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Optimist Racing by Steve Irish & Phil Slater
Optimist Racing by Steve Irish & Phil Slater

Vane 36R David Rose Shield at Fleetwood Model Yacht Club

by Tony Wilson 15 Oct 18:54 BST 12 October 2019
Vane 36R David Rose Shield at Fleetwood © Tony Wilson

A little different to last time, Derek was away somewhere probably sailing faster boats. Rob and Keith had also other duties. Mike was full size sailing somewhere else, although Sue came along to chance doing a bit better on this occasion.

Four boats in total so racing was on. Peter's son Stuart came to assist Dad and our usual faithful pole guys were also there to help. It was a bit damp but there's no problem for the Vane steered boats with no radio involved, Just a stick and some wet weather clothing and you're fine.

The wind was from our favourite side and blowing at about 12 MPH although it would swing unannounced now and then from the road. Some topping up of the lake in between as the tide was due in at about lunch time and we were good to go. Peter was up against Tony and had no need to fight as he won both legs, maybe bringing his son along was going to be his lucky mascot.

John and Sue's boats were tangled on the first return and had a rerun to play later on. John was helping with all the technical know how and we think it was sinking in as Sue was gaining points fast. On another race two boats set off on the beat to the far bank, hesitated for twenty seconds, reversed and tacked over to sail on the opposite beat as if they were in synchronize tandem.

Tony and Eric seemed to be really struggling with the big rig and unheeded calls to John for a newer smaller sail were going unheard. Maybe Tony should just buy his own. It was when the boat was totally flattened and disappeared from the horizon that you knew you were on a hiding to nothing and going to be lucky if you could even make the score board.

The wind dropped a touch over lunch break, maybe as the tide turned, but only to return the same as before about an hour later. With only four boats sailing, you have three complete races so one round in the bag and a second round was sailed in the afternoon.

Peter was certainly on form and mopping up everything. There may have been a couple of close races but only a win gives you points and even when it's by the closest margin.

On one race Tony went fixed vane as he had nothing to lose. The rest were all broken, but this race had a lot of roadside breeze in it and a reach along the whole length gave him the win over Sue.

John and Sue had done well through out the day, but with Peter only dropping a meagre three points all day they were no match, although certainly in there. John won the re sail by the way.

If you missed this one, or are just interested in how the Vane steering controls the boat, come along to the last weekend of the month where you can view two glorious days of Marblehead Vane sailing.


1 Peter Whiteside 27 pts
2 John Plant 18 pts
3 Susan Parkington 10 pts

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