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Blackwater Icicle - Sunday 29th December 2019

Forty boats assembled for a committee boat start in Lawling Creek for the 2019 Blackwater Icicle, this year hosted by Maylandsea Bay Sailing Club. Race Officer Bill Wright gave warning that the fleet would experience a strong flood tide which would be pushing them over the line and would not hesitate to use the ‘U’ flag to discourage early starters in the event of a general recall. Competitors either turned a deaf ear, or didn’t recognise a ‘U’ flag, or didn’t know what it meant, as three starts were needed to get the race under way.

Icicle start

A few boats struggled to find the first windward ‘X’ mark, but the fleet soon settled into the usual pecking order for the runs and reaches out of the creek into the River Blackwater. Most notable was Rob Laurie in his Solo who cunningly avoided the crowd on the west shore to arrive at the North Shore mark in the leading pack with the quicker boats.

Rob LaurieOne of the safety boats led the fleet around the course so that any visitors didn’t get lost. That didn’t prevent local hot shot Mark Batt in his Fireball from leading several of the fleet to the wrong green conical in the main river. The main beneficiary was Malcolm Hutchings in his Blaze, who took a more direct line.

The course was set to include some short laps near the Club, so that the race could be finished after a reasonable elapsed time, but before the light faded and the tide disappeared out of the creek. Only one of those laps was deemed necessary before the Shortened Course flag was raised. By that time boats were crossing and re-crossing the finish line in both directions, and the wind direction was such that sail numbers could not easily be seen from the race box. As a result, Bill had real difficulties in recording correct finishing times for each boat.

Before the prizegiving, talk around the bar had Malcolm Hutchings as favourite, but as he said it is very difficult to be sure when boats have such a wide range of handicap numbers. So it was not a total surprise when the winner was announced as Rob Laurie in his Solo, two minutes ahead of Malcolm on corrected time.

Once the dust had settled, and everyone had gone home, an eagle-eyed competitor spotted that the results showed some anomalies in that a few slower boats, including some prize-winners, had been wrongly recorded as finishing at around the same times as some faster boats. The finishing times were then verified using the Club CCTV recording and corrected as appropriate, and Malcolm Hutchings declared as the winner, with Rob Laurie second.

So well done Malcolm, hard luck Rob. All competitors had a great time and are looking forward to trying to beat Malcolm next year.

 

Malcom Hutchings

Rank

Class

SailNo

HelmName

CrewName

1st

BLAZE

836

Malcolm Hutchings

 

2nd

Solo

5134

Robert Laurie

 

3rd

RS 600

898

Dylan Collingbourne

 

4th

LASER

166544

Micky Wright

 

5th

Phantom

1395

Chris Roberts

 

6th

LASER

183410

Bryan Sargeant

 

7th

Kestrel

1600

Paul Gray

Sally Gray

8th

Phantom

1430

Matthew House

 

9th

Kestrel

1587

Glenn Enkel

Lauren Grice

Full results here Blackwater Icicle 2019

More Blackwater Icicle Photos here.

Report written by Paul Gray

D.Collingbourne

M Wright