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Ocean Safety 2023 - New Identity - LEADERBOARD

Contender open meeting at Hayling Island Sailing Club

by Rob Smith 13 May 17:21 BST 11-12 May 2024

The gods looked like they were heralding in a good weekend as the Friday arrivals on Hayling Island for their four class open were treated to the Northern Lights venturing south. Saturday arrivals had less fun negotiating the traffic network trying to close down, but in our usual fashionably 'tardy' way Contender numbers swelled to a healthy 16 boats by the time we were finally choosing not to wear full winter gear.

Sailing out, hooking on, and predictably 'enjoying' the weird rollercoaster spin cycle of crossing the Hayling bar - hopes were up for the higher end of the forecast. However, by the time yours truly was recrossing the line for race 1 (second OCS in a row - uh oh!) it was high wiring sub 10knts, and set to remain.

Despite the challenges of much tide and pressure changes - no one was surprised to see Graeme Willcox set the scene with a bullet to start, kept honest by Adrian Smith 2nd, and Ed Presley proving that some sunshine helps you enjoy your less favoured conditions taking 3rd.

With 21 Fireballs, eleven 505s, and seven Ospreys - the start area was busy, and keeping an eye on flags crucial as we were promoted to start second for race 2. Tom joined Rob in being a bit keen for his OCS (also realising and going back), meanwhile Adrian was looking very good with Graeme in close company. Also showing great form was Peter Snowdon who remained near all race and was rewarded with 3rd, while Adrian defended and stretched his lead from Graeme in second.

With some challenging starts, marks and occasional 505 or Osprey wind shadows, - everyone was hoping the seemingly unsettled bits of breeze remained. Fortunately it did, and provided some new names with a chance to shine in race 3. Tom came back from a couple of forgettable numbers to score a third just behind the ever present Graeme, but not usually far away in these conditions - Mike Murley-Hughes improved his overnight position considerably with a win.

Beers were drunk from the big selection at the bar, curry was eaten, rubbish was talked to drown out Eurovision, and a lovely evening/harbour breeze was ignored out the club windows.

The four classic fleets made a brilliant sight on the way out for day 2, again in bright sun and again in a very similar 7-10knts ish.

Less tide made it a slightly different game around the outer loop course, but one that Gary Langdown came good for to put aside Saturdays average numbers. He started Sunday with a second, hot on Graeme's heels who repeated his start to Saturday with a bullet. Similarly trying to quickly forget a mediocre day1, Rob Smith was in close attendance in third.

It was a postcard sight-seeing Dougal Henshall's lovely motor launch cruising around taking snaps in the sun. Occasionally presenting an interesting extra avoidance challenge downwind but pics should be good.

The OD had to play games with pin mark and postponement flag for race 5 as some big shifts added to his busy-ness. The fleet had its own challenges, still scratching their heads for which side of the beat, how far to risk, and how to keep momentum through slop.

It wasn't the order of play for the whole race, but at the guns - the same three in the same order as race 4 - Graeme, Gary and Rob were securing or improving their standing.

With his super high (virtually standing) wiring technique proving ideal, Chris Boshier scored his best at the end with a fourth. Just ahead was Adrian who had never been far away from the leaders on day 2, and he followed Tom in who was marking his best number in second.

However - taking the gun for race 6, as he did three other times over a dominant weekend was Graeme, to win overall with a net 6pts. Adrian was a comfortably impressive second overall, and Gary upped his game on day 2 to just secure third.

Thanks to the Hayling Island Sailing Club team for a well-run multi-class event, with good courses, timing and organisation.

Next event on the Contender calendar is a Trip up north to Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club, the home of heavy weather man Neil Ferguson.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st2787Graeme WillcoxNetley Sailing Club1‑321116
2nd2730Adrian SmithHythe & Saltwood SC215‑65316
3rd2484Gary LangdownHighcliffe75722‑1223
4th2449Robert SmithCastle Cove SC‑108633525
5th2708Ed PresleyCastle cove34410‑11930
6th2725Peter SnowdonScaling Dam SC52879‑1131
7th2619Mike Murley‑HughesWeston Sailing Club4614(DNC)DNC32
8th678Tom HootonBurton Sailing Club‑1111388232
9th787James Spikesely ‑1491097439
10th2420Simon Mussell 9‑1514510644
11th2423Simon DoddsHythe & Saltwood Sailing Club6149‑1561348
12th2702chris boshierthorpe bay yacht club(DNC)1312134850
13th2607Carl TagoeOxford Sailing Club81211(DNC)141055
14th666Bill HootonBurton Sailing Club127(DNC)14121459
15th2710James DanielsNetley Sailing Club(DNC)101511DNC760
16th2714Martin JonesWilsonian13‑161312131566

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