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Allen Brothers

Allen Contender open meeting at Oxford Sailing Club

by James Spikesley 13 Apr 14:06 BST 2-3 April 2023

The second round of the contender traveller series took place on the first weekend of April at Farmoor Reservoir, hosted by the ever welcoming Oxford Sailing club, who had arranged sponsorship from Sailing Chandlery.

Twenty boats arrived at the club after working their way through the rain and hoping for less of it during the day. Conditions at the club were lighter than originally forecast and the from the first view of the racing area on the Saturday was of lighter breeze with the streaks of stronger breeze that we have come to love, it was clear that there were definitely some snakes out there with the ladders, on the upside it did get drier as the day wore on.

Race one went off cleanly with the key being to stay in the breeze with Graeme Wilcox, Stuart Jones and James Spikesley working it out up the first beat to round in that order, the order didn't change much until the second beat where Nick Curry saw something on the right and raised himself into the top five to be join by Mike Marley-Hughes and Ed Presley. Graeme stretched away from Stuart who Stretched away from rest of the fleet to finish one and two with Mike sliding up to third.

Race two brought another clean start with Graeme round first with a short gap to Mike, James and Stuart. Graeme continued extending whilst James managed to sneak away at the leeward mark by getting inside some K6s who were sharing the course. Whilst there were some slippery moments Graeme continued his winning streak, James maintained his second and Stuart Jones coming in Third.

The final race of the day brought out the first general recall as competitors were keen to get round and then get warm. After a clean restart the familiar top three formed with Graeme leading Stuart followed by Mike with all three keeping the positions to the finish.

Sunday brought more cloud and a change in wind direction, coming over the club, just to up the shift stakes.

Race four following a familiar theme with Graeme, Stuart and Mike restarting how they had left of from the previous day, with the one exception of Mike making his way past Stuart to claim second spot at the finish.

Race five found a fleet wondering who had been called OCS, turned out to be Gary Langdown who was a fraction too keen. There was also a small shake up at the top with Stuart finally sniggling through to break Graeme's winning streak and Carl Tagoe making the best of the local knowledge to gain a hard fought third place.

The final race of the weekend finally saw the sun come out but did not improve the stability of the breeze. The race started without a hitch and a range of choices as to which was the right way. Graeme managed to dial back in along with Stuart, Mike, James and Gary. Both Graeme and Stuart stretched away for the one and two leaving the other three scrapping it out for third.

Garry seemed set to claim it but held on a fraction too long before the final tack into the line with James just snatching it.

In a bizarre turn of events the top four was exactly the same as the last visit to Oxford...

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st695Graham WillcoxNetley1111‑215
2nd2706Stuart JonesDatchet2‑3231210
3rd2619Mike Marley‑HughesWeston3‑5324517
4th705James SpikesleyNetley728‑135325
5th2708Ed Pressley 4‑7467627
6th2661Nicholas CurryWeston58‑948732
7th678Thomas HootonBurton96559(DNS)34
8th2484Gary LangdownHighcliffe64715(OCS)436
9th2729Chris HoweOxford1210686‑1442
10th2423Simon DoddsHythe & Saltwood‑179107101147
11th2607Carl TagoeOxford‑1412111431353
12th2710James DanielsNetley10‑20131015856
13th27)Simon MussellHighcliffe815‑19.512131058
14th2712David HumphriesOxford1111‑19.516111261
15th2572Paul RossShotley‑1916151714971
16th2714Martin JonesWilsonian15‑17179171573
17th2747Tony BrooksOxford13141411(RET)DNS73
18th712Rodger WhiteKing George1613121816(DNS)75
19th666Bill HootonBurton1819162012(DNS)85
20th686Nathan McGroryPoole2018181918(DNS)93

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