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Virtual Rigger Phantom Nationals at Sunderland Yacht Club

by Simon Childs & John Wayling on 11 Sep 2012 7-10 September 2012

The Phantom fleet headed well north over a long weekend 7th to 10th September for their 'Virtual Rigger' sponsored National Championships at Sunderland Yacht Club. With a decent breeze forecast all weekend it looked to be a cracking event and 49 boats made the trip, some getting into the spirit a little early on Wednesday to warm themselves up.

Day 1 was a breezy one to start with; Will Gulliver led the fleet away only to have a little trouble finding the wing mark which was nearer the leeward mark than expected. As the fleet compressed Chris Turner took the lead and Andy Wilde tested the North Sea temperature, a little chilly. Eventually Simon Childs pulled through to lead from local buoy Chris Turner. Some confusion over the finishing procedure and correct flags to fly meant Childs started the final lap, while the rest of the fleet finished. Redress was awarded and Childs/Turner/Simon Potts rounded out the top 3.

Race 2 started in a moderating breeze, and this time after a big shift on the start meaning many couldn't make the pin "VR" Gulliver led the fleet away to win easily, the fleet soon spread out enjoying some great reaches. Wilde took a safe second; the only late drama was Childs sampling the sea, still chilly, while trying to chase down Nick Orman for third on the last run into the finish, recovering to finish sixth.

So Will "I'm not bothered" Gulliver led the fleet after Day 1.

Day 2 and the forecast breeze failed to appear. The fleet drifted around for a couple of hours before heading in for lunch, and headed out later in the day in a 5-8 knot breeze to try and rescue the 3 races planned. Race 3 was a real tussle at the front. Orman and Childs led initially before Gulliver worked through to lead again. However on the last beat, Childs and Turner escaped to the left while Gulliver and Orman opted right. Childs took the lead, and "SS" Simon Hawkes continued his "catch up" game plan with great pace. On a close last run. Childs held on to win from Hawkes and Gulliver.

Surprisingly the remaining races were canned and the fleet sailed in, in the best conditions of the day with the Race Team unable to set a start line to handle the 40 deg shifts and course to their satisfaction.

Will "I'm now officially bothered" Gulliver led the fleet after Day 2, chasing a first Phantom title, and went to bed early, most of the rest of the fleet emptied the rest of the bar stock, including the "Tramps Toe Nails", "Funny Rum" and "Mad Apple", Andy Wilde tried to mend his broken body (back) and the hard core hit the local hostelries and beaches until the early (or fairly late) hours.

Day 3 looked set for decent winds and the showdown between Gulliver, Childs, Hawkes and Wilde for the 2012 title. In the event the winds were fairly light and fickle. The black flag was in from the start of Race 6, and after a recall and big stack up at the pin end, Gulliver, Turner & Potts being notable casualties. On the restart Childs and Wilde escaped to lead, Webster sneaking in at the windward to round 1st, but Wild's downwind speed allowed him to sail away to win comfortably from Childs and Mike Webster (1/2 Tonn) taking an excellent third.

Race 7 (under the Black flag) was sailed on a very small course in light winds. Childs and Wilde again smashed the start and led round the first mark from Ormon, Wilde came through at the gybe mark, Hawkes was on a catch up mode again and crept into 3rd these 3 held form all the way home to keep Orman & Pots at bay.

This meant that the championship was a 2-way shootout between Wilde and Childs in the last race, with Gulliver having spoilt his chances in the lighter conditions.

The final race (Race 5) started on a biased pin against the tide and black flag. Surprisingly the start was declared clean with boats rafted up on the pin end rib, including Wilde, and Childs in the mix too. As the carnage unravelled Wilde managed to escape through the fleet to the right hand side of the course, while Childs got bounced to the left. Left was looking good until another 25 degree shift on new breeze appeared, and Hawkes led round from Paul "Harken" Davis and Andy Wilde. Childs was in good company round the windward mark in the mid 30's – game over. Wilde continued his day's dominance and pulled through to win from Hawkes with Davis in very good 3rd at his first Phantom Nationals, So the Chocolates went to Wild, giving him his maiden championship win – after a dominant day 3 performance. Made all the more impressive after almost missing the event through a back injury, perhaps he learnt something from Mr Ainslie's affliction...?

The Phantom class would like to thank Sundeland Yacht Club, Galley, Bar & Race Team and our sponsors; Virtual Rigger, Seabrooke Developments & North One Design. No doubt we will be talking for some time about the excellent venue, we are looking forward to next year's event in Shoreham and planning for a record turnout.

Prize Winners:

1st Overall – Andrew Wilde
2nd Overall and 1st Two Score – Simon Childs
3rd Overall – Simon Hawkes
1st Under 21 – Ben Crossdale
1st ½ Tonn – Mike Webster
1st Three Score and 1st "Woody" John Torrence
Endeavour Trophy – Ollie Shaw

Overall Results:
If you finished in the top ten at the Phantom nationals then enter your Gear Guide information here

PosSail NoHelmR1R2R3R6R7R5Pts
11291Andrew Wilde6241119
21376Simon Childs171221113
355Simon Hawkes45253216
41346Will Gulliver313509925
51383Nick Orman738452027
61412Chris Turner1217507440
71248Mike Webster10814314742
81403Simon Potts26175041443
91175John Wayling50413681849
101408James Dawson811914111352
111359Ben Falat1131111061654
121395Chris Roberts1614612121054
131318Paul Davis202355013364
141334Nigel Pybus252410818666
151342Ed Thomas14201511102370
161414Neil Fulcher189127255071
171332Adam Ellery1215509192277
181280George Odling933211531581
191243Paul Lester13172713202184
201349Daren Pike21192217171286
211355Matthew House17122350231994
221128Ben Crossdale30303118158101
231386Nick Mason291318502617103
241064Peter Snowdon502626262915122
251407William McTurk311837253025129
261388Michael Alexander223238242229129
271409Alex Dawson232736273328138
281305Ian Miller241616503550141
291373Tim Harper282935232850143
301275Donald Maclean505028192126144
311320Cliff English263929502724145
321390Richard Sims501020165050146
331144Jason Riby273534203631147
341135Jon Shaw503433223230151
351281Adam Perry335032501627158
361382Philip Worth152519505050159
371111Ollie Shaw323843293432165
381415James Jarvey192225505050166
391381Jeff Vander-Borght505024502450198
401330Duncan Stuart McCorkindale503742285050207
41955John Torrance505041215050212
421270John Bower502840505050218
431404Ian Sullivan505030505050230
441362Phil Longly503644505050230
451312Paul Beasley505039505050239
46785Stephen Brunning505050505050250
461142Ian Judd505050505050250
461162Paul Long505050505050250
461209Simon Clark505050505050250

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