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Phantoms at the Royal Harwich Yacht Club Smugglers Trophy

by Bob Portway 24 Jul 08:23 BST 14-15 July 2018

On numbers alone, this year's Smugglers Trophy was the most successful ever, with 56 dinghies taking to the water to sail in six races over the two days. The club welcomed visitors in all classes, some of whom had travelled across the country to take part.

The hot weather continued and delivered a steady sea breeze on both days from a constant direction, making not only for good sailing but perfect conditions for the spectators ashore to lounge on the lawn.

Racing took place on two courses. PRO Gordon Sutton set courses for the National 12 and Phantom fleets, while RO Tim Archer set courses for the Fireflys, Lasers and handicap fleets.

Phantoms formed a fleet at the Royal Harwich Yacht Clubs Smugglers Trophy event on 14th-15th July. The day was cloud free, with an Easterly breeze as gradient wind, forecast to build to F3. Great sailing weather!

Race 1: Current East Area Champion, Chris Roberts was fast from the start, although Bob Portway and Ben Falat leading the chasing pack, always threatened downwind. Chris defended well and held his lead.

Race 2: Paul Church judged the 1st beat tacks perfectly to open up a useful lead from the usual suspects.

Race 3: Sailed in the best breeze of the day saw Ben Falat using the whole river as the tide turned to build a safe lead and win from fleet new-comer, Chris Yelland, from Frensham.

Race 4: Sunday's racing waited for the tide and wind to rise, leaving time for just two points races. Chris Roberts once again started well and dominated the race, although closely followed again by Portway and Falat.

Race 5: Chris Roberts held a distinct overall advantage after two previous wins. Unfortunately the Black Flag was deployed after a general recall, and Chris was spotted over in his run up to the start, with subsequent DSQ. This left the improving Chris Yelland to dominate the beats, but Bob Portway was faster down-wind. Bob's subsequent win was enough to secure the series.

Overall Results:

1st 1334 Bob Portway, 7pts
2nd 1395 Chris Roberts, 10pts
3rd 1266 Ben Falat, 11pts
4th 1415 Paul Church, 12pts
5th 1275 Chris Yelland, 14pts
6th 1404 Eric Howe, 27pts
7th 1432 Matt House, 29pts
8th 1378 Jon Pulfer, 30pts
9th 1433 Warren Martin, 30pts
10th 1461 Graham Dale-Jones, 31pts
111th Bill Taylor, 40pts

Thanks to: The event organiser Amanda Portway. Race Officers Gordon Sutton and Tim Archer. The recorders and time keepers on board the committee boats. Tim Hunt for producing the results. Safety Boat drivers and crews John Williams/Hugh Williams, David Pearce/Lyn Pearce, Phil Mayhew, Paul Wright/Peter Double. Saturday morning registration Sheila Paterson and Hazel Mayhew. Getting the support boats and equipment ready Bosun Hugh Williams. Bob Portway, Matthew House and Derek Mayhew for car park direction and the bar and galley staff. Also Kathryn and Carly who produced publicity material and arranged the online booking system.

Finally: Thank you the competitors who took part for delivering a fantastic atmosphere and good racing.

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