Cadenhead Trophy Footy Regatta @ Southwater Country Park
Sunday 28th September 2014
This open was the penultimate event in the 9 race SailFooty UK series and was organised by Southwater Dabblers Model Boat Club, on Southwater Lake. Whilst the weather was warm and sunny, the wind was very light indeed, blowing from behind the control area on the south-eastern pontoon. Progress was slow initially, but by the afternoon there was a reasonable breeze, but still incredibly swirly and full of holes.
12 entries from 6 clubs sailed 16 races under the able supervision of PRO Les Baker, who set a small windward leeward course with a short reached the finish, America's Cup style. The wind was very frustrating at times, but the standard of racing was high. Charles Smith, who has been a supporter of the Footy class for many years, remarked that he had never seen such even competition in these events.
After the first race win for Peter Shepherd with his FAT BOY SLIM, the pace was set by Mike Ewart, who had made some brilliant yellow una rig sails to a new sail plan for his 1299 hull design. This had definitely improved the boat's performance and after making good starts he was initially uncatchable in the early races with 3 wins. Other race winners included Hugh McAdoo, with his ICE with 3 wins, Peter Jackson with another FAT BOY SLIM who won the last two and Roger Stollery with his SUPABUG design, who won four. The latter made a remarkable recovery from being over the line at the start of the afternoon racing to take the lead after the short windward leg to the windward mark.
David Wilkinson had made a very nice looking hard chine Footy in balsa to the American Bill Haggerup's NIPPER design. He tried it with both balanced una and swing rigs, but found it rather tricky to sail. Apart from the moulded 1299, ICEs and SLIMs the rest of the fleet were made up of home-made wooden boats included Peter Shepherd's FAT BOY SLIM, Nick Burden's new FOOTMAN and a plywood SUPABUG to rival Roger's made with Correx bottom and side panels simply stuck together with insulation tape. Simple, quick to build and easy to sail.
John Cadenhead presented the prizes after thanking competitors for travelling a long distance to race at Southwater. Roger thanked him and all the race team who had organised a very good event in difficult conditions. Mike Ewart was delighted to have finished in the top 3, because this removed him from 'novice' standing and confirmed that he was the winner of this years Nov-ICE award given for the best improver over these open events. He will be expecting to collect a brand-new ICE at the final open event at Bournville on 25th October.
Pictures provided by Peter J Henderson
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