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Cyclops Marine 2023 November - LEADERBOARD

ILCA Open at Bartley Sailing Club

by Simon Hardiman 29 Sep 2023 00:52 PDT 24 September 2023

Slicks, Intermediates, or full wets?

Those who follow Formula 1 will be familiar with these tyre strategy calls in races where rain is predicted or has started to fall. Those who get it right clean up the trophies, those who don't, find themselves falling quickly down the order.

And so it was at the Bartley Sailing Club ILCA Open (part of the Midland Grand Prix circuit) on the 24th September. The forecast indicated Storm Nigel (named after Bartley's Commodore?) was on the way with force 5 to 8 winds, but when the fleet started rigging at 10.00 there was a nice force 3 with the odd gust at force 4. This gave the sailors a dilemma; rig for the predicted wind or size up for the current conditions? Easy decision for those who had committed to the series, they needed the points so no option but to be consistent in rig choice to other events, those sailing just this event could play the strategy though, and many did. Helms weighing over 85kg took to ILCA 6 rigs, and even the juniors dropped to ILCA 4s where they had the option, but would the forecast wind materialise?

As the fleet headed out to the start line for a course containing 3 beats, 2 runs, and a promising looking reach the gusts streaked down the reservoir and the big people in small rigs began to look a little smug.

The start was signalled and fleet cleared the line, George Colquitt (West Kirby) had a tremendous start in the ILCA 7 and tacked off with the fleet following half way up the beat, but local knowledge came into play and Simon Hardiman (Bartley) held course in the ILCA 6 to get the lift on the far bank bringing him to the windward mark within touching distance of George and John Ling (Bartley). Surprisingly, Millie Hardiman was also in the mix in her ILCA 4 at the windward mark having had a great start and first leg. As the boats rounded they took off one by one to precariously charge down the run.

George sailed beautifully to extend his lead over John whilst Simon kept within striking distance in the smaller rig. As the race neared the end a huge gust hit the fleet on the final downwind leg catching John out with an uncharacteristic capsize allowing Simon and Carl Avery (Burton) to draw alongside to finish 3 abreast and within 5 seconds of each other on the water. As the ILCA 7s crossed the line they looked nervously at the ILCA 6s of Les Druyf and James Wynn-Edwards, and the ILCA 4 of Millie Hardiman, had they done enough to beat them on handicap? The answer? No; Simon held the lead in the 6, George got equal 2nd in the 7 with the 6 of Les followed by James and the 4 of Millie. Strategy clearly had a large part to play!

The course remained the same for Race 2. George showed his speed again pulling away from John, and Simon headed for his private lift on the far bank to meet and lead them at the windward mark, but this time Les kept his transom in sight for most of the race with James hot on his tail. The wind built steadily throughout with grins all round on the downwind legs and grimaces on the upwinds. The DNFs began to creep in as capsizes proved exhausting or downright painful (booms hurt!), but the sailors at the front remained consistent in their handling of the conditions with George taking it to the line to win followed by Simon and Les.

The battered sailors returned to shore for some well needed sustenance from Tilly's Galley before heading out into Armageddon. The fleet launched and the Force 8 gusts arrived right on cue! In formula 1 terms we were well into the 'full wets' territory with all sailors looking enviously at Millie's ILCA 4 rig. The course remained the same and so did the tactics, George and John tacked off and Simon met them at the windward mark. George however had to put in a last minute tack under John hoping to luff to the mark, but a wind shift forced him onto the mark and a quick 360. At the leeward mark it was Simon's turn as he attempted to jump over the mark rather than go around it! As the race 1 and 2 winners executed (rather terrifying) 360s, John and Les set off to make hay. Les held on for a while but the extra pounds helped in these conditions and Simon pulled ahead again. Likewise, in the 7s George was hot on John's tail chasing him down and forcing him high on the run to mark 0 or was it 8? Unfortunately for John it was mark 0 as he disappeared into the distance on the wrong course allowing George to peel off and take the lead. Simon maximised the opportunity to close the gap ultimately giving him his second win of the day. Les kept in contention to take 3rd with Millie 4th in the ILCA 4, Carl taking 5th, and Elsa Minton (Chase SC) holding in there for her best result of the day in 6th.

The final race was one of attrition and deserved a huge vote of thanks to RO John Knight for balancing the thin line between exciting racing and safety, and the rescue crews organised by Steve Hawley who had a very busy final 40 minutes!

Thanks to all competitors and visitors (especially the impressive triple stacker from Chase SC) for supporting the event and making it memorable for all the right reasons. Thanks to John Ling for his great organisation as usual, and the trademark prize-giving with everyone going home with a prize supplied by Dinghy Buyer Direct.

The final order was Simon Hardiman 1st overall and 1st ILCA 6, George Colquitt 2nd overall and 1st ILCA 7, Les Druyf 3rd overall, Millie Hardiman 4th overall and 1st ILCA 4 / Lady.

Overall Results:

PosHelmClassSail NoClubRatingR1R2R3Pts
1stSimon HardimanILCA 6212061Bartley SC11501‑212
2ndGeorge ColquittILCA 79West Kirby1101‑2.5123
3rdLes DruyfILCA 610ABartley SC11502.5‑335.5
4thMillie HardimanILCA 4215415Bartley SC12104‑648
5thJames Wynn‑EdwardsILCA 6204123Bartley SC115054(DNF)9
6thJohn LingILCA 7221488Bartley SC110165(DNF)11
7thCarl AveryILCA 7197774Burton SC11017‑11512
8thElsa MintonILCA 6210917Chase SC1150‑109615
9thRichard BakerILCA 7213530Bartley SC110187(DNS)15
10thKerry WebbILCA 6202455 ‑ 7Bartley SC1150‑1310717
11thAndy AllanILCA 6214110Trimpley SC1150118(DNF)19
12thMathew MintonILCA 7209454Chase SC1101‑1212820
13thFinley WatsonILCA 7210288Chase SC11019(DNF)DNF26
14thChristine StrathamILCA 6182627Attenborough SC115014(DNF)DNF31
15thJon BellamyILCA 6213657Bartley SC115015(DNF)DNF32
16thJason CahillILCA 6201386PDSC1150(DNF)DNSDNS34

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