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Midland District Marblehead Interclub Round 2 and GAMES 5 at Manor Park Sailing Club

by Darin Ballington 21 May 07:22 BST 12 May 2019
Marblehead interclub and GAMES event at Manor Park SC © Eric Finley

Gentle ripples, glorious sunshine and a hearty welcome greeted the Marblehead skippers for this round of the Midland District M series, although only a low key series, more aimed at participation than the glory of winning, the addition of GAMES 5 to this event and the upcoming ranking added a couple of names to the entry list.

It has to be said that messing about on the water with an early summer sunshine in the UK has to be one of the most pleasant ways to start a Sunday, the sun on your back and the gentle sounds of the local wildlife going about their business are fantastic, the nearby church bells playing give their call and the occasional leather clad biker rushing down the road adding to the feeling that all is well with the world; however, if you are the race officer or competitors for a sailing event you want this to muted by the sound of sails flapping and water lapping on the shore but with the forecast 2 to 3mph (you can usually halve the forecast wind at Manor Park) kicking in from all directions the morning was going to be more suited to chat and discussion than serious racing, but slightly delayed the RO Eric Finley working with the members of MPRSC set a course with a reach, run and beat and set things going at about 10.25am.

Unfortunately for competitors and Eric, the run was mainly on the beating leg, the beat was on the run and most legs had a reach or two between the lulls... Can you have a lull in a 2mph breeze?

Maybe it was the weather, maybe it was the setting, or maybe it was the coffee, but no one seemed to mind, the racing was competitively undertaken with everyone accepting that the races themselves would be a little hit and miss. Although general in the right direction the switches from East to West with the occasional bit of North that continued throughout the day gave big gains and losses to all skippers at various stages of the racing. As is always the case the levels of concentration shown by the top skippers can be seen in the results, with what seemed magical powers they managed to claim a decent finish out of adversity, and just eeked out the extra speed required to cross the line ahead of others.

Watched by more people than normal, both radio sailors and visitors to the MPSC 'Push the Boat out weekend' it was great to see so many at the club and the boats and skippers demonstrated the sport superbly, even if it did appear in slow motion at times!

You will notice that we haven't mentioned any names or designs so far, that's because the day was about so much more than the names and boats, it was as much about the fun and banter had by the competitors and the (slow) action on show for the visitors, something MPRSC are grateful to the skippers for.

So now is the time to mention the skippers, Chris, Darin and a revitalised Rob Vice were normally near the front, with Phil Holliday and Steve Haywood not far behind, John (black flag) Smith showed his usual occasional flashes of brilliance and Tracey, Andy Soars and Grenville Thornhill enjoyed their days sailing. Colin Walton however appeared to be suffering from jet lag and the effects of a week's pampering in the Italian lakes and probably will not want to remember the days sailing, but was chuffed seeing the visitors and club being used, this along with his news that the club has been awarded a grant from Sport England to complete our new jetty will have made up for the lack of sailing success.

Thanks to all the race team, competitors and members of MPRSC for a grand day out.

With no weed and great facilities and beautiful surroundings, Manor Park RSC is a great place to spend some time during any summer, so why not try it out?

Overall Results:

1st Chris Harris (Windrush) NIOUTRAM 17pts
2nd Darin Ballington (Manor Park) GRUNGE 20pts
3rd Rob Vice (Guildford) UPROAR 31pts
4th Phil Holliday (Datchet) GRUNGE 32pts
5th John Smith (Manor Park) GRUNGE 44pts
6th Stephen Heywood (Market Bosworth) STARKERS 58pts
7th Colin Walton (Manor Park) GRUNGE 60pts
8th Tracey Ballington (Manor Park) GRUNGE 77pts
9th Grenville Thornhill (Leicestershire) 85pts
10th Andy Soars (Market Bosworth) STARKERS 95pts

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