As today was Australia Day, we planned for an extensive day of racing with IOM handicap racing in the morning followed by A Class and IOM Scratch sailing in the afternoon. Unfortunately the wind was not kind to us and did not exceed 5 knots all day. As races took longer than usual to complete the best that we could do was an 8-race handicap series. While racing was slow, it was tight, and with the Australia Day shield at stake, skippers were keen to do well.
Many thanks to Andrew Wardrop and Rod Marshall for organising a delicious sausage sizzle luncheon which made the day special. A lunchtime meeting was a profitable way to discuss a couple of club issues. Thanks also to Rod, Andrew and Kyle for the work that they have been putting into planning for improved launching facilities at Montrose.
Race 6 caused some chaos. Some skippers believed that they had completed the course and finished the race while others thought that there was a lap to go and kept sailing. There was no other way to resolve the impasse caused other than to re-sail the race.
Although some of the long handicapped skippers did well in some races today it was generally a day for the back-markers who had plenty of time to catch up with the longer races.
The winner today, and recipient of the Australia Day Sheild was Ray Joyce who finished the day on just 7 points well ahead of his nearest opposition. Ray also won the shield last year. Second and third positions were filled by Mat Gray and Lisa Blackwood.
With our handicap system it is usual for skippers in the top third of the fleet to extend their handicap by 10 seconds while skippers in the bottom third reduces their handicap. But (as has happened this week) when a scratch skipper wins the day there is a ‘shakedown’ of handicaps and those skippers in the top third of the fleet retain their handicap and all others have their handicap reduced.
Next Sunday’s sailing is for Marbleheads starting at 1:00 at Risdon Brook Dam.
Next Wednesday’s handicap at the Dam, being the first Wednesday in February, will be for DF95’s
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