Andy Couch wins P&B Phantom Winter Championships

National Champion Andy Couch made it a clean sweep at the Phantom Winter Nationals held at Northampton SC over the weekend. The forecast was for a cold but clear day with winds of around 10 mph, in reality it was pretty cold and considerably breezier at times in races 1 and 2.

Race 1 saw National Champ Andy Couch get away to a great start, and build a big lead. Behind Brett Cokayne, John Wayling and Simon Childs had a race long battle for the minor places, which got interesting when Russell Smith joined them approaching the leeward mark causing some luffing and close quarter manoeuvres and an involuntary gybe. Cokayne eventually took second followed by Childs and Wayling.

After a splendid lunch, Race 2 saw Childs got away well to lead from Couch and Cokayne. Childs held on until the top of the second beat when Couch broke through, and it was then fairly well spread to the finish in that order. With the wind dropping a little Cokayne fought off a fast finishing Smith and Eddie Brooks.

Race 3 followed back to back, with the Pin end again favoured. A late shift meant the line was difficult to cross, and Childs escaped onto port first, out of a very tight position. Couch broke through from a poor start to round the windward mark in second. Wayling and Smith again battled for third. Couch got through to lead offwind but was never comfortable in what was the closest race of the day. Smith was going well until a kicker fitting broke leaving Wayling to close up on Childs, but not quite able to catch him. Cokayne finished fourth ahead of John Pryer posting his best result in fifth.

Many thanks to Northampton SC and PRO Ian Castle for a great days sailing and sponsors Pinnell and Bax for some great prizes. Hopefully they got good value for money with their riders taking first and second places.

Thanks to all for traveling, with representation from Ipswich, Wirrall, Newcastle and Totnes it was a great start to the season.

Phantom - Final overall results

1 Andy Couch 1,1,1 2pts
2 Simon Childs 3,2,2, 4
3 Brett Cokayne 2,3,4 5
4 John Wayling 4,7,3 7
5 Russell Smith 5,4,R 9
6 Eddie Brooks 9,5,8 13
7 Mike Tustin 7,9,6 13
8 Tim Travis 8,6,9 14
9 Andy Gregory 11,8,7 15
10 Doug Conway 6,10,11 16
11 John Pryer 16,13,5 18
12 James Jarvey 13,11,10 21
13 Pete Gough 10,12,14 22
14 John Bower 12,15,13 25
15 Ian Miller 20,14,12 26
16 Olly Hopkins 14,17,18 31
17 Bob Larder 15,16,16 31
18 Ian McLean 19,19,15 34
19 Andy Murphy 17,20,17 34
20 John Woodhouse 18,18,19 36
21 Jez Taylor R,D,D 44
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