After a boisterous opening to the Icicle, we have had two, mostly fine Sundays of light and variable westerlies which, because of the orientation of Bough Beech reservoir, is trickier for race teams and competitors alike.
The length of windward legs is constrained, and a low sun directly in line with a crowded start line is a RO’s nightmare. However all six planned races have been completed.
16th January was particularly trying with racing postponed until a light breeze dispersed thick mist. The F1-2 wind was fairly consistent for the first race but backed almost 900 midway through the second race leading to an abandonment. No sooner had this race restarted on a rapidly relayed course when the wind veered several degrees back again, leaving a rather one-sided beat. It then softened, penalising the bulk of the fleet who finished over ten minutes behind the winning group on corrected time. To add insult to injury after over four hours on the water, several discovered they had been OCS at the start of the second race.
So what do the overall results to date look like? In the Conventional fleet, the progress of Shoreham junior sailors Joe Warwicker and Hugo Valentine, whose 420 had been leading the series going into Day 3, has been interrupted by a dose of Covid-19. This leaves the Wayfarer of John Clementon and Mel Titmus (Chipstead SC,) who have always finished in the top three, a few points clear of the Snipe of Peter Wolstenholme and Lloyd Roberts (Bough Beech,) with hansom discards in reserve. The Solo of BBSC Rear Commodore Richard Hudson is third, thanks to a couple of first places on days two and three. He is tied on points with the RS600 of George Smith (the long-suffering Race Officer of the third day,) who got average points. The missing 420 is hanging on, in fifth.
The Asymmetric Fleet is led by Elliot Marks and Sarah Seddon with a perfect net score of 4, in part thanks to Sailwave’s averaging points system for doing race duties. Second overall is the RS400 of Mike Green and Lynn Ratcliffe (Pevensey Bay SC,) and third is the RS200 of Mike Warwicker and Kate Fitzsimmons (Bough Beech.) A special mention goes to the RS200 of Chris and Niki Webber (Pevensey Bay,) for comfortably winning both Asymmetric races on Day 2, but those are the only two races they have competed in so far.
Many in the fleet will be hoping for fresher winds and may be disappointed by the forecast for Day 4, which suggests more of the same. But the Icicle is going well. With 18 Asymmetric entries and 67 in the Conventional fleet, turnout is well up to previous years.