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Phantom Inland Championship at Northampton Sailing Club

by John Wayling 29 May 2018 21:04 BST 26-27 May 2018

The championship was held over the weekend of 26th & 27th May at Northampton Sailing Club. The forecast for the weekend was for fair winds, lots of sunshine with the threat of the odd thunderstorm.

On the Friday a measurement day was held for sails and boats alike, with the newest being 1461, a JJ Sinker design which makes it easier to right and less likely to invert. The boat performed well during the buoyancy test, righted easily and drained fast. With sails measured and boats weighed, the Friday team, with a partial attendance from the Creeksea Massive, set off the local curry house to refuel ready for the following day's forecast which was gradually building.

Saturday arrived with plently of breeze coming straight down the lake. The threat of the wind swinging east didn't materialize, but it did build from the F3 to F4 during the day.

Race 1

The PRO Neil Pitcher had set a trapezoid course around the large inflatable buoys 1,2,3,4 all to port. A nice long beat, a reach and good true run proceeding to a broad reach to the leeward mark and posted for 4 laps. The first horn of the Championships sounded and the 19 sailors lined up in preparation for the start, with the line set true the start was clean and Andy Couch soon made it clear about his intentions, he was off up the beat like a "scolded cat" or was it the fact the Phantom is so much easier than the Finn?! The battle was close for the honour of getting round the top 1st and Ian Stone just managed to take the privilege along with being officially the tallest Phantom sailor displacing our Chair my Longley. Once round the top mark Andy eased out a good lead and the battle for the top 5 spot commenced. Ian held onto 2nd and Will Gulliver fought hard to get into 3rd, just holding off Alister Morley in 4th and John Wayling in 5th.

Race 2

Using the same course the start was quickly turned round and the battle to hunt down Andy commenced again. With the chase on Will managed to scrape through to second with Ian dropping to 3rd and Nick Orman climbing up to 4th once he had remembered he was now pond sailing with very small lumps. John came through in 5th with the worry of writing the report already looming.

The fleet sailed in for a well-deserved lunch and to discuss when John's wood wind shift would start working!

Race 3

With the breeze building, a slight course adjustment was made to give a tighter top reach, longer run and another short blast to the leeward mark. The order changed as Nick must have had some sugar for lunch but the fleet were also closing in on Andy with the finishing order, Andy, Nick, Ian, Will and surprise surprise myself in 5th.

Race 4

With everyone keen to get away (the bar was open) and a small shift just before the start, the gun went but was followed by too hoots and we all returned to do it again. Neil held his cool and kept with the Blue Peter and the second start was clean. The battle at the front was getting a lot tighter and the distances gained were small. Several place changes driven by the wind flicking east made a game of Snakes and Ladders but the finish order was similar; Andy, Will, Nick, John and Jim Hopton gaining a well-earned 5th.

With 4 hard races completed the fleet retired to the clubhouse and a well-deserved pint and an excellent evening meal provide by Elaine in the Galley.

Sunday morning arrived with a little less wind but not much less. The threat of thunderstorms had the race team on their toes to get completed but they had the abandon flags ready to hand.

Race 5

Started clean and with the lighter breeze the thought that the order would change did not materialize, the wind had more shifts, so the gains and losses could be big but the fleet picked their way through them and the finishing order was all too familiar with Andy, Will, Ian, Nick and Myself taking the top five.

Race 6

Smartly away and the pond sailors were coming good, Andy decided to sit out the last lap to be first in the showers, the top five had a shake up and the order changed with the puddle sailors finding their way around the shifts and the final race order was Will, Ian, Jim, Richard Simms and Nick. We came off the water with the sun shining, wind blowing and no sign of the thunderstorms which did arrive much later to flood some areas of Northampton town.

The prize giving was held promptly and the thank you's were made.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoatHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st1456 Andy CouchLeigh & Lowton SC11111(RET)5
2nd1435 Will GulliverNorthampton SC32‑422110
3rd1280SpooksIan StoneMaidenhead SC233(RET)3213
4th1446 Nick OrmanCastle Cove SC‑84234518
5th1346MaudJohn WaylingNorthampton SC55545‑624
6th1459 Alister MorleySalcombe YC478‑126833
7th1400Spotty DogJim HoptonShustoke SC9895‑10334
8th1405TessNigel PybusNorthampton SC6(RET)1377740
9th1447 Richard SimsCarsington SC1010‑11108442
10th1347The ApprenticeChris BiglinShustoke & Staunton Harold7678(DNC)DNC48
11th1343 Olly HopkinsBowmoor SC15121069(DNC)52
12th1443Spanish InquisitionPhil LongleyStone SC‑1311121111954
13th1266GherkinBen FalatWaveney & Oulton Broad YC11969(DNC)DNC55
14th1430OswaldGordon Kingston‑MinnisLee‑On‑Solent SC121314RET13(DNC)66
15th1404Well EeledEric HoweCreeksea SC1415151312(DNC)69
16th1184The EndGraham Dale‑JonesCreeksea SC16(RET)16RET151071
17th1244 Bill TaylorCreeksea SCRET14RET(DNC)14DNC85
18th1233Pink DjinnPete SarbuttCreeksea SC1817RETRET(DNC)DNC87
19th1111BarcodeB WebleyShustoke SC171617(DNC)DNCDNC90

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