Saturday, March 28, 2020
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WMRMYC Inc Handicap Summer Series Round 3, Manly - 21st January 2018

The 12 skippers who attended the first handicap day of 2018 were truly blessed with what was one of the best days we have had for a long time. The breeze was in from the start and out of the South East at approximately 5 to 10 knots and oscillated either side to about 10 to 15 degrees as the day went on. The breeze filled at times with the most consistent strengths of around 10 knots or more after the break of the first 5 races.  The sailing committee set an excellent course with 3 leeward marks allowing for the most appropriate start line and gate to be selected in relation to the single windward mark. The course for all races was three laps being start line, windward mark to port and gate as the bottom of which the right hand mark facing the upwind was the most favoured. It was brave skipper who elected the opposite mark however it did pay on occasion especially when crowded out.

The fleet was spread over 60 seconds for the first race with new member Ted being off scratch. Ted is enjoying getting a feel for things and had a pretty relaxed day until his boat succumbed with rudder issues. Hopefully Ted gets all the Gremlins out of the way early in his radio yachting career and we look forward to watching him develop his skills.

Ian was off to a flying start winning 3 of the first 4 races very well. The rest of the fleet were left to pick up the pieces and with Dale, John and Dennis the most likely challengers. Dale had one of the his better days tying for 4th and not too many points off the podium.

John was very impressive after the break picking up three wins and finishing 2nd for the day. Chased hard by Russell in his Britpop in one notable race, John maintained a gap of about one boat length for the whole last lap showing his cool under pressure. Perhaps unluckiest of all was alongside Ian was Andrew who won a race and had several 3rds and top 5 finishes to tie on 4th and just out of the ribbons. Andrew along with a few other boats found the top mark on a number of occasions in a fleet that was very unforgiving. These unintentional yet costly mistakes could lose a skipper several places and a lot of distance as the fleet was very bunched all day. Many races had three or four boats finishing within the lengths of their hulls. It was really good to see Tony stick out the day in B rig after a rigging failure. Tony showed how quick these boats can still be even when underpowered and was not too far off the money especially in the windier races where he would even make places upwind only to lose the momentum downwind against the larger sail area boats.

The Pro duties were shared by most of the skippers doing one race each. Congratulations to all skippers who made this a very enjoyable day and complied with any due penalties. The race officers were very diligent with starting times and contacts. Russell generally kept them busy perhaps getting any boat contacts out of the way before the heavily attended Brisbane Challenge next weekend. Pete and Ray were up and down a bit all day often being caught up in the melee that was mid fleet. Many thanks to newly crowned Club Champion Scott for catering and cooking the BBQ which was enjoyed after such a great day of model boat racing. Same time next Month!