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Contender open meeting at Hythe and Saltwood Sailing Club

by Dan Hollands 17 Jun 2023 13:26 BST 3-4 June 2023
Contender open meeting at Hythe and Saltwood SC © Lucy Samuel

Over the weekend of the weekend of the 3rd & 4th June 2023 thirteen Contender sailors arrived at Hythe and Saltwood Sailing Club to be greeted to 18-28 knot north-easterly breeze and bright blue skies.

There were plenty of trials and tribulations for this years open meeting. A fresh north-easterly breeze welcomed the sailors onto the water where much entertainment awaited. Before the first start Simon Mussel had some interesting gear failure where his entire rig ended up in the drink. After a short delay whilst the safety boats dragged Simon back ashore, the first start began.

The fleet split left and right up the beat and Ed Presley made it to the windward mark first with Stu Jones hot on his heels. An interesting reach followed the first beat as the wind increased to nearly 30knots and everyone flew round the course, Simon Dodds managed to pull his tiller extension off on the reach and retired from this race. In the end Ed Presley took the win followed by Stu Jones and Tim Hooten not far behind.

The following race Simon had made it back onto the water with the aid of Rodger White's spare forestay and sadly halfway through the first lap had to retire as his sail decided to pop out of the mast track; back to the beach he went. Martin Jones had a spectacular capsize offwind in this race and this seemed to be the beginning of the weekend's capsizing as people began to tire.

Race 3 Simon made it back onto the racecourse for the third time this day and clearly it had motivated him, Simon dominated this race in spectacular fashion and finished the race in 1st place and this was a sign of things to come.

At the end of day 1 the sailors retired to the club for beers and great food provided by "Loaf by the Sea".

The rest of the racing went off without too much of a hitch although several funny interesting things happened around the course. Tom Hooten had rudder issues (again...) in race 3 leading to a swim and retirement, two of the HSSC boats nearly had a wipe-out as Adrian Smith closed the door at the leeward mark and promptly capsized nearly taking out Dan Hollands in the process.

Rob Smith decided that in race 5 he would park his boat on the windward mark whilst waiting for the tide to take him past. Shortly after this a CRACK was heard across the racecourse followed by a splash as Rob capsized to windward and snapped his tiller extension before returning to the beach to retire for the day.

Race 6 began with a general recall and after a couple of delays the start began with a slightly diminished fleet, as with many of the previous races. Ed Presley, Stu Jones and Simon Mussel led the way round the course followed by Dan Hollands and Martin Jones who had fantastic close racing all round the course.

One went right and the other left and Dan Hollands came out on top and finished just ahead of Martin.

Many very tired Contender sailors made their way back to the beach after a fantastic weekend's racing.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st2708Ed Presley122‑4218
2nd2706Stuart Jones21‑333312
3rd2420Simon Mussel(DNS)DNF111219
4th2446Dan Hollands545‑66424
5th2449Rob Smith4542(DNF)DNS29
6th2730Adrian Smith666‑97732
7th2714Martin Jones7(DNF)DNS74537
8th678Tim Hooten33(DNF)5DNFDNS39
9th2423Simon Dodds(DNF)7DNF85640
10th2710James Daniels88(DNF)108DNS48
11th666Bill Hooten(DNF)DNSDNSDNSDNSDNS70
11th712Rodger White(DNS)DNSDNSDNSDNSDNS70

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