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2022 IOMMDCS&C R1 Leicestershire Race Report.

The run up to the Midland District IOM skippers series for the first round of this summer’s championship event saw many changes to the entry and race team as we had 3 skippers report positive Covid tests in the last couple of days, one who had to pull out because of work, and one had a heavy cold, then at the last minute we had a call from Eric Finley saying that he was in hospital. So, in effect the entry was down to 13 skippers and 4 people in the race team.

I arrived early at Charnwood Water to get set up for the booking in, and not long after was joined by Rob Wilson who had come down to open things up for us. With the skippers arriving and getting ready it was obvious that the weather forecast was right in that it was indicating a light easterly breeze but by 8:30am it was anything but. Bill Green our Pro for the day was walking up and down the side of the lake trying to get a course sorted, by 9:30am there was some indication on the water that things had started to settle from the east and so we were sailing.

The briefing was held on time with Bill giving instructions to play nice and anyone who came off the water not having done any outstanding penalty would be given a disqualification. Because of the wind shadow on the bankside the start line was almost as wide as the lake, this turned out to be a bit of a tactical decision for the skippers as the bottom end of the line was in wind, but you had a lot further to sail and the mid-point on the line saw you to windward but in much lighter winds. The first race was completed in 15 minutes with Dorian Crease taking first place, followed by Tim Hand. Race 2 went to Mick Barnett with his Alternative, and race 3 was the closest finish I had seen for many years, 10 of the fleet went across the line almost together and it was only the good teamwork by Roy and Nancy that were able to get the finishing order down so quickly. The race went to Pete Walters with his Venti, three races down three different winners and time to take a breather.

The course looked good and was producing close racing with plenty of different options possible, there was also several wind holes which is not unusual at Charnwood water, that had the leading skippers wondering where the wind had gone or the following skipper’s chance to catch up, Pete Walters took race 4 as well. Race 5 saw another different winner this time Stephen Hodgkinson taking line honours, Dorian was back at the top in race 6, Time Hand had to withdraw from the event at this stage as his boat was eating batteries. Don Charlesworth took race 7, then the oldest boat an Isis sailed by Nick Probyn took race 8. Just before lunch we had a visit from Eric Finley who had been discharged from hospital and he managed to get down to say hello and make sure that we had everything necessary, good to see you, Eric. Darin Ballington also turned up for a quick visit he being one of the withdrawals with a positive covid test on the run up to the event but he had tested clear this morning.

Bill then called a lunch break and racing would recommence at 13:15. I did the lunchtime scores and there was a tie for first place between Mick Chamberlain and Dorian Crease both on 19 points with Pete Walters a further two points behind on 21, all to play for this afternoon.

First race after lunch saw a runaway win for Graham Whalley, he was almost a full length of the course ahead of Stephen Hodgkinson, in fact it was the biggest winning margin of the day. We completed 3 races and took another short break, then called the skippers together and said that we would only run two more races as the wind was starting to get light. So having completed 13 races in total we finished at 14:50.

Everyone gathered in the carpark and Bill thanked the skippers for their attendance and the quality of rule observance, yes there were a few incidents, but all penalties were completed on the water.

Coming out on top was Mick Chamberlain, followed by Dorian Crease and Pete Walters. A full set of results are here: 2022 IOMMDCS&C R1, Leicestershire RYC results

Thanks were given to Roy and Nancy of the Manor Park RSC for coming down to do the finish line duties. Nancy also collected the IOMMDWCS trophy on behalf of Darin.

I thanked Bill Green and the members of the Leicestershire RYC for hosting the event, and the race entry fee after costs was split evenly between both Leicestershire RYC and Bournville RS&MBC.

The next event in the series is 5th June at Two Islands RYC.

Speaking of events Mick Chamberlain reminded us that Lincoln RSC are hosting the “Martin Lambert & Absent Friends” IOM event on 27th March and both the NOR and MYA race entry system are open. The race entry fee has been reduced to £5:00.

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