With the main man away square rigging, the rest of us came out to play, a couple of welcome visitors to our shores came along for the ride, Paul Risdale (who has embarked upon a John Lewis "Siskin" build) and Colin Davies. Alongside the seven sixes were a couple of Dragon Flites, newish member Ian Bell who is starting to get to grips with his and Tim Leese, as the scorecard was split in two they were given a minute start over the rest of us so that they could have their own private battle.
In the Six fleet, Gabriela the Romanza of Peter Jackson was sporting new cloth for the first time, as was Keith Bells Tias, once the initial teething problems were mainly sorted Peter sailed Gabriela into a very respectable third and but for Keith doing the penalty pirouette on far too many occasions and the slow start in adjusting his sails, he would have been higher up the ranking.
This was the deciding race of the series with only two skippers with any real aspirations to take home the superb little trophy John Burgoine & Peter Shepherd, as it worked out Peter managed to keep Monica in the hunt up to race nine when John put in some cracking races to the finish with three straight wins out of three to take the series.
(if only I hadn't got John hooked on sixes by lending him my boat for the first round when i was unable to sail! still there is always next year!
Geoff Raygada's Mr Ga Ga results were a bit up and down consequently seeing him into fourth place and the visitors from not so afar rounded out the card, showing that it really does pay to keep sailing these yachts on a regular basis.
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 a little unexpected.
No pictures this time as it was too cold for anyone to operate a camera! The Icicle series really lived up to it's name today and yet it warms my heart to report eight hardy soles venture into the unknown and came to play, they were rewarded by the weather by what can only be described as a mixed bag! Sometimes it was light and tricky, sometimes it was strong and tricky other times it blew quite sweetly but not everywhere and so being on the right track was important too.
All that having been said there was some great racing with boats matching up performances throughout the fleet, Keith Bell was the star of this round and has cemented his position at the top of the table, the next four, Peter Shepherd, Mike Ewart, Peter Jackson and Geoff Raygada all had their moments and in the end were only covered by 8 points.
At the back newcomer Ian Bell and Derek Lane were having their own private battle with a number of close finishes.
Richard Dolman made the treck up from home only to go out early with a servo/battery issue.
A most enjoyable mornings racing.
A nice fleet of seven Sixes, three DF95's and one IOM came out to play today. Despite the weather forecast conditions were a little better than the previous event in this series with enough wind to allow some good racing throughout the fleet.
John Burgoine borrowed Mike Ewart's wooden hulled Rococco and once again showed us all how it should be done, Peter shepherd started slowly but managed to trim up his Romanza to give John a few good races towards the end, Mike himself managed to start well, however being as he is getting over being quite ill from last week he wasn't able to keep up the strictly dancing pace and dropped back towards the end of the day.
Grenville Thornhill rounded out the top four with a series of consistant results, with Richard Dolman just behind, sailing his Ravenna for the first time in earnest., It was a shame his race win wasn't rewarded with a higher overall placing, as he failed to notice his topping lift get caught up for the final two races, looks like another well sorted Ravenna has just joined the ever burdgoening Six Metre Fleet.
Keith Bell and Peter Jackson had their moments but never seemed to capitalise when they had the advantage, more set up and sail work required for all of us I think! Geoff Raygada joined us for a couple of races with his "Alternate" IOM and the small fleet of DF95's had their own private battle which was eventually won by Tim Leese, from Ian Bell and Derek Lane who after having lent him my DF95 told me his fathers army days nickname was "Jinx Lane", it would seem like father like son.