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2022 Phantom South Eastern Series Round 2 at Downs Sailing Club

by Chris Shelton 26 May 10:44 BST 21-22 May 2022
Downs SC Phantom Open © Brian Mumford

Downs Sailing Club hosted Round 2 of the 2022 Phantom South Eastern Series over the weekend of 21st/22nd May. Visitors came from Norfolk, West Sussex, Middlesex and more locally from Broadstairs to join the small home fleet at Downs.

As the boats rigged on Saturday morning the sun was shining and there was a F3 south westerly wind. However when it came time to launch the sea breeze had built and the wind was now SSW F5 with plenty of white tops on the water.

Race 1 started just as the flood tide started and it soon became apparent that the beats would be hard work against the tide. Paddy Denby lead around the first mark closely followed by Chris Shelton. These places stayed the same until just before the windward mark on the second lap where Paddy had a quick swim allowing Chris to take the lead. However on the third beat Steve Popple moved up through the gears to take the lead. At the finish it was Steve, Chris and then Paddy.

Race 2 was quickly under way in much the same conditions and this time there was no stopping Steve who lead from start to finish. Paddy was second and after a close battle between Ben Falat and Chris, Ben managed to pull ahead and finish third. Further down the fleet the weather conditions were taking their toll with broken kicking straps, broken halyards and other damage forcing retirements. However special mention must go Tom Field from Broadstairs who battled around the course despite several capsizes.

The wind moderated slightly for the start of race 3, but if anything the flood tide was even stronger now. However this did not seem to bother Steve who once again scored another bullet, Paddy was second but this time it was Chris who succeeded in the Ben/Chris battle for third place.

The tired sailors returned to shore to enjoy an excellent BBQ (with plenty of seconds if you were hungry), live music and liquid refreshment.

The sun was shining again on Sunday morning, but the wind was a much more gentle southerly F2. The morning start meant the tide was ebbing and today the sailors would be beating with the tide. Despite the tide pushing the boats towards the line race 4 got away cleanly and at the windward mark it was the usual trio of Paddy, Steve and Chris, but these three were closely followed by the rest of the fleet. The trapezoid shape course meant that there was a long run against the tide and this leg gave plenty of opportunity for place changing enabling Ivan Walsh to come through and take the lead. Another quick beat and then the long run again, at times having to dodge Streakers who were sailing a shorter course. This run benefited both Paddy and his brother Tim who both passed Ivan to finish in the order of Paddy, Tim, Ivan.

Race 4 was soon under way with another clean start, and at the windward mark it was all very close between Paddy, Steve and Ben. Down the run Paddy managed to pull ahead, but behind there were plenty of place changes with Dave Patrick looking good at one stage. However at the finish it was Paddy first, Steve second and Ben third. This meant that the final race would be a showdown between Steve and Paddy for first place overall.

At the start of race 6 there was a second gun, this meant that somebody was over the line, but none of the boats turned back. Whilst it was mostly familiar faces at the windward mark, Tony Cook was also going very well and overtook Paddy on the first long run. However Paddy had the bit between his teeth and by the second time at the windward mark was back in the lead. Steve and Chris were not enjoying the light conditions and this enabled Ben and Ivan to challenge Tony at the front of the fleet. Paddy finished first which would give him the event overall, however when Tony crossed the line there was silence, he was the boat that was OCS at the start. Ben was second and Ivan third.

Congratulations must go to Race Officer Brian Mumford and his team for getting in six races in varying conditions over the weekend. Thanks also to all of the Downs Sailing Club volunteers who gave up their time over the weekend to man the safety boats, beach-party, canteen, bar etc. to make the event a success.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClub
1st1472Paddy DenbyBroadstairs SC
2nd1460Steve PoppleShoreham SC & Sussex YC
3rd1266Ben FalatWaveney & Oulton Broad YC
4th1491Chris SheltonDowns SC
5th1454Ivan WalshShoreham SC
6th1430Tim DenbyBroadstairs SC
7th1318Dave PatrickBroadwater SC
8th1367Tony CookDowns SC
9th1193Tom FieldBroadstairs SC

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