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Contenders at Weston Sailing Club' WOSH 2017

by Mike Murley on 17 Aug 12-13 August 2017

21 Contenders met at the Weston Open for Single Handers as part of the BSC Travellers Series. Some notable Contender glitterati were missing, choosing to stay at home licking their wounds after the recent Contender Worlds in Denmark. But ex-World Champion, Simon Mussell was there, together with Gaz, back on the horse as they say, getting ready for the next Worlds which is only in 6 months time in Australia.

So to the racing. Nice breeze on Saturday, 10-15 knots but from a difficult direction straight through the cruise liners on the docks at Southampton. Made for some interesting sailing with Gaz sporting a "Weston burgee" (muddy masthead) after a capsize in race 1. Simon Mussell showed the way home in the strongest breeze of the day, with loads of place changes just behind. Stu Jones managed 2nd and Chris Bosh 3rd.

Gaz got his own back in race 2, taking the win with Simon having to make do with 2nd and Mike Murley-Hughes 3rd.

Another different winner for race 3 was class secretary Tony Brooks with the first of his 2 race wins for the weekend, transferring his cunning skills from Oxford SC to the equally tricky Southampton Water. He was followed home by the equally sly foxes Stu and Gaz.

PRO Paul Howard was doing a fantastic job of starting the next race almost as the last boat finished, so despite complaints from the slightly lazy fleet we started a 4th race! This time Mike took the win from fellow Weston sailor Richard Franks. It has to be said there was more than a hint of luck as a lovely shift lifted these two over the race leaders and also helped cunning Tony into 3rd.

In the evening we were treated to a lecture from Weston member and Associate Professor in something to do with boats, Ron Price. Apparently there's something called cavitation and something else which causes all sorts of nasty things to slow you down and if you're a moth sailor it can even cause you to crash quite spectacularly. Just as well Contenders don't need appendages.

Sunday was a lot calmer and with the slightly late start due to tide we only managed another 3 races, thank goodness. Gaz, Rich and Tony were 1, 2, 3 in race 5. Another Weston sailor and B14 legend Mark Watts showed he's ever improving in his Contender and won race 6, having lead race 5 but been OCS. Rich was 2nd again. 3rd place was judged to be a tie between Stu and a real Contender legend, Keith Paul.

Last race... phew. Tony won again with Stu 2nd and Keith 3rd again.

To the prize giving and this is where it got weird although we should have predicted it. After starting Sunday looking like it would be a race between Gaz, Murley-Hughes, Mussell and Franks, it actually turned out that Stu Jones sneaked in yet again, giving rise to his regular quip, "How did that happen?".

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7Pts
1st2465Stuart JonesDatchet Water SC2525‑63.5219.5
2nd2496Tony BrooksOxford7‑111337122
3rd2439Gary LangdoonHighcliffe813415‑1022
4th716Richard FranksWSC576222‑924
5th2619Nike Morley‑HughesWSC63‑9176730
6th2511Mark WattsWSC9688(OCS)1537
7th2522Chris BoshierThorp Bay Yacht Club34‑1510514844
8th589Keith PaulWSC1210‑149113.5348.5
9th2420Simon MussellHighcliffe1241313(DNC)DNC55
10th2661Nike CurryWSC11912.512411‑1359.5
11th625Fiona CollinsNetley SC171310‑18910665
12th678Thomas HootonBurton SC4856(DNC)DNCDNC67
13th2477Chris HoweOxford151511‑16891169
14th2599Tony CookDowns SC1314‑16141412471
15th666Bill HootonBurton Sailing Club101277(DNC)DNCDNC80
16th710Keith Le PageGuernsey Yacht Club‑1816171710131588
17th2639Ralph DrewWSC1417‑181516151491
18th673Dennis FisherWSC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC15812101
19th2449Robert SmithCastle Cove(DNF)DNC12.51112DNCDNC101.5
20th2210Richard VincentWSC16(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC126
21st2588Jerermy BlaydesWSC(RET)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC132

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