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Footy Videlo Globe at Frensham Pond Sailing Club

by Roger Stollery 11 Apr 2016 19:27 BST 9 April 2016

Twelve Footy competitors from all over the country, along with Lark and Phantom dinghy sailors descended on FPSC for a day of open meetings in fresh and variable south-easterly and later easterly winds. Although it was sunny it was cold, particularly for those who capsised. The radio sailors did not have that problem, but these little 1 foot long boats were struggling for control in the strong gusty conditions and were down on their smallest rigs in the strengthening afternoon breeze. One strong gust completely destroyed the club's gazebo, but fortunately it did not damage any of the boats or rigs. Such is the reliability of modern radio equipment that on average only one boat did not finish in each of the 16 races completed.

Racing Footys is a great deal of fun, because they are incredibly nippy, can turn on a sixpence and are marvellously responsive, weighing only about the same as a jar of marmalade! Sometimes quick reactions can cause the odd collision, but competitors know this and enjoy the immediate response of correction with a quick penalty turn. The amount of fun generated by this class is inversely proportional to its size!

By the end of the afternoon there were quite large waves and in one collision before the start of Race 14 Mike Ewart's rig clashed with David Wilkinson's rig and pulled it right out of the boat!

Wherever you were in this fleet of Footys there was always good competition to be found. In the morning the honours were shared between David Wilkinson sailing his ICE and Peter Shepherd sailing his FAT BOY SLIM with four wins each, but at lunchtime Mr Consistency, Peter Jackson was top of the leaderboard with a score of 20 ahead of Peter Shepherd 23 and David 26.

All this was to change in the afternoon as the icy wind blew stronger and more parallel to the control area shoreline giving a true beat and run in big waves round the sausage shaped course with a windward mark, spacer and leeward gate. In these conditions and with his smallest rig Peter Shepherd was unbeatable with a run of seven wins. Peter Jackson continued to be consistent, but a run of seven seconds was not enough to beat his clubmate.

At the prize-giving Peter Shepherd was presented with the beautifully made timber globe trophy and thanked Race Officers Roger Stollery, Bryan Stichbury and the FPSC Model Yacht Group for running another good event. He hoped that next year the entry would be even bigger. Even at this event the Footys had more entries than either of the dinghy open meetings and of course the radio sailors got more racing!

The Novice Trophy presented to the top skipper who has not finished one of these open meetings on the podium, was presented to Sid Sims, who sailed well throughout the event to finish sixth and was seen going downwind at an astonishing speed in the big waves. His boat, like the winner's had a beautifully made balsa hull powered by a lightweight swing rig with 3 mm carbon spars and bin bag sails.

Overall Results:

1st Peter Shepherd (Abington Park) Fat Boy Slim 19pts
2nd Peter Jackson (Abington Park) F Plan 27pts
3rd John Burgoine (Birmingham) Ice 42pts
4th David Wilkinson (Cotswold) Ice 45pts
5th Mike Ewart (Two Islands) Ice 52pts
6th Sid Sims (Birmingham) Fat boy Slim 82pts
7th Keith Parrott (Frensham Pond) Ice 82pts
8th Graham Whitehead (Frensham Pond) Ice 93pts
9th Frank Wood (Frensham Pond) Ice 95pts
10th Steve Hill (Frensham Pond) Supabug 103pts
11th Colin Robertson (Charne) Ice 135pts
12th Mike Hyland (Portsmouth) Carbon Footprint 168pts

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