When I was first to arrive at the dam at 9:30 this morning I was greeted with a very steady 10 to 15 knot nor-wester blowing straight down the dam, definitely top end A rig , possibly B rig. sweet! Driving over the Bowen Bridge it was quite fresh and very northerly, so things were looking good for some good IOM racing for the Summer Series Round 2. Handicap racing was scheduled for the morning and scratch for the afternoon session.
First off, a warm welcome to Robert Gavin who arrived just after me, eager to get his newly acquired Mad Max (ex MH) on the water and get the feel of the IOM. Les Hanson and Alan Furmage kindly attended to the PRO side of things and got the first race underway at 11:00 AM. Ten skippers fronted for the days racing and the handicaps were: Robert Gavin and David Murfet off scratch. Stu Harris off a generous 40 seconds, Andrew Wardrop and John Hall off 50 seconds and the rest of us off 60 seconds. The "New" course 1 was used but by the start the breeze had lightened and swung with a bit of west in it. Conditions were going to be tricky, staying in pressure and avoiding the holes, as well as being in phase with the shifts would be the key, nothing too difficult surely.
Stu Harris took advantage of his handicap and mastered the conditions to win Race 1 ahead of David Murfet in second place and John Hall third over the line. Race 2 was a battle of the Vickers livery with yours truly taking the win from Rod Jackman and David Jones, all off 60 seconds. Race 3 went to Andrew Wardrop with Michael Hickman and Rod Jackman hot on his transom. Rod took line honours in Race 4 with David Jones finishing in second place and John Hall on the podium again, again in third.
After the first drop, Rod Jackman was at the top of the leader board with 6 points, David Jones, David Murfet and John Hall all on 11points, Stu Harris on 12 points, Myself and Michael Hickman on 14 points and Andrew Wardrop on 15 points. Andrew was the only skipper to rack up multiple wins, taking line honours in Race 5 from myself in second and Stu Harris taking out third place. The Silver Fox was elusive in Race 6 and stuck his bow over the finish line in first place followed by Dave Murfet and John Hall for his third 3rd. The final race for the handicap series went to Michael Hickman and his V8 with three V9's hot on his transom, Darcy finishing second and Dave Jones finishing third.
Final results saw Rod Jackman win the day on 23 points, 2 points ahead of David Jones in second place beating John Hall on countback. Only five points separated first to eighth and two boats were on 27 points and two boats on 28 points.
The afternoon session was expecting a sea breeze but the nor wester kicked in again with even more westerly funky than the morning's conditions. Dave Murfet and Stu Harris pulled out but Lisa Blackwood made a re-appearance in the IOM fleet with a borrowed Cheinze from Darc, making a fleet of nine boats. Same course as the mornings racing.
Peter Darcy was the master of the conditions with four wins out of eight races, followed close behind by Rod Jackman with two wins and a couple of seconds. With 11 and 13 points respectively, Darc and Rod were miles ahead of the rest of us with third place getter overall David Jones back on 21 points.
Next weekend is the IOM Tasmanian Championship with racing from 11:30 on Saturday and 10:30 on Sunday. No-one is permitted to enter the ring road area before 10:30 due to the Park Run event.
Till then, wet sails.
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