Another week on and another storm in the form of Dennis threatened to batter the boats at this, the last of the RG65/DF65 Winter series. As it turned out, the club happened to be in a fortunate location with manageable winds and very little rain. The average direction at the start was SSE and so diagonally across the lake from the clubhouse to the far corner.
Four RG’s and three DF’s were on the start line for the first race after John Brierleys journey from North Wales was blocked by floods and fallen trees and other visitors decided that Dennis was going to cause problems for their journey. The three DF’s opted for their B rig due to the expected gusts whilst in the RG’s there was a mix of B swings and low aspect A conventional rigs.
Key to getting a good result was keeping the boat moving and being on the right tack for the rapid shifts that occurred. Boats could be overpowered in a gust one second and sat waiting for the wind the next. Seven races were completed before tea with some strong gusts causing problems downwind for most boats. At the break Neil had three wins, with Alan and Peter two apiece in the RG fleet. Andrew took the lions share of 6 wins in the DF fleet with Richard one, having taken the first.
After the break, the wind initially seemed to have moderated due to the light rain now falling, but the rain soon stopped and the gusts started again, some of which were from a S or SSW direction. After completing 11 races, the RG wins were shared between Neil (conventional A) with 5, Peter (swing B) with 4 and Alan (conventional A) taking 2 wins. Peter took the day by two points from Neil who had an unfortunate sinking feeling during the last race, with Alan in third. Andrew comfortably took the overall win in the DF fleet with 10 wins, with John Carlin second after Richard dropped out at race 6.
- Peter Baldwin 63 14pts 4 wins
- Neil Westbrook 03 16pts 5 wins
- Alan Wilkinson 23 22pts 2 wins
- Dave Williams 33 30pts
- Andrew Peter 19 9pts 10 wins
- John Carlin 11 20pts
- Richard Robinson 01 26pts 1 win
Next week (22nd February) is round 6 of the IOM Winter series.
A beautiful sunny morning greeted the 10 DF65s to Birkenhead with A+ rigs the order of the day. Racing was moved to the east bank by Race Officer Ernie, to give a windward / leeward course, but with the recent high winds there was a lot of debris along the bank and competitors that took the right hand gate kept clear of obstructions, whilst the left hand gate was the favoured one to gain the lift of the bank but the risk of picking up twigs was high.
There were four race winners and Don gained his first win with Neil having the most wins with 4. Again it was the consistency of John to take the win, with Richard rapidly improving and take second place. John C also had a very good day with a steady performance. Thanks once again to Ernie for running the racing.
- John Brierley 84 14pts
- Richard Robinson 01 17pts
- Neil Westbrook 03 24pts
- John Carlin 11 33pts
- Alan Watkinson 373 38pts
- Don MacKinnon 983 40pts
- Dave Pickup 86 41pts
- Mike St Paer 35 50pts. 1x3rd
- Richard Walker 39 50pts 0x3rd
- Chris Weston 194 67pts.
10 races sailed
After last weeks IOM racing all of the marks needed repositioning to get a decent course for this weeks racing with a decent A rig (RG65) and A+ rig breeze from the WNW. Racing started very soon after 12:00 with the four RG65’s sailing 10 metres further up the lake than the seven DF65’s (including four visitors from Gresford).
In the RG65 fleet of Pocket Rockets, Alan Watkinson used his tall A conventional rig to good effect and took wins in the first two races. Peter Baldwin then got into a groove and won the next 5, before a break for lunch and a hot drink. Suitably refreshed after lunch, Neil Westbrook took 2 wins from the next three races and Alan had a further win, before Peter took the final two races, with the wind by now easing a few knots as the sun went down.
Andrew Peter had a commanding day in the DF65 fleet, winning eleven out of the twelve races. Only John Carlin managed to keep him from the podium, before he had to retire with some winch troubles. David Bradley and Bob Andrews from Gresford both came close to beating Andrew in a number of races, with the result only being decided in the last few metres to the line.
An excellent day of 12 races with close racing in both fleets. Thanks once again to Jack and Bernie for running our racing and making drinks at lunchtime. Our visitors from Gresford enjoyed the “Birkenhead Experience” and have promised to return for the final event in this Winter series, which takes place on Saturday 15th February.
- Peter Baldwin 63 13pts 7 wins
- Neil Westbrook 03 19pts 2 wins
- Alan Watkinson 23 26pts 3 wins
- Dave Williams 33 31pts
- Andrew Peter 919 10pts 11wins
- David Bradley 98 23pts
- Rob Andrews 835 35pts
- Charles Legg 13 41pts
- Keith Pizzey 517 44pts
- Russell Owens 903 55pts
- John Carlin 11 60pts 1 win
12 races sailed
There was an excellent turnout of 18 boats at this the third of the Winter IOM series at Birkenhead. Everyone was treated to a new view as they looked across the lake from the southern shoreline as shown in the photo above. The trees all along the Northern edge have been cut down over the last week and the factory units are clearly visible again. This brought back memories of the lakeside and the surrounding areas from years ago for some long standing members!
With a breeze from the South as we started, a course was set with two beats across the lake and a long reach back to one end of the start line. Although there was a good 6 to 8 knot breeze blowing whilst the course was being setup, this seemed to disappear during the early races with boats getting stuck in significant holes whilst boats behind caught up with them on a light breeze from a different direction. By the lunch break, the wind seemed to have moved to a more westerly direction and so marks were moved around so that races could be run in the opposite direction.
Racing was mostly very tight between the top four or five boats with places often only decided in the last few meters to the finish line. Occasionally, a boat would get a good breeze off the start line and have a commanding lead by the first mark and then keep or even extend this lead by the finish. By the end of the day, conditions had become very difficult at times with significant gusts causing boats to lose control if you were in the wrong place on the course when the gust hit. Everyone seemed happy to finish at race 10 with the conditions as they were.
Graham Elliott made the best of the conditions with his Britpop, taking the day by winning seven out of the ten races. Brad Gibson sailing his Red Wine was second with a consistent set of results including one first, that very rarely saw him out of second place. John Brierley in a Britpop rounded out the podium in third place and another win, with Peter Baldwin taking the other win in his Lintel MMX.
Thanks once again must go to Bernie and Jack for running the racing and Joyce for providing a hot cuppa at break time.
- Graham Elliott 9 9pts
- Brad Gibson 2 17pts
- John Brierley 84 27pts
- David Potter 20 32pts
- Peter Baldwin 63 34pts
- Martin Roberts 55 37pts
- Neil Westbrook 03 53pts
- Lawrence Drennan 57 60pts
- John Berry 112 73pts
- Howard Garner 67 74pts
- Alan Watkinson 23 77pts
- Chris Chatfield 7 80pts
- Vicky Gibson 62 89pts
- John Pemerton 114 106pts
- Charles Legg 25 110pts
- Dave Williams 33 117pts
- Ray Woods 51 122pts
- Mike Williamson 43 133pts
Ten races sailed. The next event in the IOM Winter series is on Saturday 25th January.
A new year, the start of a new series and a new look to Birkenhead’s lake, for the 10 DF65s today. Warm and overcast with light winds was the order of the day, with some very close racing, which was reflected in the final scores.
The battle at the pointy end of the fleet was one between John, Neil, Alan and Richard.
John and Neil tied on 16 points with John breaking the tie with 5 firsts to Neil’s 3. The third and fourth places were even closer with both Alan and Richard tied with one first each and requiring the number of seconds to split the tie in Alan’s favour. Dave Williams, after using his discards with servo damage, then put some solid races together to finish 5th. These One Design boats are certainly providing close racing!
With ALL the trees now removed from around the lake, the club starts a new season with enhanced sailing conditions.
- John Brierley 16pts 5 x 1sts
- Neil Westbrook 16pts 3 x 1sts
- Alan Watkinson 29pts 1 x 1st, 3 x 2nds
- Richard Robinson 29pts 1 x 1st, 1 x 2nds
- Dave Williams 36pts
- Mike St Paer 41pts
- John Carling 45pts
- Dave Pickup 49pts
- Richard Walker 54pts
- Chris Weston 69pts
10 races sailed.
Once again big thanks to Ernie for keeping us all in check.
Next Saturday is the third of the IOM winter series, start time 12:00. Wind looks to be from the Gautby Road End, so do come and see how the conditions have improved with the trees no longer there.