Please select your home edition
Edition
Feb-Nov23 Leaderboard Revolve2

Contender Travellers Trophy at Highcliffe Sailing Club

by Gary Langdown 1 May 21:27 BST 27-28 April 2024
Contender Travellers Trophy at Highcliffe © Ken Fowler

After the first two events of the Contender Travellers Series were blown off, if was a relief for the Contender fleet to finally get the season under way at one of the premier locations in the UK, Highcliffe, over the weekend of 27/28th April. The venue did not disappoint as although unseasonably cold the venue and race team provided six high quality races over the two days.

The Contender's equivalent of Max Verstappen, Graeme Wilcox, again dominated the event, however unlike Formula 1 the rest of the fleet did appear to be making progress with Graeme only winning three of the six races this weekend, the other race wins being shared between the veteran Stuart Jones, Tom Hooten and Gary Langdown.

Despite the tide holding the fleet back Race 1 incurred the only general recall of the weekend and started in a 10-12 knot very cold easterly wind, Wilcox led from the first mark establishing a significant lead by the end of the first triangle that was sustained to the end, second was Rob Smith narrowly beating brother Adrian in third.

For race 2 the wind had increased slightly and the pumping flag was up Langdown led at the first mark but was overtaken by Wilcox and Jones on the second beat, it looked as though this was going to be Wilcox's race again but an error misjudging the tide and hitting the leeward mark resulted in turns and allowed Jones to go by and secure the win.

In race 3 Langdown again led for the first half of the race but was overhauled by Wilcox and Adrian Smith on the final triangle. The fleet returned to shore cold but happy, looking forward to the evening's pizza and beer.

Sunday arrived, and the wind had swung to the Northwest, was around 15 knots and again cold. Race 4 was led by Tom Hooten followed by Langdown and Wilcox, Wilcox over took both of them on the second beat to take the win.

In race 5 the wind started to drop and swing to the south west resulting in a number of place changes throughout the race, going down the run the front four of Langdown, James Spikesley, Wilcox and Jones had broken away from the fleet with the race being shortened it should have finished in that order. However, unfortunately, Spikesley didn't realise the race was shortened and turned to go upwind resulting in dropping from second to fourth. Jones showing unexpected tactical ability headed to the committee boat end and managed to overtake Wilcox for second with Langdown just holding on for the win.

Race 6, and the wind was now firmly in the south west blowing 15 knots Tom Hooten used his expanded winter waste line to good effect and lead all the way round, holding off Wilcox in second, Rob Smith crossed the line third but discovered he was OCS resulting in Duncan Ward finishing in third.

After the scores were counted Wilcox was first overall, Jones second and Hooten third.

With the circuit now up and running the Contender fleet are looking forward to the next Travellers event at Hayling Island on 11th & 12th May, followed by a trip up-north to Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club. Then a Contender Training day and 1 day open to be held at Oxford Sailing Club ready for the Nationals at Paignton in June.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
12787Graeme Wilcox1211327
22706Stuart Jones41582618
3678Tom Hooton65926120
42484Gary Langdown1033312320
52730Adrian Smith362117725
62449Rob Smith2104792332
72420Simon Mussell1471248435
8787James Spikesley914894535
92711Duncan Ward1587615339
102702Chris Boshier5131112101048
112708Ed Presley7923523852
122710James Daniels1316101711959
132423Simon Dodds11121314121260
142714Martin Jones1615161052362
152607Carl Tagoe84623232364
16718Stuart Doe18171513131371
176Nick Curry20201816141179
182589Nathan McGrory12191715162379
19666Bill Hooton17111423232388
20712Rodger White191823232323106
21672Trevor Lloyd212323232323113
222383David Davies232323232323115

Related Articles

Contenders at Hayling Island
Finally opting not to wear full winter gear The gods looked like they were heralding in a good weekend as the Friday arrivals for their four class open were treated to the Northern Lights. Numbers swelled to a healthy 16 boats by the time we were finally choosing not to wear full winter gear. Posted on 13 May
100 Years of Jack Chippendale
One of the greats behind the golden era of the UK's domestic dinghy scene Regular readers will hopefully have enjoyed the recent 'Fine Lines' series of photos, times to coincide with the centenary of one of the greats behind the golden era of the UK's domestic dinghy scene, Jack Chippendale. Posted on 13 May
'Fine Lines' Top Ten part 10
With a full history of master boatbuilder Jack Chippendale This, the tenth and final Fine Lines in this series ends up with a real example of what the thinking is all about, that near perfect fusion of style and function. Plus a more detailed look at Jack's life and his boats. Posted on 1 May
Victorian Contender State Titles 2024
Perfect Contender weather at Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron When Mark Bulka suggested I come to the Vic states a few days early to do some training I was in! I was going anyway but when you drive for 11 hours to sail in a two day regatta it really makes it worthwhile to get a few bonus days in. Posted on 29 Apr
Contenders Travellers at Burton
decided on a violent Nor 'wester for both days 16 members of the UK contender class travelled from far and wide for the season opener at Burton SC on Foremark reservoir. The weather gods, clearly slighted in some unknowable way by the class, decided on a violent Nor 'wester for both days. Posted on 26 Mar
Contesting the Contenders
The Gippsland Lakes Yacht Club recently held the 2024 Contender Australian Championship The Gippsland Lakes Yacht Club in picturesque Paynesville recently held the 2024 Contender Australian Championship. Posted on 28 Jan
Kiel Week in the Olympic year
A dress rehearsal and yardstick for the next generation Kiel Week 2024 will be the last major international regatta and can serve as a dress rehearsal before the Olympic sailing competitions in Marseille, France. Up-and-coming crews are likely to be looking for a comparison with a view to the next Games. Posted on 23 Jan
Contender Inlands at Rutland
Great to see a number of new faces After an unseasonably warm Autumn a jolly chilly breeze greeted 30 sailors as they gathered for their Inland Championships at Rutland. It was great to see so many people attend and even better to see that there were a number of new faces. Posted on 17 Oct 2023
Contender Nationals (take two) at Castle Cove
The sailing part held over the weekend after the social part was held at Exe On the 7th to the 10th of September the Contender fleet headed off to the picturesque surroundings of Exe Sailing Club in Exmouth for the National Championship, to be greeted by warm sunshine and a distinct lack of wind as the forecasts had suggested. Posted on 27 Sep 2023
Contender training at Oxford
With video debriefs after each practice session As the weekend drew closer a number of names were added to the list of participants looking to fine tune their skills - just two weeks before the Contender National Championships to be held at Exe SC. Posted on 13 Sep 2023