MYA IOM Yachts Winter Series 2015

MYA IOM yacht Winter Series 2015 - round 3, 22nd Feb

Photos by Russ Chilcott & Kevin Roberts
Report & scores by Russ Chilcott

Skippers from all over the south west came along to the Apex Park on 22nd February when our club hosted the third and final round of the MYA IOM South West District Winter Series 2014/15.

We started the day with 14 entries racing in a nice light southwest breeze, but finished it with just 6 still going in almost gale force winds and heavy rain!
Before the racing had got underway one skipper found his yacht was dragging something in the water, once back to the bank he found hooked up on his keel a child’s bright pink scooter!

The day started well for Sedgemoor as Mike Cooper was in unstoppable form winning 3 of his first 4 races, but unfortunately for him (less so for everyone else!) he had to leave by midday. With the weather getting much worse 5 of the skippers decided to call it a day and retired, another soon joined them as he had problems with his winch.
This left 7 brave souls who agreed to carry racing, but now in non-stop heavy rain and very strong winds. Most decided to switch down to their No2 suits, but Simon Clarke and Bob Conner took a bit of a gamble and decided to stay on their top suits. At times it looked as if their gamble was not paying off as both had serious problems just keeping their boats under control running with the wind and on a few occasions were almost blown into the clutches of the dreaded overhanging tree branches! The No 1 windward marker and finishing line were in a fairly large wind shadow caused by the big trees on the far bank, so with their top suits Simon and Bob had the advantage there and would often gain quite a few places, sometimes in the very last few metres while crossing the finish line!

After a few poor results in the morning races Mark Pressdee seemed to enjoy the stronger winds and racing on his 2nd suit he was giving the two “tall boys” and real run for their money. He won 3 of the last 5 races which was enough to move him up into joint 2nd place tied with Bob on 32 points, but Mark takes the 2nd place spot as he had 4 wins to Bob’s 2. The outright winner on the day by quite a margin was Simon, of his 13 races he finished in the top 3 places on 10 occasions which left him with a score of 23 – very impressive.

A big thank you to Scott Smart who was the meeting OOD, starting judge for every single race and a very wet Race Observer! He was assisted through the morning races by Henry Westphal. Kevin Roberts was on hand to help out with the set-up, while I did my best to record the wet score sheets and run a “soup kitchen”!

The weather had a huge part to play on the day, a great shame as it has been quite a while since our club last hosted an MYA event. But leaving the weather to one side, I think most enjoyed the day and it is hoped we will be hosting another MYA event again sometime – next time with maybe just a little less rain!

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