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Musto 2023 Hikers LEADERBOARD

South-East & Eastern Area Phantom Open at Broadstairs Sailing Club

by Mark Spruce 5 Jul 2022 11:38 BST 25-26 June 2022

Broken boats and broken bodies - what a weekend!

Blue skies, a golden beach and a building 18 - 22 knot southerly wind greeted the nine boats who came to the line for the Saturday afternoon start.

With three races scheduled there was significant apprehension amongst the helms, with at least one newbie doing his first class open and another claiming he only sailed on a muddy creek although I did think that was a little unfair to Burnham on the River Crouch!

The side shore wind over tide was kicking up a significant chop over a nice building southerly swell making it an ideal course for the more "physical "of the Phantom sailors!

Sausage, triangle repeat - for as long as the RO wished to punish us. The day should have belonged to Mark Spruce who demonstrated good starts and excellent upwind speed to lead the fleet at the top mark in every race. As the wind backed and increased during the afternoon, he spotted the left-hand shift to port tack the entire fleet in Race 3.

After winning Race 1 with a comfortable lead from Bill Taylor and Chris Shelton he decided to take his pet shoulder monkeys sailing for the remaining two races. In Races 2 & 3 Mad Monkey shouted to ease the vang, sheet the main one to one and see how big a lead you could really get! Cautious monkey covered his eyes and hoped for the best but needless to say, all got wet in the following capsizes, resulting in a 5th and retired!

Meanwhile, Chris Shelton kept the pressure on winning both the following two races to lead in the clubhouse with Bill Taylor, Mark Spruce and Tim Denby following behind.

All the sailors enjoyed a really nice evening with a wonderful home cooked meal organised by the sailing club but I'm sad to say that there were so many tired and battered bodies that not enough beer was drunk!

Sunday morning brought even more sunshine and even more wind. The previous days attrition went through the fleet like a scythe. Broken limping sailors turned up to say "no go - I hurt too much / sore back / legs too stiff / nasty cough" and watch the three keen racers take to the water. This time it was wind with tide so although the breeze was consistently higher than the day before the sea was less aggressive.

Spruce started where he left off the day before leading at the windward mark in both races and increasing his lead throughout - enough to ware round at the final gybe mark of race 5 as his Cautious Shoulder Monkey finally got a sensible word in!

Chris Shelton should have taken second in Race 4 but a dropped shroud lower just before the first mark - stopping to reattach it meant he snatched a third instead of a second. Sailing fast and under control, he regained second in race 5. Newbie, Al Baker, sailed really well in the very strong conditions to finish with a second and third to pull himself up the overall rankings. A really commendable effort in tough conditions.

The Race Officer finished the event there and after 5 races (1 discard) it was Chris Shelton who took a very deserved win with 7 points (1,1,2,3) followed by Mark Spruce with 8 points (1,1,1,5) and Al Baker in third with (2,3,6,8).

Chris thanked Broadstairs Sailing club - run entirely by its very friendly volunteer members for a well run and fun weekend of racing in trying conditions, a sentiment echoed by all at the prize-giving.

The Phantom Fleet now moves onto its Inland Championships at Draycote Water SC over the weekend of 9th & 10th July. This promises to be a very well supported event with a large turnout followed by the Lee on Solent SC Open on the 6th & 7th August.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmR1R2R3R4R5Pts
11491Chris Shelton‑311327
21342Mark Spruce15(Rtd/10)118
31145Al Baker68(Dnf/10)2319
41441Stuart Jarvis54Dnf/10Dnc/15Dnc/1526
51273Bill Taylor22Dnf/10Dnc/15Dnc/1529
61430Tim Denby43Dnf/10Dnc/15Dnc/1532
71364Tony Cook76Dnf/10Dnc/15Dnc/1538
81193Tom Field‑StephensDnf/107Dnf/10Dnc/15Dnc/1542
9947Dave HandleyDns/10Dns/10Dnf/10Dnc/15Dnc/1545

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