What perfect weather for the Coalhouse Fort MBC Dragon Force 65 Charity Event in aid of the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Fund on Sunday 8th May 2016. Apart from the wind coming initially from the ENE and then veering more to the east, the conditions were great for this Charity Event.
Skippers from Coalhouse Fort MBC and Southend MBC were joined by David Brown from Eastbourne and in a relaxed fun atmosphere, completed some 16 races to determine the overall winner. After the 16 races the fleet was split into two, an A & B Heat with the top three in each heat receiving prizes donated by Coalhouse Fort MBC and Sochs Sails. In addition to the winning prizes, there was a raffle with prizes being donated by RC Yachts, CAT sails, Sochs Sails and Howard Dalton, and our thanks to all for their donations. There was no entry fee, with all proceeds going to the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Fund.
With the wind initially coming from the ESE, John Newton the Race Officer, assisted by Malcolm Schaffer, set a windward/leeward course with a spreader mark at the windward end and a gate at the leeward end. Since most of the competitors had never experienced a ‘gate’ course before it was interesting to see how they coped. For the first three races, Howard Dalton led almost from start to finish with everybody following him round the port mark at the leeward end, with John Wren and David Brown keeping in touch. However, Glenn Meekcoms suddenly appeared to recognise that rounding the starboard mark at the gate provided some advantage and consequently took the next three races from Angela Mears, who had been leading until Glenn took a different course. As more people recognised the advantage to be gained of rounding the starboard mark at the gate, David Brown started to make his impression. By lunch time, David Brown was leading, with Howard Dalton second, Glenn Meekcoms third and Angela Mears fourth.
After lunch the wind had veered more easterly and the Race Officer initially changed the start line and the first mark, but then went on to change the course two roundings of triangle all on port, thereby doing away with the gate. This seemed to cause some skippers more problems whilst others such as Angela Mears started to come into their own once they got used to the change. However, through the whole day David Brown was consistent which eventually led to him winning the overall event on 28 points, followed by Angela Mears on 33 points and Glenn Meekcoms third on 37 points. Unfortunately Howard Dalton who had been in the running had a rudder issue which meant he missed out on one race and suffered in at least two others because he had not centred the new servo properly.
|6||Rodney Latham||777||Lee Valley||67.0||3.0||9.0||9.0||9.0||8.0||4.0||5.0||6.0||3.0||7.0||4.0||3.0||4.0||4.0||7.0||10.0|
|7||Jim La Roche||990||Coalhouse Fort||85.0||8.0||5.0||8.0||6.0||3.0||6.0||10.0||8.0||7.0||9.0||5.0||7.0||8.0||9.0||10.0||5.0|
|10||Steven Bines||0||Coalhouse Fort||109.0||10.0||11.0||10.0||13.0||13.0||12.0||11.0||11.0||5.0||10.0||10.0||4.0||7.0||5.0||9.0||6.0|
|12||Ian kemp||590||Coalhouse Fort||151.0||12.0||13.0||14.0||11.0||12.0||7.0||14.0||14.0||14.0||14.0||14.0||14.0||14.0||8.0||6.0||12.0|
|13||Dave Bland||488||Coalhouse Fort||167.0||13.0||12.0||11.0||8.0||11.0||14.0||14.0||14.0||14.0||14.0||14.0||14.0||14.0||14.0||14.0||14.0|
Following the main event, to ensure the less experienced skippers shared the spoils, the Race Officer split the fleet into two heats, the bottom half in terms of scores going into the ‘B’ Heat, and the top half going into the ‘A’ Heat and the top three from each heat winning a prize.
The results of this was as follows:
1st Bryan Spencer; 2nd Steve Bines; 3rd Jamie Stevens
1st Angela Mears; 2nd Glenn Meekcoms; 3rd Lesley Parks
The event raised £234.52 in total for the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Fund, and our thanks to all those who contributed and especially to those who provided the prizes.
It was a great day, with all the competitors behaving by doing turns when asked and at the end of the day indicating they had a good time.
We hope to do it all again next year and hopefully a few more skippers will take part.
Report courtesy John Newton and Photos by Julieann Stevens