IOM Winter 2019 #1

The forecast for this first IOM Winter Series race was rather dire with rain potentially heavy at times all afternoon.  As it was we raced for most of the afternoon without rain, which started during the last race or so, but even then not too heavy, making for a great afternoons sailing. There was plenty of discussion about was it a No 1 or No 2 breeze to start with and the fleet was split nearly 50/50.  Putting a boat with No 1 rig on the water 10 minutes before the start looked like the right choice, but that all changed by start time as we waited for the final stragglers (some who had changed down).  A number of nasty gusts swept down the lake from the clubhouse giving some tricky control issues for those in Top Rig as the race started and didn’t change when coming down the first run.  By the time Race 2 started most of the fleet were in No 2 and things were a little more serene, although there were still a few difficult gusts leading to nose dives if you were in the wrong area on the run.  Seven races were completed before a break for a late lunch, with the wins being shared around the top boats.

After lunch, the wind seemed to have abated and a number of skippers opted to change back up.  There were a few difficult gusts during race 8, but then things settled down to be a good Top suit breeze and anyone who stayed in a smaller rig was now at a disadvantage especially at the sheltered top marks.  Five more races were completed  before the rain set in, the light was fading and racing was stopped.  All of the racing was very close especially at the top of the fleet, where being on the wrong side of a shift could see a lead evaporate very quickly and even lost.  As is often the case though, some helms always manage to make the best of the conditions and the final results after 12 races were:

  1. Brad Gibson                 2         17pts
  2. Martin Roberts         22         20pts
  3. Darin Ballington      85         32pts
  4. Peter Baldwin            63         34pts
  5. Graham Elliot           117         40pts
  6. Alan Watkinson        23         62pts
  7. Lawrence Drennan  57         64pts
  8. John Brierley              84         72pts
  9. John Berry                    12         85pts

For information Brad had 5 wins, Martin 4, Darin 2 and Peter 1