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Contender Travellers' Series Round 3 at Castle Cove Sailing Club

by Ed Presley 12 May 14:10 BST 27-28 April 2019
Castle Cove Sailing Club Contender Open © Richard Bowers

After two rounds of tricky inland events, a return to Castle Cove for the Contenders came like a cool towel on a fevered brow.

It has been three years since the fleet enjoyed Portland harbour and the anticipation of great racing saw boats turning out for a first day that would clearly be called off in favour of not dying in Storm Hannah. Still there was plenty of premier league boat prepping and sail measurement to fill the time until the bar opened. No one can waste time like a sailor in the wrong type of wind.

Come Sunday conditions were perfect, albeit from a tough direction. The plan was to get 4 races in back to back with no discard. 28 contenders turned out and we were off.

The rustiness of the first sea event was telling as a few boats pushed too hard at the pin end at the start of the first race and had go back. Simon Mussell got onto port early and picked up a lift to rocket into the lead upwind. This looked rosy until he hooked into a header at the top end that also looked good, except no one else was in it, that and having to do a 180 degree tack left him back in the pack. Flying in on port Graham Scott and Gary Langdown lead with Ed Presley an Nick Noble following. Gary and Graham tustled using their legendary down wind speed but Ed was able to get through Gary upwind. Graham finished strongly to win, Ed second, Gary third.

Race two kicked off in the same way but with the yotters slightly closer to the boat end. Those going hard left felt good and made it count. Ed Presley and Richard batten rounded 1 and 2 with Ed pulling away on the most excellent screaming reach. These two battled until the last run where Graham Scott sailed from 7th into 3rd, frightening the rest of us humans. Ed still won though; get in.

After a couple of years of mediocrity Simon Mussell has decided to get good again, he has painted his boat so it is no longer the colour of nicotine stained teeth and he is stopping the fits of petulance and DNFs, this dedication was rewarded by a win in race 3. Almost a horizon job, blimey he can shift upwind. Graham moved into 2nd from nowhere on the run, again.

The final race was a titanic epic of a throw down. The wind was fluctuating and moving a lot and this this meant that the start was meaningless with the pin and left (classic move) generally paying. A pack of boats including Richard Franks and Nick Noble made this move look good, but it was the flying Martin Jones coming in from the right in a spanking new Hartley who was miles ahead. The race unfolded behind Martins lonely lead with Scott, Presley, Noble and even a lesser spotted Stuart Jones fighting in a brilliant tactical joust.

By the last beat the wind had died and anyone could win. Nick Noble banked on a late left lane and looked great but sailed into nothing. Leaving Jones, Jones, Scott and Presley to hope for divine luck. Ed Presley nicked it but 20 yards from Graham.

This interesting stuff meant that Graham's consistency and the lack of discards had trumped Ed's brace of wins.

An absolute triumph of an event, great racing in a great class, thanks must go to the Smiths and Castle Cove for the hospitality, special mention to Rob Smith who kindly capsized on the line leaving a handy gap to leeward for the author in the last race. Of course 4th place writes the report but unfortunately that was Mussell, so here we are. Thanks.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1720WavelengthGraham ScottRYA13228
22708Rebel ScamJo PresleyCVLSC21519
32618Mamma MiaNick NobleBCYC544316
42420 Simon MussellHighcliffe461718
52706 Stuart JonesDatchet Water SC6531024
6678Willy do itTom HootonRYA81010937
72709Bright MileMark WattsWeston SC7206538
8716 Richard FranksRYA9881338
92449Red TedRob SmithCCSC131271143
102263Chi Chi Charli BobbinsRichard BattenMudeford162111746
112439 Gary LangdonHighcliffe379DNC48
122714Thunderbird 2Martin JonesWilsonian SC112212449
13559 Paul RossShotley SC171116650
142704 Mark HartleyBlighfield SC14919850
152511 Iain HorlockExe SC1014131451
162491 Graeme WillcoxNetley Sailing Club1513151255
172718 Peter NobleBSC1224141666
182661Hurry CurryNick CurryWeston SC1815231571
19705Pickled DorisJames SpikesbyNetley Sailing Club191717DNC82
202703CelesteFiona CollinsNetley Sailing Club2121211982
21629Shark BaitBen HawkesCCSC2516241883
222707 Paul KarasRYA2323222088
232203 Adrian SmithHythe and Satltwood SC241818DNC89
242477Rabbiting OnChris HoweOxford SC221920DNC90
252702Essex RiggingChris BoshingThorpe Bay Yacht Club20DNSDNCDNC107
262359 Graham CooperBOASC2625DNFRET109
27=2314 Rodger WhiteKing George SCDNCDNSDNCDNC116
27=2711 William GouldCarsington Sailing ClubDNFDNSDNCDNC116

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