Leeds Bradford – Phoenix Trophy – 14th Oct 2018
10 skippers from 5 clubs assembled at Yeadon Tarn to compete for the Phoenix Trophy. Four skippers had travelled down from the North East and one from Wykeham. Geoff Martindale was the furthest travelled with a round trip of roughly 270 mile, unfortunately he slept in so his journey wasn’t quite as sedate as he’d planned.
We were greeted with the now accustomed warm welcome and a tasty bacon sandwich and mug of coffee.
The forecast was for light rain for most of the day with the wind dropping off as the day progressed. Unfortunately the reverse was the case and we were greeted with light rain and almost flat calm conditions for the first race. There was no discussion regarding which rig to use, No 1 was the only option.
Dave Darwell turned up to spectate at the event but ended up acting as Race Officer. He did a great job in very difficult conditions, changing the course as required in an attempt to get a decent start line with a beat to the windward mark.
Racing commenced around 10 am in very light an variable conditions, the light rain made things even more difficult for those skippers wearing glasses.
A tea break was called after a few races, a welcome relief for the skippers.
Suitably refreshed racing was resumed until the lunch break was called after heat 8.
We all crowded into the club house to dry off and enjoy the marvellous spread laid on by Margaret and her band of helpers. Chicken with mashed potatoes and peas. So much food had been prepared that there was enough for second helpings for all. A scrumptious Apple Crumble with custard to follow, all washed down with a mug of coffee and a good natter with the other skippers. It is worth a trip to the Leeds/Bradford club for the catering and the comradery alone.
A further 8 races were sailed after lunch in a slightly stronger breeze making 16 heats in total allowing us 3 discards.
Despite the difficult conditions racing was conducted in a great spirit, turns were done promptly and without question. There was no shouting or protests in what at times were very difficult conditions.
Heat wins were spread out amongst the fleet with 6 skippers recording a heat win. Racing was often very close, and although Simon Robinson (Killingworth) sailing his home built wooden boat won the event, he was regularly pushed right up to the finish line, particularly in the afternoon by Chris More (2nd overall) and in the morning by Richard Smedley (3rd overall).
Geoff Martindale (Killingworth) secured a fine 4th place sailing his Spanish Britpop he had only acquired a little over a week ago in its first regatta.
Thanks again to Dave Darwell as Race Officer and Eric Hardman for the scorekeeping and the results along with all the others who helped made the day special.
Despite the rain and the light and variable breeze everyone continued to sail with only two skippers dropping out with technical problems.
Brian W. Anderson