LWA Icebreaker 2017 Event Three - Oxford Sat 25 Nov:
This was the nearest we came to a traditional Icebreaker - zero degrees or less in the South of England, and actual snow for those who came from the Midlands! In tribute to the brilliant sunshine the thermometer had soared to around 4 degrees when our 23 intrepid sailors - appropriately suited and booted - set off on Race One. Probably the widest possible age range that we have ever had for an event, from 81 year old Joe Coulson to 9 year old Guy Gibson.
Lewis Barnes (The Hotshots) showed his determination by winning this race followed by Rod Kent (Team Kent) and Toby Cave (The Hotshots). Nick Kidd (Farmoor Flyers) gained his best of the day in 4th and Rebecca Kent (Team Kent) her best in 5th.
For Race Two the weather decided to do exactly what it said on the tin and proceeded up the Beaufort Scale, getting well above 20 knots at times. There were some spectacular splats as some of those who were on the limit found the going far too exciting. Lewis and Rob again filled the top two slots, with Annette Kent (Team Kent) in third ahead of Kevin Greenough (The Hotshots) having his best race of the day, as did Kev Clark (Seavets) who took 5th place. Bill Keeling found his board sailing away from him of its own accord and Laura Tait crushed her foot between the mast and the board - fortunately the swelling went down during the afternoon..
Over lunch the wind strengthened even more and the Oxford weather apparatus registered some gusts over 30! Several sailors decided it was prudent to change down, but shortly before Race Three the white water slowly abated and with only the occasional gust to upset matters the change-downers came to regret their decision as the afternoon wore on. Rob pushed Lewis down to second place in this race, followed by Toby in third and Alysia Gibson (The Hotshots) in fourth, her best of the day. Josef Bardoczy was railing his Cat at speed when the daggerboard snapped off and demolished his fin!
Race Four was tame in comparison to the rest of the day and curiously enough, the top of the field finished the race in the same order as their overall scores. Lewis, Rob, Toby, Annette, Kevin G and Alysia.
Winners on the day were The Hotshots on 39, pursued by Team Kent on 55.
1: The Hotshots 39
2: Team Kent 55
3: Farmoor Flyers 91
4: Seavets 143
5: LWA 186
6: The Casuals 214
1: Lewis Barnes 2: Rob Kent. 3: Toby Cave