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IOM Open at Paisley Model Yacht Club, Barshaw Park

by Gordon Allison on 23 Mar 2014 22 March 2014

This event is becoming very popular on the Scottish District calendar and it did so again with an entry of 14 skippers.

As in previous years, three Irish IOM skippers made another long journey to Paisley to compete in the event. The association between the Scottish and Irish skippers is getting stronger each year.

Race Officer for the day was Robert Rooney who was assisted by John Mason.

It was decided that the skippers would be separated into two fleets, as the start line length would envisage many incidents with only one fleet. This was welcomed by everyone as it would provide a little respite during racing to gather breath!

The wind strength made rig selection important and several skippers equipped their boats with 2nd suits at the start. Those who did this lost out as the wind strength eased off just enough for boats to stay with top suits.

After the seeding races were completed, the racing flowed with excellent progress and most of the skippers were observing the rules and sailing very well. Infringements were settled on the water and the conduct was mainly very good.

The 3 Irish skippers were beginning to find their way as the races flowed. Gilbert Louis, sailing a V6, found good form early on to score two firsts and a second showing everyone he was the man to beat. Brian O'Neil was performing well sailing his "glow in the dark" MX14.

Richard Rowan was surprisingly off the pace early on as he struggled to get out of B fleet on occasions. Very rare to see!

Bruce Davidson was sailing his home built Ska design and recorded good finishing positions. Bill Lees was quickly getting to grips with his MMX which was performing better than he was. The same thing with Hugh shields, who had the latest version of his McShee.

Gordon Neil had his newly completed own design racing for the first time, and although struggling at first, he did manage some decent finishes which showed some potential.

During the morning session the rain managed to stay away and although it was very cold, the wind strength was quite consistent but the shifts that were occurring required a great deal of skill, anticipation and good fortune.

The break for lunch was welcomed and the usual fare of soup, pies and beans was served. A time to recoup and get warm! Many of the skippers found themselves sailing for long periods in the morning, after going up and down from both fleets.

Gilbert Louis, Gordon Allison and Brian O'Neil had found good form in the morning and were easing themselves away from the rest with their scores.

In the afternoon session, there was very close racing in both fleets with everyone managing to get into A fleet at some point and a variety of skippers claiming wins.

It was noted and discussed that many, if not all skippers, are showing much improved skills and performance this year.

Neil Suitor from Ireland managed to tune his very quick V8 design during lunch and notch up 2 bullets in A fleet.

Gordon Allison also managed this in the afternoon and found great speed with his MX14. Pat Johnston was performing well as usual until he had to retire.

The rain that had threatened all day did make an appearance and made for a miserable spell. It did not deter anyone though and the racing continued throughout the afternoon.

So, as the end of racing got closer, Gilbert, Gordon, Brian were the skippers showing good boat speed, tactics and consistency to battle it out for the lead with Gilbert eventually wining by 4 points, with a score of 19. A very successful journey!

Gordon followed closely behind on 23 points, with Brian even closer on 25 points.

A very enjoyable day with excellent racing at a good standard.

Skippers thanked Robert Rooney and John Mason who braved the cold to organise and score the event.

Overall Results:

PosSkipperSail NoClubDesignR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10R11R12Pts
6Bruce Davidson43Ayr BaySka4 4596611863547
11John Douglas70GreenockMcShee7 10979147121061177
7Pat Johnston44GreenockLintel1 7752110DNSDNSDNSDNS61
8Bill Lees66Ayr BayLintel MMX 41210471087127966
9Drew Taylor56GreenockSka 791212121146381070
10Gordon Neil4Ayr BayOwn 5811131081211710676
13David Smith89PaisleyKite6 1313141399911111293
3Brian O'Neil99IRLMX142 1433332445125
5Neil Suitor88IRLV8 2248851199738
14Gordon Winton108Ayr BayStealth 61114111413131381213100
4Richard Rowan85GreenockItaliko 33610146552231
1Gilbert Louis41IRLV6 1112423324419
2Gordon Allison22PaisleyMX143 521575211323
12Hugh Shields11GreenockMcShee5 686111214101313879

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