04 December 2017

WA IOM Championship - 25/26th November 2017


The 2018 WA  IOM Championship was held over two days with greatly  varying conditions which  tested  both the sailors and race officer Warren Rock assisted by Bob Paton.

The first day started in A rig moderate conditions in lumpy seas on the Swan river. 

Starting well proved difficult for both of the fleets in the 17 boat field due to the waves and close proximity of the shoreline. Experience sailors found themselves sometime in an OCS or stalled on the line at the last moment sting themselves up for a long chase to the front runners.

It became apparent after some top sailors found themselves in trouble at first windward mark with  boats washed sideways putting themselves into contact or falling short.  Mark rounding judgement was being tested and many fell short.

After several races the south west wind increased into B rig conditions with all boats changing rigs. Exciting sailing at the top of B rig kept everyone on their tippy tows with Sean Wallis with his V10 showing his speed and good tactics and Glenn Dawson taking some wins and consistently in the first three places.   After a slow start Ross Bennet was able to get into the small numbers but cheated himself out of a certain first place when leading at the final race of the day being passed on a wave at the penultimate moment by the good captain sailing the V8 when in Ross’s own words he ‘ wrongly ‘waggled instead of wiggled’ trying to stay on the plane.  

Wins were also had by Edgar (V10) and Hub Bell by cleverly sailing clean race after the leading lights had failed in either their mark rounding efforts or their upwind strategies.

  At the end of the day and 11 races it seemed Sean Wallis had almost cemented himself at the top by good tactics and boat speed. Glen Dawson was in 2d place.  The challenge was on to catch Sean the next day.

Day two racing was in light airs and at times the PRO was seen almost tearing his hair out in the light constantly reversing breeze and had to finally concede that it was best to wait until the breeze settled.  Even  after that some races in the late morning had to be abandoned despite all efforts to lay a course as the southerly battled  the easterly for room on the course.   An early lunch was called and finally a usable but shifting breeze from the east was enough to start races again. 

 Sean Wallis showed he could also excel in the light shifty conditions and added to his overnight lead to take the top spot.  Ross Bennett  (2nd) and Ian Sherriff (3rd) overall showed their light air skills to peg back those ahead and fill the minor places by consistently picking the right side of the course. The only other to pick up a win on the final day was Graeme Howie (cheinz) who did come from behind to catch the leaders by picking a shift all others missed.   Noted was the absence of Glenn who was shanghaied by a work commitment so missed all of day 2.    Finally a steadier wind from the south west arrived but no drastic changes of places happened although a few very tired heat affected sailors were climatically relieved.    

Many thanks to Warren and Bob and all others who helped and the very much appreciated commitment of Ray Forsyth who kept scores for both days.  

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