Round 5 of the IOM Summer Series and what a day of IOM racing with bottom B Rig conditions all the way up to top end C Rig by the end of the scratch racing. The wind was forecast to strengthen to 40-50 km/h in the afternoon, as it did, but with more subdued mid range B Rig sailing for the mornings Handicap Series. Winds were challenging as usual at the Brook and there was plenty of opportunities, and more than one way around the cans. PRO for the day was Stuart Harris and did a superb job as always.
Eleven starters for the handicap racing with David Murfet, Peter Germein and Les Hanson off scratch and the rest of the fleet off 1 minute. Race 1 was a classic "know the course" race as the leading boats sailed to the wrong 3rd mark allowing myself, Ray Joyce and David Jones to take the podium. No such error in Race 2 with Michael Hickman taking line honours followed by Ray Joyce and David Murfet. Race 3 and another winner as John Hall took the win with Michael on the podium again, as too the consistent Ray Joyce with a hat trick of podium finishes. By now the handicaps were sorting themselves out. Race 4 saw a win for the V9 Wasabi, followed by stable mate The Silver Fox skipper by Peter Darcy and Matt Gray driving Michael's V8 into third place. The Commodore crack a well sailed win in Race 5 as too Les Hanson sailing the conditions well to take second and David Jones sailing off 1:20 taking out third place. Race 6 and Rod Jackman notched up a win off his starting handicap with the ever present Ray Joyce on the podium again and a trifecta of thirds for Jammie. Race 7 and Les Hanson showed us the way to win followed closely though by Rod Jackman now off 1:30 and Peter Darcy off 1:20 in third place. The final Race 7 and Wasabi notched up a third win from the challenge of Ray Joyce and David Jones.
Ray Joyce mastered the conditions and his handicap well to take the Handicap Series with 15 points, well ahead of yours truly with 21 points and Michael Hickman third with 23 points. Lunch was called and extended a tad to allow a shower to pass over before resuming the afternoon session.
Fleet down to ten for the afternoon Scratch Series and the wind was now mid to top end B Rig, 10 to 20 knots with a decent wave fetch coming down the dam and refracting back off the dam wall as well. Rod Jackman threw down the gauntlet in Race 1 with a strong win from Matt Gray second and myself third. Pretty much a carbon copy in Race 3 except that David Jones edged me out to take third place. A Hat Trick to Rod in Race 3 with Peter Darcy taking a second and Ray Joyce taking the podium. Race 4 and the Silver Fox bettered his score by 1 with a win from John Hall and Rod Jackman sailing a below par third. Race 5 and the wind was pushing the B Rigs to their limits and beyond. Only four boats managed to finish from the starting 7 boats but Rod Jackman again showed his heavy weather sailing skills with another win from Ray Joyce and Michael Hickman. Race 6 and the fleet was down to the 5 with C Rigs. The modern IOM hulls really do love a ton of breeze and the last 3 races were great to watch. Rod Jackman took his fifth win for the series with Michael Hickman hot on his tails for second and John Hall getting home for third. Race 7 and Michael Hickman got the C Rig humming to take a narrow win from Rod Jackman and John Hall with a daily double third. The final race for the day was Race 8 and the five boats finished within 10 to 15 seconds of one and other. Michael Hickman took the win from Ray Joyce and Rod Jackman.
Rod easily won the series with a net 7 points, 8 points ahead of Michael Hickman on 15 points and Ray Joyce third with 19 points. The day saw some exciting yacht racing with B and C Rig conditions pushing the IOM's to their limits.
Not unlike the 18 Foot Skiffs that are sailing The JJ Giltinan Championship. Race 2 saw some incredible top end A rig conditions and for those that weren't at the dam today, as well as those that were, checkout the YouTube link below. It will give you a feel of what it was like. The start is delayed for quite a while but the commentary is interesting and the action starts as they approach the top mark for the first time, ideally watched with a beverage of choice or three. Watch in 780HD.
Michael Hickman leaves tomorrow for the National IOM Titles in Adelaide and on behalf of the members I wish him all the very best of luck and a bag for of podium places.
Next Sunday is Long Distance with racing from 11:00 AM.
Till then, wet sails,
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