Enthusiastic Contender entry for Inlands

Contender Ben Holden

The International Contender class made their annual journey to Rutland for the final Boat Bits Travellers Trophy event of the year, which also comprised the Inland Championships.

The Olympic class that-never-was, continues to attract significant numbers of competitors both in Britain and on the international circuit. Originally designed for an Olympic selection competition in 1967, the class failed in selection but became a successful International class, the biggest single hander trapeze class and another missed chance to move the Games forward, a mistake that the entrenched forces of the ISAF continue to repeat with their refusal to widen the selection process for the events classes.

But, back to the weekends event at Rutland. Forty competitors arrived and racing went right to the final race, with the championship victory going to John Browett on count-back after a three-way tie with Ben Holden and Stuart Jones. Martin Frary finished fourth and collected the Boat Bits National Travellers trophy for 2008.

Race 1 started in a healthy 25+ Knots and was led away by Stuart Jones closely followed by Ben Holden, Stacey Bray and John Browett. Excitement occurred throughout the fleet as what could be described as strong gusts took their toll, many imaginative capsizes were completed further down the fleet, final positions being Jones then Bray followed by Holden.

Race 2 continued with the no let up in the conditions. Competitors had now tuned to the conditions, with extremely close racing throughout the fleet. Ben Holden took the win with a dramatic top batten clearing dive at the finish, followed by a consistent Stuart Jones, and a rapid Paul Ross in third, finally competing in an event in his preferred strong wind conditions.

Race 3 and the excitement continued, John Browett led off the line and extended his lead throughout, the minor placing's were fought out to the end with Jones taking second and Ross again in third.

Sunday arrived with a much lighter breeze, could the big-uns hang on, or would the little-uns make a move?

Race 4 and David Gautier stormed up the 1st beat, unfortunately he relinquished his lead with a slight navigational error. John Browett continued his move up the leader board with Martin Frary taking second and Mike Murley third. Holden and Jones both took their discards, meaning going into the last race the overall winner could be taken from Holden, Browett or Jones.

Race 5 and the breeze had strengthened. Holden returned to the fore taking the win, with Browett in 2nd and Matt Aston in third finally appearing in his normal front of the fleet position. Had Holden done enough to take the win?

Showing the competiveness of the fleet this left the front 3 all tied on 9 points, with John Browett taking the overall win on count back with Holden in Second and Jones in third, a consistent Martin Frary took fourth overall and with this 1st place in the Boat Bits National Travellers for 2008.

Many thanks go to Rutland Sailing Club especially the race and rescue crews who had a lot to do with four classes to after on the water.

Contender Inland Championship - Final overall results
Sailed:5, Discards:1, To count:4, Entries:37, Scoring system:My scoring
1st713John BrowettDatchet Water SC(5)5112149
2nd2315Ben HoldonHalifax314(20)1299
3rd701Stuart JonesDatchet Water SC122(12)4219
4th646Martin FraryWeston SC(7)45252316
5th2405Stacey BrayPorthpean267(8)62921
6th231Paul RossShotley SC633(18)144426
7th2376Nick NoblePortshead Y & SC486(9)93627
8th700Nick GraceCastle Cove SC1078(24)75632
9th2373Mike MurleyWeston SC(16)1313385337
10th714Martin JonesWilsonian SC8911(19)166344
11th718Duncan EllisHunstanton SC91114(15)126146
12th694Chris BoshierThorpe Bay YC(21)15185106948
13th2422Neil FergusonYorkshire Dales SC12(18)1013136648
14th2383David DaviesRYA11101216(DNC)8749
15th673Robert AngusWeston SC14121610(17)6952
16th2423Sandy ClaphamYorkshire Dales SC1314(DNC)211510163
17th702Matt AstonDatchet Water SC(38 DNF)DNC914310264
18th615Stuart BackhouseBurton SC(20)191511198464
19th707Peter DivesEast Bourne Soveign151717(22)188967
20th634Marcus ScraceCastle Cove SC191619(30)2510979
21st2407Richard ButtnerRoyal Cinque Port YC182020(29)2411182
22nd675David GautherLymington Town17(DNC)DNC72212284
23rd2314Rodger WhiteKing George SC(DNC)DNCDNC41112991
24th559Bernard ShapleyKing George SC(DNC)DNCDNC629149111
25th654Tom HootonBurton SC(DNC)DNCDNC1726157119
26th678Bill HootonBurton SC(DNC)DNCDNC2321158120
27th692Colin GatesEast Bourne Soveign(DNC)DNCDNC2720161123
28th682P LincolnR.N.S.A(DNC)DNCDNC2823165127
29th2359Tony CookDowns SC(DNC)DNCDNC2627167129
30th2427Mark JohnsonLancing SC(DNC)DNCDNC3228174136
31st476Daniel TaylorMengeham Rythe(DNC)DNCDNC2538 DNF177139
32nd604Phil AlisonGYGSC(DNC)DNCDNC3138 DNF183145
33rd368Alan HarrisRestronguet SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC190152
33rd577K AtrasziewiczYorkshire Dales SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC190152
33rd659Martin MetcalfKillington SA(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC190152
33rd625Malcolm HallCarsington(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC190152
33rd2Simon MussellHighcliffe(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC190152

Sponsors Boat Bits and North Sails provided the excellent prizes.