by Martin Frary
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
|1st||713||John Browett||Datchet Water SC||(5)||5||1||1||2||14||9|
|3rd||701||Stuart Jones||Datchet Water SC||1||2||2||(12)||4||21||9|
|4th||646||Martin Frary||Weston SC||(7)||4||5||2||5||23||16|
|6th||231||Paul Ross||Shotley SC||6||3||3||(18)||14||44||26|
|7th||2376||Nick Noble||Portshead Y & SC||4||8||6||(9)||9||36||27|
|8th||700||Nick Grace||Castle Cove SC||10||7||8||(24)||7||56||32|
|9th||2373||Mike Murley||Weston SC||(16)||13||13||3||8||53||37|
|10th||714||Martin Jones||Wilsonian SC||8||9||11||(19)||16||63||44|
|11th||718||Duncan Ellis||Hunstanton SC||9||11||14||(15)||12||61||46|
|12th||694||Chris Boshier||Thorpe Bay YC||(21)||15||18||5||10||69||48|
|13th||2422||Neil Ferguson||Yorkshire Dales SC||12||(18)||10||13||13||66||48|
|15th||673||Robert Angus||Weston SC||14||12||16||10||(17)||69||52|
|16th||2423||Sandy Clapham||Yorkshire Dales SC||13||14||(DNC)||21||15||101||63|
|17th||702||Matt Aston||Datchet Water SC||(38 DNF)||DNC||9||14||3||102||64|
|18th||615||Stuart Backhouse||Burton SC||(20)||19||15||11||19||84||64|
|19th||707||Peter Dives||East Bourne Soveign||15||17||17||(22)||18||89||67|
|20th||634||Marcus Scrace||Castle Cove SC||19||16||19||(30)||25||109||79|
|21st||2407||Richard Buttner||Royal Cinque Port YC||18||20||20||(29)||24||111||82|
|22nd||675||David Gauther||Lymington Town||17||(DNC)||DNC||7||22||122||84|
|23rd||2314||Rodger White||King George SC||(DNC)||DNC||DNC||4||11||129||91|
|24th||559||Bernard Shapley||King George SC||(DNC)||DNC||DNC||6||29||149||111|
|25th||654||Tom Hooton||Burton SC||(DNC)||DNC||DNC||17||26||157||119|
|26th||678||Bill Hooton||Burton SC||(DNC)||DNC||DNC||23||21||158||120|
|27th||692||Colin Gates||East Bourne Soveign||(DNC)||DNC||DNC||27||20||161||123|
|29th||2359||Tony Cook||Downs SC||(DNC)||DNC||DNC||26||27||167||129|
|30th||2427||Mark Johnson||Lancing SC||(DNC)||DNC||DNC||32||28||174||136|
|31st||476||Daniel Taylor||Mengeham Rythe||(DNC)||DNC||DNC||25||38 DNF||177||139|
|32nd||604||Phil Alison||GYGSC||(DNC)||DNC||DNC||31||38 DNF||183||145|
|33rd||368||Alan Harris||Restronguet SC||(DNC)||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||190||152|
|33rd||577||K Atrasziewicz||Yorkshire Dales SC||(DNC)||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||190||152|
|33rd||659||Martin Metcalf||Killington SA||(DNC)||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||190||152|
Sponsors Boat Bits and North Sails provided the excellent prizes.