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Phantom Midland Series at Bartley Sailing Club

by Andy Smith 13 May 18:37 BST 12 May 2024
Phantom Midland Series at Bartley © Andy Smith

A small, but perfectly formed, fleet of ten Phantoms turned up at a warm and sunny Bartley on Sunday 12th May for the second of six events in the Phantom Class Midland Series, which was held alongside the Lightning 368 Open.

The format for the event was for one race in the morning, followed by lunch and then two races back-to back in the afternoon, with two out of three to count.

Race 1 was held in a light and quite shifty F1-2 from the north east (maybe even ENE), with plenty of holes in the wind to catch people out. Duncan Adams (Burton) led at the first mark, closely followed by Adam Froggatt (Chase) with a group of five not far behind, but very close together. On the long run to the second mark, Jim Hopton (Shustoke) held a higher line and pulled through to third, followed by guest appearance Nigel Hudson (Bartley) in Steve Ward's boat.

After a three-lap 45 minute race, Adam finally got ahead of Duncan and Jim retained third place. Your intrepid reporter can't add anything further, given the distance he was behind the front runners and not having taken his binoculars afloat!

Race 2, after a leisurely lunch break, saw a change of course and a slight increase in the wind, as it veered more towards East. A big shift saw Adam, Jim and Andy Smith (Bowmoor) approaching the first mark fast on port - almost a carbon copy repeat of what happened in the second race at Bowmoor last month, except that this time there were fewer boats and it also wasn't really possible to lay the mark on starboard, so everything was polite, congenial and without any incident or raised voices, thankfully!

Adam and Jim sailed away to comfortable first and second places respectively, albeit with a sizeable gap between them in the end. Duncan eventually pulled through to third after a uncharacteristic poor start and the positions from fourth to eighth were the same as Race 1. So, Adam had already secured victory and Race 3 would be a two-horse battle for second overall between Duncan and Jim.

As the breeze had picked up even more, Adam stayed out to join the fun, but pulled the trigger way too early on the start and so decided to retire, given he was almost on the lay line when the gun actually went! Duncan and Andy both made good starts and took advantage of both clear wind and a useful shift to be well ahead of the rest of the fleet at the first mark.

Duncan then proceeded to do a "complete horizon job", whilst Andy held off a fast-catching Jim until the last lap but secured a useful third place to move him up in the overall results (and the honour of writing this report!). Sadly, as I was concentrating so hard to first keep Jim behind me and then making sure I kept close to his transom, I did not see what happened elsewhere on the race track - except that there were large gusts from time to time, and even larger shifts almost all the time (apparently anything with east in it isn't a good direction for Bartley - well, we now know that for certain!).

At the prize-giving, Adam thanked the OOD and his team for putting on a great day's racing. For info, the next Midland Series event is the Inlands at Northampton in mid-June.

Overall Results:

PositionSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
1st1449Adam FroggattChase11(RET)2
2nd1370Duncan AdamsBurton2(3)13
3rd1492Jim HoptonShustoke(3)224
4th1356Nigel HudsonBartley44(7)8
5th1405Andy SmithBowmoor(7)7310
6th1500Richard NurseNorthampton(6)6410
7th1380John HarrisonRudyard Lake55(6)10
8th1488Andrew PyettCombs(8)8513
9th1347Brian WebleyShustoke9(10)817
10th1414Dave SmithHollingworth Lake109(RET)19

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