Dale and Cole win final event in the 2004 FD calendar
The Flying Dutchman Midland area championship is the last event in the FD Calendar for 2004. With the UK Travellers Trophy also hanging in the balance, this weekend’ event at Rutland was always going to be a hotly contested event and certainly didn’t disappoint.
The first race was a hotly contested affair in a moderating breeze. David Wilkins and Mark Van der Pol, Toby Dale and James Cole and Peter Doran and Richard Phillips, had fantastic battle with the three boats appearing to be joined by a piece of string. The race was eventually won by Wilkins & Van der Pol despite a late charge from Dale & Cole finishing less than five seconds behind. Doran & Phillips crossed the line to take third.
The second race was won half way up the first beat. Doran & Phillips took a commanding lead having picked up the perfect shift on the left-hand side and were never close to being caught despite another late charge by Dale & Cole. Julian Bridges and Corin Westerly took a comfortable third.
With the breeze dropping to virtually nothing and heavy rain falling, the race officer made the popular decision to abandon the last race of the day and sent the fleet home. A quick AGM was followed by a three-course dinner in the club with Birthday cake for everyone as the FD fleet was celebrating a members 30th Birthday.
Sunday morning was dry with a light breeze blowing. However, in a reversal to the day before, this built throughout the day to provide fantastic conditions for all the races.
The first race of the day saw Wilkins & Van der Pol and Dale & Cole once more going at it hammer and tongs and these two opened up a comfortable lead over the fleet. Wilkins & Van der Pol finally managed to get in front and defended hard for the last lap. Doran & Phillips were third keeping up the pressure having been overnight leaders.
After a general recall as the fleet showed their enthusiasm to for the conditions, race four again saw Dale & Cole and Wilkins & Van der Pol get clean away. Both boats were obviously reveling in the increasing breeze. This time having got in front at the start, Dale and Cole defended hard for the entire race and finally took the gun. Tony Lyall and Colin Burns were third having got away from the chasing pack. A capsize saw Doran and Phillips drop out of the running for over all honours.
Going into the final race the title race was wide open with Wilkins & Van de Pol leading by one point from Dale & Cole. A clean start at the pin end allowed Dale & Cole to get their nose in front at the first mark. From there they covered every move of Wilkins & Van der Pol not allowing them any space to attack to finally take the gun and the event. Wilkins & Van der Pol were second and so took second place overall as well.