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CoastWaterSports 2014
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Allen 30mm Back To Back Block - A2038
Allen 30mm Back To Back Block - A2038

CoastWaterSports South West Phantom Series at Starcross Yacht Club

by Stephen McDonald & Mark Spruce 30 Jun 2023 10:27 BST 24 June 2023
Startline during the CoastWaterSports Starcross Phantom © Richard Fryer

Three travellers joined the local lads at Starcross Yacht Club on the Exe Estuary for the second event in the CoastWaterSports South West Phantom Series.

The tides necessitated an early start so the wonderful team in the Starcross galley laid on bacon butties and coffee for all. PRO Russ Gibbs waited patiently for the breeze to fill in and set a triangle, sausage course right next to the clubhouse giving the shoreside spectators a ring side view of the action.

Race 1 started in a building breeze moving right. Mark took the committee boat and led Jon by 80m at the first mark, closely followed by Chris. Mark had to come back to sail through the start/finish line on lap 3 and collected a large seaweed stalk on his rudder. Jon, displaying excellent upwind speed briefly caught and passed him just before the windward mark but Mark then managed to sail deeper by the lee downwind, winning the inside at the last mark and secured the win.

In between races, the sea breeze firmly kicked in and briefly got up to around 20 knots. Blue skies, white horses and a slackening tide - Champagne sailing conditions!

After the shortened 3 - 1 - Go sequence, Race 2 saw 4 boats go left and Chris going right, up the shoreline on his own. A gamble? Err, no! Chris popped out so far ahead of everyone that he decided to capsize and cool off to allow everyone else to catch up. Mark and Jon again capitalised and fought a tight battle to the finish with Jon's superb upwind speed giving him a substantial lead and line honours. Despite the swim, Chris held onto 3rd place - showing impressive speed in his first sail in his newly acquired Phantom.

A three Race event with 2 to count; Mark and Jon now tied with a 1 - 2 each, so it was "Who beat who" in the last race for the overall event win. It didn't matter where they finished in the fleet in this last race.

Let battle commence! This time, it was the turn of the local lads to get into the mix. Olly switched on the after-burners to round the windward mark with a considerable lead. Jon and Mark started next to each other and were never more than 5 boat lengths apart. Stuck to each other by a large elastic bungee, they changed positions several times. Tack for tack, gybe for gybe and don't worry who else sails through! Olly maintained his 100m lead, with Stephen moving through to second. Chris again decided to inspect his hull of his new boat midway around the course, so was out of contention.

Mark and Jon were overlapped, as they crossed the line at the end of lap 2 only for one Mark's lowers explode with a large bang! He quickly slipped back, not able to compete on the third beat, so he retired at the next leeward mark. This left Jon with the overall win in the bag and not content with this, he focused his attention on Olly, hounding him down securing the overlap on the very last mark - Olly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory!

Overall, Jon takes the win, Mark 2nd with a very surprised Olly 3rd.

All in all, a fantastic day of sailing with sunshine, the perfect sea breeze, a tightly managed race committee, tight racing, with everyone in the lead at some point and home-made homity pie and quiche back at the clubhouse for a late lunch.

Thanks, as always, to our SW Phantom class sponsor and the excellent, friendly Race Management and Galley teams at Starcross YC.

The Phantoms are looking forward to coming back next year!

The next event in the SW Phantom Series is Weymouth Dinghy Regatta, based at Castle Cove SC. Entries are open now and possibly limited so get your entries in now!

After that, we have the August event (12th & 13th) at Lee on the Solent SC. A joint event with the SE Phantoms - the turnout will be good, camping is available and socially, always a good event.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
1st1472Jon RickardHooe Point SC‑2112
2nd1342Mark SpruceLee on Solent SC12(RTD)3
3rd1497Olly GreensladeStarcross YC4‑526
4th1220Chris Pope 33‑46
5th1259Stephen McDonaldStarcross YC‑5437

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