Wednesday Handicap Series
Another glorious spring day at the Brook today with light winds, maybe up to 5 knots at times, mainly from the west nor-west and a few frustrating swings and lulls to spice things up. I had the pleasure of being PRO and after taking everyone's donation to enter the race, gave the skippers their handicaps. Wednesday Coordinator Stuart Harris has split the fleet into scratch , 20 seconds, 40 seconds and 60 seconds after the gun, and the usual 30, 20, 10 second penalty for each race. Overall podium finishers will have their handicaps adjusted at the discretion of the coordinator.
Denis Lees won the first race off scratch, with Chris Wood off 20 in second and Peter Sylvester off 40 in third place. John Banks stepped up to the podium in Race 2 after starting off 20 seconds with an improving Rob Cooney off 20 in second place and the Red Dragon picking up third spot from 40 behind. A steady breeze blowing down the dam was enough to call Race 3 Long Distance and handicaps adjusted accordingly. The extra distance and a few holes to negotiate allowed the experienced salties to reign back the scratch markers with Bruce Rose off 40 seconds taking the gun well ahead of backmarker David Jones and sailing below his true handicap, Chris Wood in third place.
At the lunch break, Chris Wood topped the leader board on 9 points, with Bruce Rose 3 points adrift in second spot and Andrew Wardrop 4 points back in third. Rob Cooney was in fourth place on 18 points and the hungry pack of John Banks, Rod Jackman and David Jones all tied 1 point back in fifth place.
Racing resumed with a few hints of a sea breeze but the nor wester eventually kicked back in and the same course was sailed for the last three races. The back marking Team Vickers stole the show in Race 4 with the Silver Fox beating home Rod Jackman and David Jones, all off 60 seconds. Chris Wood sailed another consistent race to win Race 6 from the improving Denis Lees in second place, with John Banks in third.
With the last race to be sailed, Chris Wood was comfortably on top of the leader board with 10 points, Denis Lees' second in the previous race shot him to second spot with 16 points and John Banks jumped from sixth to third on 17 points. The final race of the series was won by Peter Sylvester off 50 seconds, and another solid second for Denis Lees with the always competitive Rod Jackman in third place. Final results were a comfortable win and custody of the Plank Trophy to Chris Wood, second place to Denis Lees who received the Coordinator's Cup and John Banks taking home the honour of finishing third.
Next Sunday is the IOM State Regatta and again I urge the Wednesday sailors to enter, if not come and watch with the family.
Til then, wet sails,
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