Report on the final round of the Northern District IOM Winter Series event, hosted by
Leeds & Bradford MBC, Sunday 24th Feb 2019
In spite of the very light wind forecast, 16 boats turned up to Yeadon Tarn to take part in the final round of the Winter Series event. Competitors turned up from far and wide, including Darren Ballington from the Midlands and Geoff Martindale from the far north of Northumberland. Things didn’t look too promising when I arrived with a flat calm stretch of sailing water, but was improved by friendly faces, a cup of tea + bacon butty and bright sunshine that shone all day. Little by little the wind came and increased to about 6-7 mph by the time the first race had finished.
Race Officer Damian Ackroyd assisted by a team of Peter Barker (finisher) and Erik Hardman (scorer), set a long first leg with the intention of splitting up the fleet. But the best plans don’t always work out, as most of the fleet surprisingly arrived in a big bunch, and with many of us having ageing eyes, that mark rounding proved “tricky”. But like all good race officers, Damian quickly changed to a more appropriate (and closer) first mark, which regularly had to be adjusted slightly to compensate for the changing wind. From then on, competitors carried out turns or retuned to the start where appropriate, and the event was sailed in good sporting spirit.
Early results gave a good idea of who would be the main contenders, with Darren Ballington and Craig Rastrick locked in close competition all day. Derek Priestly was regularly near the front, but ended up doing too many turns to help his cause, even including sportingly retiring in one of the early races. Dave Darwell also was going along well with a string of 3rds , as was Dave Winder after a slow start.
Lunch alone justified my “pilgrimage” to the club, with an excellent chicken casserole with mash, and 2 choices of pudding – I was happy as a butcher’s dog. Thanks ladies. While we were eating and chatting, the wind changed direction and dropped off a bit. A completely different start line and course were set, and brought a few different people nearer the front some of the time, though Darren, Craig and Derek were still at or near the front most of the time. Local boy Richard Smalley left his powder dry till the final 2 races, producing a couple of 3rds, and Simon Robinson had a good afternoon. Everyone had their bad luck stories to tell, such is the nature of our sport, it always happens.
Impressively the desired 16 races were completed just before the wind died away, and prizegiving followed shortly afterward. Making the long journey Midlands worthwhile, the overall winner was Darren Ballington, closely followed by Craig Rastrick, with our president Derek Priestly a worthy 3rd and also winner of the overall series. Thanks to Damian and the rest of the club for making it a great day. By the way, Darren was seen videoing during the breaks, I’ll keep you informed when it is available to see.
Results posted below:
Simon Robinson 26/2/2019