IOM Summer 2024 #2 – 18/5/24

If you were unable to sail this week, then you missed out on a great sail with a good top suit breeze straight down the lake along with some sun to warm things up as the breeze was a bit cool.

Dave Williams got things started soon after 13:00 after giving Peter some time to get his boat on the water after the obligatory mark moving before we started.  The line had been shortened for the small turnout of only 5 boats this week and proved to have a fair amount of port bias as the line set for the expected NW wind was more WNW or even W at times.  At least we could get across the line on Starboard and there were a few occasions when it was nearly a Starboard end start.

Sailing his Post PUNK design Brad tended to dominate the results with a string of firsts in the first session of 5 races, before we had a slightly early break to allow Peter time to fix a minor electrical problem.  Peter and Bill were usually fighting for second spot, although Alan was often in the mix as well, leading to some very close finishes.  It was good to see Stan out for his first Saturday outing in the Widget and with some helpful setup tips from Brad getting the best from the boat and keeping him in contention.

In the second session, Brad continued to dominate proceedings with faster boat speed on most legs with the only chance of passing him by catching a good shift or a decent gust.  Peter did take one win after a close port/starboard call left Brad feeling that he needed to do a turn allowing Peter enough distance to keep ahead to the finish.

Peter and Bill continued their battle for who took second place, although Alan was always in contention with one second secured in the afternoon session.  Dave kept things moving well all afternoon and with the small fleet and only a few longer breaks for boat tweaking, we finished slightly early  with 12 races completed.  Many thanks to Dave once again for being the RO and keeping the scores plus taking a few photographs, so that you can see what you missed!

  1. Brad Gibson          Post Punk  10pts
  2. Peter Baldwin       Britpop!     21pts
  3. Bill Culshaw          Britpop!     27pts
  4. Alan Watkinson   Britpop!     35pts
  5. Stan Metcalfe       Widget        48pts

Club sucesses at the IOM Nationals

Congratulations to Brad Gibson who was crowned the 2024 IOM National Champion at the end of the 3 day (and 13 races completed) MYA National Championships hosted by Poole Radio Yacht Club.

Of the other club members participating, Graham Elliott finished in 5th, Andrea Roberts in 18th and Martin in 21st.  Well done everyone – do join us for the next IOM Club racing on Saturday 18th May for some top quality racing along with helpful advice and guidance if required.

The full results are shown below.

IOM Summer Series 2024 #1 – 27/4/24

The first IOM Summer Series had a great turnout which included a few vistors getting some pre-Nationals practice in.  A light ENE breeze with some good shifts (and holes) leading to numerous place changes in many of the races.

Neil donned the waders and set a course with a bit of help from Peter on-shore, involved moving most of the marks around, although working out well for most of the day.  This always provided some challenges as to where to start and which side of the course was favoured up the beat.

Darin started the day with a win in Race 1, before Graham showed great form by takng the next three races, with Brad, Alan Bennett, John Berry and Andrea all picking up top three places in these races.  As some of these races were rather long due to very light breezes at times we then had a break, before continuing to complete another 6 races.

After the break and a few boat tweaks, Brad had a good second session, with 3 wins in the six races (plus a couple of seconds).  The other three race wins went to Darin, Alan and Graham, with the podium places split between, Alan, Andrea, Brad, Graham, Peter and Simon.  Finishing positions were however very close throughout the fleet with Alan Watkinson, Simon and Graham Birkett always in with a chance of gaining a good result. Sometimes, it came down to the final positions being determined by who managed to get the best breeze on the final leg into the finish.  Occasionally the finish line tested the line judge with 4 or 5 boats all crossing within a few seconds.

A close tussle then between the top three boats for overall honours, with Brad coming out on top after the 10 races completed.  Thanks to our joint RO’s for the afternoon Dave Williams and Neil Westbrook who ran a tight ship all afternoon.  We also have Dave to thank for the photogtaphs below.

  1. Brad Gibson            42   Post Punk  13pts
  2. Graham Elliott       09  Britpop!      17pts
  3. Alan Bennett         180  Britpop!      24pts
  4. Darin Ballington    98  Britpop!     37pts (2 wins)
  5. Andrea Roberts       37  Britpop!     37pts
  6. Peter Baldwin          63  Britpop!     40pts
  7. Simon Fairman      471  Alioth        48pts
  8. Graham Birkett      133  Widget      55pts
  9. Bill Culshaw              21  Britpop!    61pts
  10. John Berry                 12  Viper          74pts (1x3rd)
  11. Alan Watkinson      23  Britpop!   74pts
  12. Ian Davies                  33  Britpop!   96pts
  13. Charles Legg             40  K2             105pts

IOM Winter Series 2023/4 #5 – 24/2/24

Another excellent days racing for the IOM class for Round 5 of this years Winter Series at Birkenhead.

11 skippers were on the line for the 12pm start that included 2013 World Champion Rob Walsh from Fleetwood.

With a faint Westerly arriving on cue, racing got underway with a slightly reduced course length to compact the fleet. Early races were tight with an often congested windward mark needing a careful approach and the occasional slice of luck to get through cleanly. Graham Elliott, Brad Gibson and Rob were the early front runners with the odd boat length seperation at the finish.

By the time Race 4 got underway the breeze had strengthened a little with streaky gusts offering plenty of opportunty to climb or fall up the beats and extend or be swallowed up on the runs. Martin Roberts, Graham Birkett, Bill Culshaw and Alan Bennett started showing form with a number of solid races splitting the early leading group.

At the halfway point a break was taken for refreshments, a re-trim and a course change to lengthen and add a spreader mark at the windward end of the course (thank you Martin).

It was great to have Guy Cowper IOM racing with us for the first time with his Lintel MMX and see the rapid improvement in his racing over the course of the day.

Alan Watkinson came out of the blocks strongly to lead the fleet up the first beat of Race 7 and enjoy mixing with the leading pack. The improvement was noticeable across the fleet with the distance from first to last narrowing in the stronger breeze.

Both Graham Elliott and Rob Walsh took race wins with some tight covering duels taking place on the final beats to the finish.

In the end after 12 races (2 Discards) it was Brad who took the day from Rob with Graham slipping out of contention in the latter races.

Thanks once again to Dave Williams for being RO with great assistance from Neil Westbrook today.  Photos courtesy of Victoria Gibson and Dave Williams.
  1. Brad Gibson           42   BG                     13pts
  2. Rob Walsh               25   Britpop           19pts
  3. Graham Elliott      09   Britpop           32pts
  4. Martin Roberts     22    Chimera         39pts
  5. Bill Culshaw           21    Britpop            46pts
  6. Alan Bennett       186    Mirage             47pts
  7. Alan Watkinson   23    Britpop            76pts
  8. John Berry              12    Viper                 77pts
  9. Charles Legg          40   K2                      82pts
  10. Graham Birkett   133    Widget            89pts
  11. Guy Cowper            16    Lintel MMX  95pts

IOM Winter Series 2023 #3 – 13/1/24

Round 3 of the Birkenhead Radio Sailing and Power Club IOM Winter Series got underway at 12pm sharp with PRO Dave Williams setting an excellent course for the lighter than expected WNW wind.

While numbers may have been lower than normally expected, the quality was high with a number of World, European and National Champions and podium finishers being tested as always by skippers lining up to take a scalp.

Graham Elliott started the day in impressive form with a string of wins through consistent sailing and calculated shift slection. Alan Bennett, John Brierley and Bill Culshaw were keeping Graham honest in the shifting light wind conditions.

Local legend Martin Roberts was warming into the day and enjoying crossing swords with a returning 42 of Brad Gibson, both steadying as the day went on, improving with each race as the wind strengthened a little.

Both Alan Watkinson and John Berry had glimpses of form but as the light faded after 12 quick fire races, it was Graham that took a convincing win with 8 wins out of 12 races from Brad, with John finishing strongly for his third place.

A big thank you to our PRO Dave who kept the pace going and to our visitors that made the treck to join us once again.

With a number of new boats, builds in progress and returning skippers, the season ahead at Birkenhead looks promising for the IOM class where some of the toughest close quarter racing in the UK can be had. Those that know, know that if you can win at Birkenhead, you can win anywhere in the World.

The next round is Saturday the 10th of February so why not come and join us with all visitors welcome.

You can enter here https://birkenheadrspc.co.uk/iom-winter-2023-4/

12 races with 2 discards

  1. Graham Eliiott   Britpop    13 pts
  2. Brad Gibson        BG              17 pts
  3. John Bryerley      Venti        31 pts
  4. Martin Roberts   Chimera 39 pts(Countback)
  5. Alan Bennett        Britpop   39 pts
  6. Bill Culshaw         Britpop   51 pts
  7. Alan Watkinson  Britpop   67 pts
  8. John Berry             Viper        72 pts

Strebor IOM Open 2023 – Final Results and Report

With the entry list including no less than 5 past World Champions in either the IOM or other Radio Sailing classes, competition was always going to be strong at this years Strebor Open combined with Round 2 of the Northern District IOM Winter Championships. Coupled with a superb pre-entry of 26 boats, it was going to be a tough days sailing.

The weather forecast for wind was not encouraging for the week prior to the event, a South Westerly forecast, with a possibility of WSW at some point during sailing.  At least the sun shone for most of the day, making it mild for this time of the year.

There was a short briefing by Martin Roberts to explain how we would race as one fleet, with typically 4 boats dropping out per race during the day.  Any dropouts would be scored with average points from their best counting races.  Racing then got underway promptly at 10:30 with a start at the clubhouse end, but unfortunately, the wind had swung more to the East just prior to the start and although the fleet got away cleanly, the course was swapped to a start from the far end for the remainder of races during the morning session.  Graham Elliott had the strongest start in the first seven races completed before lunch, taking 3 wins with Rob Walsh picking up two and Martin Roberts and Alan Bennett one each.  At the halfway stage, this left Graham Elliott on top, followed by Martin Roberts and Rob Walsh in that order.

After a short lunch break and a quick change around of the course (thanks Martin and Neil), once again starting at the clubhouse, a further seven races were completed.  Five were sailed using the same dropout system and then the final two with just the 22 boats that were still able to compete.  This session belonged to Rob Walsh, with three wins compared to two for Brad Gibson (sailing his “pimped” TS2) and one each to Martin Roberts and John Brierley.  The final scores gave first place to Rob Walsh who retained the Strebor Trophy, second to Graham Elliott and third was Martin Roberts.

It was a tricky days sailing at Birkenhead with the wind in a less than favourable direction, with what seemed at times like a “Bermuda Triangle” in the centre of the lake.  If you were unlucky to get stuck there you could find other boats sailing past to windward or leeward of you (or both at the same time!).Well done to everyone who sailed today (all 26 of you) – don’t feel too disheartened if you didn’t finish as high up as you thought you might, it was tricky for everyone including experienced club members, but there were some who always seemed to know the right way to go to find the wind.

Finally, thanks must go to the Race Team of Dave Williams, John Carlin, Neil Westbrook, George Bennett and Judith Baldwin for completing 14 races within less than 4 hours of racing.  Also, we were also very grateful to Jocelyn and Chris in the galley serving hot drinks and free homemade cake and biscuits.  All photos here are courtesy of John Beech.  There are a further 193 photos taken by Malcolm Harvey on our Flikr account here

First Rob Walsh



Second Graham Elliott