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Allen Bros Phantom National Championship - Runners and Riders

by Chris Roberts 1 Sep 2018 13:39 BST 7-9 September 2018
Phantom Nationals at Highcliffe day 2 © Sarah Desjonqueres

The forthcoming Phantom Class National Championships is being run over the 7th to 9th September at Felixstowe Ferry Sailing Club in Suffolk.

Support has been secured from Allen Brothers as lead sponsors offering all competitors a tee shirt and their latest catalogue on entry and they have provided a number of their innovation Aerovane wind indicators as prizes. Additional sponsors include Pinnell & Bax, Exe Sails, Ovington Boats, Vicky's Embroidery Services and Coast Water Sports who have also been generous in their support.

Local brewery Adnams will be ensuring that the club bar is well stocked and will be proving a free sample of their Ghost Ship beer to all competitors at the end of each days racing. A better partnership with the Ghost Ship Class is hard to imagine!

With a dedicated media support team proving up to the minute reporting and race coverage including drone footage this years Championship is going to be a must do event for all Phantom sailors.

So who is in contention for the title this year?

Andy Couch

A multiple Champion and a class stalwart Andy will be looking to defend his title after an epic battle with Harry Briddon last year at Highcliffe.

Harry Briddon

Unlucky not to have at least two titles under his belt Harry will be fighting hard to claim the championship this year.

Will Gulliver

Vast experience and superb upwind technique mean that past champion Will is still one for the "young guns" to watch. The short chop expected at Felixstowe may suit his technique honed at Northampton sailing club.

John Wayling

Tuning partner to Will Gulliver at Northampton Sailing Club "Titch" is always in the running and could be this years Dark Horse.

Nick Orman

Weymouth's darling has been putting time in tuning with Simon Hawkes and has put in some great results. Two wins in the final races of the Winter Championships showed just what he's capable of if he puts his mind to it.

Ian Stone

After an unfortunate problem with his boat at last years Championship Ian was unable to fulfil his true potential and this year should see him do better if he can put a full series together. The Eastern Series Travellers have seen his potential and have been impressed from day one by this modest young man.

Bob Portway

Currently leading the Eastern Series and looking unassailable Bob has had several Open Meeting wins and has just won the East Coast Championships at a windy Burnham Week. Sailing from RHYC just down the coast and having sailed in multiple class Championships at FFSC this could be the year for him to truly make his mark in the class.

Ben Falat

Ben has been snapping at Bob's heals all season and his vast championship experience could pay dividends. North Sea conditions are likely to feel very comfortable for Ben who sails from Great Yarmouth and Gorleston during the summer months.

Tyler Harmsworth

A very welcome return to the class in a borrowed boat may well see Tyler looking for the spinnaker halyard at the windward mark! Another past Champion with form at sea sailing Tyler could be up there with the front runners if he remembers how to hike.

Richard Cumberbatch

Another up and coming sailor developing new sails with Moatt sails in Weymouth, Richard could do well on the East Coast if he can find his bearings!

Alistair Morley

Key player in the growing Salcombe based fleet Alistair has shown great potential and if conditions suit him he could be one to watch.

Nick Mason

If rumours are true his boat will be in pristine condition after attention by James Jarvey of JJ Boats. A little rusty at the moment, a strong wind championship may suit him well.

Paul Birbeck

Wimbleball sailor Paul has been working hard on his technique and his guru Simon Hawkes says he has great potential this year. Will he avoid being nobbled in the after racing events though?

Steve Bolland

Back in a Phantom again it is a well return to the class for RS300 sailor Steve. As a former Lark sailor he will be familiar with Felixstowe Ferry and with a hot borrowed boat he might just show the established class sailors how it's done "300 style".

Late entries

With the confirmed entry now close to 50 boats there are still a number of sailors expected to enter at the last minute by visiting the class website: www.phantomclass.org.uk/events/phantom-national-2018-online-entry

Whilst the class does attract serious competition it revels in it's reputation for being all inclusive. A "buddy system" will see top sailors paired up with less experienced sailors with the aim of developing technique and addressing any boat tuning issues that may help improve performance. Coaching of this sort has the benefit of being class specific and experience shared is invaluable.

As is the class tradition prizes which cover the entire fleet with everyone having a chance to win, with some star prizes being available including a half price sail from P&B, Allen products and chandlery vouchers. Individual prizes will also extend through the fleet for all sailed races on an as yet secret position basis.

A new feature this year will be an opportunity for a Phantom boat jumble with sailors being invited to offer surplus Phantom specific equipment for sale with a small percentage commission being donated to the RNLI.

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