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Ovington 2021 - ILCA 2 - LEADERBOARD

Ovington Phantom National Championship 2022 at Lyme Regis Sailing Club

by Mike Webster 25 Sep 2022 13:32 BST 16-18 September 2022
Ovington Phantom Nationals 2022 at Lyme Regis © Ian Wallace

The 67-strong fleet arrived early to take in the atmosphere and the beauty of Lyme Regis and practice ahead of the three-day event.

The much-anticipated south-westerlies and famous swell of Lyme Bay were not to be this year - the forecast was for northerly breeze ranging from 6 -18 kts on the first day easing to lighter winds over the rest of the weekend. Not such a bad thing for the lighter sailors in the fleet and provided more challenging conditions, unbiased to any weight-range.

The hype of the Runners and Riders preview had raised expectations with a large cohort of potential winners. Multiple National Champions from other classes, ex. Phantom National Champions, new boats with new drivers, old hands with lots of experience, local helms and Phantom guest appearances. This year sailors came from representatives from all regions of the UK - from East Lothian in Scotland and Guernsey in the Channel Islands.

The traditional 'Thursday Curry Night' was well attended giving the chance to catch up with old friends and meet some of the new faces in the class. Alongside the delicious food provided by the club there was much talk and banter on what the next three days would hold. Will there be an upset at the top? A new National Champion? Mid-fleet battles and the contest of the classics.

Lyme Regis is a working fishing harbour and the boat park was amiably controlled by the ever-present 'Mighty Sally' - a sight to be feared, keeping the fleet in order before parking, launching & recovering - Rob Cook and Mike Webster becoming the first on her hit list, with Nick Orman trying his best to get in Sally's good book!

Friday morning dawned with clear blue skies and breeze, the perfect start to the seven race, Championships series.

The RO released the fleet to sail out on the long 6km run offshore to the racing area.

Friday Race 1

Allan Tyler, the Race Officer set the Sausage and Triangle course perfectly with a slightly biased port end line. The ultra-competitive fleet keen to get off to the best start pushed the line with the inevitable general recall, repeated on the second start. The 'U' flag was hoisted taking the heat out of the aggressive T-Rex's of the fleet.

It was Mike Webster (Northampton SC) who led the pack round the first mark followed by Andy 'Taxi' Davis (South Staffs SC) and Simon Hawkes (Castle Cove SC) in third with local Jake Stowe (Lyme Regis SC) close behind. The 15 kts allowed for some tactical downwind wave technique. The left side paid up the first beat but the fleet split at the gate in the freshening shifty breeze. Huge shifts caused big gains & losses through the fleet. On the final beat the lighter breeze saw Simon take the lead, Mike in second and Rob Cook (Northampton SC) pulling through the fleet. The final run was tense but, by the leeward mark, Mike pulled through with his first bullet of the week, followed by Simon, Rob and Taxi with Jake holding onto fifth.

Friday Race 2

15-18kts very gusty northerly, clean start at first attempt on a port biased line. The waves picked up and capsizes dotted the course, testing the expertise of the stronger wind specialists in the fleet. Martin Watts (Netley SC) led at the windward mark followed by Nick Orman, Carl Gibbon (Burton SC) and Chris Yelland (Lee on Solent SC). The fleet surfed out to sea with the leaders holding position and the middle order changing across a widespread fleet with Duncan Adams - (Aldborough SC) pulling up to 5th.

The final sausage was shortened to allow the tired fleet to finish at the next windward mark, making for a shorter sail home.

Martin took the bullet ahead of Nick in second with Chris finishing in third. Jake holding off Taxi who had pulled through the fleet to take 6th.

Saturday Race 3

Much lighter breeze with patches of pressure and clear blue skies.

A square line with the,now customary, U-flag spread the fleet along the line. The first beat was all about finding a clear lane, finding pressure and synching the shifts. Andy Davis took full advantage of the conditions to show his expertise and rounded in first with Simon Hawkes 20m behind. Some new faces at the front end of the fleet saw Josh Hyland (Chasewater SC), Mike Tustin (Bowmoor SC), Simon Heuson (Lyme Regis SC) and Paddy Denby - (Broadstairs SC) all battling it out for a top three position. At the finish, Andy "Taxi" Davis took his first bullet with Simon Hawkes a well-deserved second and local boy Simon Heusen in third.

Saturday Race 4

A lightening breeze and short postponement saw Andy start to stretch his legs in his borrowed Phantom. He led at the first mark and was unchallenged for the rest of the race. Simon Hawkes settled into to his customary second position with the light wind specialists Bob Portway (Royal Harwich YC) and Chris Roberts (Creeksea SC) now making their presence known at the front end of the fleet.

It was great to see Jeff Vanderbought (Lyme Regis SC) and Tom 'hotdog' Gissane (Bowmoor SC) punching up there in the mix.

Saturday Race 5

The final race of the day was sailed in the same conditions with Taxi again dominating the field and showing how to link pressure and shifts, rounding the windward mark first, starting to make it look easy. Simon Hawkes, Rob and Mike climbed back from the wilderness only to suffer severe nerves on the light run with large chasing pack closing down on building pressure!

The covering battles began on the last beat with Taxi taking his third bullet, Simon another second and Mike just holding off Rob for third and fourth. Paddy and John 'Titch' Wayling (Northamton SC) showing their prowess in the lighter airs in their own battle for fifth and sixth.

With the final day looming, Taxi had put himself in a great position after an amazing "Super Saturday" Not yet mathematically a Champion, it was difficult to see anyone knocking him off the top spot. However, the battle for podium places was far from over with the all-important second discard coming in if the full seven-race series was completed.

Overnight, Nick Orman was on 15 points, Simon Hawkes on 19 points and Mike Webster on 23 points... all to play for!

Sunday morning weather was much like the previous day only lighter! With an earlier start, the fleet sailed the long procession to the race area on the horizon, 8km out to sea. After an hour and twenty minutes the fleet reached the starting area to see the AP flag flying, the Race Team waiting for the pressure to arrive.

Sunday Race 6

After a half-hour delay the course was set. With a port-end biased line the fleet got away searching for pressure and clear air.

Taxi rounded in first clear ahead of Bob, Chris and Mike, holding onto their position at the leeward gate.

With the wind dropping at the front and the chasing pack coming down rapidly with new fresher breeze from the north, nerves had to be held. Jim Hopton (Shustoke SC) leading the chasing pack went low on the final reach to the finish staying in the pressure as long as he could but at the line Taxi took another bullet, closely followed by Bob, Mike, Chris and Jim.

The win for Taxi had sealed the title with an impressive four wins in a row. However, the other podium places were still up for grabs. Nick had dropped back to fourth overall with an 11th place and Simon Hawkes still hung onto second overall with a 6th. Mike capitalized on his result to keep him in third place overall.

Sunday Race 7

Tense nerves as a further postponement was displayed waiting for wind and yet another course re-set. The forecast had been for the wind to freshen later in the day but with a 13.55hrs last race warning signal, the RO couldn't wait too long.

A 7-10kt breeze began to appear and the race got away on a perfect line. The fleet split left and right with big gains being made up the middle. Jimmy Sandison (East Lothian SC) led followed by Andy Robinson (Lyme Regis SC), Carl and followed by Mike, Carl and Rob.

As the leaders headed upwind on the final beat, Mike gained to second while Rob headed out to the left. With only 50m to the line Jimmy attempted to cover, but in the ensuing tacking duel, Mike pulled into the lead and Rob sneaked in from port to take second ahead of a frustrated Jimmy.

So, Andy "Taxi" Davis takes another class National Championships with what can only be described as an immaculate performance in enormously challenging conditions. The only competitor to keep a single digit net score for the 5 counting races!

Mike Webster sailed out of his skin to take second on 17points net - and first over 60yrs trophy. As another veteran said "It's something when you have to finish higher than second overall in an event to win the over 60yrs prize!"

Third was Simon Hawkes on 25points.

The following 7 places in the top ten had a spread of 43points which shows how challenging the conditions were!

Even more encouraging was seeing three, approximately 18year old 1200 sail number boats in the top ten (1st, 7th and 10th). Last year's Nationals was also won by Number 1280. You don't need a brand-new boat to be competitive in the Phantom class!

As always, an event like this could not happen without a wonderful organising club and their volunteer members and our stalwart class sponsors.

Lyme Regis Sailing SC is not a big club - I understand they utilized 81 separate volunteers - more than the participating competitors! They kept us organized, fed and watered and the event ran very smoothly. Thank you!

In particular, hats off to the Race Officer Allan Tyler. The shifty offshore northerly conditions were challenging enough for us sailors - it was one of the most challenging events I have sailed for many years. Allan and his team got seven good races away, moved and re-set courses on the fly in the most professional manor. They should be very proud of what they achieved. I gather the windward mark boat now needs an engine re-build from the work it did re-setting the mark!

Class and event sponsors stepped up to support the Championships - many thanks to Ovington Boats, Allen Bros, Pinnell &Bax, and HD Sails; we could not run the event without your support!

The final words must go to our worthy Champion, Andy "Taxi" Davis: "All I can say is how well it was run, I thought the club nailed it, the race team especially. Lyme is one of my favourite venues and they delivered. Being a volunteer club, it's impressive how everyone pulls together and we're utterly grateful for them taking the time out so we can enjoy their hospitality.

It was great to see everyone getting a prize as well, the sponsors were very generous.

Lastly, I'd say the Fleet were all very welcoming with great banter and great close racing, it was a shame it was only three days, great fun!"

Roll on Abersoch in September 2023.

  • Race 1 Winner - Mike Webster
  • Race 2 Winner - Martin Watts
  • Race 3 Winner - Andy Davis
  • Race 4 Winner - Andy Davis
  • Race 5 Winner - Andy Davis
  • Race 6 Winner - Andy Davis
  • Race 7 Winner - Mike Webster
  • Under 30 Trophy - Jake Stow
  • Over 30 Trophy - Andy Davis
  • Over 40 Trophy - Nick Orman
  • Over 50 Trophy - Simon Hawkes
  • Over 60 Trophy - Mike Webster
  • Over 70 Trophy - Graham Dale-Jones
  • Highest placed classic Trophy - Dean Saxton
  • Endeavour Trophy (lowest placed completing all races) Mike Blunt
  • Team Trophy - Northampton Sailing Club (Mike Webster 2nd, Rob Cook 5th, Titch Wayling 13th, Rich Nurse 20th)

Overall Results:
If you finished in the top ten at the Phantom nationals then enter your Gear Guide information here

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R7R7Pts
11270 Andy DavisChasewater4(6)1111(10)8
21440Silver SurferMike WebsterNorthampton Sailing Club1(24)(10)933117
31473Simon HawkesSimon HawkesCastle Cove sailing club2(17)22136(DNF)25
41487 Nick Orman (19)265211(DNF)26
51496 Rob CookNorthampton SC314(19)154(17)238
61481w.a.a.sMartin Wattsnetley sc(22)1(20)69101339
71296 Carl GibbonBurton Sailing Club1337(38)12(20)439
81489PhannySimon ChildsHayling Island SC10(12)81287(RET)45
91437 Josh hylandChasewater sc794(36)(39)161450
101275ElixirChris YellandLOSSC(31)4(22)207221568
111495 Mike TustinBowmoor Sailing Club127(26)(40)17151768
121245 Paddy DenbyBroadstairs SC9(28)526525(38)70
131385KathTitch WaylingNorthampton sc6(27)18(33)6192170
141266GherkinBen FALATWaveney & Oulton Broad YC821(24)(29)1182270
151492ColumbusJim HoptonShustoke Sailing Club(29)251310185(RET)71
161395GromitChris RobertsCreeksea SC(43)(DNS)1432143072
171342PhuriousMark SpruceLee on Solent1113(33)1126(27)1677
191491 Chris SheltonDowns Sailing Club(34)229(43)2223985
201337Ovington BoatdRichard NurseNorthampton SC1823121616(DNC)(DNC)85
211309 Jake StowLRSC519(36)182421(31)87
221477John EvansJohn EvansDerwent Reservoir Sailing Club(24)16(63)2115142490
231447 Richard SimsCarsington SC14(38)17(57)31121892
241340HoobiesEd ChildLOSSC17291124(32)18(44)99
251461The EndGraham Dale­JonesCreeksea SC(44)(RET)32232898100
261370 Duncan AdamsAttenborough Sailing Club(48)51637(48)396103
271446Far CallRich CumberbatchCastle Cove Sailing CLub1611(44)1925(48)32103
281484 Paul BirbeckCastle Cove Sailing CLub26(34)27131424(33)104
291472PhantomJon RickardHPSC(32)26151719(33)27104
301391No Physical PresenceNigel KingLymington Town SC1515253220(41)(35)107
311326skimalong5Jimmy Sandisoneast lothian yacht club(51)3321(50)29263112
321475 Jeff VanderboughtLRSC(65)46(DNC)7301319115
331362tom.gissaneTom GissaneBowmoor211835845(DNC)(DNC)127
341394Nick FavellNick FavellGYGSC23203030(35)(45)25128
351482Tom joadAndrew huntGuernsey Yacht Club(46)(55)294123307130
361420Ghost ShipClive MorleyMinnis Bay Sailing Club(47)352342(56)3211143
371470 Jack YoungLyme Regis SC30324128(46)(46)12143
381465SEACREATUREGordon Kingston­MinnisLee on Solent SC3810313534(51)(DNS)148
391483Comedy WaltzAndy RobinsonLyme Regis Sailing Club(62)37(57)3147345154
401406 Olly HopkinsBowmoor278(52)484131(RET)155
411380Dad Jokejohn harrisonRudyard Lake Sailing Club(39)(47)3939272923157
421453 Simon HeusenLyme Regis SC20RET33437(DNC)(DNC)161
431339Rocket To RussiaDave ElstonCastle Cove Sailing Club40(49)4222(50)2829161
441313Double TroubleAlex FastnedgeCotswould Sailing Club2830(64)5140(55)26175
451209CasperNeil CardnoDerwent Reservoir SC(49)(54)2845444220179
461405DianeAndy SmithBowmoor / Hollingworth Lake(57)(43)4314424042181
471414KermitDave SmithHollingworth Lake Sailing Club2542(53)523338(RET)190
481321AvocetGary FullerWOBYC333649(58)3836(RET)192
491303 Dave PatrickBroadwater SC36(RET)40(60)553737205
501381 Dave GuthrieLyme Regis Sailing Club454138(59)(60)4339206
511430 Tim DenbyBroadstairs Sailing Club4245462749(DNC)(DNC)209
521429 Dean GriffithsBowmoor(56)(DNS)3454513545219
531384The Cabinet makers artNeil BoughtonRoyal Western YC524450(53)43(54)36225
541433Pink PantherWarren MartinCreeksea Sailing Club(54)503747(54)4448226
551233Pink Djinn Creeksea Sailing Club41(RET)51493650(DNS)227
561304 simon o'sullivanCotswold sailing Club50514846(52)(60)34229
57949Revenge of the black puddingDean SaxtonMaylandsea Bay Sailing Club(DNF)(DNS)5425585740234
581184KnickersSteve MummeryLOSSC(63)(56)4755535247254
591297 Nick crickmoreWaveney and oulton broad58575544(59)(59)41255
601039N/AYossi GalikoStewartbt WSC(61)5258(61)574943259
611254 David SellarShoreham Sailing Club554061(62)(62)5849263
621045­Simon EvanceMaylandsea Bay SC595360(63)(61)4746265
631460UnaStephen PoppleSussex YC + Shoreham SC3731(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNC272
641177 Simon Ransome­WillamsLyme Regis(DNC)(DNC)4564645650279
651404Well 'eeledEric HoweCreeksea SC53485656DNS(DNC)(DNC)280
66952 Mike BluntThe Nottingham Sailing Club645862(66)(65)6151296
671389ZozimusBob YatesUpper Thames Sailing Club60(RET)59(65)6353RET297

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