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Phantom Eastern Region 2023 in review

by Warren Martin 5 Nov 2023 17:11 GMT
Bill Taylor wins the Phantom Eastern 2023 © Alan Shrimplin

Well, that's a wrap. What a great year we have had in the East having 'phun' in Phantoms. Over the course of the year, 31 competitors took to the water over six events hosted up and down our beautiful East Coast.

The racing took place on rivers, reservoirs and ponds, with each event hosted with aplomb by our great yacht/sailing clubs, where we thank the very kind commodores, race officers, race, safety and galley teams that looked after us so well throughout the season. Unfortunately, our headline sea event at Gorleston was cancelled due to 'inclement' weather, but we hope to make good that visit next year.

On to the racing. It soon became apparent that this year was a shoot out between top guns Bill "Slayer" Taylor or Billy the bus driver as he is affectionately known, and Richard "Rich" Nurse or "The Titch's Apprentice". Everyone has at least two names on the East coast! These two went at it like bull walruses trading blows in event after event. Billy took Stone and Royal Harwich, whilst Rich dominated the East Coast Championship at the Royal Burnham. Second place wasn't good enough for either of these two aces even though they both had plenty.

The scene was set and the final event at Wavely & Oulton Broad Yacht Club would be the decider, where winner would take all. London Transport intervened and demanded that Billy actually did some work after his professional sailing summer, leaving the door wide open for Rich Nurse to take the spoils or did it? Grand Master Ben Falet once again showed the fleet how to sail in tricky conditions after winning the first event of the season at Ardleigh Reservoir, he dominated the final event with four bullets and two seconds. Even Rich's new white dinghy boots couldn't help as he had to marvel as Ben sailed into the distance in the majority of the races. An event second place for Rich wasn't good enough, an absent Billy would take the spoils.

What for the minor places? The competition for the last place on the podium was intense with a number of helms able to take third place. Terry Crook had put in a commanding performance at Creeksea, winning the event, and took second place at Stone. Who knows what could have been if he had sailed a few more events. Your author was feeling confident after recently honing his skills on the "Pond of Frustration" in Ardleigh and stepping up his fitness regime. Unfortunately for him, Eric "The Eel" Howe came to the event hungry and put on a fantastic sailing display in his beautiful wooden decked, dropped floor JJ Boats Phantom. Eric took sixth at W&OBYC cementing his well-deserved third place overall - congratulations to the Eel, there is always next year!

I leave my final words for our Champion Billy - our local hero and my co-East Coast Rep. If imitation is the highest form of flattery, I'd like to plagiarise our Phantom Class Editor at Large Mark "Sprucey" Spruce on his comments in his Nationals Runners and Riders article (a must read if you haven't already) "This year Big Bill Taylor from Creeksea is making an appearance. Now a full-time sailor he navigates his Phantom like his red London Routemaster bus - get in his way at your peril!" Congratulations Billy, you are the East Coast Series Champion!!

Signing off, we look forward to welcoming all East Coast sailors and travellers who would like to sample our hospitality in 2024. Our class is inclusive, it doesn't matter what sort of phantom you sail, it's age or condition. It's been known for our "pit" crew to re-rig boats mid regatta and pass on "the knowledge" of how to sail these magnificent boats faster. If you are lucky, will meet some of our East coast rock star legends: Chris Roberts; Matt House; Graham Dale Jones; Bob Portway and Ben Falet who resemble an aging boy band (more Stones than Take That) and will undoubtably beat you on the water! We have "younger" sailors too, where Terry Crook, Roger Smith and David Nicholls will be happy to show your their transoms. Enjoy your winter sailing wherever you are.

Fair winds,

Warren (aka Thumper, Panther and co-East Coast Rep)

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubArdleighStoneCreekseaRHYCBurnhamWOBYCPts
11273Bill TaylorCreeksea SC41212(DNC)10
21337Richard NurseNorthampton SC2‑5421211
31404Eric HoweCreeksea SC51510(DNC)5641
41433Warren MartinCreeksea SC812124(DNC)945
51395Chris RobertsCreeksea SC1297(DNC)3DNC63
61266Ben FalatWOBYC14(DNC)DNCDNC170
71320Roger SmithCreeksea SC(DNC)DNC334DNC74
81233Pete SarbuttCreeksea SC61614(DNC)6DNC74
91432Matt HouseArdleigh313(DNC)DNCDNC383
101459David NichollsCreeksea SC(DNC)88DNCDNC888
111394Nick FavellWOBYC(DNC)1411DNCDNC493
121462Graham Dale JonesCreeksea SC(DNC)1015DNCDNC594
131464Terry CrookCreeksea SC(DNC)21DNCDNCDNC99
141482Andy HuntGuernsey YC76(DNC)DNCDNCDNC109
151214Nick ThorpeAlton Water/RHYC10(DNC)DNC5DNCDNC111
161305Ian HillArdleigh9(DNC)DNCDNCDNC10115
171443Phil LongleyStone(DNC)3DNCDNCDNCDNC131
181342Mark SpruceLee on Solent(DNC)DNC5DNCDNCDNC133
191142Chris Green (DNC)DNCDNC6DNCDNC134
201245Paddy DenbyBroadstairs SC(DNC)DNC6DNCDNCDNC134
211279Nick CrickmoreWOBYC(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC7135
221425Stephen Pates (DNC)DNCDNC7DNCDNC135
231334Bob PortwayRHYC(DNC)7DNCDNCDNCDNC135
241420Clive MorleyMinnis Bay SC(DNC)DNC9DNCDNCDNC137
251152Philip HarlowGYGSC(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC11139
261234Theo BullStone(DNC)11DNCDNCDNCDNC139
271279Ian PaveyArdleigh11(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC139
281494Simon EvanceMaylandsea Bay SC(DNC)DNC13DNCDNCDNC141
291174Yoshi GalikoStewartby SC(DNC)DNC16DNCDNCDNC144
301205Olly MoonCreeksea(DNC)17DNCDNCDNCDNC145
311342Mark SpruceLee on Solent SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC160

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