Cadenhead Trophy Sunday 27th September 2015 Hosted By Clapham MYC
Report by Rob Vice Pictures by Rob Vice
For the first time in Clapham Model Yacht Club’s illustrious 130 year history, a fleet of Footy class yachts were racing on the north east to south west oriented Long Pond. There were nine yachts shared between ten skippers during the day all of which had to negotiate their way around a long course in a typically fickle breeze from the east which rolled around and over the top of trees causing shifty and sometimes gusty conditions. The course was moved far to the west in an attempt to get the best conditions with a leeward gate at the far end of the lake and start line about 30m to windward of it, and the windward mark just outside the club house approximately 50m from the start line. A lap and half of this gave a lengthy 230m total course length.
Within the entry there were three, later to be four, local club members who were new to the footy scene. The agile nature of the smallest MYA adopted class took some getting used to and the swing rigs were a novelty for a club that usually sails IOMs, 6m and Solings all with a conventional static mast and shroud arrangement.
With the first race about to start David Wilkinson’s servo gave up the ghost and Trevor Thomas’ Slim and suffered gear failure. The racing was paused while a loaner ICE was brought in for David and another ICE was loaned to Trevor, so the racing eventually began in a light breeze with most boats employing their ‘Justin’ maxi rigs and Peter Jackson (30) was the first person to benefit from a shift right on the gun to get his SLiM design away to a clear lead which he extended all the way to the finish, David Wilkinson (48) was best of the rest with Peter Shepherd in 3rd place (65) A late arriving Grant Harris was handed over the transmitter of ICE 48 and David moved to the clubhouse to work on his trusty Iambus and it’s failed servo..
Race 2 was a much closer start so typical of footy racing, with Roger Stollery (117) SuperBug, Keith Parrott (31) ICE, Jim Vice (41) borrowing his son Rob’s ICE and Jackson all enjoying moments in the lead beating to the first mark as the many and varied shifts alternated between favouring the left and right hand sides of the course. They arrived at the windward mark almost together and the stronger breeze during the long 80m run only served to bring John Dacey (184) and Shepherd into the fray. The leeward gate was slightly favouring the near end but this was getting crowded so Shepherd choose to take the far end and despite hitting it and doing a turn he still appeared to benefit as his ‘Fat boy’ moved up a couple of places before stalling out while tacking during a gust and he lost touch with the lead group -he was later to change down a rig- the close battle resumed for the rest of the 80m beat to the finish resulting in a win for Stollery from Jackson and Parrott. A very creditable 4th place was new comer Grant Harris who was borrowing an ICE.
Roger Stollery's "ICE" Verses Correx derivative Supabug
Race 3 saw the gusts settle into a more consistent stronger breeze and several boats changed into their smaller rigs, just as the starting gun went the wind started moving to the right and the beat turned into a reach and all boats made fast progress towards the windward mark. However this is Clapham and any shift is not likely to last and the attentive Stollery 117 made the best of the shift to round the first mark first. The rest of the fleet fought it out in a melee of tacks and avoidance manoeuvres with Jackson, Vice and Shepherd filling the rest of the top four as they started the run, the breeze eased a little and the smallest rig present (Shepherd) suffered and dropped out of contention. By the last leg it was just Stollery and Jackson enjoying a tactical battle to the finish settled when Jackson make a tack too many and Stollery’s Corex built craft was left clear ahead to win a very entertaining race from Jackson and Vice.
Race 4 saw another hot start from Jackson and he rounded the 1st mark just ahead of Trevor Thomas (17) and John Dacey (184) in 3rd, the next run was dominated by a strong gust and those in smaller rigs benefitted with Shepherd rounding the gate ahead of Vice and Jackson with Thomas in very close attendance. The final beat saw Vice pull clear of Jackson, Shepherd and Thomas for a close top 4. A short break ensued and the fleet all offered spares to David in an attempt to get his Iambus back on the water but it wasn’t to play ball. Trevor got his SLiM back in order and ICE 17 was moved over to David getting him back on the race course!
Race 5 saw a change of fortune for Shepherd and his smaller rigged Fat boy just pipping the larger rigged ICEs of Wilkinson and Vice in 3rd.
Race 6 was once again a strong race from Wilkinson as he led from start to finish in his first race win of the day
Race 7 saw another great battle for the lead this time it was Stollery and Shepherd leading from Wilkinson and the gusts started to come from the south and the beats became a reach with occasional shift back to the east. The close battle was eventually resolved in favour of Shepherd from Stollery.
Race 8 was another very close battle all around the course the first mark was rounded first by Jackson, with Shepherd, Parrott, Dacey, Wilkinson and Stollery all in close attendance, the top 6 were changing each leg. And a great last beat from Wilkinson saw him challenge Jackson right to the finish but Jackson held on to take the win.
Lunch break was taken and the group gathered outside the clubhouse and enjoyed the sunshine. Grant Harris had to leave the event at this stage and another Clapham member Leslie Philip who had been sailing at the far end of the lake during the last few hours was invited to join the racing taking over the controls of 48. Weslie has sailed dinghies for some time and competed in local club races with his IOM and shallow draft Marblehead, his hearing disability meant the start countdowns were echoed to him via hand signs as were any calls made by the skippers
Race 9 saw Wilkinson lead from the gun all be it in a close battle with Shepherd and Leslie was straight on form with a 3rd place with Jackson in 4th
Race 10 and the wind had become puffy with very light spells where once again Wilkinson was storming out front with Jackson giving chase this time from Leslie and Thomas filling the top 4 places
Race 11 saw Keith Parrott record his first win of the day as the puffy winds benefitted him and the shift to the south on the last leg sent him over the line in first place from Wilkinson and Jackson. Stollery suffered an issue early on in this race and he was unable to resolve it getting a maximum score for a DNF his good early scores were keeping him in the race for the championship. The afternoon comeback by David Wilkinson had also stirred up the score board and two of those three races that he missed due to radio failure were being removed by discards so would we complete 16 races and hence gain a 3rd discard before the time ran out? Or would he have to count one of them? And if so where would he end up?
Well, Race 12 continued Wilkinson’s ICE domination as he and Jackson just pipped Leslie into 3rd place in the last few meters, seeing them both grind back into Leslie’s early lead was impressive, if a little disappointing!! Jovial calls of ‘you can’t borrow that again!’ were heard as David crossed to win his 4th race of the day.
The clock had beaten us and we started race 13 just a few minutes prior to the deadline, the wind had firmly swung to the south and the course was no longer optimal but the end of the day was in sight and the battle was close. The long course length still allowed some tactical options and a few shifts (this is Clapham after all) and Jackson was delighted to win his 3rd race of the day from Wilkinson and Shepherd with Leslie and Vice also in the mix.
The scores at the end of the day were added up two discards taken off and we adjourned to the club house for the prize giving. Congratulations for the inaugural Metropolitan and Southern District Footy class champion, Peter Jackson with a very consistent set of scores with his wonderfully presented blue Slim derivative "F Plan" he managed the shift conditions very well and his consistently good starts meant he was able to benefit from the shifts rather than being trapped by other yachts. Of course David Wilkinson’s speed in the afternoon was impressive but the extra race he couldn’t discard was just too much of a penalty, so a very impressive second place. It was notable that all of the top 6 skippers had a race win.
The Novice trophy was awarded to Jim Vice who, whilst new to Footys, has sailed more years at this lake than any other skipper proving the benefit of local experience and confirming the rumour that, when you can sail at Clapham you can sail anywhere!. It was great to see Leslie compete and whilst his deafness was no hindrance to his sailing it was a far greater test of my manual dexterity having to countdown from 60 on my fingers! Thank you to all for the support of the class and thanks to Clapham club for the use of the lake and clubhouse, we hope that these small but very rewarding yachts left you wanting more??
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