Please select your home edition
Edition
Nautical ID 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Contender Open Meeting at Hythe and Saltwood Sailing Club

by Adrian & Rob Smith 21 May 2015 19:31 BST 17 May 2015
Contender open meeting at Hythe and Saltwood in 2015 © Mark Steeple

"It's not normally like this here!" was the refrain from the locals, heard by the small but perfectly formed fleet of Contenders who visited Hythe & Saltwood Sailing Club for a one-day open meeting on Sunday 17th May.

A cliché it may be - but also true, as the highly unstable wind (both in direction and strength) which greeted sailors on the Sunday (and which had bedevilled the Snipe sailors throughout the Saturday, for the first day of their open meeting) is mercifully rare for HSSC.

Setting a workable course was highly challenging for "Team Dodds" (Barry and Simon) in the race box and perhaps even more so for those on the water tasked with laying the marks – namely, the team of members manning the HSSC safety boats, along with Rob and Mac Purvis from Redoubt SC who kindly assisted all weekend in their "pocket rocket" of a RIB.

For the first race, the wind was flicking about wildly and the fleet split between those like Adrian Smith, who attempted to head left, anticipating the wind to fill in first out to sea, against those who headed along the shore to dodge some of the strong tide. With the wind contriving to die to almost nothing at the start and to shift left at that very moment, those inshore – notably Peter Noble from Broadstairs and HSSC local Tom Coley – won out.

That said, with the wind very light throughout the first leg, the positions were still very tight by the first mark with Tony Cook and Alan Mollatt from Downs and Rob Smith from Castle Cove all vying for position with the others.

Together with tide judgement, the race had a bit of everything including swinging direction as the breeze gradually came in shifting lumps. Peter managed to hold his lead throughout, with constant place changing in the tight battle behind. Both Smiths chucked some turns practice in for good measure! Although the forecast for the day was for the wind to build a little, not far through the first lap the breeze settled in from SSW and continued to build to 15+ knots by the finish.

With the course layout now (unavoidably) sub-optimal, those most able to power through the building lumpy seas on a close reach/fetch and to hang on down the waves on the broader legs won out. Peter Noble did well to hold onto his lead, from the challenge of "big boys" Tom and Tony, who filled the next two places – Tony having just got past Adrian on the final leg.

The wait for Snipes & club racers finishing, and substantial course re-setting, gave the breeze and swell time to build further, so that 18-20 knots provided a good blast for the successful port tack starters. Despite a decoy overstand to retain the gap to Tony (actually looking for the mark !), Rob Smith led round mark 1 and held this for 3 laps despite the ever closer attention of Tom who was gaining every upwind leg.

Unnecessary fiddling on the 2nd run led to a big turtle for Rob, racing being close enough that everyone else also got through. Now at 20+ knots with the famous Hythe waves - Tom held his gap and Adrian sped downwind but again couldn't quite hold Tony off on the final fetch to the line, with Rob getting back to 4th and Mol beating Peter for 5th place.

Coming in for lunch before 2 more races had been the plan (and an appealing one for those who had under-dressed for the eventual conditions), but after some "exciting" landings (thankfully no damage to speak of) the consensus was that with the breeze continuing to build further and the tide still dropping, the shorebreak would be best avoided to save any recovery drama. So a more relaxed lunch and early showers were the order of the day.

Results:

1st Tom Coley – Hythe & Saltwood
2nd Tony Cook – Downs
3rd Peter Noble – Broadstairs
4th Adrian Smith - Hythe & Saltwood
5th Rob Smith – Castle Cove
6th Alan Mollatt – Downs

Related Articles

Allen Contender Open at Weston
Wall-to-wall sunshine and a strong home fleet Weston Sailing Club, with its rich, creamy Contender history is always solid venue to bank some good racing. The local fleet are hard to beat in the fickle waters and trying to do so is enormous fun. Posted on 17 Jun
Allen Contender Open at Castle Cove
The right factors come together for second round of travellers trophy What percentage chance would you give the confluence of all the right factors coming together to make an epic open meeting, in this strangest of seasons? Posted on 1 Jun
Allen Contender Travellers Round 1 at Datchet
A small but perfectly formed fleet enjoy 3 races Round One of the Allen Sponsored Contender Travellers circuit was held at Datchet Water SC on 16th May 2021. This was a rerun of the cancelled flat calm attempt from a few weeks previously. Posted on 17 May
Allen sponsor 2021 Contender Travellers Trophy
Fast becoming the primary hardware supplier of the class The British Contender Class Association is pleased to announce it has eight TT events planned for 2021 and, as a first for this season, the full circuit will be sponsored by Allen. Posted on 19 Apr
Jack Knights - Witty Wise Man
Sailing lost the sailor, innovator, journalist 40 years ago 40 years ago in early January, the sport of sailing lost one of its keenest and most observant commentators, when the UK magazine 'Yachts & Yachting' columnist Jack Knights died suddenly at just 51 years of age. Posted on 7 Jan
Contender Inlands at Oxford
The Oxford Team went to great lengths to enable the event The 2020 Contender Inlands Championship was hosted by Oxford Sailing Club over the weekend of the 24th/25th October 2020. The Contenders shared the weekend with the RS700 Class, both classes having their own class starts. Posted on 29 Oct 2020
Crafty Keith - The definition of 'Legend'
Contender and 505 World Champion gracefully retires To describe someone as a 'legend' means that they really have to special, across a number of disciplines and a protracted period of time. One man who is special enough to be worthy of that term 'legend' is Weston SC's Keith Paul. Posted on 15 Sep 2020
Contender Invitational at Weston
Race 3 was not the way to treat a legend on his final hurrah After a six month enforced layoff (for reasons now too chewed-over to even mention without the risk accidental boredom coma) the Contender class gratefully accepted the call from one of history's fabled Contender strongholds: Weston Sailing Club. Posted on 11 Sep 2020
Kieler Woche day 4 dinghy report
New record set by Wolfgang Hunger winning 23rd title Expected triumphs, exciting battles for the title and surprising changes: The final day of the first half of the Kieler Woche once again offered all the variations of decision making in the ten international classes. Posted on 9 Sep 2020
Kieler Woche day 3 dinghy report
Polish youngsters dominate in the 420 The Kieler Woche can head for the end of the first half in a very relaxed manner. After another "beautiful day on the water", as regatta organizer Dirk Ramhorst described it, a full programme is already on schedule. Posted on 8 Sep 2020