Hampton Court MYC hosted Round (1) of the Met & Southern District IOM championship on the 10th March.
The weather forecast proved accurate – skippers were greeted with very strong westerly winds and vicious squalls and there was little or no discussion in the clubhouse as to which rig would be appropriate; everyone chose their storm rig.
It took some time and effort to launch the rescue dinghy and put out the race marks because the wind, which at this point was gusting to 50 mph, pressed the dinghy hard to the bank.
Luckily, the wind dropped a little and allowed racing to start promptly at just after 10 am. with the fleet split into 2 heats. Trevor Binks and Colin Goodman won their respective seeding races.
Despite the strong wind the IOM’s handled the conditions well in their tiny sails and provided some exiting and competitive racing. It was clear very early on that Colin Goodman was a hard man to beat. Next in the pecking order was Tony Guerrier who was achieving some good results.
Unfortunately the adverse weather took it’s toll on both boats and skippers and by race 8 some 7 sailors had retired. Once the fleet had reduced to 14 boats a single fleet was established.
After a total of 10 races, Colin had once again shown his dominance at Hampton Court having won every race except one. Tony secured a well deserved 2nd place with 21 points followed by Trevor Binks on 32 points
All in all, a solid start to the District championship even though it took place in fairly exceptional weather conditions.
Colin Trower (Race Officer)
An extensive series of photos can be found on the Hampton Court website.