Wind, sun and enthusiasm by all the entrants for this years Birkenhead Christmas race for the IOM, was evident today at Gautby Road. As this was the first round of the Northern District Winter Series for the IOM, there were 9 club’s represented, including the host club. This produced the 20 entrants and 16 races were achieved by the Race Officer and Commodore John Brierley, before the light finally closed in. Racing was in 2nd suit all day with some viscous but short lived gusts providing testing moments for most of the competitors.
Early front runner by the lunchtime break after 8 races was John Tushingham from Keighley (Vision) but as the day progressed Graham Elliott (Britpop) from the host club came back into contention and eventually proved a worthy winner in the testing conditions. There was a big battle for the final podium position with Peter Baldwin (Lintel MMX) securing it with a fine win in the last race from Derek Priestley (Dead Reckoning).
It was good to see 10 designs of IOM’s ranging form the Asset of Dave Stewart right through to the current range of popular designs. All boats had their moments today which kept everyone on their toes.
As this was the clubs Christmas race there was no entry fee charged by the club, but all competitors gave a wrapped gift and all those at the prizegiving went away with a prize (not there own gift!).
Thanks must go to John Brierley for acting as Race Officer together with Bernie, Jack and Joyce who provided the supporting roles to make this another successful event.
The next Birkenhead IOM race is our 3rd Winter series on 11th January, all visitors as usual are always welcome.
Next Week (Saturday 21/12/19) is Round 2 of the Winter Series for RG65/DF65. Visitors always welcome – Start time 12:00.
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There was a light SSW breeze at the start of this weeks racing for the IOM Winter Series No 2. Marks were set out for a course that was probably going to be zig-zagging across the lake, but by the time we were ready to race, the wind had straightened enough to set a course over the length of the lake. Thirteen boats (including 5 visitors with one in his very first IOM race) signed on and were ready to start racing at 12:00. Unfortunately Chris Chatfield had winch issues soon after putting his boat on the water and had to sit out some of the earlier races until loaned a spare boat by John Berry.
Current IOM National Champion Rob Walsh proved to be the one to beat this week, with good boat speed off the start line and often arriving first at the windward mark. Although pushed hard by the chasing bunch, he won 6 of the 10 races, with 3 going to Graham Elliott and one to David Potter.
Racing was close throughout the fleet with places often changing right up to the finish line, depending on whether your boat saw a short gust or sat in little or no wind just metres away.
Thanks once again to Bernie and Jack for running the racing, with Bernie busy on the start line at times with something like 6 general recalls in the ten races with sudden gusts spoiling what might have been a clear start.
- Rob Walsh 25 11pts
- Graham Elliott 9 17pts
- Martin Roberts 22 26pts
- John Brierley 84 27pts
- David Potter 20 33pts
- Peter Baldwin 63 39pts
- Alan Watkinson 23 52pts
- Neil Westbrook 03 55pts
- Dave Williams 33 56pts
- John Berry 23 66pts
- Mike Williamson 43 71pts
- Tony Woods 195 91pts
- Chris Chatfield 12 105pts
Next week (14th December) is the IOM Xmas Open – start time 10:30. All welcome – more details and entry list here
The second race of the IOM Winter series will take place on Saturday 7th December starting at 12:00. Entries on the day.
Then on the following Saturday 14th December, the IOM Christmas Open takes place. As of 28/11/19, there are 7 entries. Further details, NoR and a list of entries are available here. To give the club an idea of numbers, it would be helpful if you can advise Graham Elliott of your entry before the day, but entries on the day are always welcome.
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:
- Brad Gibson 2 17pts
- Martin Roberts 22 20pts
- Darin Ballington 85 32pts
- Peter Baldwin 63 34pts
- Graham Elliot 117 40pts
- Alan Watkinson 23 62pts
- Lawrence Drennan 57 64pts
- John Brierley 84 72pts
- John Berry 12 85pts
For information Brad had 5 wins, Martin 4, Darin 2 and Peter 1
After the forecasts during the week were predicting a decent 10mph breeze to start the day it was disappointing for there to be barely 3 mph on arrival at the lake with rain threatening. Racing got underway in at most 3 or 4mph from the East and the rain started. The first race saw a three way tussle between John Berry, who was first at mark 1. quickly followed by Paul Allen and Brad Gibson. Unfortunately John was overtaken by the end by both boats and Brad took the win, with Paul second. In the second race, Paul took the win and Brad was second and Martin Roberts third having missed the first race due to the Rugby World Cup. Brad took the third race followed by John Berry and Alan Watkinson. By this time, the breeze had all but disappeared and so the 11 sailors (including one Scottish visitor) went in for an early drink which turned into a lunch break whilst they waited for some wind (and Paul Allen decided to finish his day). At 1pm, the breeze had turned through 180 degrees and was now from the West and back to about 3mph. Four more races were completed by 2:40, when the wind dropped out again. Each of these were easily taken by Brad in a master class of light wind sailing, leaving the fleet to fight over second and third, each taken by different boats but Martin probably a little more consistent than others. A further tea break was taken, but the wind did not reappear and the event finished at 7 races. Thanks to Peter Baldwin for running the first three races and Bernie for the final four races. Overall Results were:
- Brad Gibson 21 6pts
- John Berry 12 19pts
- Martin Roberts 22 21pts
- Peter Baldwin 63 21.25pts
- Lawrence Drennan 57 32pts ((1x2nd)
- Alan Watkinson 23 32pts (0x2nd)
- Andrew Peter 66 36pts (2x5th)
- Colin McGinnis 45 36pts (1x5th)
- Dave Williams 33 49pts
- Paul Allen 27 51pts
- Mike Williams 243 69pts
Next week sees the start of the IOM Winter Series.
A quick reminder of what is going on at the club in the next couple of weeks.
On this Wednesday 23rd October, a pre-AGM meeting will be held at the club after DF65 racing and starting at 13:00. This is to allow members to bring items to the attention of the club committee prior to the Club AGM which will be held on Saturday 23rd November.
Next Saturday 26th October, there will be an Open event for both RG65 and DF65 starting at 12:00.
On the following week (2nd November) the annual Strebor IOM Open takes place with the first race starting at 10:00. Please let Graham Elliott know if you plan to attend – the current entry list is here