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HD Sails and Ceildeh Masts Phantom Midland Series at Northampton Sailing Club

by John Wayling 8 Jun 11:03 BST 4-5 June 2022
Oli Hopkins in the Phantom Midland Series at Northampton © Kevin Hall

Fourteen sailors attended for the third of the seven-event Midland Phantom Series, sponsored by HD Sails and Ceildeh Carbon Masts.

The forecast had been looking "Fruity" for most of the week and Saturday did not disappoint with a consistent breeze of +20 knts. It turned out to be a "Cocktail" of shifts and "Banana" bends, with some vegetables thrown in for good measure. With the Jubilee celebrations in full swing across the country the Phantom fleet were buzzed by a low flying Spitfire display.

The race team of Neil Barford and Paul Busby set an excellent inverted "Pea" course round the large "Orange" P&B inflatables, and race one was off to a prompt start. The start was all clear and the leading bunch split to either side of the lake and converged on the top mark with Ian Stone - Maidenhead (sporting his new Morgan Sails logo and what proved to be a quite quick sail) rounding just ahead of John Wayling - Northampton and Mike Webster - Northampton.

The first reach was a good opportunity for a rest as the hiking legs knew they would need it later in the day. Mike managed to get past John on the run by playing the shifts where John had his survival hat on and ran straight for the mark. The race would finish in that order. Ian, extending his lead with the Northampton "Pear" Mike and John second and third, with Tom Gissane - Bowmoor closing the gap rapidly in fourth.

Race two was the same inverted P course although it had been adjusted by the race team, to counter the clocking left breeze. Again a clean start by the fleet with another Northampton boat showing his pace: Ian took his second bullet and Rob Cook - Northampton in second with Mike in third.

Race three saw a change of course with a tactical windward-leeward almost the full length of the lake, and although the banana bends were still there, Ian found a discarded skin at the first mark sailing off to the reaching mark! He quickly saw his error and managed to recover the lead position to record a clean sweep of bullets for the day. Rob carried on showing his consistent speed with his new cut P&B offering and Mike finishing a consistent third.

After three 45 min races with less than 5 mins between each one the fourteen sailors returned to the shore for a well-earned meal and a few pints of the very popular Timothy Tailor Boltmaker. The sailors were in need of some sustenance which was provided in great quantity, in both food and liquid form.

Perhaps this was a mistimed event given the nation's Jubilee celebrations, which saw some of the regular attendees to Northampton missing this year. Unfortunately Team Bowmoor had to return home that night along with Mike due to family commitments. That left a slightly depleted fleet on Sunday morning.

The morning arrived with legs feeling like lead and yet the breeze looked less from the shore, or was that just hopeful thinking! It turned out to be another full out hiking day with a quick series of three 45-50 minute races to complete the event.

Race four was another clean start around a re-set inverted P course and what was to be normal service resumed, with Ian taking his fourth bullet but under severe pressure from Richard Nurse - Northampton in second and Rob in third.

Race five started quickly again and saw a record fifth clean start for the fleet. This time Rob managed to hold Ian off for two laps but was finally caught. So Ian could claim his fifth win, Rob with another consistent second, Rich in third and a rapidly improving Carl Gibbon - Burton finishing fourth.

Race six and the final one of the day, again switched to a windward-leeward course; the start was not clean this time and the culprit was Rob, who had been pushing the line all weekend. He was in trouble and completed a 720 to clear himself of another infringement only to be told halfway up the beat he was OCS.

The runs suited Carl but Ian helped by sailing the P course again and was never to recover fully, finishing third with Carl taking a well-deserved race win and Richard the second place. The results were ready in record time thanks to the efforts of Graham Wilson and Kev Hall, who were also running one of the safety boats.

A great event all round and congratulations to Ian Stone (the class current National champion) for winning the event. Ian did the traditional 'Thank You's to a well-run event and Northampton SC's race team, galley and bar, our sponsors HD Sails/Ceildeh.

We all look forward to our next Midland event which is at Draycote Water on 9th and 10th of July, the class' 2022 Inland Championships. Other events coming up: Broadstairs 25th/26th June (South Eastern Series) and Glossop 26th June (Northern Series).

Overall Results:

First Classic: 952 - Mike Blunt - RYA
Endeavour Prize: 1242 - Steve Hawley - Bartley SC

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st1280lan StoneMaidenhead SC11111‑35
2nd1485Rob CookNorthampton SC52232(OCS)14
3rd1337Richard NurseNorthampton SC‑84523216
4th1296Carl GibbonBurton SC‑97444120
5th1385John WaylingNorthampton SC36756(DNS)27
6th1440Mike WebsterNorthampton SC233(DNS)DNSDNS30
7th1447Richard SimsCarsington SC7‑10865430
8th1362Tom GissaneBowmoor SC456(DNS)DNSDNS37
9th1242Steve HawleyBartley SC‑109977638
10th1463Paul Hampden‑SmithNorthampton SC11(RET)1098543
11th1406Oli HopkinsBowmoor SC68(DNS)DNSDNSDNS48
12th1469Brian WebleyShustoke‑1311RET1010751
13th1414Dave SmithHollingworth Lake SC1212(DNS)89DNF51
14th952Mike BluntRYA‑1413RET1111DNS58

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