Please select your home edition
Allen Brothers

Allen Contender Open at Weston Sailing Club

by Nick Noble 17 Jun 2021 11:18 BST 13 June 2021

Weston Sailing Club, with its rich, creamy Contender history is always solid venue to bank some good racing. The local fleet are hard to beat in the fickle waters and trying to do so is enormous fun. The prospect of wall-to-wall sunshine would entice a few outsiders, but some usual suspects were scared off by the forecast of very light winds.

Racing was due to start after midday and all were hoping for that most glorious of trump cards, a sea breeze, but to no avail. "Too far up the creek" was the summary from those who know, so off we went into a North West gradient of 1-8 knots with 20-30 degrees shifts.

Race 1 saw boats split on the line with those to the left feeling the highs of success before having it torn away in a 30 degree shift up the first beat. The righties looked sorry and then happy as they gained from the same change. Stuart Jones popped up on the left and proceeded to dominate in his most favoured conditions, Light and S****y. Most of the rest of the fleet were out of contention for the rest of the race. Peter Snowden sailing his new Hartley sailed an excellent race into creep up to second place, impressing many as a relative new boy to the class.

Race 2 started in a similar unstable breeze, and lo it was that the left did pay where the right had gone before. This unknowable turn of events left 4 boats at the front all vying for the lead. Simon Mussel Guffawed his way into first closely followed by Graeme Wilcox, Mike Murley and David Bate. As the wind went very light up the last beat David Bate went low and fast using a sustainable and locally farmed technique to burst through to the front and onto the win.

Race 3! And at last, a sea breeze. Richard Franks blasted off the start line and picked an excellent lane up the left-hand side of the course, towards the shore where there was less tide. He was followed around the windward mark by Stuart jones who decide to be over line and then work the right-hand side, spawnily coming out back to where he originally started. These two were closely followed by Graeme Wilcox. With two legs to go, the inform Nick Noble finally had some conditions to enjoy, and would have won but for forgetting the course (it was a lot to remember, 4 buoys). Richard sailed a great race to take the win from Graeme.

A classic contender evening on the Weston piazza would involve much beer and curry consumption, whilst many contemplated where the day's sailing had gone wrong. Except Graeme who was who stealthily formed a lead by way of a score of 3,2,2.

Day 2 looked somewhat different as unlike the day before the sea breeze had arrived early giving an average wind strength of 10 knots from a consistent direction. The spectacular conditions had also brought out the local media to observe the athletes first hand. After a day of a few disappointing results and an evening of recriminations, Gary Langdown changed many things in the hunt for gains. He was up for it and duly lead from the gun, opening up a decent lead. So... speed sorted, now to work on brain. Missing one of the Leeward marks was not a super move, and along with Adrian Smith (at that point in 2nd) sailed in the wrong direct for a large % of Southampton water; goodbye win. This allowed Graeme Wilcox to take over for the win, followed closely by Mike Murley.

The next race allowed Graeme to lead at the start at last with both Ed Presley and the high pointing Richard Franks for company, these 3 defended from the pack downwind to carve out a little lead. Ed managed to sail over Graeme on the 2nd beat and extended away from there. Ed was followed home by Graeme, who by now was proving his great skill at always being there or thereabouts in unpredictable conditions, although he does sail at Netley which isn't that far away.

The final race of the weekend was sailed in the best breeze, which saw a battle of wits between Graeme and Nick Noble. Graeme winning the battle on the last leeward mark by breaking the inside overlap with a couple of metres to spare.

Graeme Wilcox was the worthy winner of the weekend and going forward proved that he will be a difficult competitor to overhaul in the remaining rounds of the Allen UK Contender TT series.

The next event Hythe and Saltwood sailing club on 24th and 25th July.

Finally, on behalf of all the Contender fleet we would all like to express our thanks to Weston Sailing Club for putting on an excellent event, made special by what turned out to be, almost perfect sailing conditions.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st695Graeme Willcox‑3221218
2nd2706Stuart Jones1543‑11619
3rd716Richard Franks5‑10143720
4th1652Nick Noble‑66365222
5th2619Mike Murley84524‑1223
6th2708Ed Presley‑107951830
7th615Daivd Bate916106‑1132
8th2420Simon Mussel‑15311117335
9th2607Carl Tagoe7‑138710436
10th2710Gary Langdown‑129799539
11th2730Adrian Smith48(DSQ)1412947
12th2725Peter Snowdon211121214(DNC)51
13th2661Nick Curry1412‑15881052
14th2407Richard Buttner13‑141013131362
15th503Jamers Daniels11‑151315151468
16th2404John Greenhalgh‑16161416161577

Related Articles

52nd Australian Contender Championship overall
Crazy winds put paid to racing on the final day in Gosford It was looking like a great day for sailing with a 13-18 knot SE blowing before the start. After several start relocations racing got away in fresh breeze but a rain squall came across and before boats got to the top mark and the wind dropped to zero! Posted on 21 Jan
52nd Australian Contender Championship day 4
Great sailing on Legends Day in Gosford Great sailing today in a 15-20 knot South Easterly breeze where we got two races in after a lengthy delay with the wind shifting from East to South and eventually settling into a steady fresh SE. Both races had clean starts. Posted on 20 Jan
52nd Australian Contender Championship day 3
Both races on time with mostly clean starts As predicted a fresh southerly was on the order today. 10-25 knots SSE and very gusty meaning most boats had many capsizes. A few boats retired with gear failure. Posted on 19 Jan
52nd Australian Contender Championship day 2
Contender camaraderie in perfect Gosford conditions Day two didn't disappoint with perfect Gosford SSE Moderate to fresh breeze building from race 3 to 4. GSC legend Race officer Peter Walsh is doing his third nationals in three weeks and has everything under control and loving the Contender camaraderie. Posted on 18 Jan
52nd Australian Contender Championship day 1
A pleasing 24 entries and wind better than expected at Gosford Gosford turned on a great day racing today with wind better than forecast and a pleasing 24 entries. The was a nice 8-13 Knots North Easterly breeze, no delays and both races had clean starts. Posted on 17 Jan
52nd Australian Contender Championship preview
A variety of conditions expected at Gosford Sailing Club The 2022 52nd Australian International Contender Championships will be hosted by Gosford Sailing NSW on January 17th to 21st. Posted on 16 Jan
Contender Inlands at Rutland
25 helms make the pilgrimage to the big lake 25 Contender sailors arrived at Rutland for the annual pilgrimage to the 'Big Lake'. It being our UK version of the other Contender bucket list lake venue of Garda. Posted on 21 Oct 2021
Contenders at Broadstairs
Bacon rolls on arrival for the 15 helms The Contender fleet made is way to Broadstairs for the 6th round of the Travellers Trophy. The 15 highly tuned athletes fresh from the nationals were greeted with bacon rolls and the normal hospitality one has come to expect from Broadstairs Sailing Club. Posted on 23 Sep 2021
North Sails Contender UK Nationals at Plymouth
40 sailors take part on Plymouth's famous Sound With the enforced two year wait for a UK nationals and the promise of a venue featuring within the SailGP, the clamour for this year's Contender nationals was only tempered by the number of other Nationals occurring simultaneously. Posted on 13 Sep 2021
Kieler Woche part II update
Windsurfing is back after 9 years, and the leaders are Kördel and Steinlein After a nine-year break, windsurfing is back at Kieler Woche. 24 athletes from five nations are competing for victory in the new Olympic iQ Foil class (2024 in Paris) for women and men. Posted on 10 Sep 2021