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Short-Handed Sailing by Alastair Buchan
Short-Handed Sailing by Alastair Buchan

Blackwater Icicle 2019

by Paul Gray 2 Jan 2020 15:05 GMT 29 December 2019

Forty boats assembled for a committee boat start in Lawling Creek for the 2019 Blackwater Icicle, this year hosted by Maylandsea Bay Sailing Club.

Race Officer Bill Wright gave warning that the fleet would experience a strong flood tide which would be pushing them over the line and would not hesitate to use the 'U' flag to discourage early starters in the event of a general recall. Competitors either turned a deaf ear, or didn't recognise a 'U' flag, or didn't know what it meant, as three starts were needed to get the race under way.

A few boats struggled to find the first windward 'X' mark, but the fleet soon settled into the usual pecking order for the runs and reaches out of the creek into the River Blackwater. Most notable was Rob Laurie in his Solo who cunningly avoided the crowd on the west shore to arrive at the North Shore mark in the leading pack with the quicker boats.

One of the safety boats led the fleet around the course so that any visitors didn't get lost. That didn't prevent local hot shot Mark Batt in his Fireball from leading several of the fleet to the wrong green conical in the main river. The main beneficiary was Malcolm Hutchings in his Blaze, who took a more direct line.

The course was set to include some short laps near the Club, so that the race could be finished after a reasonable elapsed time, but before the light faded and the tide disappeared out of the creek. Only one of those laps was deemed necessary before the Shortened Course flag was raised. By that time boats were crossing and re-crossing the finish line in both directions, and the wind direction was such that sail numbers could not easily be seen from the race box. As a result, Bill had real difficulties in recording correct finishing times for each boat.

Before the prize-giving, talk around the bar had Malcolm Hutchings as favourite, but as he said it is very difficult to be sure when boats have such a wide range of handicap numbers. So it was not a total surprise when the winner was announced as Rob Laurie in his Solo, two minutes ahead of Malcolm on corrected time.

Once the dust had settled, and everyone had gone home, an eagle-eyed competitor spotted that the results showed some anomalies in that a few slower boats, including some prize-winners, had been wrongly recorded as finishing at around the same times as some faster boats. The finishing times were then verified using the Club CCTV recording and corrected as appropriate, and Malcolm Hutchings declared as the winner, with Rob Laurie second.

So well done Malcolm, hard luck Rob. All competitors had a great time and are looking forward to trying to beat Malcolm next year.

Overall Results:

PosClassSail NoHelmCrewR1Pts
1stBLAZE836Malcolm Hutchins 11
2ndSolo5134Robert Laurie 22
3rdRS 600898Dylan 33
4thLASER166544Micky Wright 44
5thPhantom1395Chris Roberts 55
6thLASER183410Bryan Sargeant 66
7thKestrel1600Paul GraySally Gray77
8thPhantom1430Matthew House 88
9thKestrel1587Glenn EnkelLauren Grice99
10thPhantom1443Phil Longley 1010
11thLASER146446Keith Gilmore 1111
12thPhantom1431Graham 1212
13thFireball15102Martin ScarthDave Ryder1313
14thLASER215990Matthew Pickret 1414
15thSolo5406Jarvis Simpson 1515
16thLASER146904Martin Tarling 1616
17thPhantom1233Pete Sarbutt 17.517.5
17thSTREAKER1826Marcus Ingram 17.517.5
19thKestrel1605Paul WilkinsonGary VB1919
20thGP1413763VickyRichard2020
21stFireball14955Mark BattTony Everitt2121
22ndHornet2181Dean SaxtonAdam Saxton2222
23rdLASER140116Sam Tarling 2323
24thLASER186079Clive Tarling 2424
25thFireball14682Mike BryantKeith Taft2525
26thLIGHTNING 368294Jamie 2626
27thSolo3981Dave Chamberlain 2727
28thSolo4810David Islin 2828
29thSolo4645Phil Spillane 2929
30thCOMET433Andy Dale 3030
31stLASER RADIAL212109Jack Tucker 3131
32ndRS 2001302Gareth DaviesBen Fullalove3232
33rdRS 600702Luke Lazell 3333
34thLASER100367Lee Garton 3434
35thLASER RADIAL44Charlie Tucker 3535
36thKestrel1408Barry KnightsBob Parsons3636
37th200021898Andrew LagerChristine HitchinsRET41
37thLASER RADIAL178730Anne Dyson RET41
37thFINN596John Giles RET41
37thLASER RADIAL165230Stephen Curty RET41

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