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Noble Marine 2022 YY - LEADERBOARD

UKLA Noble Marine / Rooster Spring ILCA 6 Qualifier at Stokes Bay Sailing Club

by Steve Cockerill & UKLA 8 Mar 13:11 GMT 4-5 March 2023

It's with great pleasure that UKLA welcome back Rooster as one of our main sponsors. As many of you know Steve Cockerill set up Rooster Sailing in 1999. He raced the then Laser to the highest possible standard and contributed, and continues to, so much to the class and the sport. Here he reports on the first UKLA ILCA Qualifier of the season.

I wonder why the ILCA class visit Stokes Bay for their early qualifier - perhaps it's that the club has the best showers and a host of great sailors who dig out to ensure the event runs smoothly despite the severe cold conditions. I think Stokes Bay Qualifiers have to be legendary for their cold and tough conditions. This year was no different.

We were greeted by the absolute most challenging conditions for both the sailors and the race team. A north easterly is directly offshore at Stokes Bay which makes for a small and challenging racecourse as the race team are Restricted by the shipping channel to the south. Combined with temperatures and the relative inactivity of lighter winds I layered up with hot legs under my Rooster Pro Hikers and hot top under a Supertherm Top and Aquafleece, neck gaiter and Supertherm Beanie; options in women's sizes also available. Hot soup in my 10L drybag and Combi Gloves. This was going to be a tough day on the water.

With the start of the first race just over three hours before low water there was going to be some significant difference in the tidal stream at the leeward and windward marks. The stream ebbing in the main channel (towards Cowes) and the flood just starting along the Stokes Bay shore. This is common anywhere you sail - the edges always start the change before the main channel. At Stokes Bay - the delay can be up to an hour.

So with the first half of the beat with stronger ebb and the second half of the beat with a weakening ebb becoming a flood we had a permanent right shift near the shore at the windward mark.

For a better understanding of the tidal wind effect see images:

Image 1 - tidal wind - the effect of the current wind direction.

Image 2 - how the tidal wind effects the apparent wind we all experience. Sailors are always looking to put the current under their bow to give them the lifted effect of the current wind.

I can only assume that the RO was getting his wind readings from the windward mark as his line was port biased which made it very tricky to cross on starboard. There was then a fight for the pin resulting in a Melee of boats that once tacked to cross the start line, laid the windward mark in one. The experienced heads made a smart start at the port end and tacked directly. Jon Emmett, Ben and Chloe Elvin lead the charge finishing in that order.

Race 2 - the current had started to flood towards Portsmouth giving a right shift that straightened the line. The leaders came from both sides, Steve Cockerill made a jump on the left fleet having started at the committee boat but did not have the speed to hold back a max hiking Freddie Sunderland. The jury had a good look at both Jon and Steve down the last run as they were 'trying very hard' to stay ahead of Ben Elvin. Steve holding Ben off on the last leg to the finish.

Race 3 - the flood was in full swing. The line was re-laid with a small port bias. Small shifts in wind direction always appear even more exaggerated in cross current - so a small shift to the right gave a huge right shift for the sailors. Smart money was to start on the right to gain most of the right flood wind shift which gave those who started on the right a race to remember. Dru Townsend took the gun from Alfe Noel and Angus Beale.

Overnight placings were affected by some OCS's and big numbers from race three. So the top three places were held by Jon, Ben and Steve.

The morning brought a change to the wind to the North for race 4. We were now starting in the ebb (Cowes bound). The balance between using the ebb current to take you on starboard in the main channel and then take the tack to the windward mark without overstanding and having something left in the bank for a late starboard tack as the ebb shifted wind eased giving you a header on port. The fleet were once again concerned about being OCS and were slightly shy getting a good transit. Most of them lining up the pin with the end of the Isle of Wight - however, there was another 4 fingers of the isle of Wight visible behind the pin. Steve took his chance and tacked at the gun near the pin having sailed down his safe transit in the last 20 seconds whilst the rest of the fleet were trying to lay the pin from below. They had a merry dance trying to gybe round and re start a few times before succeeding whilst Steve's port tack was also lifted. Most of the fleet went for the starboard headed tack and missed out on next bigger right shift. Most overstanding and then still experiencing a header at the mark. Steve rounded 90 seconds ahead of the next boat and sailed deep on starboard before ferry gliding to the leeward mark. All looked safe until the last run when the wind died when Freddie and Chloe were in the stronger pressure in the centre. Squeaky bum time for Steve, but he did take the gun. Steve reflected that it had been 2009 when he last won a race and Radial qualifier when he was actively on the Laser circuit. He was happy.

Race 5 - There was change in the air - and those who had spotted the sun might have thought that the wind would go left for a sea breeze - but in March - well it did a little - whether it was sea breeze or not = the wind dropped to below 3 knots and we drifted to windward on a big left shift to the windward mark. Sadly the clever ones were not rewarded as the race was abandoned. We had not had a beat in the race to that point or a steady wind so it was probably a good but late call.

Race 5 re-run was now in the flood to Portsmouth. There was a chance that as the flood starts first near the shore - there might be less current further in the channel. It appeared to me that those that took the chance on the left came good. The middle was not a great place to be. Ben Elvin had to put a couple of places between himself and Jon, but although he won the race from Fred Salter, Jon was a close third giving him the event from Ben. Chloe finished 4th to give her 4th overall. Freddie Sunderland had a consistent series to give him 3rd overall and first under 17. Fred Salter took 5th and first under 19 from Steve in 6th.

Despite swimming 6,000m, rowing 15,000m and doing two core workouts a week, my 60-year-old body is broken by 9 hours on the water in an ILCA. Perhaps I will back for some more unusual conditions at Stokes Bay next year.

Thanks to the on the water teams who managed to get five races completed, the beach team and the club for putting on a great weekend. Thanks also to our sponsors who help make these events such a success:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1216115Jon EmmettWeir Wood SC125‑93 11
2220042Ben ElvinStokes Bay SC244‑181 11
3216023Freddie SunderlandDraycote Water51‑2626 14
4220040Chloe ElvinStokes Bay SC3‑16834 18
5221501Fred SalterGurnard Sailing Club86(BFD)72 23
6220151Stephen CockerillStokes Bay Sailing Club103111‑12 25
7218694Molly Sacker 6‑1710105 31
8216656Edwin CrossShoreham‑15101288 38
9219140Max SteeleWembley SC; Stokes Bay SC45‑41247 40
10220823Spirit AldersonDerwent Reservoir Sailing Club7714‑1913 41
11211165Josh LyttleQueen Mary SC17127(UFD)10 46
12216703Joe RoweDraycote Academy921174‑24 51
13214203Alfie NoelStokes Bay SC‑372521215 54
14218432Honor ProcterCardiff Bay YC21‑4413521 60
15208325Dru TownsendPortishead/Chew Valley Lake2028114‑31 63
16206839Henry RedmondCovenham SC1119‑501716 63
17221585Carys AttwellRutland SC‑281815628 67
18218043Tom RawlingsLyme Regis Sailing Club1327‑281514 69
19209056Oliver PayneStokes Bay SC18‑32161620 70
20214007Jack Graham‑TrollRoyal Lymington Yacht Club14‑30212125 81
21221502Sam Grayton ‑2911292618 84
22220732Adriana PenruddockeRBYC/SPBC2526‑301323 87
23221800Robin PhippsParkstone Yacht Club‑3214273017 88
24214268Noah EvansRoyal Victoria Yacht Club(DSQ)3493511 89
25216391Angus BealeCorinthian Otters22133(UFD)RET 96
26215835Tim EvansGrafham Water SC2686(DNC)DNC 98
27221236Archie BurtonBeaver & Draycote‑409352038 102
28206959Toby SmithRutland SC / Royal Hospital School23‑43242533 105
29189059Kaitlyn WyattShoreham SC / Papercourt SC27‑35202832 107
30221583Freddie MaclavertyLlandudno SC/ Rydal school19154331‑44 108
31220514Millie LewisMedway YC34202529‑37 108
32217881Charlotte VideloFrensham Pond SC / Stokes Bay SC3622(BFD)1140 109
33206856Iris SingletonDraycote Water SC16‑36333427 110
34205176Samson CrossShoreham24‑41234026 113
35209950Wai Chak TsuiHong Kong Sports Institute‑5024193239 114
36210368Matthew BottenWeir Wood SC12‑49483322 115
37171988Toby Bush 43‑4844229 118
38214580Hamish CollingridgeWaldringfield SC3031‑462335 119
39202437Filip WojcikHythe Sailing Club / Royal Lymington Yac423718‑4829 126
40216513Megan ThomsonIsland Barn Reservoir Sailing Club3123‑514230 126
41218860Jon GayLochaber Yacht Club39‑45423719 137
42209979Jack McCormickParkstone YC3833‑472747 145
43214960Lucy DavisRSrnYC & RTYC‑5329363646 147
44210022Julien Rohart ‑5247313936 153
45183526Jude StanleyHayling Island Sailing Club33‑56384343 157
46214935Bjorn HandleyIsland Barn Reservoir Sailing Club443832(UFD)45 159
47217000Gretel HainesGurnard Sailing Club48‑55344434 160
48203910Issy GlazebrookASWC Portland/ Teign Corinthian Yacht Cl‑4542403841 161
49204013Lauren AttwellRutland SC‑4746374542 170
50206428Edward SittonWarsash Sailing Club515222(DNC)DNC 183
51218156Sam LowbridgeRutland SC353952(UFD)DNS 184
52219061Bob DraperStokes Bay SC46‑50494148 184
53217500Emelia TinchCardiff Bay YC‑5453394749 188
54220111Shu LiWarsash‑5540544650 190
55159450Tim Czura 415145(DNC)DNC 195
56217672Alex Strassberg AlonsoBosham Sailing Club56‑57554951 211
57204914Jake CollinsPortchester and Chichester495453(DNC)DNC 214

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