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Contender open meeting at Filey Sailing Club

by Neil Ferguson 5 Jul 2019 14:34 BST

Due to Halifax SC being drained for repairs a new venue was urgently needed. Filey SC kindly accepted us to join in their regatta. With camping at the top of the cliff and the bar open, many boats arrived the night before to rig early and even go for a quick play in the great conditions. Then pizza and a pint in the great clubhouse. Much had changed since our last Nationals here but great to see the photos still proudly displayed.

Next morning lighter winds greeted the twelve travellers and with winds over the cliff. Even though you could see everyone out there trapezing, Neil still needed the stuffer as on oar to get out of the calm.

But once out in the bay a nice breeze meant it was going to be close racing. The club organised three race areas; windward-leeward, P, and youth.

Given we were the first start of six on the P fleet course, we had a nice clean beat out to sea flat-wiring, this was followed by two decent reaches and a run to put us nearly back into the light stuff nearer the beach, so something for everyone. Lapping around into other starts added to the complexity and gave lots opportunities to gain.

Hartley, Somner, Shappi, Bonezzi, and both Mark 2 and Mark 1 (30+ year old) Rondars build were all present, showing how well the class has adapted over the years while maintaining close racing because, with well maintained older boats still competitive.

Race 1 had Tom Hooton lead initially but was caught and overhauled by Ed Presley to win.

Race 2 Ed he slipped down to fifth after mounting the windward mark in the tide, handing Nick Noble and Tom a battle to the end with Thomas coming out on top.

By race 3 we were now on our own in less wind than a Contenders form requires. Roger White in his old Rondar was showing tremendous downwind speed overtaking the whole fleet only to lose it upwind, but still taking a fourth.

With many place changes the fleet still all finished on the same leg. Liz Potter got a great lift eating to the gate taking 40yds finishing 1 sec ahead of Neil Ferguson. A constant battle at the front saw Tom pip Ed to give him the best score line of day 1. Many thanks to the race committee and rescue who had stayed out to let us enjoy ourselves.

Tom was the overnight leader. The club had laid on a hot roast but in true contender style we also went to the aptly named Filey curry house to take on extra ballast for the next days forecast high winds.

In full Contender conditions Race 4 got under way at speed, taking other classes by surprise and a capsized lightening 368 just over the start line caught out some and caused a few early swims. Malcolm Hall came off worst with a boom to the head with a quick trip to A&E for some superglue. Ed and Nick Noble had the made the best progress and extended away from the fleet with Neil coming around miss judging the lasers start line meant a tack into port to dip and find a hole adding to the fun. Mike Rhodes who had been fast all weekend overtaking Neil on the gate didn't realize there was no shorten flag but stopped and lost another place before realising.

The final Race had Nick showing great speed in the strengthening winds and pulled away to win with consistent top three places, but with many people having a swim there were still changes every lap. Ed and Tom were competing for the trophy an both seemed determined to throw it away with a couple of capsizes and fluffed tacks, Ed lead on the last lap only for tom to get a lovely lift to the line inside of Ed, unfortunately he chose the wrong end of the line which allowed Ed to tack earlier to cross at the Pin end first. This was enough to take the northern championship out of Tom's grasp and carry home the Clapham cup.

Five races with three winners shows quality of racing. With over 100 boats in the regatta from more than 30 clubs, Filey had once again put on a well organised great event. We will be back.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoClubHelmR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1st2708Chew Valley SCEd Presley1‑52126
2nd678RYATom Hooton211‑437
3rd2618Portishead SCNIck Noble‑323218
4th2422Yorkshire Dales SCNeil Ferguson46‑73417
5th680Scaling Dam SCMike Rhodes73‑85520
6th2602Covenham SCMIck Pullin6456(DNC)21
7th398King George SCRodger White1074(DNC)DNC34
8th666Burton SCBill Hooton5810(RET)DNC36
9th2523West Kirby SCLiz Potter896(DNC)DNC36
10th697Carsington SCMalcolm Nay9109(DNC)DNC41
11th2490Clwb Hwylio Y FelinheliPaul Green111111(DNC)DNC46
12th605Covenham SCDave Burrell1212(RET)DNCDNC50

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