It was fun to arrive at the venue to be greeted by an old university colleague (Martin Brooking) who I last saw in 1974. We both look a bit older.
Martins report is below but the stand out sailor of the day was Colin Goodman. He is a multiple world European and National champion and a consummate sailor of the IOM class. He is quiet but methodical and I am in awe of his ability to escape the fleet and sail off into the distance.
BY MARTIN BROOKING
20TH MAY 2023 IOM OPEN MEETING
Huntingdon Radio Yacht Club was delighted to welcome 18 competitors to their first IOM Open event at their new venue of Hunts Sailing Club in St Ives Cambridgeshire on Saturday 20th May. The day started and continued with bright blue skies and a decent (but cheekily variable) northerly breeze. It really was a case of "champagne sailing” conditions. 13 visitors from as far away as Surrey and Lincolnshire joined HRYC members on a course that was laid on the east side of a small finger of land affectionately known as “the spit”. It was a standard windward/leeward affair with a downwind gate and a separate finish line at the end of the second lap. The fresh and shifty breeze allowed a decent distance between marks and good close racing with many place changes.
After registration by club ambassador Andy Start and the traditional HRYC welcome of coffee and free cake, a briefing was held by RO Noel Donaldson at 09:40 in readiness for starting the racing at 10:00 sharp. A total of 18 races took place, with a highly competitive fleet which included many top-flight IOM sailors skippering a variety of up-to-the-minute designs and beautifully turned out boats. With a single fleet (no heats required), the racing was completed in a series of batches with breaks for coffee, lunch and tea, including more fabulous cake laid on by Karen and Stephen Brown.
The wind was generally 10 to 18mph with the odd gust that induced rapid accelerations and some nose diving down wind; and there were plenty of tricky shifts that led to the sort of snakes and ladders sailing that inland sailors know and love. The bias on the start line and the best choice of lane up the first beat varied from race to race, helping most skippers to enjoy a moment or two of fame at the front of the fleet. The sparkling sunshine continued throughout the day - thank goodness for the sun cream!
Stand out performances included series winner Colin Goodman who impressively accumulated only 20 points from the 18 races and 3 discards. His immaculately prepared boat, smooth sailing style and astute tactics showed what it takes to win at this level. Other notable performances were from Darin Ballington, Nigel Barrow, David Hope, local hero Dave Green and Vernon Appleton - the top six places all being taken by the formidable Britpop design.
The racing was close and hard-fought in a competitive, but very friendly atmosphere and it was a joy to see a fleet of 18 closely matched boats lining up for the starts and changing places through good tactics and well chosen lanes.
The results can be found here
And videos of the event can be found on our YouTube channel here
Thank you to everyone involved - from the catering and event management, to the large number of visiting guests - we all had a very memorable day and we’re looking forward to the DF95 open on 8th October.