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Phantom class during the Ovington Inlands at Grafham Water Sailing Club

by Chris Roberts 9 Dec 2017 19:58 GMT 18-19 November 2017
Ovington Inlands 2017 at Grafham Water © Nick Champion /

A very competitive fleet of 17 Phantoms took part in the Ovington Inlands event held at Grafham Water on 18th and 19th November. The class uses this event as their Winter Championships and it was clear that several sailors felt this was their chance to pick up a title, whilst Andy Couch was otherwise engaged.

Saturday saw the strongest winds of the weekend with a good force 4 for the first race and a gradual reduction in the breeze over the course of the day. Four races were sailed back to back on a central course shared with the Flying fifteens and Solutions.

The first race was won by Will Gulliver and with the bit between his teeth he went on to win both the second and third races. Second places went to Nick Orman, Rob Starling and Simon Hawkes. The final race of the day looked like it would be sailed in the lightest winds of the day but fortunately the breeze picked up again and this seemed to suit Hawkes who won from Martin Watts. Nick Orman took an unexpected dip at the leeward mark and sensibly called it a day before freezing to his boat.

An exhausted fleet went their separate ways after racing. Some to an early bed, some to over indulgence at a Northampton Chinese Restaurant - who are apparently reviewing their marketing strategy regarding "All you can Eat" in the light of a visit from the Phantom fleet – whilst those based in Motorhomes made the fatal error of having a few beers before ordering a takeaway to be delivered to the club. No names, but Nick Orman couldn't get anyone in the County to delivery the food he'd ordered. Apparently nobody really noticed did they Paul?

Sunday dawned bright and cold and the fleet again raced over a central course shared by the club fleets, although the wind had shifted overnight and the trapezoidal course was reset accordingly.

A somewhat downcast (or perhaps hungry) Orman required some persuading to "up his game" for the second days racing and the pep talk seemed to work as he bagged two wins and a third place.

Hawkes had won the first race of the day ahead of Steve Curl from Bough Beech and with Gulliver having a less dominating days racing it looked close at the top.

The final results saw Gulliver take the event ahead of Hawkes and Orman. John Wayling who had sailed a very consistent series took fourth ahead of Martin Watts from Netley.

The racing throughout the fleet was exceptionally close and several new helms to the class made their mark. They will clearly be more closely watched in the coming season and are unlikely to receive further tips from the fleet stalwarts from now on!

With Ovington confirming at least 15 orders for new boats it looks like a great year ahead for the class.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7Pts
1st1435Will GulliverNorthampton SC11134-9313
2nd1454Simon HawkesStarcross YC4-92116216
3rd1446Nick OrmanCustler Cove SC239(DNC)31119
4th1346John WaylingNorthampton SC-645452626
5th1259Martin WattsNetlley SC3762-11111039
6th1429Steve CurlBough Beech11-1271024539
7th1170Andy BownesBartley-13641265740
8th1395Chris RobertsCreeksea Sailing Club5-1137810841
9th1329Neville TaylorHunts SC10-1310677444
10th28Paul BirbeckWimbleball SC-128115931147
11th1431Rob StarlingBurghfield82128108(DNC)48
12th1443Phil LongleyStone Sailing Club75891412(DNC)55
13th1406Tom WhittinghamBowmoor-1411141112131273
14th1364Tony CookDowns SC15(DNC)13131514979
15th1318Dave PatrickBroadwater SC-1614161513161387
16th1297Dean GriffithsBowmoor17151514(DNC)15DNC94
17th1414Stephen PoppleShoreham SC9(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC99

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