Report & scores by Russ Chilcott
photos by Alan Spencer
Photo 1 – Richard Aucott (left) collecting the trophy from OOD Scott Smart
The weather could not have been better for the Alice Trophy on a lovely spring day on Sunday 26th April. There were clear skies, bright sunshine plus a brisk north wind which dropped slightly and then returned after lunch only after moving around a full 90 degrees coming in from the west – this could only happen at Apex!
9 skippers entered so we had just one off at a time to act as the RO. This left a nice size fleet of 8 boats to race each time. Our start countdown machine had a minor hiccup when it decided to stop working for a while which left the RO’s to shout out loud the countdown, this proved to be not easy to do while watching the line. Thankfully after a quick fiddle inside the machine and a threat to throw it into the lake it decided to come back to life!
There were 9 races run in the morning session and 9 in the afternoon. The meeting OOD Scott Smart set a Z shaped course with 3 markers rounded to starboard and 1 to port, each race was run over two full laps. The long course and usual Apex eddies kept everyone on the toes and resulted in the first 5 races producing 5 different winners.
During the lunchbreak I put the mornings 9 race results into the laptop and to my surprise (and everyone else’s amazement) I was actually in the lead – just! At that time I had 12 points, Scott and Richard Aucott were tied on 13, with Nigel Clarke on 14.
I did suggest several times that we should stop at that point trying desperately to find a good reason to do so, but sadly no one agreed to this idea!
After lunch we return lakeside to find the wind had moved around and was now blowing in directly from the west. The entire course was rotated around and it ended up completely in reverse so we were now racing with 3 markers to port and 1 to starboard.
For some reason I just couldn’t get my head around this layout and finished the first three races after lunch in 7th places. Scott had started the afternoon pretty well but got tangle with another boat in race 14 and was pushed back into 7th place. He then lost his “mojo” and finished the next three in 8th, 7th and 7th and like me this was enough to drop him out of contention for a trophy win.
Meanwhile Richard and Nigel were ever consistent and never out of the top few places in all their races. Both had two wins during the afternoon 9 races and though we didn’t know it at the time the 18th and final race turned out to be the decider for the entire meeting. Richard won it with Nigel in second place which was just enough for Richard to win this event and the Alice Trophy by just one point! His score was 22. Nigel had to settle for 2nd place on 23pts. I ended taking 3rd spot on 33, with Scott in 4th on 36.
Martin Mickleburgh (39) and Rod Butler (47) had some success both taking 2 wins they finished in 5th and 6th places respectively. Daron Maynard 7th (64) and Ron Lee 8th (66) managed a few top 4 places but were a little way back. Steve Coles finished in 9th (84) and last place but he is still new to IOM racing and this was his first ever “all day” event.
All in all it was a good days racing – just a shame for me it didn’t finish at lunchtime!
Richard Aucott (left) collecting the Alice Trophy 2016 from meeting OOD Scott Smart