Not a huge turnout for IOM Handicap with only seven boats on the water for the days racing. With a forecast 10 to 20 knot variable west to NNW breeze, racing at the Brook was going to be the usual game of snakes and ladders with luck also playing its hand as weed was still a nuisance and race stopper if encountered. With the wind so variable, setting a course was headache but we ended up racing two courses depending on the oscillations. Course for the NNW'er was start between 1 and 2, windward beat up to 6 then on to the top 0 mark, run back down to 3, another lap of that with a running finish between 1 and 2, all marks to starboard. When the wind was in its westerly phase, the course was reaching port start between 1 and 2 to 3, windward leg out to 9 to 6 to 3, repeat and finish between 1 and 2 after rounding mark 6. B rig was the choice for the first few races until the breeze moderated in the afternoon and A rig was the only option.
Race 1 and the scratch advantage was enough to see Les Hanson take line honours from 30 second starter Peter Sylvester with David Jones beating the rest of the fleet, all starting on 1 minute, to take out third place. The usual handicap adjustments were made after each race; 30 seconds for first, 20 for second and 10 seconds for third place. After returning from his big island winter walkabout, Rod Jackman notched up a win with Jammy on the podium again in second place as too Peter Sylvester with a third place finish. Race 3 and a win for Wasabi off 60 seconds with Les sailing well off 30 seconds to take second and Sir Rodney finding the right lanes from 1:30 to take out third spot. After 3 races, a three way countback had Les on top with 10 points from Rod second, Jammy third, myself and Pete in 4th and 5th with 12 points each as well. Race 4 and Jammy got the bullet off 1:30 with Pete notching up another second off 1 minute and Stu Harris finally getting on the podium with a third place after starting off 1 minute. Jammy took the lead with his win and 6 points, 1 point ahead of Peter in second with Les and Rod in 3rd and 4th, both on 8 points and Stu Harris rounding out the top 5 with 11 points.
Race 5 was a race of attrition with only 4 boats managing to avoid weed and finish the course. Stu Harris overcame his 1:10 handicap to take the win from Les off 50 seconds and Peter in third place off 1:20. It was tight at the top of the leader board with a 3 way countback. Les led from Jammy and Peter, all on 10 points with Stu Harris 4th on 12 points and Sir Rodney in 5th place with 14 points. Race 6 saw Jammy starting last off 2 minutes and overtake the fleet to notch up another win from Rod in second off 1:40 and Andrew Wardrop making his first podium for the day off his starting handicap of 60 seconds. The podium placing must have inspired Andrew as he managed to out sail the fleet and take the gun in Race 7 with Les starting off 1:10 finishing in second place and Peter Sylvester taking out third place after starting off 1:30. With one race to sail, Jammy lead the fleet with 16 points, second was Les on countback from Peter, both on 18 points, Rod 4 points in arrears with 20 points and Stu Harris in fifth place with 21 points.
The final race for the day saw line honours going to Rod Jackman with Stu Harris second and Les Hanson finishing in third place. With Jammy only finishing in fourth place after starting last, Rod's win was enough to see him take victory for the day on countback from Les, both on 15 points, with Jammy relegated to third place and 16 points.
Next Sunday is Round 1 of the IOM Summer Series. With Daylight Savings kicking in, racing is from 1:00 PM. Next Wednesday is IOM handicap and DF scratch racing.
Till then, wet sails.
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