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After recent weeks of cold and ice it was fantastic to see the 21 skippers entered for this event turn up at Scotland farm, welcomed by the smell of Chef Micks Bacon Butties, and the sound of Tim Hand (PRO) in the boat setting a course parallel to the control area. Although the breeze was welcome it did bring a chill with it, but matched to a rising sun and clear skies no one was going to complain. The first Midland District IOM event of the year is always a chance to catch up with friends and meet the new members to the fleet, 2023 looked to be no different, new skippers chatting to old hands and our very welcome visitors from other districts all swapping stories and advice waiting for Tim to call everyone to order.
Filled with breakfast, Tim outlined the aims of the day and the importance of everyone enjoying themselves, fun and fairness being the words of the day.
The single fleet got underway on time sporting their largest A Rigs and with shifts and gusts in the wind making the early racing on the simple windward – leeward course difficult to predict. (It is a superb sight to see 20+ boats sailing together, and still makes me wonder why more skippers don’t attend these race days.)
The large fleet was enjoyable for most, but a challenge for those who were new to so many boats on the start line, however everyone soon learned of the need for a clean start, the course setting meant that the position on the start line was less important than clean air and the ability to tack when wanted and escape the bad wind of the boats around you. All day the choice of route up the beat and buoy to round on the leeward gate gave alternating chances throughout the fleet and plenty of opportunity to gain or lose. There was a minimum amount of “discussion” during the day, good clean racing being the quickest way around the course.
As the morning passed, the breeze built and swung enough for many to consider dropping down a rig, this swing kept Tim busy as he nudged the course round to follow the breeze with eyesight being tested by lunchtime. Lunch was taken during which the breeze continued to build and its direction changed enough for the course to be reset 90 degrees and the South Bank to be used.
A quick change by almost all of the fleet whilst the course was changed didn’t delay things and the afternoons racing started promptly with the breeze and shifts continuing to make the racing fun and challenging. A quick coffee break mid-afternoon coincided with a lull in the wind, many chose to change rigs, but some decided to stay with their B rigs. Those who changed up were rewarded as the breeze dropped to mid A rig conditions and the smaller rigged boats were left behind on the downwind legs.
Tim kept the racing going at a pleasant pace, and in doing so made the event an enjoyable day for all the competitors. There were a few who didn’t make the end due to boat breakages but the prize giving was attended by a large part of the fleet and all agreed it had been a good day, most looking forward to renewing their battles at the next round at Bournville on the 12th Feb. (Entry open on the MYA online calendar)
Results are below but , although the reason for attending is to race so we had better acknowledge some of the successes.
Darin (98) – 4 wins
Nigel (54) – 2 wins
Rob W (97) – 1 win
Mick C (46) – 2 wins
Peter W (65) – 1 win (Although he found every way in which to avoid more wins)
Dave R (57) – 1 win
John S (43) – 1 win
John B (35) – 1 win
Studying the scores will show that everyone barring new comer Denis Walker had at least one top 10 finish, and even Denis, competing in his 1st race day had great fun, so I think we can call the Midland District Winter Series opener for 2023 a success.
Thanks as always to all those at the host club who gave up their day to help out, or their sailing for the day to allow us to enjoy ourselves, especially, Tim Hand, Jen Hand, Peter Hellen, Colin Helliwell, and many others.
See you at the next event Bourneville on the 12th February
We shall try and reschedule asap, this 22nd January event , that we were all looking forward to .
Wow what a cracking day, forecast on the Friday may have scared a few, but for the 17 skippers who turned out they were rewarded in spades, Roger B and Glen C were out in the boat early and sorted the course out, on the East bank for sure .
Bit of a toss up whether it was A or B and everybody having a bit of a nose job to see who had what, Pete W65 had gone for A and Mick C46 had gone for B, now we were confused, Mick C 46 went up the first beat like a rocket but fell foul of a Port tacker, that just about ended his race, but he bounced back , to a second place , Pete W 65 went on to win , with OOD roger B 448 taking second spot , great performance Roger, Some then changed rigs including Mick C 46, but hey ho whatever rig you were on it needed the right trim, and the top two Jen H 69 and Pete W 65 certainly had that, They dominated from start to finish, but I have to say I saw some great races in this highly competitive fleet, Roger B 448 sailed out of his skin, to gain third spot, and even took the one remaining win that the two leaders had left. Geoff Streeter 580 in a B rig all the way, got a second, third, and a fifth, probably his best performance to date , again well done Geoff, Kevin E 02 is gradually climbing the the leader board, Mick Cooper 53 I taught him to sail not 5 years ago!!!!! and now he is knocking on the door !!!!!!, We also had two newbies to the DF 95 fleet Jeff F 10 Jeff had problems with his eyes in the bright sun , and Colin T 301, showed what he can do in a one design boat, so look out for him in future, Alan N 438 started well but had a problem after race 4 , Mike W 76 also was going well until a problem forced him to the sidelines .
him out I can go on about the abilities standard rising week on week , Today was pretty tough on competitors and gear, it was a long course using most of the East bank and everybody did brilliantly.
Top Marks to Jen H 69 for a superb performance who won on countback , no matter , she is now one to beat and if you need some set up tips , her boat is number 69 ,
Many thanks to all for a fantastic mornings racing , and for all the help getting the gear put away.
Trim Trim and Trim was the word today .
It seems an age since we had these fantastic boats out for some serious racing, but here we were 12 skippers greeted by fabulous weather conditions, top suit all the way , great breeze from the South , enabling three long beats. fast from the start was Tim H 44 closely followed home by Pete W 65 , with Jen H 69 taking third, It is amazing that with 12 skippers we had 9 different designs, Numbers were down a bit but the quality was evident and the battle for the top three places was should I say “fierce” with no quarter given or expected, Pete W 65 showed his class by winning 7 from the 11 races , Tim H 44 knows he can do better, and Dave R 57 the same , Mick C 46 did not have a great day retiring with a damaged rudder in race 10 Jen H 69 had a good consistant set of number’s and Stuart J 66 caught my eye especially with a perfectly timed port tack start and another great race in race 10 .
Colin H 54 first time out with the squiggle improved towards the end , you will see more from Colin I promise you, Mike W 74 and Kevin E 20 are improving week on week , and Mick Cooper 39 was just not at the races today , far too much Xmas pudding.
A great day of racing and the rain held off , Well done to all the helpers and especially well done to Pete W 65 for the win, The next round could be very exciting , don’t miss it . 22nd January .