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IOM Summer Series 2023 – #2 – 3/6/23

Windguru was spot on, with no wind forecast before 1.00.  At 1.20 RO John Carlin pressed the start button with an 8 mph shifty breeze from the top end. For the first of 12 non stop races. Martin nailed the first 3, with John robbed of race 4. Andrea got to it together for wins in Race 8 and 11.  Alan after some near misses earlier in the day, got his bow first over the line in Race 9.
  1. Martin Roberts     11pts     Chimera
  2. Andrea Roberts    24pts     Britpop
  3. Alan Bennett         25pts     Britpop
  4. John Berry              35pts     Lintel
  5. Neil Westbrook    46pts    Widget

IOM Summer 2023 #1 (20/5/23)

A sunny start to the day with a very light breeze from the Clubhouse end. Racing commenced soon after 1.00pm with a guest from Kendal joining in with a boat he had just collected from Martin.

Another welcome club member Andrea joined us with her main objective to beat Martin. After two leisurely races the wind increased and swung 180 degrees, the new course seemed to suit everyone with very close racing and four different race winners. The only downside of the day was with the amount of debris floating down the lake with the wind change with some boats being affected more than others.

Thanks to Dave for running the racing and to Bernie manning the canteen providing welcome drinks. After 12 races the results were:

  1. Martin Roberts     17pts 6 wins
  2. Andrea Roberts    19pts 3 wins
  3. Alan Bennett         23pts 2 wins
  4. John Berry              34pts 1 win
  5. Alan Watkinson   42pts

IOM Veterans Championships Day 2 (and Overall) – 16/4/23

Day 2 began with totally different conditions to Saturday.  The breeze had swung around and was blowing (even at 8:30) at 5 to 8 mph from the clubhouse end and pretty straight down the lake, although we did start with light rain which dampened things down a bit.  The format followed that on Day 1 with a 4 race group followed by a break with the aim of completing an additional 16 races by the end.

After moving the start and changing the spacing of the new windward marks and gate, racing got underway soon after 9:30, with Peter Baldwin having a good first session taking three of the four wins, whilst Nigel Barrow took the remaining one.  Podium places were shared between Nigel, Bill Culshaw, Simon Robinson and Roger Errington. As usual for Birkenhead,  there were some good shifts in the breeze which could help or hinder you around the course and some made better use of them than others.

In the second session (after biscuits and more sweet treats from Jocelyn Watkinson) the rain had stopped and the wins were shared around more with Nigel, Alan Watkinson, Simon Robinson and Roger Crates all taking one each.  Podium places also shared around with Simon, Roger, Peter and Nigel all picking up good places.

At the lunch break and with 24 races now completed, Nigel was leading, 13 points clear of Peter in second and Roger Crates in third some 30 points further back.

The weather changed again after lunch with steady drizzle that continued through until the end of the day, although the only good part was that the wind held up, although did soften slightly towards the end of the final session.  Suitably refreshed by lunch, Peter took two wins in this session, with one each to Nigel and Bill.  Podium places were taken by most of the previous names, with David Adam now picking up a third.

Onto the final four races, Nigel was well clear barring any disasters.  The races this time were shared between Roger E, David Adam, Roger C and Bill with Nigel, Simon, Peter and Graham Whalley with podium places.

Veterans Podium

So when the final results were entered, Nigel Barrow became the new Veterans Champion 2023 with Peter Baldwin in second and Roger Crates in third.  Bill Culshaw took fourth place from Simon Robinson on countback.

At the prizegiving, Nigel thanked the Birkenhead Club for hosting the event and all of the volunteers – Martin Roberts as RO assisted by Neil Westbrook and Dave Williams (our photographer) and Bernie McNulty in the galley, who all helped make the event a very enjoyable weekends sailing.  Thanks were also given to all competitors for attending and sailing the event in a competitive but non confrontational manner.

All the photos taken by Dave Williams are available in the Gallery here

Overall Results Page 1
Overall Results Page 2

A report for Day 1 is here

IOM Veterans Championship Day 1

The forecasts for this the first day of the Championship were not looking very hopeful, although with bright sun forecast for most of the day, there was a good chance of a light sea breeze forming.  There were some short lived breeze from the right direction early on, but it was very short lived. We did however, manage to start soon after 10:00 after a short briefing from Race Officer Martin Roberts.  The initial breeze did not last and the first race was one where there was breeze, but plenty of holes and changes in direction and two laps of the lake took 20 minutes to complete, with Roger Errington taking the first race win from Nigel Barrow and Roger Crates.  Nigel then strung a series of three wins before the first break for “coffee” with homemade biscuits courtesy of Jocelyn Watkinson.  There were good performances in these initial races from Graham Whalley, Roger C, Peter Baldwin, Alan Watkinson and Simon Robinson.

Suitably fortified after the break, Peter Baldwin strung three race wins together to Nigel’s single one with the podium filled variously with Nigel, Simon, Bill Culshaw, David Adam, Peter and Neil Davies.  We then had a lunch break after 8 races, with Nigel leading on 8 points, Peter second on 12 and Roger Crates third on 25.  The sea breeze had now formed reasonably well, although there was still the opportunity to get in a hole or on the wrong side of a shift, with some opportunities to therefore make up (or lose) places.

We then continued the theme of aher 4 race block before a drink break.  Race wins were gained by Peter (2), Alan and Nigel, with the podium places shared between Roger E, Peter, Roger C, Bill, Simon, Graham and Nigel.  The wind was starting to get more variable in both strength and direction as some cloud cover probably affected the sea breeze and allowed the gradient to have more influence.  The top three remained as at lunch time, with Nigel still leading on 18 points, Peter second on 23 and Roger C a further 15 points behind.

Martin advised everyone that we would finish after 16 races and so the final 4 races began with the breeze more variable again, resulting in some difficult decisions for everyone on where to start.  Nigel had the best of the final session, with three wins and a clean sweep only spoilt by Roger C who came from behind and sailing through his lee side after the last gate.  To be fair, this was anyones race from the leading bnch of 4 with the breeze filling in from the rear, before disappearing altogether as the leaders finished, vindicating the decision to finish on 16 races.  Once again, the same names figured in the podium positions, with no one person dominating.

So at the end of Day 1, Nigel leads on 20 points, now 8 points clear of Peter with Roger C a further 20 points adrift.  All still to play for tomorrow on day 2 when we will hopefully complete a further 16 races in the available time.  A cloudy day is forecast with a light SE breeze of 6-7mph, so the course is likely to be rotated by 180 degrees, giving a further test for everyone to choose the right way around a new course.

Thanks must go to Martin Roberts assisted by Neil Westbrook and Dave Williams (who also acted as photographer) for running the racing and Bernie for manning the galley all day.

More photos from Dave will be added to a Flikr Album on Monday when time allows.

IOM Winter 2022/3 #8 (1/4/23)

An unusually low turnout for the final round of the IOM Winter Series at Birkenhead, partly as a result of the endless events being run around the country/district in any number of classes.  Those who did show, had the lake present itself in all of its glory with sunshine and mid to top end A rig conditions blowing straight down the lake from the NorthWest.
Sixteen races were sailed with each of the 5 skippers showing form through the afternoon to take more than one win. Once again, older designs in the form of the Chris Dicks Widget and the Gary Cameron TS2 held their own when sailed to their potential, taking more than enough points from the two more modern BritPOPs. As the final scores after 3 discards reveal, it was a day for keeping fast with a flattened off rig, tacking on the shift when it presented itself and avoiding incidents.
A perfect day to end the Winter Series for 22/23 and a result that once again confirms that it ain’t about spending the most on the latest kit but practice and knowing how to get the best and use what you have that usually takes the day, and the series. A truism that has long been the Birkenhead way and most probably why the club boasts more International and National Champions than any other in recent times.
Thanks go to John Carlin for helping out with running the second half of racing and enabling a fantastic set of 16 races to be run in the afternoon.
Final Scores (16 Races/3 Discards)
1st   Brad Gibson        TS2           22 points
2nd Bill Culshaw        BritPOP  29 points
3rd  Alan Bennett       BritPOP  35 points
4th  Martin Roberts  Widget    42 points
5th  Neil Westbrook  Widget    43 points
Next up for the IOMs at Birkenhead is the UK Veterans  Championship on April 15th and 16th. Details on how to enter and a list of entered skippers can be seen at https://www.mya-uk.org.uk/events/#events/event-details/638b0efe7591d307868a5c3a/
Now is the time to get your entry in if you haven’t already done so.

ND IOM Winter Series #1 (Rescheduled) 18/3/23

This reschedule of Event #1 in the ND Winter Series for the IOM was after Ice stopped play in December.  Looking at the forecast for today might have put off a few from attending, but we had 13 boats on the start line for Race 1 in a light 4 or 5 knot breeze almost straight down the lake.  There was a slight delay to proceedings whilst Neil moved marks around after a 180 degree wind-shift occurred whilst we were about to start the briefing as a sea breeze formed early.  The breeze held for most of the day, with it strengthening after lunch and then dying back as the rain arrived for the last few races.

Darin Ballington (Pikanto) set the early pace with a win in Race 1, followed in Race 2 by a win for Bill Culshaw (Britpop!).  Next to gain a win was Graham Elliott (Fractel) in Race 3 and then James Hadden (Britpop!) had his first win in Race 4.  Next to see the front was Brad Gibson sailing his pimped TS2 with wins in both races 5 & 6, followed by another for Bill in Race 7, when we had a break for an early lunch.  So 7 races and 5 different winners with 4 different designs.  Key to getting a good result was choosing the right place to start and staying in the pressure. At the break James was leading by one point from Brad, with Bill 10 points behind them.  In the mix at this point and close behind Bill was Rob Walsh sailing a Lintel, with a number of results in the top 3.

After a short break for lunch, another 5 races were sailed in an increasing WNW breeze and some sun.  Brad took race 8 followed by another win for Darin in race 9.  After a string of good results, James picked up another win in race 10, before Rob picked up his first win in race 11.  Obviously eager to get to a drink at the next break, Brad gained the win in Race 12.  This left the top three after 12 races as James, followed by Brad and Rob.

After a  quick refreshment break (with cake as well, thanks to Judith), we had another 4 races to reach the magic 16 and a third discard.  John Tushingham (Vision) finally got his just reward with the first win after a number of top three places earlier.  Bill then took his third win in race 14, with James and Brad coming back to win races 15 and 16.

So the top 4 and in the prizes were in first, our long distance traveller James Hadden, Brad Gibson second, Rob Walsh, third and John Tushingham fourth.  Sixteen races, 7 different winners with 6 different designs!  Just shows that you do not need the latest design to do well even in light airs, although being an ex World Champion does give you a slight edge!Many thanks to our race team of Dave Williams and Neil Westbrook who kept things moving at a good pace all day, with Bernie and Jack keeping us fed and watered in the galley.  Thanks also to Dave for the photos.

All photos can be found in our Flikr Album here