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MDCS & C 2017 R2 Two Islands Race Report.

Typically for an Easter Sunday Bank Holiday, cold, cloudy weather greeted the seventeen skippers assembled for round 2 of the IOM MDCS series, hosted by Two Islands RYC at the picturesque Furzton Lake in Milton Keynes but mercifully for once the predicted deluge never materialized, apart from a couple of spits and spots that had everyone scuttling for hats and transmitter muffs.

The Two Islands, after which the club is named usually have a profound effect on the wind and today was no exception. A Westerly wind blowing along the length of the lake, from our left, meets the heavily wooded island causing a turbulent wind shadow in its lee. It also splits the wind into two distinct streams. This made the choice of course particularly tricky to avoid the wind shadow, yet not test the competitor’s eyesight.

All week the forecast was for a westerly wind, increasing from 10‐15mph, veering slightly more to the south after lunch, then back again. That predicted direction seemed correct at 08:00am and the pre-set course appeared more or less correct, however nearer the start, the predicted change came a little earlier than expected, requiring a swift rearrangement of the buoys and a change of control area, away from the spit back to our normal sailing area, with a choice of two jetties for launch and retrieval but leaving the gazebo, complete with our scorer, Stephen Tomlinson, feeling like Billy No Mates, 50mtrs from the action.

It soon became apparent with the first five races going to five separate skippers, including Two Island’s own Mike Kemp, who has recently returned to radio sailing after some absence, there was not going to be a run-away winner. Mike sailing a Fractal was the leading non Britpop sailor, with some decent finishes, but lacking the consistency of the leading pack. The only other local lad, Chris Graves could only manage the morning session as did a couple of others. The racing at the front of the fleet was always going to be close with what is becoming almost a one design series dominated by Britpops making up eleven out of the fleet of seventeen boats.

Four skippers, eventual winner, Rob Walsh, Chris Harris, Josh King and Darin Ballington, shared most of the podium places, only dropping behind a few times Darin falling victim to one of the triffid like plants that line the island and Chris forced to miss a race due to a broken elastic winch tensioner. These four put in the most consistent scores, putting them beyond the reach of the rest of the fleet.

A decent consistent stiff breeze and co-operative skippers meant that by lunch time we had eleven races under our belt but by this time it was apparent that the wind had shifted back to its original direction, with the first mark being reached by most people without tacking. During the lunch break Darin volunteered to go out with Alan Smedley, ARO and intrepid boatman to adjust a few marks, allowing the use of the original course, with everybody decamping to sail from the spit. The new course used the same windward mark and spreader, slightly repositioned but instead of the original gate, we used a port rounding leeward mark, deep in the channel between the spit and the long island.

With the exception of the odd melee at the windward mark, a couple of general recalls and the odd novel interpretation of the rules, the self-policing racing worked well with most people doing their penalty turns, in a timely manner. As with all these events, we rely on a small dedicated team which on Easter Bank Holiday, was more difficult than normal to source but would have been impossible without the assistance of Alan Smedley, ARO and boat man, finish line judges, Richard Dolman and Mike Stevens and sitting at his computer all day was our super-efficient scorer and racing secretary, Stephen Tomlinson, providing real time, online updates, allowing you to keep track of the positions on your smart phone as the day progressed. I also have to thank Darin Ballington and Chris Harris for their freely given advice and support.

Geoff Raygada.

Pictures have also been added to the Gallery.

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MDCS 2017 R2 Two Islands Results.

Todays results from round 2 of the summer IOM series at Two Islands for the Mac McCulloch Trophy have been posted under the Results Tab.

Event pictures and a race report will follow.

Thank you to all Two Islands club members for the race management.

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MDCS 2017 R1 M. Bosworth Race Report.

18 Midland skippers arrived at Market Bosworth RYC to a very light westerly, and so the PRO Laurie and team laid out a course in front of the water park cafe.

Unfortunately by the time the 1st race was to start it became obvious that the course would be a bit of a procession and so it was essential to get a good start. After two races had been completed we knew that we needed to move the whole thing over to the right hand side bank.

With Laurie and Steve in the rowing boat collecting the buoys and laying out the new course to accommodate the north-westerly and the bank side equipment having been re-sited the wind dropped to almost nothing. Having got race three away it quickly turned into a bit of a lottery as possibly 50% of the fleet came to a holt caused by some lengths of stringy weed that appeared to be just below the surface. To get weed issues this early in the season is unusual at Market Bosworth.

Laurie to the rescue, he went out and picked up the effected boats clearing fins and rudders, all boats eventually completed the race so we had a finishing order. The race team then discussed the option of abandoning the event as if we could not provide a fair race then effectively it was not a race more of a game of chance. The race team decided to carry on as the wind had picked up slightly and we would review again at lunchtime.

Race four was held in light airs so it was going to be a single lap and whilst there was some weed issues it did not affect so much of the fleet. We completed six races by lunch which was not bad considering the trials and tribulations for not just the race team but the skippers who were managing the weed with good grace.

The lunch break also gave Chris H and a few other skippers a chance to deal with some District business, sorting out race team support for the District host clubs needing assistance, and getting some provisional offers for 2018 events.

The early races after lunch were run in light airs and the weed problem appeared to be less, possibly due to so many fins going to windward scooping up all the floating bits, at least we had some racing. Just after the mid-afternoon tea break the sun had finally broken through the low grey cloud bringing with it a far better wind speed allowing for some close racing through the whole fleet. With eleven races completed by 15:25 it was decided that the twelfth race would be the last, this was sailed in the best conditions of the day, but as we were all getting tired due to walking to and from the piers it was a good decision.

With scores totalled and the two discards calculated we had a result, the top skippers having come out on top again despite the challenges. The discards appearing to compensate for the worst of the earlier weed. So congratulations must go to Chris Harris who had chartered Laurie’s Britpop for the event, don’t adjust anything when you get it back Laurie.

In a slight change to the usual prize giving procedure Laurie said to the top places they had the option to take a prize or pull out a jib number ticket from the hat. All decied to use the draw which was generous of them, one noticable winner was jib 34 (Bert Whitehead) who whilst he finished last in the race had spent quiet a lot of his time lauching and clearing weed off other skippers fins, he had the wellies, cheers Bert enjoy the wine.

After the “Sears Trophy” presentation, we presented Darin Ballington with the “Gibbs Trophy” as winner of the MDWCS 16-17 series. As with all these events there is a lot of preparation and so Laurie and myself would like to thank, Steve, Chrissy, Bert, Mark, Tony and anyone I have missed in the preparation/repair of the buoys.

The overall series positions for both the individual and club have been added to the results tab. You will also find some pictures in the gallery.

The next round of this years MDCS & C series is scheduled for 16th April at Two Islands, keep an eye out for the NOR which will be posted here about ten days before.

ARO, Gordon Sears.

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