The Icicle Trophy 2014 took place at Coalhouse Fort on Sunday 7th December 2014 on a day with mixed conditions. As skippers arrived at the lake it was overcast and with a strong wind straight up and down the lake primarily from the south. However, by the time the first race was due to start it had already veered round to the south west as promised, but stayed relatively strong at about 16 mph. As the day progressed, so the wind veered even further round to the west eventually ending up from the North West by lunch time, such that the morning course at the south end of the lake had to be changed after lunch to the North end of the lake – both courses consisting of two roundings of a triangle.
The morning races all went fine with all skippers behaving impeccably and doing their penalty turns without question. Trevor Binks had a problem with his jib uplift breaking in Race 2 forcing him into last place, but very quickly repaired the boat to win the next ‘B’ heat and thereby regain his position in the ‘A’ heat and go on to win it. The only off-lake event was a redress hearing involving John Torrance and Barry Jarvis due to an entanglement, the latter accepting responsibility for the incident and retiring without protest. The redress committee consisting of Graham Bantock, Phil Playle and Barry Raven agreed to the redress, awarding John average points for his ‘A’ heat places up to that point, as the incident had occurred in an ‘A’ heat.
John Richmond was the first skipper to change down to No. 2 suit due to the wind strength and seemed to have made a good choice by coming second in the ‘B’ Heat of Race 4. It was at this point a short lunch break was taken with, Ken Binks from Eastbourne already starting to show his skill, closely followed by brother Trevor and Mark Dennis in third.
During the lunch break the, course was changed to the North end of the lake and unfortunately for John Richmond and John Torrance, who had taken the opportunity to also change down to No. 2 suit, the wind had dropped in strength. As a consequence in the ‘A’ heat of Race 4 both skippers finished at the back of the fleet. However, with a quick change back to No.1 suit, John Torrance managed to get back into the ‘A’ heat but John Richmond just failed by coming fifth.
As the wind strength increased again and with a very brief shower, followed by bright sunshine, apart from a small blip in race 6 Ken Binks continued to dominate the event with brother Trevor tracking him all the way.
Two other skippers had problems that adversely affected their performance on the day, namely, Vernon Appleton (Coalhouse) who had a winch sheeting issue which he managed to recover from, and John Jones (Lee Valley) who had to retire completely due to water ingress into his receiver.
A few new skippers to the District scene showed some good sailing with Glenn Meekcoms, from Southend managing to stay in the ‘A’ heat for several races and finishing in the top ten. Angela Mears (Southend) also managed two appearances in the ‘A’ heat together with Andy Thompson (Southend) and Graham Brooker (Coalhouse) both managing an ‘A’ heat appearance – well done.
At the end of the day Ken Binks was the overall winner taking the Icicle Trophy, with Trevor Binks second and Mark Dennis beating Graham Bantock into third, by virtue of the count-back process.
|5||Colin Goodman||33||Coalhouse Fort||Goth Evo 3||27.0||3.0||6.0||8.0||3.0||8.0||4.0||3.0|
|8||Vernon Appleton||36||Coalhouse Fort||Goth MX7||39.0||3.0||5.0||5.0||4.0||14.0||23.0||8.0|
|14||Ray Bland||54||Coalhouse Fort||Arrival||69.0||10.0||19.0||10.0||10.0||10.0||13.0||16.0|
|15||Rick Buxton||41||Harwich & D||Goth MX14||75.0||7.0||15.0||15.0||20.0||19.0||8.0||11.0|
|17||Henry Farley||97||Lee Valley||Italiko||93.0||11.0||18.0||22.0||17.0||16.0||16.0||15.0|
|19||Andy Thompson||34||Southend||Lintel MMX||97.0||8.0||17.0||18.0||14.0||20.0||20.0||21.0|
|20||Rodney Latham||63||Lee Valley||Italiko||101.0||9.0||21.0||20.0||15.0||17.0||23.0||19.0|
|21||Graham Brooker||181||Coalhouse Fort||Tonic||103.0||11.0||22.0||21.0||18.0||21.0||17.0||15.0|
|22||Simon Liddell||183||Lee Valley||Tonic||116.0||12.0||23.0||24.0||22.0||18.0||19.0||22.0|
|23||John Jones||03||Lee Valley||Italiko||117.0||10.0||16.0||19.0||24.0||24.0||24.0||24.0|
With a change of format, the last two races were raced as two finals, with the fleet being split into two – the top ten skippers going into the ‘A’ Final and the remainder going into the ‘B’ Final, with the top three in each final receiving a prize.
The top three of the ‘B’ Final were, George Beacroft in first place, followed by Barry Jarvis second and Angela Mears third.
The top three in the ‘A’ Final were, Trevor Binks first, followed by Phil Playle second and Colin Goodman third.
Finally, Race Officers, John Newton and Malcolm Schaffer would like to thank all skippers who participated in the event for being well behaved with no shouting or bullying.
Report and Photos by John Newton