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Marblehead Ranking Series Rounds 4 & 5 at Wesk Kirby run by Birkenhead Radio Sailing & Power Club

by Peter Baldwin 21 Oct 2021 06:27 BST 16-17 October 2021

Ranking Series #4 started on Saturday with a light 6 or 7 knot breeze from the SE, giving a decent course sailed from the outer walkway of the Marine lake.

At one point mid-morning, the wind swung more to the South before going back again. Never increasing beyond 7 knots but at one point did drop to 2 knots before rising again. Finally, after lunch the wind almost died to nothing before returning from the SSW. Racing had to be held for around an hour, whilst the course was reset and the control area then run from the promenade. This enabled an additional 6 races to be completed for a total of 14 over the day.

The top spot was never much in doubt all day with Brad Gibson getting the lions share of the race wins. Behind him though there was close racing within the chasing group of Austin Guerrier, Darin Ballington, Rob Vice, Mark Robinson and Tony Edwards, all vying for the podium positions at different times during the day. In the end, Tony Edwards had a good final run to finish in second, with Mark Robinson taking third place.

Ranking Series #5 on Sunday dawned as cloudy and mild but without the early rain that had been forecast. The wind once again was from the SE, but a little stronger than Saturday at 10-11 knots. Racing got under way soon after 9:30 and a total of 6 races were sailed by 11:30 when the breeze again started a shift towards the SW and racing had to be stopped until the wind settled and the course could be reset to sail from the Promenade. A further 9 races were then sailed before the cut-off time. At least the sun was now out to warm the competitors and although the wind had initially reduced in strength as it shifted, by the time racing resumed, there were some stronger gusts. Some competitors held onto their top rigs as long as they could, but eventually everyone had to change down.

Once again, Brad Gibson dominated the day with a scoreline almost a third of the second placed boat, Austin Guerrier, with Rob Vice a short way behind in third place. Most of the wins were taken by those on the podium, although Darin Ballington took two race wins and Martin Roberts one. Darin unfortunately had electrical problems in Race 9 which forced an early end to his day. Martin had a long hook up on a mark warp when in a good position and then lost another race due to gear failure which also ended his chances of a higher position. At the prize-giving, Brad thanked everyone for coming to the event and also thanked all those club members who helped run the event over the weekend.

A fantastic two days of sailing with a good breeze for these racing machines, with sunshine and no rain made for a great weekend at West Kirby.

Birkenhead Radio Sailing & Power Club run regular racing for the DF65, RG65 and IOM classes. More information is available from the club website birkenheadrspc.co.uk

The club is affiliated to the MYA (Model Yachting Association) and association of clubs and who are the National Authority for Radio and Free Sailing in the UK. Their website may be found at www.mya-uk.org.uk/about-the-mya

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