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Marblehead Vane Championships at Fleetwood Model Yacht Club

by Tony Wilson 9 Nov 2018 14:10 GMT 27-28 October 2018
Marblehead Vane Championships at Fleetwood © Tony WIlson

We had a good attendance of 11 entries for the Marblehead Vane Championships. Even from as far a field as the Netherlands, we had one guy pop over to sunny Fleetwood, just for the weekend. Blue skies with the odd fluffy clouds whisking over, but by no means was it warm as the breeze was coming directly from the North.

The beat leg was from the bottom end of the lake and that was where a few had made their way for a practice run. Cards had all been made out and your number denoted the leg that you would be missing out the one race on a bye, being that there were odd numbers racing.

Both directions were for reaching and the driving Skippers were favouring the near bank where the air would be cleanest, leaving their mates to man the far bank if needed. The boats all fitted into the Classic class but two were much older variants with a shorter fin and stubby bulb at the bottom.

Everyone seemed to be well wrapped up except for a few brave souls still in shorts and if you kept on the move you would stay warm especially over on the far side where you sheltered from the wind. Thinking this was an older man's sport, I may need to rethink this one as some were even seen to be sprinting on occasion when the boats were really up to speed.

Race officer Eric Watkinson and Alan Oxlade were marshaling the event. They were trying to fire up the guys as quick as possible to the start line but this sometimes fell on deaf ears as the odd breakdown or rebuild was still in progress.

Three full heats had been sailed up to lunch time and one boat sank on the second race before finally completing the return leg. Team Roberts had sank Uncle Dereks borrowed boat that hadn't a sticky patch securely stuck. The colours on this sail set really stand out on the lake with alternating coloured stripes of Orange and Black, until the boats fully submerges and only leaves the final tip of black sail barely in view for the rescuers.

There were quite a few races that involved contact and on one re sail for Mr Roberts, the third attempt had the boat jam on the smallest remaining buoy on the lake. Just wasn't his day, emphasized in the afternoon when one of his shrouds came loose for yet another breakdown.

The afternoon had an additional four complete races to number a full seven heats, that included any missed races. It was decided to get in a good portion of the races in today, leaving more time for our travelling guests to make an early finish of 2pm for Sunday.

On to Sunday with an earlier start time of 9:30 everyone was keen to go. The clocks turn back of an hour also seem to help. The start line was now always ready to go. Folks were rallying each other up and even if you were out of the order but good to go, you were encouraged to get to the start line.

The three races from the round were completed and another was started to include a further four. Skippers were now doing better and eager to make up some points. The pace was fast and we could have probably got in two full rounds over the weekend had it not been for our being to laid back. Legs sailed were barely taking more than a few minutes at a time and definitely good to watch for by standers.

The same weekend has already been booked for next year. This concluded all the Vane sailing events for the year.

For those with shorter running legs, at least five Vane 36R Saturdays are said to be booked for 2019. The smaller boats are a good entry and taste for what it's all about for anyone not so sure.

Well done to our furthest travelled guest with his win.

Results for the weekend:

1 Arjon van der Cingel and Mate Peter Iles, 75.4%
2 Shaun Wyeth and Sons, Mates Lewis and Russell, 71.4%
3 Peter L Whiteside and Mate Anthony Wilson, 68.6%

There were seven Trophies up for grabs over the weekend:

'Marine Models International' Trophy
Arjan van der Cingel

Models Maker Trophy...Highest placed Skipper who has not won a MYA Championship
Damian Ackroyd

Team of Two.....Drawn at random
Dave Bell and Shaun Wyeth

Highest place Classic/Vintage
David Mathers

MYA Northern District Championship...Top scoring 1st day
Chis Harris and Arjan van der Cingel

Clapham Cup....Top scoring 2nd day
Arjan van der Cingel

Commodore's Cup.... Top scoring yacht both days
Arjan van der Cingel

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