ISO Inlands / Gala - Queen Mary SC (23rd & 24th October 1999)

The weekend of October 23rd and 24th saw Queen Mary Sailing Club hosting the last round of the Gul sponsored Gala Series and the Inland Championships for ISO's.

First across the line in race 1 were Simon Phillips and Gareth Jones who are in their first season in an ISO. Their moment of glory was to be short lived as they were soon passed by Mike Speller and Rob Burridge, Mick Whitmore and Sarah Smith, Alistair Clarke and Pete Lindley and Steve Rich and Christian Smart.

The second race started in light winds. First to the weather mark were Rich and Smart closely followed by Whitmore and Smith. In the patchy conditions these two soon opened up a respectable lead. The next downwind leg was characterised by strong gusts that quickly closed the fleet back up and allowed Team RBRC and Team RWO to emerge from the pack and back into contention. By the end of the race the order was RBRC, RWO, Whitmore and Smith and Rich and Smart.

Race three on Sunday morning found everybody in apprehensive mood as the long awaited forecasted gale appeared to have arrived. There was a reluctance to take to the water as the wind was whistling through the dinghy park. However when the race eventually started it was in near drifter conditions. Unfortunately after a lap a near perfect 90 deg shift gave the whole fleet good reaching practice but rather boring racing. Even so the usual boats emerged at the front with Clarke and Lindley on Team RWO managing to fight off Speller and Burridge sailing Team RBRC, to claim a well deserved victory. Dave Bradly and Chris Shipman sailing Crosskeys, performed well to claim 3rd disrupting the usual order.

Race 4 was the race where Gary Smith and Lynn Whitmore were to work the shifts well to sail into a good lead. Unfortunately for them it was also the race where, with a lap to go, the wind went from 10 knots to gusting gale force in a few minutes. When the dust finally settled Speller and Burridge had again showed fine form to only just claim their third victory from RWO to win the weekend and the Gul Gala Series.

Full Results Here....

ISO Nationals - Eastbourne Sovereign SC (Date?)

Forty two ISO's converged upon Eastbourne Sovereign Sailing Club for the 1999 National Championship with boats coming as far a field as Scotland, Wales and Israel! The ten-race championship was held over four days incorporating the Bank Holiday weekend, primarily consisting of windward/leeward courses and the unpredictable 'P' courses on one day.

Mike Speller and Rob Burridge sailing Rob Burridge Racing Clinic (RBRC) stamped their authority on the Championship from day one convincingly, becoming National Champions at their fourth attempt with six firsts and two seconds to count. Extremely close racing ensued between the next four boats with second to fifth positions being decided on the last day. Alistair Clarke and Pete Lindley sailing 'Team RWO' at their first ISO National Championship came good in the last race and showing good speed throughout the week in the lighter conditions to finish second overall. David Giles and Ricky Chadburn sailing B A Staff Flying Association who was consistent throughout the varied conditions closely followed them. Jeremy Newman and Geoff Gritton sailing Integrated Electronic Systems showed good speed in the heavier winds winning race three and finishing fourth overall ahead of locals Mick Whitmore and Sarah Smith who used their local knowledge in the lighter winds to obtain some good results. Veteran ISO campaigners, John Caig and Andy Watson came out of hibernation after wintering in South Africa and finished a credible sixth in their first open event of the season. Star results were also obtained by David & Susanne McClay, being the only ones to spot a shortened course in race one and sail the right number of laps in race nine, giving them two firsts and an overall thirteenth. Andrew Gould and Vicky Lewis took the "lead out of their socks" and came good in the lighter winds towards the end of the weekend. Team One to One', Rob Langton and Simon Hadley enjoyed the windy conditions at the beginning of the week although suffered as the wind faded on the Tuesday. The racing throughout this long weekend proved extremely tight with not much separating the top twenty boats.

On the social side, Eastbourne Sovereign lived up to it's reputation and provided excellent social events, including a curry evening, two live bands and the ever-popular games night which was enjoyed not only by the ISO fleet but also the Buzz, Boss and Spice fleets who were also competing for their National Championships at the same venue. It was reported that? Barrels of beer had been consumed over the long weekend, which proved an excellent tune-up regatta both on the racecourse and the bar for the main event of the season, the ISO World Championships to be held in La Baule, France during the last week of August. Let's hope Speller and Burridge have not peaked too soon! Al Clarke & myself (Team RWO) hope they have! Sorry to interrupt the flow Geoff, now what were you saying?

Dave Giles won the "Mr popular" competition after his antics on the start line and at various marks, with his boat being placed on the beach 12 hours early, so keen were his fellow competitors to see him out on the water.

BSBS - (There you go Geoff, I let it on the website!)

Full Results Here....

ISO Worlds - La Baule

Forty-Seven ISOs from six countries including representatives from as far a field as Zimbabwe and Israel travelled to La Baule in France for the second ISO World Championships.

La Baule, situated a few kilometers north of the Loire, boasts an incredibly long beach in excess of eight kilometers. Ideal for holidaying when the weather is fine. As it turned out virtually the whole week enjoyed blazing sunshine and hot weather, though the light to moderate airs did not suit everyone on the racecourse. The family beach parties did not seem to mind at all.

Racing opened on the Sunday with a practice race which was won conclusively by Alistair Clarke and Pete Lindley sailing RWO. As is the norm in this situation they refused to cross the finishing line, thereby limiting their schedule of bad luck for the remainder of the week. As it turned out their results for the week never quite lived up to the potential shown in this race so maybe they would have been blessed with more luck had they actually finished. The first race proper scheduled to follow this race was abandoned due to the wind dying away completely.

Monday and a midday start saw the lightweight pairing (in weight terms that is) of Mick Whitmore and Sarah Smith 'Team Eastbourne' make a great start by winning both the first and third races, with championship favourites "Team Rob Burridge Race Coaching" sailed by Mike Speller and Rob Burridge managing to break the trend and take the second race. Dave Giles & Richard Chadburn "Team British Airways FRSC", Jeremy Newman & Geoff Gritton and John Caig & Andy Watson all showed strongly in these opening races.

On Tuesday, in exceptionally light airs, the best shift player of the morning was the RAF sponsored pair of Andy Gibbs and Ross Alexander, who led most of the way round and most importantly over the finish line with Speller close on their heels. In the second race of the day Giles crossed the fleet from the pin end and lead the race from start to finish. This result, with Speller only notching a fifteenth, took Giles into a favourable position. Caig and Watson's championship chances evaporated with two very poor results.

Following a very heavy party, Wednesday proved to be a most welcome lay day for the competitors and hangers on alike.

Thursday was scheduled for two races which aggregated, counted for the prestigious Designer's Trophy. In the windiest day of the week, with winds reaching around 15 knots in the first race, Speller & Burridge led from start to finish only briefly challenged by Giles and Chadburn. In the second race Speller was again first to the windward mark closely followed this time by Clarke & Lindley in Team RWO. Both split down the run and met in the same positions at the leeward mark. Another split at the start of the beat saw RWO pull ahead into first place, which they held for two more laps until the finish. Giles had an unusually poor race finishing seventh and losing the overall lead.

Despite Thursday night being another Grand Party night, competitors had to be a little more restrained than usual, as Friday's first start was scheduled for nine o'clock in order that racing could be completed before the spring tide left everyone high dry.

In light and shifty winds a race began after an hours postponement. With Speller & Burridge leading by one point, from Giles and Chadburn, some close tactical racing between the two was in store. A raft at the favoured pin end contained many of the major players. John Caig and Andy Watson starting from the committee boat end gambling on an early veer saw their hunch rewarded and arrived at the windward mark with a comfortable lead from fellow club members Kevin Moore and Peter Hamilton. With places changing continuously throughout the fleet, the best come back was from RWO who started third from last and managed to climb to eleventh. The real interest however was centered on Giles and Chadburn, who by climbing through to fourth place and finishing three places clear of Speller & Burridge, took the overall championship lead by one point. With the wind once more deserting the racecourse and the time fast approaching the midday deadline, racing was abandoned leaving Giles & Chadburn very grateful yet worthy 1999 ISO World Champions.

Thus concluded a very enjoyable week both on and off the water at a very special venue, with special thanks going towards Ronstan who made a substantial contribution to the prizes.

It would appear that prospective ISO World Champions better start flight training immediately since both the first and second Championships have been won by British Airways pilots!

Full Results Here....

ISO Open - Plymouth Final Fling, Mayflower SC (9th & 10th October 1999)

Once again Mayflower sailing club gave careful consideration to the classes based on entries received and on the asymmetric front and split the production and development classes. This led to much relief in the dinghy park at not having to race the cherubs etc, and led to a virtual ISO/Laser 4000 shootout.

Saturday dawned with a 20 knot easterly, combined with a good swell outside the breakwater and the prospects of some exciting sailing.. In the first race Phil Harrison and Hooper in Spinnaker International got a flying start crossing the fleet on port and led the 4000's round the first mark and down the run. Disaster however struck when a slipping Spinnaker Halyard led to a very wet and twisted spinnaker. Dave Rhyeng and Robbie Mcdonald in Artic fox then took up the ISO challenge and following a bit of tweaking with barberhaulers etc pulled back his time to beat the leading 4000 on handicap. Unfortunately Mike Roberts ISO mast parted on the second run, which led to a slow sail back to Mayflower under jib only to watch the England New Zealand game. While Spinnaker International followed suit after Race Two to save their kite anymore punishment! With the wind picking up for Race 2 and 3 the 4000's had the edge picking up and planing upwind and Artic Fox did well to stay in contention with the leading 4000's, only being narrowly beaten by Phantom Menace.

There was much talk in the dinghy park of Artic fox's tremendous upwind speed on Saturday, which the rest of us put down to the temporary crew arranged for him. Certainly the ability to carry wings with a 6'6" crew weighing in at 12 stone may have had something to do with it. Our suspicions further confirmed by David's apparently boundless energy in the festivities that followed. With the majority of the fleet packed away in time to see the second half of the rugby, the afternoon soon turned into the evening with the compulsory beer, curry and memory loss "where did we go then".

Sunday's early start saw a number of crews taking advantage of the large, reasonably priced fried breakfast's at the club, to settle the stomachs for the final three races with the wind now down to a pleasant 15 knots. The previous nights exploits, less wind and no rugby to watch saw the return of Spinnaker International to the fray, gaining line honours over all the 4000's in the second race and rapidly moving up the leader board. Spinnakers recovery despite a bullet in the last race by Artic Fox put them out of contention for the lead and gave the L4000 Phantom Menace a moral victory over the ISO's. It certainly made it interesting racing the 4000's and out of six races, the final score was ISO 3 victories L4000 3 victories, in 15-20 knots, not ideal ISO handicap conditions.

In closing the race management and hospitality by Mayflower SC was superb, with well laid windward/leeward courses, the sailing water is fantastic with flat water to launch from inside the breakwater and superb waves outside. There are a number of clubs capable of holding events in Plymouth if there is the interest within the class. Plymouth has recently seen the opening of the first of the RYA's multi million pound centre of excellence at Mountbatten, with superb facilities and reasonably priced B&B at

ISO Open - Weston SC (31st July & 1st August 1999)

A small band of ISO sailors joined the Buzz/Spice Gala and Blaze Nationals at Weston Sailing Club on Southampton Water over the weekend 31st July/ 1st August.

This weekend proved to be the ideal pre worlds tune-up for three of the chief protagonists (apologies to all the others who think they are in with a chance of winning the Worlds later this month)

Some incredibly close racing was had between Mike Speller and Rob Burridge, Dave Giles crewed by the irrepressible (Darren Gough look alike) Pete Lindley and ISO stalwarts John Caig & Andy Watson.

After an hours postponement, three races were held, in a light and shifty non establishing sea breeze two of which were won by Dave Giles and the last by John Caig. The surprise was that National Champions Speller & Burridge trailed in all three races only scoring a second after Caig fouled Giles in the middle race. In these conditions they seemed to lack their normal boat speed this being confirmed by their exceptionally poor performance in the first race on Sunday when they only just secured third place.

Race five was certainly the best of the weekend. The order at the windward mark was Giles, Speller, Caig, with barely a boat length between them. At the leeward mark once again all three arrived overlapped. On the second lap Caig took a narrow lead whilst Giles dropped to third. On the final lap Caig, with a certain win in the bag, had a spinnaker problem just before the leeward mark and allowed Speller through to win. This result ensured a win for Giles & Lindley leaving Caig & Speller to fight it out for second place in the last race. In an increasing wind, Speller comfortably took this race to show that their speed had not entirely deserted them.

Weston Sailing Club ran the event in an extremely competent manner turning the races round in exceptionally quick time. The only shortcomings being in the "bar opening hours department" which I feel sure can be sorted before next year (after they have read this report) The ISO fleet like a glass or two of the amber nectar after a stressful day on the water.