2016 IOM Mid Winter Challenge
Another fine and sunny winter's day for the running of the 2016 IOM Mid Winter Challenge. BOM forecast was for light to moderate NNW'erlies around 5 knots in the morning, strengthening to 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon, and apart from an easing off to calm conditions around midday, was pretty much what was on offer for the thirteen skippers that fronted for the day. I took on PRO duties for the day and I am greatful for the assistance of David Murfet and Les Hanson for observation and scoring roles.
With a couple of the marks still out of position from the wild weather of recent and lack of calm conditions and the opportunity to put them right, the course was set: start between 1 and 2, solid beat up to 6 to port, short downwind to 4 then into 3, shorter beat back up to 6 then a longer run down to the bottom gate before another, that proved to be decisive, short beat to the finish between 1 and 2. With a solid days racing of 16 races completed, I wont give a race by race account but for those that were not there, I can tell you that the racing was fiercely contested with close starts and a few OCS's, more than one way around the course with the Brook's enigmatic shifts, floating weed still a problem for those that encountered it, and a few racing incidents that you would expect in a solid fleet of 12 boats all wanting to perform, increasing by one with Wayne Behrens turning up for Race 9.
After Race 4 and the first drop, Michael Hickman led the field with 6 points, Rod Jackman and Ray Joyce in second and third, both on 7 points and David Jones and Chris Wood in fourth and fifth place respectively, both on 14 points. By the completion of Race 6, the midday doldrums set in so lunch was called, and with the calm conditions, the opportunity to do some mark position management was taken. With all the marks back in position, racing resumed with a course change to include the top mark 5 after rounding mark 6 to starboard, the rest of the course remaining the same.
By Race 8, the breeze had strengthened a tad to around 10 knots with a bit more westerly in it, and after the second drop of the day, Michael Hickman still held the lead but only just on countback from Rod Jackman, both on 15 points, Lisa Blackwood leapfrogged the field to hold third place with 21 points, David Jones 1 point adrift in fourth place and Matt Gray rounding out the top five with 24 points.
For the remaining races of the afternoon, the breeze steadily increased to around 12 knots or so, and testing conditions for the majority of the fleet that held their A Rigs, and not quite there for the one or two skippers that opted for, or had no choice due to A Rig malfunction, to use their B Rig. With the completion of Race 14 and a bit over half an hour's racing left, I shortened the course to 1 lap up to 6 and 5 then down to the gate and finish, in order to get 16 races completed and a third drop for the skippers.
So, after the final race, Race 16 and the final drop, the day's event went to stand out performer for the day, with all bar one non podium finish after drops, Rod Jackman with 29 points, streets ahead of second place Michael Hickman with 41 points, and Matt Gray taking third place, 4 points adrift with 45 points. Lisa Blackwood and Ray Joyce rounded out the top five with 55 and 58 points respectively.
Next Sunday sees the return of the Marbleheads with Round 4 of the Winter Series with racing from 11:00 AM.
Till then, wet sails.
IOM Scratch Series: Winter Round 4
A solid fleet for a solid day of scratch racing for Round 4 of the IOM Winter Series. After a week of "winter" weather and a snow covered Mt Wellington, skippers were greeted with fine and sunny, albeit "cool" conditions with a steady 10 to 12 knot prevailing NNW'er that had the 16 skippers scratching their heads as to which rig to use. A number rigged up with B rig only to change up to A Rig as the breeze softened shortly before racing was to commence. PRO duties were allocated to each skipper in turn for each race with no particular order other than the skippers list I made prior to racing, and with 14 races completed during the day, only 2 skippers missed their turn to "run the show". The course for the day was start between 1 and 2, windward beat up to 6 to port, short run down to 4 then into 3, back up to 6 again for a longer run down to the bottom gate before a short but decisive windward beat to the finish between 1 and 2. The last beat to the finish proved to be make or break throughout the day depending on which mark was rounded and the mood that Hughie was in at the time. It was certainly a case of each race not being over till the fat lady sang.
Race 1 saw Risdon Brook stalwart Michael Hickman take the gun from another Risdon veteran, Lisa Blackwood finishing second and the none too shabby Ray Joyce finishing third. Race 2 went to John Hall with Andrew Wardrop and Michael filling the minor podium places. Race 3 line honours went to Matt Gray with myself second and Ray on the podium again in third place. Race 4 and Matt and I made a carbon copy of the previous race finishing first and second respectively and seasoned yachtie Rod Jackman on the podium for the first time for the day. After the first drop, Matt held the lead with 4 points with myself in second spot on 7.3 points, Michael in third place and 8 points, Lisa in fourth with 11 points and Rod rounding out the top 5 with 12 points.
Race 5 saw Lisa take line honours and a second podium from Wayne Behrens in second and Matt on the podium again with a third placing. Rod took the gun in Race 6 from Ray and Bruce Rose with his first podium of the day in third place. Race 7 and another win for Lisa with Ray back on the podium and a second, and David Jones mixing it with a third place. Race 8 saw Matt notch up his third win for the day and was the only skipper to do so, from second placed Lisa and John Hall in the top three. After the second drop, Lisa led the field with 15 points from second place Ray on 18.6 points, Matt in third with 19 points, Rod and myself rounding out the top five with 21 and 27.3 points respectively.
Race 9 saw my only win for the day with Michael finishing second and John on the third step of the podium for a double in that position. Ray sailed well in Race 10 to take the win from Jammie Jones on the podium again in second place as too Matt with a third place. Race 11 line honours went to "Sir" Rodney, closely followed home by Matt and Lisa. Race 12 saw Michael's second win for the day with Lisa ever competitive in second place, ditto Matt in third place. The penultimate Race 13 went to Wayne Behrens with Michael and Lisa fighting it out for the minor placings. The final race for the day, Race 14, went to Bruce Rose with Lisa and Matt rounding out the top three.
Final placings for the day saw Lisa Blackwood take a comfortable win with 32.7 points from second placed Matt Gray with 45 points, Rod Jackman third with 47.1 points, Michael Hickman finishing in fourth place with 51 points and yours truly rounding out the top five with 64.1 points.
Next Sunday is the IOM Mid Winter Challenge that unfortunately will not be counted as a ranking event due to an administrative error. Briefing is at 10:15 AM with racing from 10:30AM.
Till then, wet sails.
July Long Distance Series
A glorious sunny winters day at Risdon Brook for the July Long Distance Series with BOM forecast of 5 to 15 knot norwest to northerly winds easing around mid-afternoon before strengthening later in the evening and that's pretty much what was on offer from Huey. A good mix of 9 IOM's and 4 Marbleheads fronted for Race 1 which saw a solid 10 to 12 knot norwester and the IOM's opting for their A rigs and the M's going with their B rigs. Handicaps were allocated with Les Hanson, John Banks and David Murfet as the scratch starters, the rest of the IOM's starting a further 1:30 behind and the M's giving the front markers a 3 minute head start. Course was the standard Long Distance course from start between 1 and 2, a solid windward leg up to the outer bay mark and then a nice long run back down to finish between 1 and 2. Again, weed was the skipper's nemesis with at least one skipper suffering in each race.
David Murfet had his "new" Mojo tuned nicely to keep the fleet at bay and take line honours in the first race, as too Les Hanson finishing second with John Hall pegging back most of the field with his Marblehead to take third place. The fleet increased by one with Kyle Stewart adding another IOM to the mix starting with the other IOM back markers. Race 2 saw IOM back marker Rod Jackman join the dots and avoid the weed to get the gun from David Murfet on the podium again in second place and backmarker Kyle Stewart sailing well to finish in third spot. Race 3 saw the wind starting to ease and some of the M's changing to maximum sail area. Line honours went to Les Hanson for a second podium, and Dave Murfet making three out of three podiums with a second place and David Jones also sailing well to finish in third place. Race 4 saw Les Hanson take the gun for a double and John Banks keeping the pack at bay with a second, the Silver Fox Peter Darcy making the right moves to take third place on the podium. After the first drop, Les Hanson led the field with a 1 point margin from David Murfet on 5 points and second overall, and David Jones the best of the IOM back markers in third place.
After the lunch break, racing resumed with John Hall overhauling the entire fleet to take the win with his Marblehead from second place IOM Les Hanson with another top three finish as too Kyle Stewart finishing in third. Race 6 saw IOM back marker Stuart Harris get home first followed by John Banks and Bruce Rose; three IOM's filling the podium. Race 7 was a nightmare for some with yours truly managing to get to the top mark first as the wind died to virtually nothing, only to pick up a serious piece of weed and see the fleet disappear in what little breeze was left. John Banks avoided any weed problems to take the gun, followed by Ray Joyce staying out west on the run with his new Marblehead and his only podium for the day, and the Silver Fox finishing with a second third place for the day.
Overall and runaway winner for the day was Les Hanson with 19 points, comfortably clear of second place Peter Darcy with 28 points, 1 point ahead of third place John Banks with 29 points.
Next Sunday is Round 4 of the IOM Winter Scratch Series with racing rom 11:00 AM.
TasWater has advised that Risdon Brook Park will be CLOSED ALL THIS WEEK for maintenance and repairs so the will be NO Wednesday sailing, however a number of us will be taking IOM's and or DF95's for a casual sail at Montrose Bay Yacht Club from 10:30 AM
Til then, wet sails.
A fine and sunny winter’s day with forecast light norwesterlies veering to the north later in the day and strengthening by evening. On arrival to the Brook, a steady 6 to 8 knot variable norwester set the stage for another day of close, but at times frustrating, Marblehead racing for Round 3 of the 2016 Winter Series. Stuart Harris volunteered to do the PRO duties and was assisted for a few races by Anthony Castray, and to both of you a big THANKYOU from the eight skippers that fronted. Course for the day was the standard Course 1: start between 1 and 2, windward beat up to 6, into 5, short downwind to 3 then 4, back up to 6 and 5 for a longer run down to the gate then a short windward dash to the finish line between 1 and 2.
Race 1 and Andrew Wardrop got the ball rolling with a solid win followed by Lisa Blackwood in second and Peter Sylvester finishing in third place. Race 2 and Lisa got the jump on the fleet at the start and took line honours from John Hall in second and Ray Joyce with his new beast and its impressive looking polished bronze bulb taking the minor podium spot. By race end the breeze had died to virtually nothing so an early lunch was called. Lisa decided to pull the pin to take advantage of the fine day and go and do some gardening. Whatever floats your boat but I dig where she was coming from (sorry)!
With the wind filling back in and more in the north, racing resumed with John Hall taking the win in Race 3 and yours truly coming to the party with a second as did Peter with his second podium finish in third spot. Race 4 and Ray cracked the champers with the maiden win for his new boat, with yours truly taking another second and Andrew Wardrop in the top three as well. After the first drop, John Hall led the field with 7 points from second placed Andrew Wardrop with 8 points, Ray Joyce and myself both on 9 points and Lisa in the top five with 12 points despite only contesting two races.
Race 5 saw the wind swing further north and a course change was call by Stu Harris: to mark 5 first then six, the box being reversed. I notched up my first win for the day with Peter Sylvester close behind in second and Ray Joyce with his third podium for the day finishing in third place. Race 6 and a double for the F3 closely followed home by John Hall in second and Ray with his forth podium and a third. Another win for Ray in Race 7 with Peter the bride's maid and yours truly the page boy. Race 8 saw John take his second win for the day with Ray getting the new girl home in second and Andrew Wardrop on the podium again with a third. After the second drop, Ray had taken the lead with 13 points, followed by myself and John both with 14 points, Peter in fourth place with 22 points and Andrew rounding out the top 5 with 25 points.
Race 9 and Andrew Wardrop grabbed his second win for the day with myself in second place and John Hall hot on my transom in third place. With one race to go, I held a 1 point lead over John and Ray both on 17 points, Andrew in forth with 22 points and Peter Sylvester in fifth with 25 points. The overall win for the day was up for grabs coming down to the last race. The final race was a close one with John taking the gun from yours truly in second and Peter in third. Johns third win for the day was enough to take the overall win on countback from the F3, both of us on 18 points and Ray taking out third place overall with 22 points. Despite the sometimes frustrating and fickle winds, the racing was of a high calibre and was conducted in the manner expected and a enjoyable day's sailing was had by all skippers.
Sunday is Long Distance with racing from 11:00 AM and a BBQ lunch or maybe a sav or two for something easy and different.
Till then, wet sails.
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