Scottish District IOM Championships
9th April 2016
Report by Richard Ennos
Castle Semple was the venue for a very hard fought Scottish District IOM Championships
contested by fourteen skippers from six clubs within the Scottish District. The event
blessed with fine weather and a favourable wind which filled in from the south, veered
gradually to the southwest, and varied in strength from top of number one suit to
calm punctuated by squalls towards the end of the day.
After a slight delay to allow the local press to photograph the competitors, the
began with a fleet only too anxious to get started, resulting in a spate of general
in the early races. When the fleet did get away, it was Ian Dundas who immediately
jumped into the lead recording two very convincing wins in the first two races. However
it soon became clear that Ian would not continue to enjoy this level of domination,
Patrick Johnson sailing a newly acquired Britpop taking race three and Brian Summers
with his own design Buzz II winning race four. Also showing impressive speed at these
early stages was Gordon Allison’s V9, while Steve Taylor with a new Britpop was
consistently putting in low scores.
Sailing conditions on the long course were suitably challenging, and visibility of
the windward mark was hampered at times by the glare from the sun to which the
skippers did not seem accustomed. However this could not excuse some poor behaviour
by skippers at all levels within the fleet approaching the windward mark on port
failing to yield to yachts holding right of way. As the day proceeded the frequency
these incidents thankfully declined and fair and competitive racing broke out.
Through the course of the championships fortunes fluctuated within the fleet. John
Owens had a purple patch shortly after lunch with multiple wins that pulled him up
leader board. Steve Taylor was making real progress until he broke a forestay, and
to take two races out for repairs. Undiagnosed forestay problems were also suffered
Richard Rowan who was only competitive once these were sorted out. This meant that
the championship became a contest between Ian Dundas, who was struggling to find
consistency in the early afternoon, and Patrick Johnson, in his trademark black puffer
jacket, who showed great form throughout the last six races. In the end it was not
enough to overhaul Ian Dundas who became Scottish District IOM Champion for 2016.