Fiddlers Ferry Sailing Club race results: The Ditchfield Trophy
Location: Fidlers Ferry Sailing Club
1st Tommohawk Falcon, Helm Tony Tomlinson
2nd Redfoot Falcon, Helm Ian Scouler
3rd Cara Cara Falcon, Helm Ernie Griffiths
Overcast conditions with a strong to gale force wind greeted the participants in the Ditchfield Trophy race at Fidlers Ferry. For some the day spelt a very wet day and for others some time in the workshop repairing rudders and other damaged items. The safety boat crews earnt there keep and the radio controller was kept busy organising the events on and off the water.
From the start Tommohawk 44 made an excellent start with Cara Cara 45 giving chase whilst others took time adjusting to the conditions on the water. No1 then back down to No2 and up to No1 marks against an strong incoming tide, required a lot of thought and skill to gain distance on the chasing pack, Tommohawk and Cara Cara made hay whilst the sunshined. The smaller boats in the fleet started to suffer with Alan Dodds Solo dinghy breaking a tiller giving no option but to retire. Simon Low on his laser also had problems with staying in contact with his boat on the down wind leg. For those watching Mick Price on his Gp 14 Sandy Bottoms had there hearts in their mouths wondering how he stayed upright in these difficult conditions knowing it could last for ever, and it didn’t.
By the half way point the leading boats remained as before but an interesting battle for 3rd and 4th was taking place between Nighthawk 35 & Redfoot 42, with only 2 boat lengths between them tactics would play the deciding factor. Although the field had reduced to just 6 boats left in the race the fitness of the crews would be crucial. Cara Cara so long holding down second place, suffered a rudder problem and was caught by Redfoot 42 who had won their battle with Nighthawk 35. Honey Buzzard 59, so long at the back of the fleet, refound it form by using its spinnaker on the down wind legs in these difficult conditions were others shyed from that option, finishing a comfortable 5th.
The final result saw Tommohawk 44 take the trophy from Redfoot 42, with Cara Cara 45 making the line in front of the fast moving Nighthawk 35 to make third. In the end only 5 boats completed from the 10 that started. The power and stability of the Falcon Dinghy proved to be the key to their success as all those who started in Falcons finished. Todays racing was a very fast covering a 6 mile course, but certainly others gained experience from it, be it hard taught.
The safety team and officers of the day ensured that everything was done the get the racing away.
Thanks to Ken Southall, Pat Backhouse for the OD duties and Colin Howard and the FFSC safety team Ed Owen, Rob McCulloch and Rob Page for providing safety cover in these trying conditions.
The next race is 04/05/2014 Hillfoot Shield Start 15.40pm