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Musto 2023 HPX LEADERBOARD

Contenders Travellers Trophy round 7 at Hythe and Saltwood Sailing Club

by Tom Coley 10 Jul 09:26 BST 6-7 July 2024

The weekend of 6th-7th July saw Hythe and Saltwood Sailing Club hosting the seventh round of the British Contender Traveller Series. The entry for this event amounted to fifteen boats with three locals and twelve visitors.

The role of Race Officer was kindly undertaken by Simon Dodds, a member of the Contender class, unfortunately suffering from a shoulder injury following his participation in the Nationals at Paignton. Simon, after consultation with the fleet, wisely decided to call off sailing on the Saturday with the wind speed close to 30 knots and forecast to be gusting up to 36 knots.

Sunday's forecast was far more promising and the plan was to get four races in on Sunday. So, the opportunity was taken to sample the delights of the local area with some embarking on a trip to Dungeness on the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch light railway. Later, all enjoyed a chilli supper and drinks whilst suffered through the football to eventually witness the minor miracle of England actually winning a penalty shoot-out!

Unfortunately, the wind on Sunday exceeded the forecast and we were greeted with mini squalls as the rain clouds moved through. However, there was no holding back Dan Hollands who, rearing to go, was first on the water. Regrettably for Dan his launching coincided with another rain squall and the rest of the fleet held off for about 20 minutes until this had passed.

Eventually seven boats took to the water and the remainder of the fleet sensibly decided to spectate rather than participate as the west/south west wind had now whipped up quite a nasty shore break. The first race therefore got under way somewhat later than scheduled and by this time Dan had been out enjoying himself for almost an hour.

The wind at the start of the first race had subsided considerably although the sea state was still very lumpy. Rob Smith managed to get the best start and held his lead to the finish. He was closely followed by Tom Hooton and Richard Batten, who managed to recover two places, to finish in third.

By the start of the second race the wind had increased significantly. Nick Curry attempted a port tack flyer and managed to cross one boat but had to duck the next two. Tom Hooton had the best start and led the way.

Richard Batten had the misfortune to lose his rudder pintle halfway up the second beat and was forced to retire. To his credit he managed to sail his boat back in rudderless; quite impressive in those conditions.

The second race was won by Tom Hooton followed by Rob Smith who just pipped Dan Hollands at the end of the run.

By the third race the wind had increased further; a significant shift about 40 seconds before the start caught Dan Hollands and Tom Coley off guard, causing them both to capsize. Tom Hooton and Rob Smith again led the way and finished in that order with Dan taking third.

Simon, the Race Officer, wisely took the decision to can the fourth race and send everyone back in as the sea state had become extremely challenging and look set to worsen. Now all we had to do was get ashore!

Fortunately, and commendably, the other half of the fleet had kept their kit on and assisted the beach crew with the landings. It was thanks to their efforts that all boats were recovered without any breakages despite some close shaves - including a spectacular masterclass of how not to do it by yours truly.

The event concluded with victory for Tom Hooton, second place to Rob Smith and local sailor Dan Hollands in third. The fleet were very grateful to Simon and all members of the race crew for running the event and in particular all those on the Committee boat which had to make its way back to Dover at the end of a very wet, windy and wavy day!

Next Event on the British Contender calendar is a trip to Shoreham Sailing club for the Travellers Trophy round 8 on 20th-21st July, after which the UK takes a brief summer break to allow those keen sailors to take part in the Italian Nationals and pre-Euros event to be held on Lake Como on 23rd-25th August followed by the main event to be held at Silvaplana Switzerland 26th-31st August.

For more information visit British Contender Association with regular updates posted on the Contender class UK Facebook page.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmR1R2R3Pts
1st678Tom Hooton2114
2nd2449Rob Smith1225
3rd2446Dan Hollands43310
4th2599Tom Coley54514
5th2661Nick Curry65415
6th2710James Daniels76619
7th1Richard Batten3111125
8th2706Stuart Jones11.5111133.5
8th2730Adrian Smith11.5111133.5
8th666Bill Hooton11.5111133.5
8th696Tony Cook11.5111133.5
8th2702Chris Boshier11.5111133.5
8th2747Tony Brooks11.5111133.5
8th2708Ed Presley11.5111133.5
8th712Roger White11.5111133.5

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