Another very pleasant "Indian Summer's" day on the Brooke today for IOM Handicap racing. BOM forecast for the day was light variable winds becoming south to south easterly 10 to 15 knots by late morning, and they were bang on! At the Brooke, the light variable winds were 1 to 3 knots from the west over the dam wall and the "sea breeze" 3 to 8 knots I would suggest, funnelling over the dam and over the car park to meet on the sailing course, you get the picture. Plenty of snakes and ladders picking the shifts and staying in breeze. With these conditions it was disappointing to see only six skippers turn up, but we had a very enjoyable sailing session anyway.
The skippers and handicaps were: The Commodore David Murfet and Les Hanson off scratch, Peter Darcy, Ray Joyce, Stuart Harris and yours truly off 60 seconds. With the handicap starting box gone, the scratch starter was used, the back marker/s starting on the gun and the mid and front markers at their respective adjusted times of the countdown. For this report I will use the standard handicap start times.
Race 1 saw Les Hanson take line honours, with Dave Murfet finishing second and myself third. Race 2 and backmarker Ray Joyce fleeted the field to take the gun with the Commodore off 20 seconds, again on the podium with a double second place and Peter Darcy taking the third spot. Race 3 and Les Hanson notched up his second win off 30 seconds, with yours truly off 1:10 grabbing second place and the Silver Fox also off 1:10 and also bagging a double third place.
After 3 races, Les Hanson led the field on countback from Dave Murfet, both on 8 points, with myself on countback from Darc in third place, both on 10 points, Ray on 11 points and Stu on 16 points.
Race 4, the first drop. Stu Harris got his act together to take a win from 60 seconds back, followed by myself off 1:30 and a hat trick third place for Darcy off 1:20. With the first drop in play, Wasabi led the field with 7 points, 1 point ahead of Les on countback from Dave, Darcy in fourth place with 9 points, Ray fifth with 11 points on countback from Stu with 11 points as well.
Race 5 and Les Hanson starting off 1 minute, overcame a 20 second head start by the Commodore, and kept clear ahead of the rest of us to take his third win for the day. Dave Murfet was still able to take out second place with the Silver Fox hot on his transom off 1:30 to take his forth third spot placing in a row. Les' win took him to the top of the leader board on 9 points, Dave Murfet second with 10 points, myself third on countback from Darcy on 12 points, Ray fifth with 15 points and Stu DFL :) with 17 points.
Race 6 and the Silver Fox out foxed the fleet from his 1:40 start time, Stuart Harris off 1:30 with his first podium in second place, and a tie (Darcy called it!) for third between Dave and myself. Darcy's win shot him to the top of the leader board with 13 points, half a point (from the tie) ahead of Dave Murfet in second, half a point clear of Les in third, myself fourth with 15.5 points, Stu propelling himself from the bottom of the stack to fifth place with 19 points and Ray now DFL with 20 points.
Race 7 and Ray had something to say about being DFL and took advantage of his start from 1:30 to win from a charging Darcy off the far back marker of 2:10 in second and Stu Harris on the podium again with an improving third place off 1:50. With one race to go, Darcy still held the top rung with 15 points, Dave Murfet second with 17.5 points, Les third with 18 points, myself forth with 20.5 points, just in front of Ray with 21 points, and Stu now DFL but by only 1 point.
Race 8 and I bagged my only win for the day starting off 2 minutes, with Les taking second place off 1:30 and Dave off 1:10 filling the minor podium places.
Overall placing's for the day and congratulations to Les Hanson who won the day with 3 wins and 14 points. Second place went to Peter Darcy just 1 point adrift with 15 points. Third place and ironically, the tie in Race 6 for third, repeated itself in the overall results with myself and Dave Murfet tied, my last win giving me the countback for third place with 16.5 points.
Despite the small fleet, the days racing was very enjoyable with the breeze fairly consistent in strength and fairly predictable in shift direction. Next Sunday is the final round for the IOM Summer Series with scratch racing from 11:00 AM and handicap racing from 1:30 PM. Dave Murfet is rostered for PRO.
Till then, wet sails.
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