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


IOM Winter 2022/3 #6 (25/2/23)

The wind for today’s race came from a very unusual direction for the lake, a Northerly that moved more towards the North East as the afternoon went on.
A decent fleet of 8 skippers that included , TS2, Fractel, Widget and BritPOP! designs, all skippers sailed in the A rig. The course was adjusted by Peter Baldwin, thanks Peter, and it proved to be a really decent course given the wind direction.
It was all about sniffing out the very few and very short Port shifts for the first 7 races before the break, after the break the wind swung around a touch more towards the East that gave more of reaching first leg and it was then about how you handled the gusts.
With 12 races completed, it was Brad Gibson sailing a Craig Smith designed TS2 with 3 wins that won the day, other race winners were, Martin Roberts (4), Graham Elliott (2), and Bill Culshaw, Peter Baldwin and Alan Watkinson all with one win each.
Many thanks to Bernie for running the show yet again.
1st      Brad Gibson                 TS2                 23pts      3 wins
2nd     Graham Elliott           Fractel          24pts     2wins
3rd      Martin Roberts          Widget          27pts     4wins
4th      Bill Culshaw                Britpop!       30pts      1win
5th     Peter Baldwin              Britpop!       40pts      1win
6th     Andrew Peter               V9                  48pts
7th     Alan Watkinson           Britpop!      64pts     1win
8th     Neil Westbrook            Widget         66pts
after 12 races

IOM Winter Series 2022/3 #5 (4/2/23)

There was only a very light breeze from over the houses today, with some occasional pressure, but also some holes.  A course was setup starting from the far end with a windward mark and spreader at the clubhouse end and a gate on the far side below the start.  Boats usually had to tack to make the Windward mark, but it was never too clear cut which was the favoured way there.

Graham Elliott set the initial pace with a win in Race 1, before Brad Gibson took races 2 and 3.  Martin Roberts then got the measure of the conditions and picked up races 4 and 5 before Neil Westbrook had a storming first leg, and along with Brad pulling out a big lead on the fleet. This culminated in a final leg tackle with Brad with Neil’s Widget getting the win over the TS2.

After a tea break (thanks Bernie), there seemed to be a little more pressure when we resumed, but hopes of a better breeze were dashed, with little more for the remaining races after that initial burst.  In the final four races Brad took races 7 and 10 with Martin picking up the wins in races 8 and 9.  There was some close competition through the fleet and some place changes possible if the wind filled in from the rear, although it usually seemed to favour those who were in front from the start.

The final podium places were Brad first with 13 pts, then Martin and Graham tied on 16 pts, with Martin picking up second on account of his four wins relative to Graham having only one.  Thanks once again go to Dave Williams for running the racing this week and taking a few photos of the, err action??

  1. Brad Gibson            17  TS2                    13pts
  2. Martin Roberts      55  Widget            16pts (4 wins)
  3. Graham Elliott       70  Fractel             16pts (1 win)
  4. Bill Culshaw            21   Britpop!          30pts
  5. Peter Baldwin        63  Britpop!           37 pts
  6. Neil Westbrook      03  Widget            42 pts
  7. John Berry               123  Lintel MMX 52 pts
  8. Alan Watkinson      23  Britpop!         56 pts

IOM Winter Series 2022/3 #3 (7/1/23)

The expected gales for the North West seemed to miss Gautby Road. The little wind that did appear was not consistent, initially from over the houses then veering from the clubhouse end. A course was eventually set and racing started with the 10 competing sailors on their best behaviour on the start line with very few call backs.

  1. The wind was very difficult to predict especially approaching the finish line where a few expected winners lost out. 10 races were held with the final race reduced to one lap due to failing light and the disappearance of the wind totally. The racing was very close with only one point between 1st and 2nd and two sets of tied points. 5 different makes of boat were sailed.  Many thanks to Dave Williams for running the racing today.


  1. Brad Gibson         17  TS2            14 pts 4 wins
  2. Paul Allen             27  Britpop!  15 pts. 4 wins
  3. Martin Roberts  55  Widget     22 pts 1 win, 3 x 2nds
  4. John Brierley       84  Britpop!  22 pts 1 win, 2 x 2nds
  5. Bill Culshaw         21  Britpop!  44 pts 1 x 3rd 1 x 4th 2 x 5th
  6. Neil Westbrook   03 widget     44 pts 1 x 3rd 1 x 4th 1 x 5th
  7. Alan Bennett       130  Britpop! 48 pts
  8. Alan Watkinson  23  Britpop!  49 pts
  9. John Berry            123  Lintel      56 pts
  10. Charles Legg          25 Kantun 2 75 pts

IOM Winter series 2022/3 #2 (3/12/22)

Sailors arriving for the second IOM Winter Series were disappointed to find little breeze blowing and the only ripples were from the flock of Canadian Geese patrolling the lake.  However the first race started with a very light breeze generally from the NE (and so almost across the lake) but with some large shifts that could see it come from the East or North during any race.  Two boats missed the start and one pulled out early on leaving only seven to fight it out for line honours which went to Brad Gibson sailing a borrowed TS2. Race 2 again started with only 7 boats and this time it was John Brierley’s turn to take the win, which he then repeated in Race 3.  Brad then had another win in Race 4, with Martin Roberts finally getting into a groove, winning Races 5 and 6 before a break for a drink. 

After the break, Paul Allen took his first win in Race 7 and then Graham Elliott won the eighth and final race in very light winds.  As there was very little breeze, the fleet unanimously agreed to call it a day and have an early finish.  This left John  as a clear winner, with Brad in second and a consistent Alan Bennett in third.

Thanks must go to Dave Williams for running the racing today (plus taking a few photos of the “action”) and for Bernie who helped out Dave and made everyone warm drinks.

  1. John Brierley            84  Britpop!   10pts
  2. Brad Gibson              71   TS2             17pts
  3. Alan Bennett           130  Britpop!   20pts
  4. Graham Elliott         70   Fraktal    26pts  1xwin
  5. Peter Baldwin           63   Britpop!  26pts
  6. Alan Watkinson       23   Britpop!   28pts
  7. Paul Allen                   27   Britpop!   31pts
  8. Martin Roberts         22   Vanilla 2 35pts
  9. John Berry                   12   Viper        40pts
  10. Charles Legg              25   K2             48pts