On an unseasonably chilly damp May day 45 IOM skippers arrived to compete in this year’s MYA veteran championship, the turnout no doubt boosted by the lack of sailing over the past few months, 14 months and 7 days after the last MYA event to be precise, and coincidentally hosted by the same club and with the same warm welcome always offered by Lincoln Radio Sailing Club.
10 hardy competitors even braving the rural location in their campervans. Some for the 1st time ever and probably not the welcome they were expecting as they “pitched” their vans in the monsoon conditions of Friday afternoon. Covid restrictions and the bumper entry meant that parking was to be tight and so campers were requested to park at the far end of the lake, only a short taxi ride from the sailing area…
The fleet was split in to 3 heats and PRO Rob Wilson gave a quick briefing before the fleets dispersed to their “bubbles” and racing got away promptly at 10.00 am. The initial races were timed at around 10-12 minutes and after the seeding races it was agreed to lengthen the course slightly to increase this. Winning the seeding races were Brian “Titch” Summers, Ken Binks and the returning Terry “the Fonz” King, funny to see him without the boys but great to see him sailing again.
The wind direction although forecast to be NW actually settled in to a pleasant Westerly and despite the odd rain shower the racing took place in a cold but stable breeze with some close action and tight finishes throughout Saturday. The chance to have a good long beat from the gate to the finishing line meant that there was plenty to play for in each and every race for most competitors, and looking at the scores you will see that most had some good races and fine results. Saturday saw a few boat breakages but these were mainly minor, although David Hope’s event was definitely compromised when he had the dreaded new boat gremlins which saw him spend the first 3 races with his head and hands inside his boat! Luckily the red gelcoat matched the state of his hands as he hastily replaced the sheeting lines below deck. This obviously spurred him on as he started the fight back which would see him eventually win the final race of the event, which although not enough to get in the prizes will no doubt have made the trip worthwhile. I would imagine that others like the determined and improving Stewart Campbell would say the same, with his ride back to Scotland being made more enjoyable by his race 6 win. Other to take race wins during the event were Tony Edwards, Phil Holliday, Austin Guerrier, Dave Burke and local hero Pete Walters.
Saturday finished with the last heat being pulled from the water just before the cut off time as the wind died and delayed what would have been the start. No one complained though as they put their boats away for the evening ready for what was forecast to be a wet and windy Sunday.
Sunday morning saw the race team on site bright and early with the breeze now coming from SSW direction and the sun shining; how long this would last for nobody knew but the racing got underway in the (still) chilly but fine conditions at the posted time of 9.30am. This sailing on the Easterly bank allowed competitors and their pit crews to spectate from cars and be closer to their equipment. Racing was again tight and fair, with all competitors completing any penalties on the water. Later in the day the wind strength increased with a slight change in direction and after a few “retirements” due to missed marks the race team took the decision to slightly shorten the course, bringing the leeward gate a bit closer to the shore.
A theme that you will see from the results list is the spread of names to have a good race or two and also the number of names that are new to this event; it was fantastic to see some new faces alongside the returning ones, and this reporter hopes that we will see them again at other open events or national events. Further proof of the popularity of the event is the range of clubs being represented, a quick rundown the score sheet shows clubs from West Cornwall, Tayside and Eastbourne being represented along with all districts in between. It was also pleasing to see groups coming from clubs, such as the guys from Killingworth in the North East and the new boys from Fleetwood.
Sunday’s racing followed the pattern of Saturday with close, fair racing even as the breeze built and some changed down to their B rigs. This choice didn’t really work as the gusts were never really long enough to last for the length of the race and whilst gains and distance could be held to windward the larger sail area of the A rigs was advantageous on the runs. The exception to this being the final race of the event where for much of the race it was survival for the large rigs and looked like being glory for the smaller rig of Dorian Crease’s boat. However, this didn’t last as he was pipped on the line by David Hope and his A rig equipped boat.
Further investigation of the scoresheet will see that the designs were spread throughout the fleet and there was a pleasing number of self-build boats on the water, Nigel Barrow, Neil Thornton and Simon Robinson sailing their boats efficiently and showing that a self-build boat can compete well.
Mention perhaps should also be made of Malcom Clement (40) and his Ellipsis, 3 months into sailing his IOM, the goal was to enjoy himself, learn a bit and start to understand his boat more, something that he achieved with a smile on his face. We look forward to seeing you again Malcolm.
Brian Summers with his distinctive Britpop with her translucent mainsail was impressive throughout the weekend, and his consistent sailing and traffic management made him a worthy winner of the 2021 MYA IOM Veteran Championship, followed by Austin Guerrier in 2nd place, (who would have thought he was a veteran) and the new local sailing hero from the host club of Pete Walters in third edging out reigning champion Tony Edwards. Terry King rounding up the top five.
In accepting the winner’s trophy, Brian acknowledged the hard work and efforts of the volunteers who had helped organize and run the racing, this event would not have been possible without the help of a large, enthusiastic and hardworking team of volunteers from the Lincoln Radio Sailing Club. Rob Wilson for his PRO duties, Darin, Tracey and PJ, Jackie and Mick, Mary Ann, Ed, Alan, Mick Cooper, Bob, Ivan, Billy, Greg, Adrian, Tony and the little dynamo that is Jen Hand. Well done to all and thank you. And if we should have missed anybody please accept our sincere apologies.
Thanks must also go to Malcolm Appleton the IOM Class Captain, who travelled from his holidays in Cumbria to present the prizes.
Next IOM event is the Ranking event at Coalhouse Fort, June 26th and 27th. Enter now via the MYA online entry system on the website.