Aldridge Footy Open Saturday 26th May 2018 Hosted By Aldridge MBC
The first visit to Aldridge MBC was a great success with the Model Boat members of the club putting on a good event for the Footy skippers, some of the usual suspects were there, others were away with life getting in the way of Model yachting. The venue was just about perfect with shelters and benches for the competitors, a good breeze from the North East blowing along the shore line. In the morning session the strength of the wind was lighter and variable shifting between b rib and A rig conditions with the odd skipper electing to use the largest "Just'in" rigs. The course was set using some of the marks already in place with the addition of one other for the start line, ending up as a zig zag upwind, downwind, upwind, downwind and finish upwind over the line. each leg being slightly varied in wind strength and direction to keep it interesting. The results sheet shows what a mixed bag it was in the morning with a number of skippers having a good race followed by a poor one. In the end just one point separated Robin Webb (4), sailing the Phil Tyler slim to great effect, and Peter Shepherd (00) sailing Fat Boy with a set of swing rigs recently made for Charles Smith hence the change of number. Peter Jackson (30) and welcome addition to the fleet Doug Penman (12) were hot on their heels just a couple of points back, with regular skippers at Footy open events filling in the next three places in the tight midfield battle, these being David Wilkinson (46), Keith Parrott and local skipper Sid Sims all racing hard.
The afternoon session was much more clear cut as the wind filled in and strengthened making rig choice easier and suiting the narrow hulled boast better, as it turned out Peter shepherd (00) turned on the style concentrating hard to get some good starts taking 7 of the 8 races in the session, however the biggest cheer of the day was reserved for the ever popular Sid Sims who hung onto his A rig and took the last race improving his points tally if not his final placing. Robin Webb failed to capitalise upon his good work in the morning and Doug Penman provided some stiff opposition for Peter Shepherd running him close all the way to the finish line on many of those occasions.
It was most heartening for the organising club that so many skippers made considerable journeys to attend for this inaugural event their reward for which was a most enjoyable days sailing in pleasant conditions with a friendly atmosphere provided by the host club.
The next Open event is at Cheddar Steam Club on Saturday 23rd June 2018.
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