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MYA IOM Ranking race, Two Islands RYC.

Saturday 23rd October saw a fleet of 42 IOM’s gather at Furzon lakes for the first of two days of racing at Two Islands RYC. The first day race officer was Darin Ballington of the Manor Park RSC who was helped by a group of race officials from the home club. Unfortunately, I could not be there for the first day but looking at the results and speaking to some of the competitors it was a big course with several wind holes in it caused by the influence of the island and looking at the results it appears that Rob Walsh very quickly read the wind and water to take the first three races with a bullet. He then went on to score three more race wins in the next five races which after discards gave him a dominant final score of six points after eight races.

The next two places were close with Chris Harris just beating Graham Elliott, see the full score sheet here. I0M Ranking Race 5 – 2021_Final_Results

Sunday 24th October saw me up early for the drive down to Milton Keynes for the second day of competition, arriving at 8:15am a few of the competitors were starting to gather in the carpark and when I went around the headland to the control area the race team were assembling the gazebo for the scorer. After a few minutes the WSW breeze was cutting through the clothing and a return to the car was needed to get another layer on. Whilst there I managed to catch up with a few skippers who were assembling their boats for the day ahead. Back to the headland again and Chris Harris (PRO) held the first briefing of the day for the 38 skippers who were booked in. The course from what I understand was the same as yesterday with a long start line to the left of the control area, it had to deal with two large fleets after all. This then took the fleet to a windward mark and spreader, then down wind to a gate and this was sailed twice followed by a beat up to the finish line.

The conditions early on were a good top suit blow with some gusts but all within the sails wind range, the early grey sky was also helping as there was only a small amount of reflection off the water, this was to change during the day as the sun rose the glare off the water was becoming an issue for competitors and observers alike. The seeding complete and the top skippers were again showing up in the A fleet.

Not being involved in the race management this time allowed me to watch a lot of racing which was a bonus. In one A fleet race I watched Martin Roberts, he did not launch his boat until 30 seconds to go, he still easily made the start line, found a gap about a third of the way down from the starboard end and then whilst keeping his boat speed up sailed behind the others sitting on the line into a gap and as soon as the gun went he used the extra speed to be one of the first to tack onto port and be away with the leaders. A nice easy safe start but you just need enough nerve to able to find the gap and make good use of it.

Another thing that stood out for me was in another A fleet race and the leaders were beating on port tack, John Cleave with his Kantun 2 overtook three Britpop’s from the gate to the windward mark, the boat looked clean and fast through the water. Speaking to him later I mentioned that I saw him gain on the beat and we chatted about the sail trim. He said that there were numbers for each sail setting and you must keep making fine adjustments to match the wind and wave conditions in each heat, well he certainly got it right that time.

Looking at the final score sheet here: I0M_Ranking_Race_6_Final Results  you can see that nobody dominated like Rob did yesterday, but Graham Elliott came close with two race wins and three second places to finish with a score of 18 points from the nine races. John Tushingham and Gavin Watson also scored two race wins but they were not as consistent as Graham was.

Thanks to the PRO’s, Mike Kemp, Keith Coxon and the other members of the Two Islands RYC for hosting the events.

Sorry no video this time as the sun was low and the reflected light was just too strong to get good pictures, saying that here are a couple from inside the control area, and hopefully a few more will become available when everyone has had time to recover and look through what they have taken.

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