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Contender traveller series at Thorpe Bay Yacht Club

by James Spikesley 21 Sep 2022 19:30 BST

An early arrival for a disarmingly early start was the joy for fourteen Contender sailors as Thorpe Bay Yacht Club hosted the latest round of the traveller series with the prospect of light to moderate wind on Saturday and mediocre wind for Sunday. Fortunately, the weather was good with sunny spells.

Race 1

The early start affected a couple of the fleet who were keen and had a couple of individual recalls. The left-hand side of the beat paying with Stuart Jones going furthest left at speed and making it first around the windward mark with the majority of the rest of the fleet following not too far behind.

The breeze became shifty and but Stuart continued to pick his way through to continue extending his lead but the remaining podium spots were never assured until they crossed the line with Adrian Smith in second and local Chris Boshier in third.

Race 2

After a little bit of rejigging of the course the second start was clean with the breeze getting shiftier having swung a bit to the north. James Spikesley led the way with Stuart not far behind going slightly left, but keeping speed seemed to be the order of the day with some late switches in the wind leaving James and Stuart wondering how it was going to turn out. James led around the first mark ahead of Stuart and John Greenhalgh rounding third.

James managed to locate the wing mark in the sun and extended over Stuart but lost some ground on the reach back to the leeward mark. Up the second beat the wind was getting more fickle, along with the definite change of tide direction meant an easy beat turned into struggle so that top mark Stuart led from Richard Franks, Duncan Ward and James.

With the breeze dying and running with the tide there were concerns about not getting swept through the gate James managing to close the gap on Richard and Duncan by the leeward mark, but the wind continued to die with a very slow and tortuous short beat to the finish trying.

After plenty of frustration and a little bit of cursing Stuart gained another first, with Duncan making second and James getting back past Richard for a third.

The third race didn't take place due to the disappearing wind and water so it was back to shore for some refreshing beers care of Essex Rigging.

Race 3

Waking up on Sunday was ominous with glass flat sea and sea mist. after a couple of hours staring and willing the wind to come some of the fleet figured they had better things to do. After assurances that the sea breeze would kick in the rest of the fleet finally got the call to go with some dubious looks.

With consistent breeze and a clean start and the left paying say Rodger white round first followed by Stuart and Adrian. With work down the reach and up the second beat Rodger was passed by Stuart and Adrian for the finishing sequence of Stuart, Adrian and Rodger.

Race 4

James, Adrian and Stuart getting away and rounding in that order, with Adrian passing James on the reach. The short course put all under pressure but the positions remained the same through to the finish with Adrian followed by James and Stuart.

Race 5

Another quick start and the breeze building James was once again first around the windward mark and managed to get clear of Stuart down the reaches, but with stronger ebb tide James clipped the leeward mark and Stuart passed him as he put in a spin. Managing to complete before Chris could come through. The order stayed the same until the final short beat to the finish where James had a tiller extension failure but managed to hold onto a third after Chris made it through to second.

Race 6

With the breeze continuing to hold the RO got the final race off, with Stuart again managing to get away for the win, with the ever present Adrian through in second and Chris finishing in third.

The final scores were a runaway win for Stuart Jones, a solid second for Adrian Smith and local boy Chris Boshier rounding off the podium in Third.

Big thank you to Thorpe Bay Yacht Club who made everyone so welcome and made sure we were fed, the race team who managed to get the six races off in difficult conditions and thank you once again to Essex Rigging for sponsoring the beers on Saturday evening.

Next Stop Broadstairs on the 24th/25th September, the final Open before the Inlands.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
12706Stuart JonesDatchet Water SC111‑3115
22730Adrian SmithHythe and Saltwood SC2621‑7213
3 CBChris BoshierTBYC3‑10452317
4705James SpikesleyNetley SC53523(DNS)18
52711Duncan WardLymington Town SC4276(OCS)423
6712Rodger WhiteKing George SC‑105395729
72661Nick CurryWeston SC7‑8844629
82747Tony BrooksOxford SC67676‑832
92423Simon DoddsHythe and Saltwood SC(OCS)998OCS542
102404John Greenhalgh ‑121110108948
11716Richard FranksSouthampton(OCS)4DNCDNCDNCDNC64
12 ASAndy SticklandTBYC913(DNC)DNCDNCDNC67
132718Peter NobleBroadstairs SC8(RET)DNCDNCDNCDNC68
142714Martin JonesWilsonian1112(DNC)DNCDNCDNC68

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