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Phantom South East Traveller Series 2022

by Chris Shelton 10 Nov 2022 09:16 GMT
Phantom class South East Traveller Series at Lee on Solent © Kevin Clark

The Phantom class South East Traveller Series started this year at Easter where the class joined in with Shoreham SC's Easter Cup races.

Conditions were pretty much perfect on the Sunday morning as 8 Phantoms sailed out of the harbour to join a mixed fleet of 23 other boats. Steve Popple quickly showed everyone that he had not forgotten how to sail over the winter months, taking two bullets with some impressive boat speed. Monday morning dawned very light, but after a short delay the fleet launched in light winds that built gradually during the day. Steve was still fast and won Race 3 which gave him the overall win for the weekend. Chris Shelton won Race 4 and was second overall, whilst Mark Spruce was third.

In May the fleet travelled east to Downs SC at Deal. The wind gradually built during the Saturday and by the time the fleet launched there was a good southerly F4-5 and a north flowing tide. This meant long beats against the tide and fast downwind legs around the trapezoid course. Steve Popple again showed good speed to take 3 first places this day before the tired sailors returned to shore to enjoy a well earned BBQ.

On Sunday morning the wind was still southerly, but much lighter and this time the tide was flowing south. This meant that the beats were relatively quick, but the downwind legs were very slow. Paddy Denby seemed to like these conditions taking 3 first places whilst Steve was struggling in the light airs. Paddy also had good results on the Saturday which meant that he took the event overall, with Steve second and Ben Falat third, who had travelled all the way from Waveney & Oulton Broad.

June saw the fleet travel even further east to the picturesque Broadstairs SC, although F5 winds meant that there were not many sunbathers on the sandy beach. Wind against tide produced some fair size waves and the order of the day meant staying upright to be at the front of the fleet. Most sailors managed two races, but at the end of Race 3 there were only 2 finishers. If the sailors were hoping for a more restful day on Sunday they did not get it. The wind was even stronger, but with the tide flowing in the opposite direction the sea was slightly flatter. A much depleted fleet took to the water and Mark Spruce seemed to like the conditions taking two first places. However with only 2 boats left racing and the conditions worsening the sensible decision was made to abandon the final race of the day. Only 1 point separated first and second overall, but it was Chris Shelton first, Mark Spruce second and local sailor Al Baker third.

Following a slight break, the fleet re-convened at Lee-on-the-Solent SC at the beginning of August. Held jointly with the South West region this event attracted a larger entry of 12 boats. The wind was a total contrast to Broadstairs with very light and extremely shifty conditions over the whole weekend. The racing was very close with plenty of place changes but in the end it was generally the same bunch of sailors at the front of the fleet, and at the finish line it was normally Martin Watts (Netley SC) first. Martin achieved 4 bullets over the 6 races to give him first place overall. Second was John Wayling from Northampton with Nigel King (Lymington Town SC) third.

The final event of the series was held at Broadwater SC in the middle of October. The only inland venue of the series, this normally attracts a good entry. However this year a number of sailors were down with Covid, and a forecast for strong winds meant that there were only 9 boats. It was a day of big gusts and big shifts which resulted in quite a bit of swimming practice for some sailors. Four races back-to-back took it's toll, but at the end the first two boats were level on points and the result had to be decided on count back by the winner of the last race. This gave local sailor Leigh Riddell first, 2021 National Champion Ian Stone second and Jeremy Deacon third.

Overall the series attracted 33 different sailors, some of whom travelled considerable distances to compete. A big thank you to all of the clubs who hosted the events and also to Dover Trussed Roof Company who donated tankards as prizes for the overall results. Before the final event any one of 3 sailors could have taken the overall result, but as usual, consistency of attendance paid off with the sailors who attended most events being at the top of the overall series results. Overall it was Chris Shelton (Downs SC) first, Mark Spruce (Lee-on-the-Solent SC) second and Steve Popple (Sussex YC) third.

Overall Results:

PosHelmSail NoClubShorehamDownsBroadstairsLee-on-SolentBroadwaterPts
1Chris Shelton1491Downs SC2414347
2Mark Spruce1342Lee on Solent SC334253410
3Steve Popple1460Sussex YC1234113414
4Dave Patrick1318 / 1303Broadwater SC347346417
5Tim Denby1430Broadstairs SC666343418
6Ivan Walsh1454Shoreham SC4534343443
7Tony Cook1364Downs SC3487343449
8Tom Field‑Stephens1193Broadstairs SC3498343451
9Leigh Riddell1392Broadwater SC34343434169
10Martin Watts1481Netley SC34343413469
11Paddy Denby1472Broadstairs SC34134343469
12Ian Stone1280Maidenhead SC34343434270
13John "Titch" Wayling1385Northampton SC34343423470
14Jeremy Deacon1377Broadwater SC34343434371
15Nigel King1391Lymington Towns SC34343433471
16Al Baker1145Broadstairs SC34343343471
17Ben Falat1266Waveney & Oulton Broad YC34334343471
18Stewart Jarvis1441Broadstairs SC34344343472
19Steve Swinchatt1379Broadwater SC34343434573
20Bill Taylor1273Creeksea SC34345343473
21Gordon Kingston‑Minnis1465Lee on Solent SC53434343473
22Bob Yates1389Upper Thames SC34343434674
23Les Smith1183Broadwater SC34343434775
24Pete Harlow1277Lilliput SC34343473475
25Phil Popple1254Shoreham SC73434343475
26Rob Starling1431Burghfield SC34343483476
27Will McGrath1211Shoreham SC83434343476
28Graham Dale‑Jones1461Creeksea SC34343434977
29Brian Deacon1243Broadwater SC34343434977
30Mark Robinson1333Lee on Solent SC34343493477
31Dave Handley947Broadstairs SC34349343477
32Dave Brewster1052Lee on Solent SC343434103478
33Chris Yelland1275Lee on Solent SC343434123480

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