IOM Scratch Series, Winter Round 6
Final round of the 2016 IOM Winter Scratch Series and conditions were a little funky to say the least. Bureaux predictions were for northwest to southwest winds at 5 to 15 knots and that was pretty much what the Brook threw at the solid fleet of 14 boats that eventually hit the water after a couple of late starters. With such variable winds, the first couple of races were "around the bouys" style of racing, and when the breeze was in the prevailing NNW and more conducive to windward/leeward racing, Course 1 was used. Pro duties were shared by the experienced skippers via the rotation method. It was also good to see newer members Peter Ameron and Rod Marshal on the water having a go, in a bit of a baptism of fire, with most of the club's "Sunday" IOM skippers in attendance with the exception of Sir Rodney, off galavanting around the sunnier and warmer parts of the big island, and Ray Joyce to whom the club extends our best wishes.
The wind for the first two races was favouring the WSW so the course was; start between 1 and 2, port reach to 3, close single beat or three out to the wing mark 9, shy reach down to and around both gate marks, 2 laps, finish between 1 and 2, all marks to port. Getting a good port hand start without infringing was critical, espescially in the tricky conditions. The next few races saw the wind settle from the NNW and Course 1 was used; start between 1 and 2, solid beat up to 6 and then into 5, short run down to 3 and out to 4, back up to 6 and 5, run down to the bottom gate and finish between 1 and 2. Dependent on who was PRO and what the wind was doing at the time, all the racing was on a mix of these two courses, with the addition of a second 3 to 9 "sausage" or the inclusion/omission of the final gate marks at the PRO's discretion.
Race 1 line honours went to David Jones with Chris Wood second and Michael Hickman finishing in third place. Race 2 saw a win for Wasbai with Chris Wood throwing down the gauntlet with another podium and second spot, and Michael reciprocating with another solid score and third place over the line. Michael consolidated with a solid win in Race 3, Wayne Behrens in the mix with a second place and yours truly with a second podium in third place. Race 4 saw yet another winner with Andrew Wardrop taking the gun with Stuart Harris also sailing well into second place and Michael ever present on the podium in third place. After 4 races and the first drop, Michael just led the fleet with 7 points, Wasabi second on countback from Chris Wood in third place, both on 7.3 points, Andrew Wardrop fourth on countback from Stuart Harris in fifth place, both with 10 points each.
Race 5 line honours went to Wayne Behrens with Chris Wood liking the conditions and a second place, and John Hall sailing well with a third. John did even better in Race 6 with a good win over Wayne in the top three again and Lisa Blackwood now on the water after a late arrival, in third place. Race 7 saw a win for the other late arrival, Matt Gray with Lisa showing she hasn't lost the knack of "The Brook" in second place and yours truly battling hard for a third place. Race 8 and Wasabi notched up another bullet with Lisa making it three podiums in a row with a second and Chris Wood in third for his fourth podium for the day. After the second drop, Wasabi led the fleet with 15.3 points from Michael Hickman in second place with 18 points, third Wayne Behrens with 19 points, just ahead of Chris Wood with 19.9 points and John Hall rounding out the top five with 21.4 points.
Race 9 saw another win for Chris Wood making it his second, from second place Matt Gray and Lisa Blackwood on the podium as well in third place. A double for Chris in Race 10 with Michael Hickman keeping him honest, second over the line and David Jones having a frustrating day after winning the first, in third place. The planets aligned for Chris in Race 11 with a hat trick of wins from Wayne Behrens in second spot and Matt up for his third podium in third place. Final race for the day, Race 12 and it was Michael Hickman who had the last hoorah with a solid win from Lisa Blackwood second and another solid performance from Chris Wood with a third place over the line.
Final results and congratulations go to Chris Wood with a solid performance in the testing conditions, winning the day on 24.6 points from second place Michael Hickman with 29.5 points, third was Wayne Behrens with 36.3 points, fourth yours truly with 39.2 points and David Jones rounding out the top five with 42.9 points.
Wednesday is IOM Handicap Series and DF95 Scratch Series, bring whichever you like. Next Sunday is the final round of the Marblehead Winter Scratch Series with racing from 11:00 AM.
Til then, wet sails.
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