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Phantoms at Ardleigh and the Blackwater Icicle Race

by Matt House 14 Jan 13:33 GMT
Light conditions during the Ardleigh Winter Series © Phil Longley & Matt House

As the 2019 sailing season ended, Phantoms from Essex were welcomed to Ardleigh Sailing Club for their Winter Series joining two resident club boats.

A hard fought series resulted with up to ten boats on the water having their own class start. It was quite a change for some of the fleet from the wide open spaces of the sea being on a relatively small Reservoir with 30 degree wind shifts. The change in sailing style will probably improve the sailing style and boat handling of a lot of the fleet.

The series was won by Matthew House who used his upbringing on the Norfolk Broads to good use. Barry Pleasants took a well deserved second place for the home club in a classic boat benefiting from a handicap adjustment. Graham Dale-Jones sailed a consistent series to take third place.

Some of the fleet are staying on for the Frostbite series which runs to Easter with an Open Meeting arranged for the following weekend at the club.

The Christmas period brought the Blackwater Icicle race and five Phantoms visited, arriving keenly 3.5 hours before the start. After the normal long wait for the water to arrive, the course was set in Lawling Creek in sunshine and a steady breeze. Racing was tight between the top 3 phantoms until Chris Roberts pulled clear in the dying breeze. Chris was a well placed 5th overall, Matthew House 8th and Phil Longley 10th with a good showing by all the fleet in the top 17. Chris Roberts was thus crowned the Eastern Winter Champion, showing once again that someone with an average build can successfully sail a Phantom.

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