Please select your home edition
Highfield Boats - Sailing - LEADERBOARD

Contender open meeting at Netley Sailing Club

by Mike Murley 11 Oct 2019 14:34 BST

16 Contenders travelled to Netley SC despite a forecast of calms on Saturday and storms on Sunday. It was indeed a weekend of two halves and the forecasters were pretty accurate.

Saturday started misty, damp and still. The conditions hung around until after lunch time when blue sky appeared, and a light breeze came up Southampton Water from the SE.

Saturdays light wind races were close. Gary Langdon built up a decent lead in the first, only to see a big rain cloud create a huge shift leaving Stuart Jones rubbing his hands in the lead, which he held to the finish, followed by Gary and Mike Murley-Hughes in third.

Race 2 saw Netley sailor Graeme Wilcox win by a big margin, followed by Stuart and Mike again in third.

With half the fleet camping in the field at Netley there was a recipe for disaster resulting in sore heads on Sunday. No-one can remember how many drunken sailors you can fit in a camper van, but apparently, it's a lot.

On Sunday the wind had switched 180 degrees to come straight down Southampton Water with a solid force 4-5. The start time was brought forward to 10:30 to allow racing to take place before Ed Presley and Simon Mussel headed off to the new Tottenham stadium for a date together watching the American Football. As it happens, they both sailed very well with Simon winning the first race, Ed second and Graeme third.

The next race had a touch of disaster for the leaders. By now it was pretty windy and Simon lead until he fell in, possibly distracted by the night ahead. Very close racing with lots of place changes between five or six boats, and after Ed broke his centreboard, it was Graeme and Mark Watts who found themselves in the lead at the final leeward mark.

With 100m on starboard, one tack and 100m on port to the finish line you'd expect them to stay in those positions. The problem was that one tack. Graeme and Mark both got stuck in irons allowing Stu, Carl Tagoe and Mike to nip by as the pair of them did three-point turns.

For race 5 Simon got his act together again with a fine win from Gary and Stu after Mark suffered the second broken board of the weekend while in the hunt for a podium finish.

Current Contender Ladies World Champion, Fiona Collins, chose not to sail but did a great job as an over-qualified beach master, having loaned her boat out to local youngster, Cameron Barr. Despite not having sailed a Contender before Cameron completed all six races in wind ranging from 2 to 30 knots. Fantastic effort and skill.

Fiona had an influence even on the beach. With most of us declaring three races quite enough, and the race team ready to send us in, but Fiona insisted on a fourth race. Just six boats stayed out including Carl Tagoe who finally found the form his powerful pumping deserved and won from Stu and Gary, meaning Stu was overall winner.

Race office Dave Henshall had a beaming smile all weekend as race officering Contenders was apparently on his bucket list. Thanks to Netley for a great event.

Related Articles

Crafty Keith - The definition of 'Legend'
Contender and 505 World Champion gracefully retires To describe someone as a 'legend' means that they really have to special, across a number of disciplines and a protracted period of time. One man who is special enough to be worthy of that term 'legend' is Weston SC's Keith Paul. Posted on 15 Sep
Contender Invitational at Weston
Race 3 was not the way to treat a legend on his final hurrah After a six month enforced layoff (for reasons now too chewed-over to even mention without the risk accidental boredom coma) the Contender class gratefully accepted the call from one of history's fabled Contender strongholds: Weston Sailing Club. Posted on 11 Sep
Kieler Woche day 4 dinghy report
New record set by Wolfgang Hunger winning 23rd title Expected triumphs, exciting battles for the title and surprising changes: The final day of the first half of the Kieler Woche once again offered all the variations of decision making in the ten international classes. Posted on 9 Sep
Kieler Woche day 3 dinghy report
Polish youngsters dominate in the 420 The Kieler Woche can head for the end of the first half in a very relaxed manner. After another "beautiful day on the water", as regatta organizer Dirk Ramhorst described it, a full programme is already on schedule. Posted on 8 Sep
Kieler Woche day 2
Many things are different but you can rely on the wind Many things are different in the Kieler Woche 2020, but you can rely on the wind. Even after the shift to September, the sailors on the outer fjord are in good shape. Posted on 7 Sep
Kiel Week 2020: Thrilling duels, large fields
Wolfgang Hunger aiming for his 23rd Kieler Woche win As well as the Olympic classes, there are also interesting duels and performances in the non-Olympic classes at Kiel Week 2020. Are Helge and Christian Sach (Zarnekau) sailing on the fast Formula 18 to their tenth Kieler Woche victory since 2006? Posted on 15 Aug
Yes I, am the Great Contender
David Henshall gets excited in an overgrown field One boat that is not so much of a barn find, but a 'back of the field' feature, is a Contender, which has lain undisturbed for enough years for the brambles to claim it as one of their own. Yet this is a class that surely is worthy of a second look. Posted on 28 May
Where there's a will there's a way
The past fortnight has proved that sailors are a resourceful bunch If there's one thing that the past fortnight has proved, it's that sailors are a resourceful bunch. The vast majority of the sailing world can't get out on the water, but it certainly doesn't mean we're idle. Posted on 5 Apr
A first-time varnishing experience
Contender gets a deck makeover, and the garage is inadvertantly decorated too After sailing my Contender for a year at Hythe and Saltwood Sailing Club, and then Bough Beech Sailing Club for their Icicle Series over the winter, my Contender's deck varnish was looking somewhat worse for wear. Posted on 2 Apr
Contenders at Datchet Water
The early signs of spring in the air With the early signs of spring in the air after what has felt like a long winter of non-stop torrential rain and more wind than you could wave a stick at, it was time for the Contenders first sailing event of 2020. Posted on 16 Mar