Footy weekend 13th/14th April 2019
Fred’s Big Toephy
This Footy event was postponed from the cold snowy conditions in February planned for sailing at Guildford Model Yacht Club’s water at Abbey Meads Lake, Chertsey. Subsequently this event and the Videlo Globe event were brought together to create a weekend of Footy sailing in what should have been better weather.
Far from it, Saturday was freezing cold with incredibly variable north-easterly winds 3 to 8 mph and attracted a small, but high quality entry from the Abington Park and Birmingham clubs, as well as the local entries from Frensham Pond and the host club.
Race Officers Martin Crysell and Peter Dunne had a difficult job as the wind was so variable, but set a simple windward leeward course several times to get the best angle for the windward legs.
The event started well with a win for Roger Stollery sailing his new ICE, but he was then beaten into 2nd and 3rd places by John Burgoine in the next two races. Peter Shepherd then headed the fleet to win Race 4, before letting John have a run of 4 consecutive wins only interrupted by Roger in Race 9. John’s winning streak continued in the next race, but Peter took Race 11 and the last Race 14. John sailed incredibly well with 9 wins, having to discard a 3rd place as his second worst score! With a well setup rig and beautiful home-made sails, John looked invincible when combined with his clever strategy around the course. The powerful ICE design is resistant to nosediving and was able to manage the vicious gusts, which struck the course from several different angles.
Unusually, we welcomed a spectator, George Cannon and his wife Shirley, who had read about the event on the Footy website. He had a Footy himself but wanted to glean information about the latest developments with a view to starting a class at his steamboat club near St Albans.
1st John Burgoine Birmingham ICE 15
2nd Peter Shepherd Abington Park FAT BOY SLIM 28
3rd Roger Stollery Guildford ICE 31
4th Peter Jackson Abington Park IBEX 40
5th Keith Parrott Frensham Pond ICE 53
Everyone thawed out in a local pub with a dinner and the usual discussions about new Footy developments and putting the world to rights.
Photos for this event can be found HERE
If Saturday felt cold, it was nothing to Sunday’s exposure to the icey 4-12 mph north-easterly wind blowing onshore into the control area at Frensham Pond.
Race Officer, Roger Stollery, set a simple windward leeward course, which had to be varied as the winds became more easterly during the afternoon. The Footys were sharing the pond with combined Lark/RS 200 dinghy open events, which provided an interesting background to the Footy racing. Whilst the dinghies had 4 races, Footys had 17 and despite the small size, more starts and more racing created more fun for the 10 boat Footy entry, which equalled the numbers in each of the dinghy classes.
With a pole on the bank to adjust the starting line angle there were some very even starts and very good racing. The difference in the conditions compared with the Saturday was that the big waves created by the onshore wind suited the diagonally measured fine ended narrowboats better, as they were able to slice through the waves more easily than the more powerful, wider and more bluff-bowed boats that had dominated racing the day before. They won all but 3 races, which were won by the ICEs of Keith Parrott in Race 4, John Burgoine in Race 7 and Graham Whitehead in Race 9.
Just as John had dominated the Saturday racing, so Peter Shepherd sailing his balsa FAT BOY SLIM, lead the fleet on 10 occasions, often by a large margin as his boat was perfectly suited to these wave conditions. The other races were won by the IBEX designs sailed by Sid Sims in Race 5 and the IBEX designer, Peter Jackson, in Races 12, 13 and 16.
The Frensham Pond Sailing Club Commodore, Jeremy Hudson gave away the prizes and marvelled at the number of races sailed and gave his full backing to this form of sailing at the club. The race team of Roger, Nick Royse, Steve Hill and Bryan Stichbury were thanked for having to work in such cold conditions.
Footy boat developments
Footys are made from many different materials, balsa as the winner of the Videlo Globe, plywood, corrugated plastic and carbon fibre, which at this small scale is not expensive. However there were new developments at this event, as David Wilkinson initially sailed a 3D printed GREEN HORNET hull designed in America by Bill Hagerup and built by David’s clubmate. It looked good, but suffered from mechanical/radio problems. The Footy is absolutely ideal for this method of construction, with the whole hull being manufactured ‘string by string’ wound vertically from the transom to the bow. Whilst the finish was not perfect with tiny ridges that one could feel long the surface, it does hold great promise for the class as lightweight hulls can be made quickly and cheaply in one piece.
It is likely that the long fin of a Footy is still likely to be made with more suitable reinforcement material such as carbon fibre. Roger’s new ICE was sporting a new set of low drag fin and rudder sections designed by Dave Hollom, of America’s Cup fame.This boat was used by John Burgoine before lunch and David Wilkinson later using their own rigs when their boats had to be retired and it showed some promise.
1st Peter Shepherd Abington Park FAT BOY SLIM 19
2nd Peter Jackson Abington Park IBEX 30
3rd Graham Whitehead Frensham Pond ICE 57
4th Sid Sims Birmingham IBEX 58
5th Keith Parrott Frensham Pond ICE 61
6th David Wilkinson Cotswold GREEN HORNET 76
7th John Burgoine Birmingham ICE 87
8th Colin Robertson Cheddar Steam IBEX 92
9th Tony Butler Birmingham IBEX 98
10th Steve Hill Frensham Pond ICE 157
Photos of this event are HERE
The large number of free hull designs and a full programme of Footy racing can be followed on www.sailfootyuk.com.