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Ocean Elements 2016

Marblehead Class Ranking 6 at Watermead Model Boat Club

by Tony Edwards on 9 Oct 8 October 2017

A healthy entry of 19 Marblehead skippers arrived at the newly revised facilities at Watermead MBC who had volunteered to run the event with the Chelmsford club unable to host as originally scheduled.

A very light and variable breeze ranged from NNW to occasionally SW choosing to oscillate around the remains of the former ski mound and provided some serious head scratching for our volunteer PRO Hugh McAdoo.

There was an air of anticipation within the fleet with the launch of new boats for both Phil Holliday and Colin Goodman, upgrades from the Stollery camp and the welcome addition of Sue Parkington racing in her first Marblehead class event. With ranking points close in the final GBR selection for next years Worlds in Germany, the racing was certain to be hard fought in the light conditions.

Seeding races were set up with the fleet divided into two flights and run from the Northern bank but the course was soon reset to the opposite bank by the main launching area with Peter Stollery re-laying the course. The line of shallow water was well demonstrated by Rob Vice by unfortunately running aground in the early stages.

Seeding races were run as 2 fleets then Hugh tried running all 19 on the water together but, although the single fleet was generally well behaved decided, due to the variable conditions, to revert to two fleets. There was plenty of racing for some within the promotion relegation bubble over the course of the day.

The shifty wind was proving hard to read or predict making a decision on where to start on the line especially critical. The windward/leeward course was challenging with the windward marks in a particularly quiet spot making escape difficult. Big leads could evaporate in a flash as the fleet rolled over with new breeze on the run or through selection of the 'wrong' leeward gate mark.

In all 9 races were completed with Tony Edwards (Grunge) taking the overall win on 16 points from Peter Stollery (Uproar) 2nd 19points and Colin Goodman (Grunge) 3rd on 29 points. The closeness of the fleet on points from 3rd down demonstrated that it was skipper finesse tinged with good fortune that separated the top group of skippers on the day.

Our PRO Hugh was helped by a willing few members from the host club at Watermead MBC and a generous group of competitors chipping in to help where necessary in a DIY Dunkirk spirit that saw a successful days racing enjoyed by all.

For all upcoming events and class news be sure to check the UK Marblehead Class website at www.marbleheadsailing.wordpress.com

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