Regatta 1 - Saturday 6th February
The 2016 Marblehead Saturday series kicked off this weekend with 5 Marbleheads making the start line with a moderate and sometimes strong southerly breeze blowing.
Tony Garner took charge of the mornings proceedings with the course being set with a triangle then a smaller sausage and then a drag race to the finish.
Which rig to use was the key decision of the morning and each competitor had their own ideas for the gusty conditions.
New boy with his Marblehead, Duncan Ellis completed only hours earlier led at the first mark of the first race only to give Vinnie Zammit the lead and to take the drag race to the finish with only a small margin separating them.
Vinnie then starting to show his experience winning the first 6 races with both Duncan and Alan Bright getting close but just not being quite quick enough!
Alan then cracked it and won the final two races of the day.
So in the end it was a perfect morning at the office for Vinnie on 6 points, followed by Alan on 12 points and then Duncan on 14points.
In was a great mornings breeze and when the gusts hit led to very exciting racing with some close calls in the drag race to the finish!
Regatta 2 - Saturday 5th March
4 slightly mad Marblehead sailors turned up for today’s racing in a northerly breeze of 10-15 knots and not forgetting the torrential rain for most of the time! Also we had a good spectator fleet in the shape of Rick, Mark and Ian.
Rob Owen took control of the proceedings and set us on a triangle/sausage course with a run to the finish.
So the racing kicked off and Duncan Ellis took the first win followed by Trevor Hobday and then Vinnie Zammit. Brian Tipple had a bit of gear failure which put an end to his day.
Race 2 again saw Duncan win but this time hotly contested by Vinnie who came in second and Trevor in third.
By this time it was raining solidly and Vinnie showed us all how to do it in race 3 followed by Duncan and Trevor.
It was time for an early coffee break to see if the rain might relent!
It didn’t – And this time Mark Holt too charge of Vinnies boat to get in some practise for the open event in a couple of weeks’ time. Mark proved he doesn’t really need the practise and took the race win followed by Trevor and this time Harry Ellis pipped his son to the post to take 3rd with some blistering downwind speed to the finish.
Race 5 saw Duncan take the win followed by Mark and then Trevor. Races 6 & 7 saw Mark win both with Duncan manging to hang on to 2nd and Harry and Trevor sharing the 3rd slots.
The final race saw Mark lead the majority of the way around until hitting the windward mark and doing a turn allowing Duncan to pip him on the line and Harry coming in 3rd.
So then it was time to take these rockets home and dry them ready for the next race day!
Regatta 3 - Saturday 2nd April
Saturday saw our biggest turnout to date in this new Marblehead series with 7 boats lining up to do battle in the sunshine and 10-12 knots of southerly breeze – Unfortunately it was coming from the south so caused a bit of a challenge for our race officer of the morning Rob Owen.
The course was set and it was ready to do battle.
Harry Ellis racing his MX Gothic Crayon showed us the way round the first race with victory looking certain until only a few yards from the finish he sat in a hole and let his son Duncan, Vinnie Zammit and Brian Tipple overtake to take the first 3 slots.
Race 2 got underway and again it was really shifty with the southerly breeze. This time Duncan took the win followed by Trevor Hobday and Vinnie. There were shouts for coffee but Rob made us do 1 more race before coffee would be allowed.
So race 3 got underway and Duncan took an early lead but was overtaken by Vinnie in the last few yards who went from the back to the front in 1 leg proving you should always carry on - you never know what might happen! Ronnie Mobbs took 3rd to finish the racing before the coffee break!
With coffee drunk Vinnie got into gear and showed the sailors the way around in race 4 with Duncan in 2nd and Ronnie taking 3rd.
Again it was Vinnie who led the way in race 5 with Alan Bright coming in 2nd and Duncan in 3rd.
With only 3 races to go it was getting close at the top and Vinnie needed stopping! Race 6 saw team Ellis take the first 2 places with Duncan taking the win followed by Harry and then Ronnie. Vinnie got unlucky in this one that perhaps proved pivotal to the final results of the morning.
Race 7 saw Vinnie back to winning ways followed by Duncan and Alan leaving it all to play for in the last race.
Duncan took the race win followed by Vinnie and then Alan.
This once again put both Vinnie and Duncan on 8 points both with 4 wins each but Duncan just edging it with 3 seconds to Vinnies 2. Alan took 3rd for the morning on 20 points.
Only 4 points separated 4th place down to 7th between Harry, Ronnie, Brian and Trevor showing how close the results really were throughout the fleet.
Regatta 4 - Saturday 7th May
This morning saw 7 club sailors come down to Whitlingham to compete in round 4 of the Saturday Marblehead series.
Conditions were excellent with a light SE breeze which allowed Race Officers Paul Hyde and Robert Owen to set a triangular and sausage course.
From the off in race 1, it was to be seen that the racing was going to be close, with positions changing constantly in the heart of the fleet. To everyone’s amusement Alan Bright committed a “professional” foul on Vinnie, which entailed Vinnie having to complete a 360 degree penalty and Allan having to look over his shoulder for the rest of the morning. However the God’s must have been on Alan’s side as Vinnie who was well in the lead at the final beat managed to snag his Jib Sheet which allowed Alan to pip him to the post, and Harry Ellis came a good third.
With his boat going well in the conditions, Vinnie went on to win the next 7 races, but the competition amongst the rest of the fleet was close with Alan achieving 3 second places, Trevor Hobday 2 second places and Brian Tipple and Ronnie Mobbs 1 each.
Mention must be made of the attitude of the members that sailed, although there were a few incidents on the water, it was nice to see that everyone did their penalties without argument and carried on sailing in the correct spirit.
With 7 boats on the water it proved that the Club made the right decision in re-adopting competitive sailing for the class, as there are several more boats that will be sailing in the event in the near future.
Well done all who took part today.
Regatta 5 - Saturday 4th June
The sun was shining, the breeze was blowing 5-10 knots from the NE and 7 skippers were ready to do battle in the 5th round of the Marblehead series.
Paul Hyde took control of proceeding of the day and a triangle, sausage course was set for the morning with a beat to the finish.
Race 1 got underway and Harry Ellis was quick off the start line but in the end Vinnie Zammit overtook to take the win with Duncan Ellis taking 2nd and Trevor Hobday in 3rd.
Race 2 was similar to race 1 with Harry again getting a good start but Vinnie and Duncan overtook with Harry holding onto 3rd.
Race 3 saw a change in winner with Duncan crossing the line first followed by Vinnie and in 3rd place Brian Tipple. The wind was dropping a little at this stage so it was decided to have an early coffee break.
Vinnie resumed normal business after coffee winning the next 2 races with Duncan in second and Trevor in 3rd.
Races 6 & 7 saw Duncan get his boat around the course the fastest with Vinnie taking 2nd spot in both and Harry and Trevor sharing 3rd spot.
So Trevor had secured 3rd for the morning but 1st and 2nd would be down to who beat who in the last race. I think we have been here before!
Vinnie took the initiative and took the early lead but Duncan was catching and by the finish less than a boat length separated the 2 boats but Vinnie held his ground and took the win – Age before Beauty!
A really enjoyable mornings racing in the sunshine – We can’t complain!
Regatta 6 - Did not take place due to weed.
Regatta 7 - Saturday 6th August
Regatta 8 - Saturday 3rd September
The forecast was 8-10 knots from the south west building as the day progressed but because of the wind direction and the trees we were in for a challenging morning with the wind going round in circles all morning keeping the sailors on their toes!
Race 1 kicked off and Vinnie Zammit, Duncan Ellis and Trevor Hobday hit the front of the fleet with much place changing as the race went on with Vinnie eventually taking the win in the dying breeze followed by Trevor and Duncan. Once all the fleet had managed to finish the unanimous decision was made to have coffee early and hope the breeze built a little to allow racing to continue.
So as we returned for race 2 we had slightly more breeze at times but it was still swing 360 degrees at times! Again it was Vinnie, Duncan and Trevor at the front finishing in that order.
Race 3 saw Duncan take the lead but let Vinnie through on the second lap with Brian Tipple showing good speed coming in 3rd.
Vinnie was starting to prove invincible as the morning progressed winning race 4 & 5 with Duncan 2nd in both and Trevor and Tony Garner sharing the 3rd spots.
Race 6 saw Duncan take a commanding lead which he held onto the finish with Harry Ellis showing good speed coming in 2nd and Brian again in 3rd.
The last two races saw Vinnie bounce back to give him 7 wins in total with Duncan unable to catch him settling for two more 2nd places and Brian and Trevor sharing 3rd spots.
So in summary a challenging morning for all with Vinnie getting the perfect finishing score of 6 points to win the morning convincingly followed by Duncan on 11 points and Trevor on 19 points.
Thanks to Eric Curtis for running the racing for us all morning and Rob Owen for being on Rescue boat duty.
Regatta 9 - Did not take place due to weed.
Regatta 10 - Saturday 5th November