Only 13 skippers gathered together at Stanton Lakes on a cold frosty morning for round 4 of this winter’s IOM champion skipper series. On the run up to the event we posted information twice to the MD website, I emailed 32 skippers direct with event details and the host club also did two email campaigns to generate interest. For those of you who looked at the forecast and decided not to come you missed a well-run event sailed with a high level of rule observance and a lovely sunny day once it had popped over the horizon.
In the week running up to the event we had a lovely westerly wind albeit with more than some rain, and the club hoping that the wind direction would remain had set a provisional course on the Thursday. Several of the race team arrived early to be confronted with a light Northerly breeze and so the boat was launched and Laurie Brown rowing out to do the re-set. The northerly is not the best direction for our lake as it blows directly into the control area and so the windward mark is directly away from you. Steve Haywood (PRO) decided that it was best to do a three-lap race to keep the windward mark from being an eyesight test.
The briefing was called at 9:50am and Steve explained that the host club would be providing the race team and observers, so the skippers only had to enjoy a days sailing. Whilst everyone was gathered together, we took the opportunity to present Laurie Brown with the IOMMDCS shield for his series win in summer 2019.
Racing started promptly at 10:00 and once that race was underway it became obvious that the change in wind direction was bringing some long strands of weed through the course, the frost obviously having loosened it up. Several of the skippers gathered this around their fins and rudders leaving two (11, 52) unable to finish the course. We then had a short break whilst a small gang set about removing the weed that had gathered close to the shore, it was also the launching area.
The work done we were quickly underway with Steve deciding that he would run two races back to back, as the first race had taken about 12 minutes. Race 2 saw everyone getting a finish, but race 3 saw the weed get Darin (98). Some of the skippers were taking the opportunity to check their fins etc when they went through the downwind gate as it was close to the bank. The problem was handled by the skippers in good grace, and as the day went on this became much less of an issue.
The wind had died off to very light by 12:15 so Steve decided that he would call an early lunch and we would have a review at 12:45. During this time the wind backed to a more normal westerly and we were ready to change the course, in fact Laurie was once again on boat duty and had picked up two of the windward mark ready to move them, only to be told to drop them back into the previous location as the wind had veered back to a northerly. Once he was back on shore Steve called the skippers together and said we would try a couple of two lap races. With the wind back to a indicated 4-5 mph this resulted in a 8-9 minute race, which was considered too short, so he changed back to three lap races.
Racing continued until 15:20 when Steve called the next race (15) would be the last, unfortunately we could not get in the 16th race to get three discards, but the usual protagonists were out front and so it would not have made any real difference in the positions. Everyone had their share of weed so it had evened it’s self out over the day’s racing.
The results were calculated by Gordon and Tom whilst the skippers were packing away, and prizes distributed. A full breakdown of the results is here: IOMMDWCS 2019-2020 R4 Market Bosworth RYC results final and the series positions are here: https://mya-uk.org.uk/districts/midlands/md-iom-champion-skipper-series/iommdcs-series-results/
During the presentation Darin reminded everyone that the next round would be at Bournville RS&MBC on 16th February.
Just a quick note to say thanks very much to those who made it yesterday either sailing or helping (and also Dave’s wife Sylvia), a good day had by all, slightly spoilt by a return of the weed which I suspect may have been due to the cold snap and change of wind direction, hopefully it will be gone again by Thursday. Laurie Brown MBRYC Chairman.