Eight skippers made it to Abington Park for the Footy Frostbite Open, also part of the Frostbite Winter Series, as usual with city centre sailing the wind is always a little fickle, and somewhat variable, the smart skippers stuck with the "Justin" and A rigs with only those seeking greater control dropping down to the B rig.
The Ibex showed quite a bit of future potential, and it looked like John burgoine had forgotten how to sail for the first four races however a bit of tweaking a hefty thump from Peter shepherd Fat Boy at the leeward mark and all seemed well from then on!
Mike ewart went well with his new Frensham Ice (try not to drop this one Mike!) the aforementioned Ibex got better as the day progressed and the skippers got to grips with them, the club staple of Fat Boys rounding off the fleet.
All in all it was a most enjoyable days racing which considering the recent icy conditions was alittle unexpected.
The light winds and slightly foggy day greated us and for a time it looked as if no racing would be possible, even with the Footy class yachts which generally have no difficulty in light conditions with a large sail (power) to weight ratio.
The overall weight is heavier than previous incarnations with an all up displacement of around 500g and a keel bulb to overall weight of around 68%, slightly higher than we have previously achieved, the intention being to make a stiffer more stable boat than the Fat Boy or Slim.
Needless to say these extreme light winds didn't really suit the concept, however the pick up after the tack did appear to better than Fat Boy, probably due to the wider at the hull keel fin an idea we might explore further in the future.
So how did IBEX fair, well pretty well really, the result of the racing could not have been closer with the three experienced Footy skippers battling it out to finish after eight races all on 10 points each and having to be seperated on countback. Mike Ewart being declared the winner having danced his way into the lead in the final two races!
Peter Shepherd took no prisoners and showed why he is the Footy Champion in this first Frostbite Series event, admittedly he had to knick a couple of races he had no right to win and then in race eight he got his just desserts when the wind picked up as he approached the line and his Justin rig was over powered sending him off into the hinterland!
Mike Ewart kept the Fat Boy honest, Peter Jackson had a turn around in recent form and could only manage third.
Geoff Raygada is still trying to work out if he enjoys Footy sailing, I am begining to suspect it is his "guilty pleasure".
Keith Bell can't wait to get his hands on his own boat, for something new is on the horizon at the workshop at the centre of the universe!
Derek Lane & Tim Leese struggled manfully on!