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Ovington Boats - VX One

Contender Open at Weston Sailing Club

by Carl Tagoe 3 Sep 18:54 BST 25-26 August 2018

One must admire Ed as a person of almost total self-belief, a man of a divine strategy. Well nineteen boats turned up for the usual. Against tide constraints, the race officer had his work cut out to start three fleets of mixed speeds. In addition to this he had to pack in a fourth race. It looked like Sunday was going to have exceptionally inclement weather and correspondingly he brought one race forward.

Race one the wind suited Stuart Jones whose raison d'être is to enjoy; light and shifty conditions! We have suggested counselling, alas to no avail. So eager was he to get to the start line it dawned on him that stern hatches pay a positive role in boat buoyancy. Meantime Ed was working, what would latter turn out to be a pathological tick, along the shore line, which on the laws of averages proved the favored upwind course, except for when it didn't. On the last beat the dice rolled in the other direction and the wind filled in on the left-hand side forcing Ed into second place with Richard franks seizing the opportunity and taking line honors.

The second race Ed's compulsion was starting to pay again, propelling him up into the lead. However, on the last beat the wind filled in on the other side allowing a "water tight Jones "and Tony Brooks to clinch first and second place respectively with Ed dumped into third.

Race three, yes you guessed correct, Jones won it. But looks can be deceiving. It appeared there were two competing strategies for handling the conditions. Hunt the wind and shifts or just plain stay out of the tide and utilize what appeared to be a wind bend. Either way there was not much in it as shown by a very packed fleet at the finishing line.

At the start of the fourth race there were some huge win shifts. With a minute to go one could not cross the line on starboard. This now became wat the call-in military terms crossing the tee. The tee being formed by Ed's boat and Roger White's mid ships. The new comer David Batie decided enough was enough and showed us how it is done and bagged a first with Garry Langdown, another light and shifty man, coming second. Ed and Jones spent their time in purgatory, checking out the talent at the back of the fleet.

Saturday evening the club had organized a RYA rule aficionado. He gave a very informative lecture on the sailing rules, like the finer points of mark rounding, proper course, leeward overlap, tacking in someone's water etc.

On Sunday there was more water in the sky than in the sea. Race 5 started in power sailing mode so there was little chance of implementing our new-found knowledge of the rules, except for Martin Jones who had the misfortune of rule 17 entrapment and got taken a mile of course on the reach by a handicap boat going to a different mark and lost his second place. Thereafter Ed and Carl dominated the race, with Ed only being pipped to the line by Carl's off wind speed. With the easing of the wind Ed won the sixth race and thus by de-facto the series.

The class was very impressed with the professional friendly management of the event. The race officer and his helpers did an excellent and efficient job managing a very complicated meeting. Many thanks to Weston Sailing Club for their hard work.

Next stop is Hayling Island for the Contender National Championship on 7th – 10th September. With 40 boats pre-entered and more expected on the day, this is going to be a great event.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st2572Ed PresleyChew Valley232‑152110
2nd2465Stuart JonesDatchet Water SC‑1811103217
3rd2439Garry LangdownHighcliff‑117325320
4th2607Carl TagoeOxford‑85561623
5th615David BatieWSC66‑1416726
6th2407Richard ButtnerRNSA‑1312637937
7th716Richard FranksWSC14114(DNC)DNC40
8th2496Tony BrooksOxford4298(DNC)DNC43
9th2347Martin JonesWilsonian SC791311(RET)444
10th2661Nick CurryWSC‑171112144546
11th2639Ralph DrewWSC10151012(RET)855
12th2477Chris HoweOxford513417(DNC)DNC59
13th644/2702Chris BoshierThorpe Bay YC19887(DNC)DNC62
14th712Roger WhitsKing George3101518(DNC)DNC66
15th2599Tony CookDowns SC914179(DNC)DNC69
16th589Keith PaulWSC12167(OCS)DNCDNC75
17th1764Mark JacksonWSC1618195(DNC)DNC78
18th710Keith Le PageWSC14171613(RET)DNC80
19th2420Paul KarasThorney Island SC15191816(DNC)DNC88

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