Rounds 1&2 of the 2020 TT took place at Birkenhead on 14 & 15 March.
Conditions as the 18 sailors arrived at the club did not seem to match the forecast with a light and fitful SE breeze blowing from the clubhouse and overcast conditions. Race Officer Martin Roberts setup for a Windward Leeward course using a spreader mark and a single leeward mark for the first few races. Alex Cory (minus 10) convincingly took the first race having been in the right place for the breeze off the line. John Tushingham (Scurry) then took the wins for races 2 and 3, with John Brierley (Uno) and Vernon Appleton (Argon) taking podium places in two of those races. After fixing a problem with his boat, Tobias Laux (Nuraghe) then picked up a win in his first race, with Peter Baldwin (Pocket Rocket), taking the win in race 5, before a break in racing took place for a hot drink.
After the break the RO had moved the course around as the breeze moved to more of a Southerly direction, but with large shifts as the gusts came over the houses and down onto the water. It was also time for a light shower dampening everyone’s enthusiasm, although the wind shifts were not making it easy for anyone. In the second session before lunch, Alex took two more wins, with John Brierley and Tobias one each.
After lunch, there was a further course change for the RO to complete as the wind was not settling down in direction and if anything increasing slightly in strength. Alex again made the most of the conditions winning two further races and taking two seconds, with Noel Donaldson (Uno) and Peter one each. The last session of three races, saw wins for John Tushingham, John Brierley and Tobias.
When the scores were totalled up after 16 races, there was a tie on 35 points between Alex Cory and John Tushingham, with Alex taking the overall win with a greater number of wins (5) against John who only had 3. The final podium place went to John Brierley five points behind them. The final results showed seven different designs in the first seven places, although the “Minus 10” is a narrower derivative of the Scurry and seemed suited to the conditions we had during this day.
Thanks to Martin Roberts, Bernie and Judith for running the racing and Chris for running the galley, providing hot drinks and serving up cake for everyone.
Sunday was a new day and a on to the next Round, although the wind was very similar in both strength (4 knots) and direction (SE) to the start of Saturday. This time it was down to John Brierley as RO to find the best course to set for the reduced fleet of only 13 competitors. He managed to get the fleet underway on time after a short briefing and description of the course. At least everyone started the first race unlike the start of Saturday.
Alex Cory started the day with a win as he did on Saturday, followed in race 2 by John Tushingham with Peter Baldwin taking Race 3, Tobias Laux Race 4 followed by John Race 5 before a short drinks break. Meanwhile John Brierley was working hard to change the course and the fleet restarted after the break with a longer course as the breeze picked up and slowly swung more to the West. John Tushingham again took Races 6 and 9 before Graham Elliott had his first wins in races 7 and 8. With the wind increasing even more, all sailors had changed down a rig by Race 10, which was won by Peter Baldwin, before an early break for lunch was taken. The RO moved the course further round during the lunch break and the afternoon was spent with some excellent B Rig racing and a breeze that was almost straight down the lake, with the sun putting in an appearance to warm everyone up.
Peter Baldwin took wins in Races 11, 13 and 16, John Tushingham also had three wins in races 14, 15 and 17, with Graham Elliott the only one to spoil their successes with a win in Race 12.
John Tushingham easily took the overall win with only 25 points, followed by Graham Elliott in second with 41 points and Peter Baldwin one point behind in third.
Thanks must go to John Brierley, Bernie and Judith for running Sundays racing and Chris and Jocelyn for running the galley keeping us all topped up with welcome hot drinks and yet more cake.
Finally, congratulations to everyone in the fleet for sailing competitively yet fairly over the two days. We look forward to welcoming the RG65 fleet back next year.
That’s it, the 2019 TT is done. Going into the last event the winner was already secured, 2nd was almost safe but 3rd and 4th were vulnerable to a few people who would be adding their 5th score to count towards the series.
In the end all of those 4 places remained unchanged but there was some significant movement in the places thereafter.
15 Skippers took part in the final round of the 2019 TT at Two Islands on Saturday with a number of people needing good scores to get them to move up the overall standings.
The forecast was for light winds and rain, and that forecast proved to be very accurate. At least the wind direction was quite consistent, so everyone only needed to deal with the big wind shifts caused by the houses, trees, islands etc. Nicely challenging.
it is safe to say that Tobias Laux turned up intent to repeat his performance from the recent National Championships, but he met some stiff opposition from a number of others.
Another very notable appearance on the water was Clive Cockayne’s Sith sporting a single sail rig, which his own admission, was a shot in the dark. It proved to power the boat very well and I have no doubt that we will see it again after some minor adjustments to the fullness.
Sadly we do not have any pictures of the sailing as everyone was on the water for the single fleet racing, and our resident photographer was off at another event.
At the end of the day, John Tushingham took the event win after 20 races with 30 points, followed by Tobias on 44 points and Alex Cory on 52.
Please note that any entry is only confirmed once payment is received.
For those that are interested the current entry list is as follows.
Mike Kemp Peter Baldwin Wayne Stobbs Phil Holliday Noel Donaldson Gerard Chauvel Martin Gray Nigel Brown Alan Watkinson John Brierley Graham Elliott Neil Westbrook Ralph Wilkinson Chris Forman Ken Binks Mark Dicks Clive Cokayne Christel Cracco Alex Cory Roger Dunklin John Tushingham Liz Tushingham Tobi Laux Colin Moss Trevor Binks Peter Moore
Skippers were greeted with a forecast of 20 mile an hour winds gusting 30 from the west. 20 Helms had pre-entered but on the day 18 arrived starting at 10 o’clock, not before people enjoyed bacon BAP‘s and egg and bacon rolls to start the day.
Roger Clifford was RO along with the usual group of Eastbourne club members and wives to run the event for which the skippers thank them enormously.
Racing started at 10 o’clock and continued at slick pace as you can see from the number of races completed. It became a war of attrition as boat and electronic failures arrived regularly during the day.
Rig choice was between B and C initially some using A- but it very soon became apparent that B rig was the order of the day until later in the morning with the gusty wind becoming even stronger most opted for C rig.
After an excellent lunch break with hot soup French bread sausage rolls and hot dogs were the order of the day as we all warmed up.
Racing resumed at 1:45 and continued until 4 o’clock. During the
afternoon the wind abated and we opted to go back to B rig which most
people finished up with. At some point the wind was even light enough
for people to go back to an A minus momentarily but it soon became
clear as it’s was just too much sail area.
23 Races completed and the top 3 on the day were within 10 points of
each other. Ken Binks took the win, closely followed by Alex Cory and
Full results are shown below and we almost achieved a fourth discard but the clock just beat us.
Thank you to Roger Clifford and all his team along with the catering
wise made it a superb day to start the season. Thanks also to the
Eastbourne club for once again providing a great day’s sailing.
Thanks to Dave Pickett for the use of his photos. Move pictures available on his Flickr Page