The IOM Class made a welcome return to Lincoln Radio Sailing Club for the first 2018 ranking weekend.
Day one saw 48 skippers descend at the clubs water at Scotland Farm to very little wind but the usual warm welcome from all at Lincoln RSC.
With the briefing concluded all were eager to get on the water, however with a lack of breeze all were left to reminisce over a hard winter and a LRSC breakfast bap.
With the wind slowly playing ball, a course was set along the southern bank, the seeding races were duly won by Derek Priestley, Graham Elliott and Graham Bantock and completed around 12:30. Racing then began to move along at a more desirable pace with plenty for skippers to think about, whilst the left hand side of the upwind legs looked promising there was never quite enough breeze or a header to get back to the windward mark. After race 3 it was two South West skippers in Tony Edwards and Gavin Watson tied on 8 points with Derek Priestly 4 points back, the wind once again became inconsistent in both direction and speed but in general veering North. This led for plenty of work for the LRSC race team in moving marks quickly and making tough calls to abandon starts or heats on the first beat. After a storming victory in race 4 it was Derek Priestley who took the lead after the discard had kicked in. With race 5c underway the wind completely diminished, PRO Chris Elliott taking the tough decision to abandon the race and end the day ahead of schedule.
Derek Priestley took the win after a very consistent set of scores, Tony Edwards a very credible second and Gavin Watson finalising the podium. With plenty of positions changing in races any of the top twenty were capable of winning races in A heat with the scoresheet close throughout all fleets and a variety of different designs showing speed.
(Derek Priestley (top) and Tony Edwards collecting prizes on day one (images A.Guerrier))
Day two dawned with Skippers arriving at Lincoln RSC to be greeted by wind, in particular around mid top suite from the NW.
Also in attendance were a few sore heads after a great class social and a few ruing the start of BST and an hours less recuperation.
Racing once away got off on time with a course set from the South bank. The seeding races were won by Derek Priestley, Darin Ballington and Rob Walsh making a return after a family wedding had prohibited attendance on day one.
With racing moving at a good pace Darin Ballington took out race 2 with a welcome return to form after a difficult first day with Rob Walsh and uncle Derek in hot pursuit. Soon after the breeze followed day one’s trend by veering to the North and making the windward mark a little tricky to view from the control area. The course moved towards the East bank with racing duly getting under way yet again.
With no one side delivering, most gains were made keeping to the middle of the course, not getting stuck out on a limb and having the opportunity to make the most of a 10 -15 degree shift when they arrived, which they did!
The Fleet continued on the East bank until race 4 when the breeze decided it was time to shift back to the WNW, after a slow start to the day it was Josh King who made the most of the new course by taking out race 5 sailing BG’s former World and European winning steed POP! In race 6 Paul Allen improved on a consistent afternoon session of 3,3 to take out race 6 in dying wind conditions and to end the day and the weekend a little ahead of schedule.
After tallying the final scores it was Rob Walsh who came out on top with John Tushingham enjoying a much improved second day two points adrift and Paul Allen taking third. The ever consistent Graham Elliott finished fourth with Derek Priestley, Gavin Watson and Chris Harris all finishing on 27 points with Darin Ballington in eighth on 29 points.
(Rob Walsh (top) and John Tushingham collecting prizes on day two (images A.Guerrier))
It was great to see skippers competing at a ranking weekend after a break and plenty of new faces, competition no matter which fleet was very close with all skippers having a moment of glory, a well earned promotion or race win.
My thanks to Chris Elliott the Lincoln RSC race team who by no means had it easy, with 18 course changes and 5 heats abandoned on the first leg on Sunday alone, however decisions were made on a very consistent basis with quality of racing always prevailing. Also to all volunteers at LRSC who yet again worked tirelessly to provide a quality weekend where every detail had been meticulously planned, Thank you.