Forecast for the day was north to northwesterly 10 to 20 knots tending west to northwesterly during the morning although at the Brook it was the other way round with a fairly consistent NNW breeze of around 10 knots during the morning, lightening around noon and tending westerly in the afternoon. Eleven skippers fronted for Round 5 of the IOM Scratch Series and conceded to the B Rig for the start of racing. PRO duties were allocated via the skippers list method with all bar one of the skippers having done their duty during Round 4, leaving Peter Darcy to get the show on the road. Course was set to the standard Course 1; start between 1 and 2, windward beat up to 6 and into 5, cross over down to 4 and into 3, back up to 6 and 5 before a final run down to the gate and short windward beat to finish between 1 and 2.
Race 1 line honours went to Lisa Blackwood with Ray Joyce second and yours truly third. After a rather ordinary result in the first race, Race 2 saw one of the Brook's masters, Michael Hickman take the win from Lisa again on the podium, as too Ray with second and third place finishes respectively. Race 3 saw a double for Michael with myself second and David Jones on the podium in third place. Race 4 and a hat trick to Michael with Ray up for a second podium and Lisa her third podium in 4 races. With the breeze fading, lunch was called a little earlier and after the first drop, Michael led the fleet with 3 points from Lisa on 5 points, third place was Ray one point behind with 6 points, fourth was yours truly with 9.3 points and Peter Darcy rounding out the top five with 13.7 points.
Racing resumed with skippers changing up to the A Rig and with the westerly shift, the course was changed to start between 1 and 2, up to 6 and into 5, a windward beat of a tack or two out to the wing mark 9, shy reach down to the bottom mark 7 of the gate, 2 laps finish between 1 and 2. Race 5 and another win from Michael with Lisa keeping him honest in second and Matt Gray finally turning up and on the water to take the third spot. Race 6 and the form continued for Michael with yet another bullet for five in a row, Lisa still on his tail with a double in second place and a minor podium for Wasabi. With Michael in the PRO's seat for Race 7, Wayne Behrens took advantage to take the gun from Matt and yours truly in second and third spot. Race 8 and the form continued with another win for Michael with the Silver Fox in second place and Ray in third. After the second drop, no prizes for guessing the leader; Michael leading comfortably with 6 points, Lisa second with 13.6 points, Ray third with 15.6 points, myself fourth with 20 points and Darcy rounding out the top five with 24.7 points.
Race 9 and a bit of drama with no. 35 sailing off to Clarkies Bay on its own accord forcing Lisa to DNF and miss several races. The wind had swung back to the right and the course was changed back to the morning's Course 1. Ray took the gun from Michael in an unusual second spot with Matt finishing in third place. Lisa's DNF dropped her to third spot in the fleet with Ray now in second place overall. Race 10 saw another win for Wayne Behrens with John Hall making his only podium for the day in second place and Ray sailing consistently well into third place. After Race 10, Lisa had dropped to fourth with Wasabi now in third place. Race 11 and the domination continued with another win from Michael with Matt finishing second and Darcy third. With Lisa still off the water, she dropped to fifth place on the leader board. Race 12 was the final race for the day and with no. 35 back on the water, some "damage control" was sought, however Lisa wasn't able to hold off Wayne Behrens taking line honours from herself in second and Michael slightly off song with a third place. Wayne's win meant he was the only skipper other than Michael to have multiple wins for the day.
Final results and a complete schooling of the fleet in how to master the Brook's enigma's saw Michael Hickman slaughter the fleet to win with 14.2 points, streets ahead of second place Ray Joyce with 35.3 points and third place going to yours truly with 37.9 points.
Next Sunday is Round 5 of the Winter Series for Marbleheads with racing from 11:00 AM.
Till then, wet sails.
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