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

IOM Winter 2023 #1 – 11/11/23

A simple Report of:

  • No Wind
  • No Sailors
  • No Racing

Unfortunately the weather gods were not with us for the first of the IOM Winter Series, with a high pressure giving very little or no wind, although the sun was very pleasant the three sailors who might have turned up found other things to do.  Fingers crossed for better luck with Round 2 on 2nd December.

IOM Summer 2023 #10 – 28/10/23

A total of 7 IOM’s turned out for the last of the Summer Series in 2023 and were greeted with a decent middle top suit breeze straight down from the clubhouse end, with the usual mix of shifts and pressure variations to help (or hinder) someone’s progress up or down the lake.

After Peter had re-jigged the marks after last weeks DFTT, our RO Dave Williams got things underway on time with six of the seven for the first 4 races.  In the first session of six races, Alan got the lions share of five wins, with Peter taking one win and Bill plus Martin vying for the lead at any time during the race.  We were joined this week by Alan’s young son George in his first visit to Birkenhead, sailing a Mirage and showed great ability to get off the starting line and around the course with the rest of us.  We hope to see him again at the lake in the future to further hone his skills.

After the break, the fight continued at the front of the fleet for the wins, with Peter gaining three then Alan and Martin one each such that in the last race, the overall winner on the day was going to be either Alan or Peter.  Alan led for a good part of the race, until Peter managed to pass him up the last beat and looked to be safe, but then sailed himself into a bit of a hole.  Alan meanwhile kept in the breeze to cross the line half a boat length ahead of Peter for the win and the days honours.  Bill was third, Martin fourth after missing the first 4 races and Tony sailing an IOM for the first time, was fifth.  Very many thanks to Dave for running the racing once again, taking a few photos  and getting racing completed before we had much rain.

  1. Alan Bennett            Britpop!          15pts
  2. Peter Baldwin          Britpop!          16pts
  3. Bill Culshaw             Britpop!          28pts
  4. Martin Roberts       Widget             39pts
  5. Tony Sedgwick        Lintel MMX  44pts
  6. Alan Watkinson       Britpop!         58pts
  7. George  Bennett      Mirage             63pts

Next IOM Race is Race 1 of the Winter Series on 11th November.

IOM Summer 2023 #9 (30/9/23)

A great response to Peters email’s and phone calls in the week meant that we had 10 skippers sailing today.
The wind was a medium top suit from the clubhouse end with the normal Birkenhead shifts and gusts to contend with, although the temperature was reasonable, the rain was completely unreasonable, after break it bucketed down.
After Peter had tweaked the course we started racing, a few general and individual recalls were called by our starter, Dave Williams, who also finished us. 5 races before a tea break with Graham sailing his BritPOP! winning races 3, 4 and 5, Martin sailing his Chimera took race 1 and Alan sailing his BritPOP! took race 2. A short break saw the heavens open and 10 unwilling skippers not wanting to venture out but there was still racing to be finished so off we trudged. The next 5 races saw wins for Martin in races 6 and 10, Graham taking race 9, Alan taking race 7 and Peter taking race 8. John Carlin also joined us after having radio problems for the first 5 races of the day and managed a very creditable 3rd in the final race of the day.
The final scores were very close, the top 3 also all discarded the same amount of points (9).
Many thanks to Dave Williams for today, standing out in the pouring rain. Sailing wasn’t much fun, so to stand outside and not sail is something else.
  1. Graham Elliott          09 Britpop!           16pts
  2. Martin Roberts        122 Chimera         17pts
  3. Alan Bennett             180 Britpop!          23pts
  4. Brad Gibson                17  TS2                    24pts
  5. Peter Baldwin            63  Britpop!          33pts
  6. Bill Culshaw                21  Britpop!          42pts
  7. John Berry                 123  Lintel MMX  54pts
  8. John Carlin                  63  Lintel MMX  63pts
  9. Andrew Peter             66  V9                     68pts
  10. Neil Westbrook         03   Widget            72pts

We all wish Martin the best of luck at the upcoming European Championships in Torrevieja, Spain.  If you wish to follow his progress along with the other GBR skippers, the official website is;


IOM Summer 2023 #6 – 5/8/23

Good Old British Weather?

Storm Antoni decided not to visit Gautby Road lake, but three very keen IOM sailors arrived expecting the worst. The very light wind “appeared” to come from the Clubhouse end so a course was set from the top end of the lake to the windward mark at the clubhouse then to a spreader both to port back through a gate, two laps and a finish at the middle mark as usual. The racing for the first three races was such that it was impossible to guess who would come out on top with all three boats taking turn to lead. Bill scored two wins with Alan the third.

At this point the wind finally disappeared and an early tea break was called (see pic above). After about twenty minutes it started to rain quite heavily then we had wind but from the opposite direction. Course then changed and racing recommenced. This new course and wind suited Alan who took the next seven races with seconds and thirds shared between Bill and John. Considering it was supposed to be mid summer, ten races in the cold and wet was deemed enough and RO Dave Williams called it a day.  Many thanks to Dave for turning out and running the racing and keeping scores and taking the few photos today.

  1. Alan Bennett  Britpop!   8pts
  2. Bill Culshaw   Britpop!  15pts
  3. John Berry       Viper       20pts

IOM Summer 2023 #5 15/7/23

The weather forecast on Saturday was for a lot of weather to happen. As it was we had a bit of rain, not a lot of sun and Mrs Jones at No 30 opening and closing her back door at regular intervals. (Translated means a squally day through the houses) It was an afternoon of snakes and ladders. John started the afternoon with a bit of Welsh fire, but faded with the weather after some gear issues. Bill was well Bil = 2 wins along with some average scores. Alan was a consistent top 3. Neil and Alan battled all afternoon wtth Neil winning the battle on countback. Charles’ scores were much improved after a Bernie inspired tea break.  Martin though nailed the leeward side of the course to come out on top overall.
12 races were completed
1st  Martin Roberts     11 pts
2nd Bill Culshaw         22 pts
3rd Alan Bennett         25 pts
4th  John Brierley       34 pts
5th  Neil Westbrook   47 pts
6th Alan Watkinson   47 pts
7th Charles Legg          62 pts