A fine sunny day and a solid A rig breeze from the NW greeted skippers as they arrived for Day 1 of the State Marblehead Championships. By Race1 it had swung to the SW and become very light forcing PRO Les Hanson to set a shortened course. Six races were completed before the lunch break. After lunch the consensus agreed that the breeze was indeed a sea breeze and had swung further to the south allowing for a full course to be set. A further ten races were completed by days end. Lisa Blackwood dominated the day winning 8 of the 16 races, Michael Hickman winning 3 races, Peter Sylvester and John Hall winning 2 races each and yours truly with a solitary win.
Provisional results after Day 1 sees Lisa on 21 points, 10 points clear of Michael Hickman on 31 points, 6 points ahead of myself in third place.
Day 2 and skippers were greeted with light to glassy conditions with the wind coming from the roughly south west direction. There was a fair amount of fog and cloud but the skies were clearing and it turned out to be a pleasant sunny day. As usual at Risdon Brook, the wind was variable and at times was almost northerly to absolutely nothing as we drifted over the finish line, and throw in the odd 2m length of fox tail water weed the caught a few including yours truly. Lunch was called after Race 20 finished in photo perfect mirror conditions. A sign of a sea breeze? By lunch end the first wafts were making their way over the dam wall and Les Hanson called boats to water for the final afternoon session. Race 23 was when the sea breeze really kicked in and I called for a rig change after winning the race, with everyone except John Hall changing as well. All I can say for the last 4 races is F3 + B Rig = Rocket. Going into the last race, Lisa Blackwood's lead had dwindled to 3 points from myself with Michael Hickman 13 points back in third place overall. The F3 proved her lines in the final race taking line honours and the Championship by 1 point after an uncharacteristic fifth place from Lisa. Michael Hickman sailed consistently to secure third place overall, well clear of the rest of the fleet. Les Hanson is to be commended for a fine effort in his duties as PRO getting a further 10 races completed to make it 27 races for the championship. At times setting a course was a challenge, and at times remembering the course was a challenge as well, but with the wind so variable before the sea breeze came in, we were bound to get a windward leg somewhere. I'm sure all the skippers would agree with me that the courses were ideal to show the Marvellous Marbleheads in action.
Next Sunday is the IOM State Regatta with the usual briefing at 10:15 and racing from 10:30 AM. I would encourage the Wednesday sailors to enter and gain some valuable experience, and have some fun as well.
Til then, wet sails,
Stuart Dawes, 2015 State Marblehead Champion. Woo Hoo!
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