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Contender Open at Eastbourne Sovereign Sailing Club

by Peter Dives 26 Sep 2017 19:24 BST 23-24 September 2017
The fleet start during the Eastbourne Contender Open © Ben Daigneault

Over the weekend of 23/24 September the Contenders returned to Eastbourne Sovereign Sailing Club on the Sunshine Coast at Eastbourne for round 8 of their National Travellers trophy.

The 12 visitors and 3 home boats were greeted with a warm sunny day, a steady southerly breeze of 7/8 knots and strong tide which would be a constant factor throughout the meeting.

Race Officer Mick Whitmore got the first race off on time but too many anticipated the start so, after a recall, the black flag was used and remained in use for the rest of the weekend. Carl Tagoe lead for the first lap but was overtaken by Adrian Smith, Peter Noble got past Peter Dives to take third place with Tony Burton, making one of his rare appearances, in fifth.

Race 2 started promptly with the black flag ensuring a clean start. The wind had decreased slightly and the tide was now on the ebb. Tony Cook made it to the windward mark first proving that big boys can make it to the front in light winds. Carl was just behind followed by James Spikesley and Peter N. Adrian recovered from a poor start to win again and James overtook Carl for second, Tony held onto third but Carl dropped to fourth. It was starting to look good for Adrian with two wins.

Race 3 started in similar conditions. Peter D led until the final leeward mark when Carl got through and then covered him resulting in the loss of another place to Adrian.

The fleet enjoyed a convivial meal in the clubhouse. Adrian was presented with Peter's Pot which is awarded to the overnight leader. Carl was in second place followed by Peter D and then Peter N.

There was more wind for Sunday, now over 10 knots so the "free pumping flag" was hoisted and stayed up for the day.

Carl won the first race (Race 4) leading from start to finish, followed home by Adrian then Peter N and Peter D. It was clearly going to be close between Carl and Adrian.

In Race 5 Tony and Peter D came into the windward mark from the left-hand side. Tony overstood slightly allowing Peter D to tack beneath him and round first and lead for the first lap until Carl passed him and then went on to win. Peter N was second ahead of Adrian with Nick Curry fourth and Peter D fifth.

With Carl now just one point ahead of Adrian it was all to play for going into the final race. With a port biased line a port tack start was possible – but was it worth the risk. Adrian thought so but Tony was guarding the pin and there wasn't a gap resulting in a 720 for Adrian who now had a lot to do. This was James's race. He lead from start to finish followed home by Carl, then Peter N. Adrian recovered from his disastrous start to finish fourth followed by Brian Whitmey, having his best result of the weekend, in fifth.

When to points were added up Carl won by just 2 points from Adrian. Peter N was third and Peter D fourth. Carl thanked Mick Whitmore and his race team for two day of excellent close racing and the Club for their hospitality.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st2607Carl TagoeOxford S.C2‑411127
2nd2203Adrian SmithHythe + Saltwood S.C11223‑49
3rd691Peter NobleBroadstairs36‑1132317
4th2505Peter DivesESSC47345(DNF)23
5th630James SpikesleyNetley S.C1025‑127125
6th613Tony BurtonKing George S.C5567‑11629
7th2496Tony BrooksOxford S.C8‑12459834
8th639Brian WhitoneyESSC7‑9988537
9th2522Chris BoshierThorpe Bay Y.C1211866(DNF)43
10th2599Tony CookDowns S.C133713(DNF)1046
11th2661Nick CurryWeston S.C‑151513104749
12th712Rodger WhiteKing George S.C61012‑1412949
13th2407Richard ButtnerRNSA914‑159101153
14th2572Ed PresleyCatswold S.C11810(DNC)DNCDNC61
15th704Colin GatesESSC‑14131411131263

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