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Phantom HD Sails/Ceildeh Midlands Traveller Series at Chase Sailing Club

by Mike Webster 17 Oct 2022 17:11 BST 9 October 2022

The penultimate event of the Phantom 'HD Sails/Ceildeh' Midlands Traveller Series was help at Chase Sailing Club. With the forecast predicting high winds and gusts of 30 knts, the windguru fraternity were clearly not tempted, a lower than average series turnout with only five home and five visiting boats.

The day turned out to be less extreme, however the south westerly direction created very gusty and shifty conditions for all.

The Race Officer, ex Phantom sailor Alex Walton set short lines and weaving courses around the lake for the three race event.

Race 1

The sailors got off to a clean start as the gusts pounded the boats up the first beat. Mike Webster - Northampton SC rounded first closely followed by new boy to the Phantom class Adam Froggatt - Chase SC and Duncan Adams - Attenborough SC. The fleet zigzagged down the lake with the front three boats pushing each other into a growing lead. Adam pressing downwind squeezed past to take pole position at the leeward mark with Mike having to complete penalty turns for a 'minor' altercation also letting Duncan through. The beats proved tricky with seemingly no pattern to the extreme shifts and gusts with the left, right and centre all having gains and losses. After several laps the finish at the end of the run saw Adam holding onto first place with Mike pulling back to second and Duncan claiming third.

Race 2

The port biased starting line close to the shore made for some interesting boat handling manoeuvers to line up for the perfect start. The fleet got away cleanly battling again the gusts and shifts. Mike leading at the windward mark by 30m only to be told of rounding it the wrong way ! Adam capitalizing and reaching off across the top leg followed by Josh Hyland - Chase SC, Jim Hopton - Shustoke SC and Rob Cook - Northampton SC. Further confusion reigned as the leaders rounded the bottom mark incorrectly forcing Mike, Adam and Josh to retired before the finish after realizing their indiscretions allowing Duncan to take the race win, followed closely by Jim and Rob. The brain freeze effecting some of the leading contenders set up for a nail biting last race.

Race 3

With the wind and gusts strengthening some of the fleet remained ashore. Rob reveling in the tricky conditions happy with his choice of his flat sail leading at the first mark stretching out a small gap from Adam and Josh. The longest race of the day providing some breathtaking reaches and challenging upwind legs. With Rob clear ahead the shorten course was sounded on the final run to the leeward mark, but with one final twist he slowed in a lull allowing Adam and Josh to scream down on one of the days extreme gusts. The finish line had all three boats spread bow to bow but Rob held on by his finger nails with Adam and Josh claiming second and third in a photo finish.

Congratulation to Adam for winning in his first month of Phantom sailing fresh out of his Solo, clearly enjoying the exhilarating ride in his new boat. Definitely one to be watch in future events.

Thanks to Chase Sailing Club for providing an interesting day's racing in difficult conditions providing a friendly welcome to the visitors.

Thanks also to HD Sails and Ceildeh carbon spars for their sponsorship of the event as part of the 2023 Midlands series.

The class is looking forward to the final event and prize-giving which will be held at Burton Sailing Club on the 23rd October.

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