Points Week 2014 by Al Ashford
Points Week at Itchenor Sailing Club attracted 27 XODs out into Chichester Harbour for five days of challenging racing. With high pressure dominating the weather pattern there were plenty of shifting North Easterlies and Spring Tides to contend with.
On Monday the Xs had a long race and an excellent course was set by race officer Roger Wickens and his team. There were several place changes and big wind shifts causing huge gains and losses across the course. The final winners were X186 Phoenix sailed beautifully by Chris Darling and Chris Froy, followed closely by X26 Catherine. Lizz Whizz sailed by Dick Batt and Pam Phelan was third.
Tuesday saw the top two places reversed. Another excellent course was mastered by Colin McKinnon on Catherine but he was pushed all the way by Phoenix and there was a fine tacking duel against the tide up the final beat to the finish at Wear. Foxglove sailed by Al Ashford and Rick Neall was 3rd.
Conditions were again testing on Wednesday with a tricky start line. A perfect start by Ted Roose on X101 Thora gave him a healthy lead by the third mark and good boat speed kept him ahead to the end. A fantastic result for Ted and his team who were all smiles ashore at tea. X26 and X186 kept up the pressure for overall victory with a 4th and 5th respectively. Falconet was 2nd and 3rd was Foxglove.
Thursday saw the gradient northerly fighting a weak sea breeze. The fleet got away in a light sea breeze and Foxglove and Falconet, buoyed by the results of the previous day, led off the start line but with a decreasing breeze, a strong tide and some interesting kedging manoeuvers the race was eventually abandoned with Falconet leading. As is the way, only 15 minutes later the Gradient northerly filled in and the fleet sailed home in a lovely 10-15 knots. Who would be a race officer!!
Friday saw two races and Race 4 was won comprehensively by a very well sailed Astralita in the hands of Mike Martell, the 2013 Benson Platter winner. In 2nd place was Foxglove, and Tina Scott’s and John Long’s Relaxation 3rd. X26 and X186 had their worst results so far with a 12th and 8th respectively.
So in Race 5 it was all to play for with several boats in contention for the week. Foxglove was an early leader but after an incident and a two turns penalty at the windward mark dropped to 5th. Astralita won their second race of the day in fine style from Roger Yeoman in X160 Merlin. Phoenix had a disappointing 11thplace. However Colin McKinnon, who led overall going into the final race in Catherine, sailed a solid race to finish 3rd and take the Benson Platter by 2 points.
Overall Results: (top three)
1st Catherine – Colin McKinnon, Neil Hart and Mark Palmer 10pts
2nd Foxglove – Alastair Ashford and Richard Neall 12pts
3rd Astralita – Mike Martell, Fraser Graham and Tim Copsey. 15pts