Videlo Globe Footy Open at Frensham Pond Sailing Club
by Keith Parrott on 18 Apr
12 April 2017
This is the first time this event has been run mid-week, as weekend dates in April were unavailable due to major dinghy events at Frensham Pond Sailing Club. It was therefore very rewarding to have a dozen regular Footy skippers making the journey to Frensham to take part in near-perfect conditions at one of the best Footy venues. The whole day was sunny with a light westerly breeze and everyone had a great deal of fun sailing the 16 races that were completed in the four hours of racing time.
Roger Stollery, as RO ably assisted by Bryan Stitchbury throughout the day set a simple windward leeward course with separate start and finish lines. Roger in his usual meticulous manner realigned the course after Races 1 & 2 to take any bias out of the start line and gate at the leeward end against the mostly south westerly breeze. The breeze started the day lighter than forecast and several of the skippers sported "A" rigs for the first two races, but as the day went on "B" and "C" became the norm with occasional gusts causing most of the boats to broach at times.
Peter Jackson made a good start with a win in the first two races sailing his new IBEX design Footy. He was determined to wrest the trophy away from Peter Shepherd, who has won it for the previous 3 years. Peter Shepherd sailing his trusted balsa FAT BOY SLIM design after a slow start fought back as the event rolled on. Mike Ewart sailing an ICE, Keith Bell sailing an IBEX and David Wilkinson with his ICE sailed very consistently, finishing in that relative order taking most of the 3rd 4th and 5th places between them during the event. Sid Sims, who did not have one of his best days, had an enjoyable private battle with Colin Robertson throughout the day.
Of the local Frensham skippers, John Haine could only sail for the morning, whilst Steve Hill and Frank Wood were sailing boats that were not of one of the usual competitive designs. These skippers along with Colin Robertson showed their lack of experience and practise of sailing at this level of competition. Graham Whitehead pushed Keith Parrott hard, but did not prevent Keith getting his usual 6th pace overall back after the last Footy event. Keith is still trying to break into the top 5 group of Footy skippers.
There was some amazingly close racing not just at the top of the fleet, or even in the middle of the fleet, but at the bottom. The closest finish recorded being a split-second apart with the bottom two fighting it out for last place in Race 5! The standard of rule compliance was absolutely excellent and it may be because Footys are the 'fastest boats in the world' at doing penalty turns and therefore the penalty turn is less of a disadvantage and therefore easier to accept.
The results and prize giving took place in the club house whilst tea and cakes were consumed. This midweek event was considered to be a success, so much so that it was suggested that Frensham Pond Sailing Club Sailing Club MYG should consider running two events next year to bring the bias of Footy Open events further south away from the concentration in the midlands.
Thanks go to The Race Team, RO Roger Stollery, Bryan Stitchbury and Roger Carter for a well run event.
1st Peter Shepherd (Abington Park) FAT BOY SLIM, 20pts
2nd Peter Jackson (Abington Park) IBEX, 25.3pts
3rd Mike Ewart (Abington Park) ICE, 32pts
4th Keith Bell (Abington Park) IBEX, 43pts
5th David Wilkinson (Cotswold) ICE, 56pts
6th Keith Parrott (Frensham Pond) ICE, 63pts
7th Graham Whitehead (Frensham Pond) ICE, 74pts
8th Sid Sims (Birmingham) ICE, 99pts
9th Colin Robertson (Cheddar Steam Club) ICE, 116pts
10th Frank Wood (Frensham Pond) '1299', 124pts
11th Steve Hill (Frensham Pond) '1299', 134pts
12th John Haine (Frensham Pond) ICE, 162pts
Best novice of the day, Keith Bell.
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