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IOM Northern District Winter Series 'Xmas Jumper' at West Lancs

by Tony Wilson 28 Dec 2016 20:08 GMT 27 December 2016

Same day, same month, one year on and again the same problem, but with help at hand from the West Lanc's club to hold the Fleetwood's IOM Christmas regatta. Don't you just love that dreaded weed, has nobody found a use or an exporter for that stuff yet.

Anyone new and just looking in may be enlightened to know this class of yacht is one of the prestige gems to own and apparently sail like a dream. In my friends confusion he asked me if we were sailing yachts to the Isle Of Man, hence (IOM).

Derek's invite to Skippers was to come along in your most outrageous Christmas jumper you dare wear. Obviously hats were optional. I know Tommy may like to go abroad over the festive period, but I didn't imagine him to be literally in Turkey.

'A' rigs were the order for the day with an 8mph wind forecast from the Southerly direction, which meant if the sun was out it could be a blinder on the initial beat for the 20 Skippers in attendance.

The morning saw 6 races with Darin Ballington and Paul Allen gaining each 2 first places, but it was John Tushingham and Martin Roberts that seemed to be ahead with the low points both equal on 18pts.

Then time to the club house for hot lunch, mince pies and to parade your worst festive jumper. Probably half gave in to the temptation to look silly, but it was the shy ones that could do the judging. Thomas Mills won first prize with his head somewhere hidden up a Turkey Tea pot warmer displaying all drum sticks. Well done Tommy.

The afternoon saw much of the same to the same standard with a further 7 races.

A little course reshuffling to move the buoys into a more meaning full pattern as the wind had veered a touch and also dropped slightly.

Then it was back to the counting house again for more mince pies, coffee and to see who was the leader of the gang.

First place went this year to Paul Allen and then it was his turn to draw one of the boat numbers that had been put into a hat, for chance also to win a prize, drawn in rotation by the order of the winners.

Results for the Day:

1 Paul Allen, 22 pts
2 Darrin Ballington, 23 pts
3 Martin Roberts, 31 pts
4 John Tushingham, 38 pts
5 Shaun Holbeche, 65 pts (not bad in that he had borrowed the boat just to have a go)

Although the winner in my eyes must be Tommy Mills as not only winning the Jumper and Turkey Headgear, he won another bottle of wine in the free draw.

It's not just about partaking but how stupid you feel and like my son-in-law that left the giblets in his Turkey while cooking... well next year can only get better.

Thanks to Alan at West Lancs and his little helpers.

Please check the dedicated website for the next one in the series,

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