter starting to make its effect over the last few days with very needed rain, strong winds and the first dusting of snow on Mt Wellington, it was with welcome relief that today was mild and sunny with light breezes that were forecast to strengthen. Ideal conditions to launch my new DF95 with its A Rig, taking on the rest of the 14 strong IOM fleet with their far greater sail area, but with twice the weight. Up wind the IOM's point far higher and are quicker, but with the breeze up and downwind, these light weight "mini Marbleheads" are blazingly quick and rarely dig right in. In light conditions though, the IOM leaves the DF95 drifting so to speak.
Coordinator Stuart Harris layed down the law and announced the format for the day: 3 races only at set starting times with casual scratch racing in between. The 3 races would be over the standard small box big box course, which for the small DF95 is quite a long track. Thankfully though, Stuart assigned the starting line for the DF95 to be between 3 and 4 and with a very healthy handicap advantage I admit. Race 1 was in light breeze of around 3 to 5 knots and the DF95 crossed her start line to start the race, giving the rest of the IOM's their 2 minute countdown with the back markers starting at zero. I was blessed with consistent breeze most of the race and was able to keep the IOM's astern to take the gun with John Smith closing rapidly in second and the Silver Fox Peter Darcy hot in pursuit in third place.
Race 2 and the breeze had strengthened a knot or 3 and I was now starting on 1 minute 30 from the same starting line. Again I was able to get to the top marks as the puffs were coming and took advantage of the downwind speed, maintaining the gap enough to just take the win from the charging Rod Jackman in second and Wayne Turner sailing well in third place.
Race 3 and the wind had built further with one or two of the IOM's changing to B Rig. The DF A Rig was being tested and I found the going tough, particularly upwind getting into irons during tacks, downwind though and the thing was almost leaping over the waves. This start and I was starting back with the big boys but at 1 minute 30, about a minute ahead of the first IOM. I managed to hold the fleet off till the final leg when the peloton arrived and Chris Wood took the win from the Dragon Flite in second and Wayne Behrens taking the minor spot.
Not a bad result for her first sailing. A couple of wins and a second in three races. Yes the handicap was generous but I think Race 3 was close to the mark. Second place for the day went to Chris Wood with third place going to John Smith on countback from Don McLeod. The IOM racing was close with one point separating most of the field and a three way countback for ninth position.
My first impressions after racing the Dragon Flite for the first time: easy to sail but has to sailed the "bow down" approach when going to windward. Try and point high and they slow right down, which is what you would expect from flat sails. I found they are very reactive to the rudder but they have quite a large turning radius for their size, whereas the IOM's can almost turn on a dime. The absolute pleasure of sailing the Dragon Flite is downwind in a good breeze. During the casual scratch racing, the IOMs slaughtered me to the top mark but the DF held its own and overtook several of the IOM's on the long runs down to the bottom mark. In the stronger down wind puffs, some of the IOM's with A Rig were nosediving whereas the DF just skipped through the crest and ploughed on. There were a few overpowering puffs and the DF does nosedive but it's a tough little pocket rocket and there wasn't a drop of water in it at the end of the day. With a few of these relatively cheap one design racing yachts already in the hands of or ordered by club members, we will soon have a decent fleet and plans are being made to have a separate division for Wednesday racing, and who knows maybe even schedule for Sunday racing if that will increase Sunday participation.
Saturday is the re scheduled John Emms Memorial Trophy for Marbleheads. From Andrew's emails, entry to the club area is from 10:30 AM, with racing from 11:15 AM.
Till then, wet sails.
Latest club results