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Phantom Open at Royal Harwich Yacht Club

by Bill Taylor 9 Jul 05:19 BST 6-7 July 2024

The fifth event on the Eastern Phantom calendar was held at Royal Harwich Yacht Club on the 6th and 7th of July, six Phantom sailors decided to arrive on the Friday to set up camp early and have an evening meal at the Butt and Oyster in Pin Mill a short walk from the club.

Three more Phantoms turned up on the Saturday to make it a 9 boat fleet, the forecast was for strong winds from the north west,the briefing was held in the club house to keep out the rain, the race officer Gordon Sutton let everyone know the format for the racing, courses, time sequence, etc. the Phantoms would share the event with the National 12's and Lasers.

The first race was under way with the beat being gusty and shifty just what the locals were saying it would be, it was decision time in the tide where it was lumpy, or out the tide with flatter water Bill Taylor making the right decision rounded the windward mark first with Matt Toone in 2nd and Richard Nurse in 3rd, those positions would soon change with Matt Toone making the right choice up the 2nd beat, with Richard Nurse overtaking Taylor to finish in that order.

A trapezoidal course being used for race 2 saw Taylor getting the first beat right and rounding the windward mark first for the reach across the river, with Nurse in 2nd and Dean Saxton showing what he was capable of in 3rd, on the 3rd lap Matt Toone managed to work his way up to 2nd only to brake his kicker and losing a shroud, with Taylor having similar fate the clew letting go left the door open for Nurse to pip him on the line and Saxton coming 3rd, Toone finished 4th having to call it a day to replace the broken parts.

Race 3 saw another course change and triangle sausage this time, with half the fleet exhausted or with breakages it left 4 boats to battle it out in an ever increasing breeze, Taylor away again showing good pace in a breeze with Nurse and local lad Nic Thorpe in close proximity, thankfully the race officer shortened the course to let them finish in that order, all returning to the bar for some Phantom Banter and well earned refreshments.

On the Sunday the first race was to start at 11-45 there were thunder storms forecast at some point in the day, the wind had clicked round to the south, so the decision was made to hold the races at Pin Mill, the wider part of the river, a figure of eight course was used for the first race, half way through the starting sequence there was a big shift so that start was abandoned so the course could be straightened out, which the safety crew did as fast as they could to get the race under way, with Taylor and Nurse battling it out for first round the windward mark bragging rights with Nurse getting there first and Taylor close second and Matt Toone in his overnight fixed boat in 3rd,the rest of the fleet well within pouncing distance, it was all very close then Taylor decided to capsize trying to clear his air round the leeward mark letting the fleet past, Thorpe showing good boat speed staying with Nurse in first and keeping Toone behind,the race finished in that order.

Two phantoms went in before the start of the fifth race with an increasing breeze, the fleet down to five boats now using the same figure of 8 course was away with Toone and Thorpe making the best starts. Nurse was showing good boat speed in the strong stuff, making the windward mark first, with Toone and Thorpe close 2nd and 3rd, during the second lap one of the forecast squalls came through and caught Taylor out, ending his day retiring exhausted, also catching Saxton out but able to recover and finish the race in 4th. The three leaders feathered it round the course with Nurse carrying on his dominance to secure his third win of the open, Toone in 2nd and Thorpe 3rd.

The last race started with three boats. The wind had dropped by now and was raceable again same course used figure of 8 the officer decided to make it short and sweet which no-one complained about Toone winning the race Saxton 2nd and Thorpe 3rd.

This meant Richard Nurse had won the open. At the prize-giving he thanked the club and all involved for putting on a great event.

The next event for the Eastern Phantom circuit is Burnham Week which is a three-dayer 24th to the 26th of August.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
11500Richard NurseNorthampton SC21211(DNC)7
21292Matt TooneArdleigh14(DNC)32111
31214Nick ThorpRHYC‑65323316
4949/1267Dean SaxtonMaylandsea Bay‑43444217
51420Bill TaylorCreeksea SC3215(DNC)DNC21
61337Pete SarbuttCreeksea5(DNF)DNCDNCDNCDNC45
71461Graham Dale JonesCreeksea SC7(DNS)DNCDNCDNCDNC47
81404Eric HoweCreeksea SC(DNC)DNSDNCDNCDNCDNC50

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