In the end, 20 sailors registered for the first day of the Twixmas event at Fleetwood Model Yacht and Power Boat Club. After a short briefing by Derek Priestley, racing got under way shortly after 10:00 under the watchful eye of Bob Jolly as RO assisted by scorer Judith Baldwin.
The fleet raced as one on a course with two beats at a slightly different angle to try and make the best of the shifty 5 to 10 knot breeze. Dave Burke was quick out of the blocks to win Race 1. Derek took wins in Races 2 and 3, with Dave then picking up Race 4.
This was followed by a short break for mulled wine and hot mince pies and then resumed with Race 5 where it was the turn of Mick Chamberlain to take the win, followed by Jen Hand picking up Races 6 and 7 by a good margin from the rest of the field. The final race (number 8) before lunch provided yet another winner in the form of John Sharman.
After a quick break for lunch, John again showed the fleet a clean pair of heels to win Race 9. Race 10 then provided another new winner in the form of Chris Chatfield, followed by the first win for Peter Baldwin in Race 11. Derek picked up Race 12 from Peter right on the finish line, the final race which may have been unlucky for some was won by Peter as a small compensation for narrowly missing out on Race 12.
When the final scores were added up, only one point separated the top three, with John Sharman (Keighley) taking the win on count back from Dave Burke (Lincoln) and Peter Baldwin (Birkenhead) in third just one point behind them.
Some piccies, courtesy of Tony Wilson
Sunday 2nd June
Sunday 23rd June
Sunday 11th August
Sunday 18th August
Summer Series Final Positions
Sunday 6th October
Sunday 24th November
Sunday 22nd December
Overall Autumn Series Positions
The Winner Eric Austwick
The Runner-up Derek Priestley
Following on from the creation of a small 6mR fleet at Fleetwood it was decided to hold an open meeting at the venue with the hope of encouraging further participation in the north of England to promote the virtues of the class on a piece of water that contrasts with traditional sheltered waters of established 6m venues.
There was a practice and tuning session on the Saturday afternoon which saw 4 boats in attendance and a very pleasant meal and chinwag in the Mount that evening. Well we certainly made a splash.
Fleetwood delivered its customary wind, albeit from the less commonly experienced SSE direction, of 15mph with gusts into the 20s. It made for some spectacular sailing. I don’t think anyone present had ever seen 6mRs sail downwind at the sustained speeds we witnessed. Were they planing? Hard to say. Probably not, but they were challenging Froude’s law!
The course was a long dogleg of two windward legs up to the clubhouse corner and a wing mark in front of the bridge using some three quarters of the length of the lake, then a long downwind leg back to the start area. Two laps, then a finish at the first upwind dogleg mark. Six boats arrived at the start line but Bill Green’s Renaissance, perhaps more used to a quieter life back home soon succumbed to an unusual fault when the through deck pulley failed following a line jumping off. Alas a repair or replacement could not be fashioned. The race order took on a pattern with sail 16, Shaun holbeche (Ravenna) leading followed by sail 12, Mike Ewart (Ravenna) with 66, Gordon Bayliff (Optimum) taking thirds, until that too suffered an unusual failure of the winch tray which curtailed Gordon’s further involvement. 16 had a topping lift wrap itself on the rigging and dropped a spot too. Meanwhile 07 (Panther) sailed by Eric in his first ever experience of a 6mR and 38 (Seismick) under Damian Ackroyd, (two boats recently returned to competition and awaiting hull appendage/lead/rig upgrades) were engaged in a close battle that was decided by one point. When the Panther was derigged afterwards it was found that the mast had sheared right at deck level and was held in place by rig tension which perhaps explained why main sail shape had deteriorated later in the day!
The spectacle attracted a good number of club members and onlookers and many pictures were taken. All the participants thoroughly enjoyed themselves, even Bill who said it was well worth it for the limited sailing he had experienced. All looked forward to another opportunity to sail on the lake again.
Thanks must go to our race team, Peter Isles who placed the extra buoys for the course and helped with launches, Bob Jolly for his scoring/general assistance and Trevor Bell as Race Officer.
8 skippers today for the IOM Mayoral Cup. First order of business… bacon butties curtesy of the Parkingtons.
Next up, check the wind on the official Fleetwood Wind-o-Meter: Somewhere between Naff All and Proper Job, that’ll do.
Then the yachting… Grey start, 13 races, decent breeze, lots of shifts, lots of race winners. Holbeche consistent, others less so and a sunny end to the day.
I’ve had too many beers already, here’s a strange info graphic that describes the day…
- Shaun Holbeche – 22pts
- Tim Lanigan – 29pts
- Garry Benson – 30pts
- Rick Ford – 37pts
- Damian Ackroyd – 43pts
- Mike Benson – 54pts
- Sue Parkington – 58pts
- Eric Austwick – 85pts
Thanks you to Mike and Sue for running the racing and the galley, and thanks to Bob Jolly for keeping tabs.
For the first 36R Vane event of the year we had five entries. A couple of the regulars and one out of hibernation that sailed mainly vane boats many moons ago. Wizzy tells me the last time he was out on the water was about 30 years ago and at the time he seemed to be the only one owning a 36R, so now we must have actually grown in numbers.
Derek was with us to team up with Robert and Eric was keen to assist Tony and help the blind lead the blind. Bob was here to mate for Peter and Darren was down to help our John.
Light winds from the bottom of the lake called for big rigs. Some of the usual fumbling around to get the boats out and dusted and then score cards were prepared with the boats and skipper names filled in.
Five of us went to the water edge so Rob was the first on a bye as the other four had just returned from a test run. Mr Wiseman won both his legs against Peter and John scored five points from Tony as his boat didn’t go the same as it did in the test run.
At the beginning of the morning the wind was adequate, but coming up to the lunch break the wind started to dither a little down on the start, but once you were out from the clubhouse it started to work.
Team Rob then started the accumulation of wins against all the other boats as Derek tuned the boat to perfection.
After the lunch break and some more of the long awaited repairs from the previous year, the wind seemed to be back to being just enough as in the beginning.
An early finish left a bit of time for practise as there wouldn’t have been enough time for a second round. Rob and Derek had mopped up all the available points on the day and secured the win.
Although there were still a lot of buoys out on the water, they didn’t really hinder these short keeled boats to be of any problem. Collisions for resails were also at a minimum and the day ran pretty smoothly. These smaller boats are the ideal start platform for anyone contemplating a dabble in the world of Vane sailing. Ideally suited and not too fast that you have to wear running shoes to sprint after them unlike the bigger high flying machines. Come along and see or even pick up a pole and join in, helpers are always made welcome.
Next event in the 36R Vane class is the weekend after Easter on Saturday 27th April.
1 R. Wheeler 20pts
2 K. Wiseman 12 pts
Joint 3rd Peter W. and John P. on 8 pts
Thanks to Tony Wilson for the Report and video’s