A total of 22 skippers were greeted by sunny skies, bacon sandwiches and a light breeze blowing straight down the lake towards the clubhouse. With boats rigged and skippers briefed the wind disappeared completely and prompted the first of many course changes throughout the day for the race team of Tommy Mills and Dave Hollom who marshalled the busy single fleet start lines very well. The light winds made for an interesting tuning cycle for many skippers and MYA President Derek Priestley’s famed ‘floppy trim’ seemed to be a good choice for the first couple of races. As the morning went on the wind came round to the seaward side towards the clubhouse which allowed the full length of the lake to be used and some Christmas calories to be walked off.There were some great battles throughout the fleet, at the top end there was some great racing between local skippers Rob Walsh and Derek with John Tushingham, Phil Playle and Chris Harris keeping the pressure on. The lower orders were also hotly contested throughout the morning with all the skippers enjoying some very social racing. Lunchtime was welcomed with a now famous Fleetwood hotpot and steaming cups of tea provided by Maureen, Jackie and Derek. During the lunch break the wind disappeared again and came back from the seaward side nearest the clubhouse which prompted another course change and a start line that made the control bank end an interesting choice for some competitors and in the light breeze there was a lot of light hearted banter at the afternoon starts. The afternoon session saw some tight racing as the wind became very light again which made getting a clean start very important. The top mark provided some interesting contacts as some managed to make in one but having to pinch to the mark on port which made easy targets for those sailing the longer course and approaching on starboard. The day finished with ‘Timmy snacks’ of mince pies, more tea and current IOM World Champion Rob Walsh taking the victory from John Tushingham in second place. Derek Priestley, Chris Harris, Phil Playle, Mark Dicks, Shaun Priestley, Bill Culshaw, Dave Burke, Mick Chamberlain and Tim Long made up the rest of the top eleven ( in no particular order!)
With two new IOM skippers at the event and the biggest turnout at the event for some years it was hailed as a great way to spend a chilly sunny winter’s day.
Huge thanks to Derek and Maureen for the catering, Jackie for the teas, Tommy and Dave for keeping the skippers in check and the 22 skippers that came from far and wide in less than perfect travel conditions to take part.