IOM Veterans Championship 2023 - Birkenhead
An annual event in the MYA calendar is for all IOM helms aged 60 or over and this year was held at Birkenhead RS & PC over the weekend of the 15th/16th April. Entries were somewhat lower than recent years with a turnout of only 12, most of whom were from Northern District clubs.
The weekend was definitely one of two totally different days. Saturday was bright and sunny and warm with a light WNW sea-breeze that formed relatively early. Although as it wasn’t strong and consistent, there were some shifts and light patches to catch sailors out.
Racing got away a little after the scheduled time whilst the RO Martin Roberts, waited for some breeze to re-start and a schedule of 4 races and a break became the leisurely pace for the whole weekend. Nigel Barrow stamped his authority in the first session, with 3 wins after Roger Errington took the first race of the event.
After the first break, Peter Baldwin had a good middle session winning 5 of the next 8 races, with Nigel only picking up two and Alan Watkinson one. Nigel rounded off the day well with a further three wins, with Roger Crates taking the final race of the day. At the end of day one the top three were Nigel on 20 points, Peter on 28 and Roger Crates on 48 points.
Day 2 dawned with drizzle and a mid top suit breeze from the clubhouse and after re-positioning the start line and some tweaks of the other marks we were away at 9:30. Peter had the best morning on Sunday with three wins compared with only only one for Nigel. Nigel was however more consistent with mostly top three places such that by lunchtime the gap between them had widened to 13 points.
Other sailors were enjoying the conditions and there were wins for Alan, Simon Robinson and Roger Crates. This continued in the final session as Peter and Nigel only picked up three wins between them, with Bill Culshaw taking two then one each for Roger Errington, David Adam and Roger Crates.
The Veterans Champion for 2023 went to Nigel Barrow with a very consistent set of results, with Peter Baldwin second and Roger Crates third.
Nigel thanked the Birkenhead Club for hosting the event and all of the volunteers involved – Martin Roberts as RO assisted by Neil Westbrook and Dave Williams (our photographer) and Bernie McNulty in the galley, who all helped make the event a very enjoyable weekends sailing.
Thanks were also given to all competitors for attending and sailing the event in a competitive but non confrontational manner.
As one competitor commented after the event:
“Thank you for a brilliant weekend. I think the vets who did not come missed out”