by Simon Childs
The new Ovington built hull for Vandercraft seems to be all that the class wanted – great build quality yet the same shape so as not to make the existing fleet obsolete, and maintain the second-hand market values.
Looks like the production line remains busy as we head into the 1300 number range. Sail choice again was shared mainly between Pinnell & Bax, Evolution and Norths, with no one sail dominating 2007.
The Hall of Fame for 2007 is up on the Web, www.phantomclass.org.uk with Andy Couch leading the way again.
National Champ - Andy Couch
Inland Champ - Simon Childs
Super Series - Andy Couch
Travellers Series - Russell Smith
Eastern Series - Chris Sallis
South West Series - Russell Smith.
The Nationals was disappointing, in terms of the wind, but Andy Couch sailed a great weekend, coping with Sail issues, and often working his way through the fleet to win easily! Al Burrell and Will Gulliver filled the minor places, but were never quite up with Couchy! We all must get the practice in to make his hat-trick attempt a little more difficult at Felixstowe in 2008!
The Inlands saw an awful forecast but those that attended had a breezy Saturday, and the wind gradually disappeared on Sunday. Simon Childs held on to win, but the Simons were out in force with Messrs Heusen and Feilden only being denied a clean sweep by Brett Cokayne in 3rd.
Open meeting attendances were again patchy, a problem experienced by many UK fleets, especially given the price of fuel, and demands on our free-time. However the Phantom word continues to spread, and we are managing to attract some quality guest appearances from younger (and lighter, unfortunately!) helms such as Andy Brooks and Paul Childs.
The traveller series attracted entries from 125 different helms throughout the year. The result was in doubt right down to the wire, with Russell Smith grabbing victory from Simon Childs and Simon Fielden. Gavin Young and James Case rounding out the top 5.
The Super Series turnouts were a little disappointing overall, although 97 different helm completed at least one leg, and again suffered in part to very light winds, and the ability of Windguru to correctly predict it! Overall Andy Couch strolled home, followed by Brett Cokayne and Simon Childs.
The regional series success story was in the East in 2007 ! Many new faces and venues joined the fleet and the social, camaraderie and sailing were all top class. Chris Sallis won the series chased home by Daren Pike and James Case, Rod Thorpe and Simon Feilden. Top job chaps – many thanks to Chris Roberts / Rod Thorpe et al for organising.
The South West Traveller was a little down on last years attendances, however the number of boats Club sailing in the region remains high. Russell Smith took the spoils, holding off Gavin Young, Nick Orman, Pete Barnstaple and Henry Ayres.
So winter practice is underway as is planning for the 2008 season. First is the Winters at West Oxford Currently planned for 9 February, Nationals at Felixstowe Ferry SC 5/6/7 September and the Inlands at Northampton SC 17/18 May with the Solutions.
The Phantoms will be at the Battle of the Classes down at Excel in the January Boat Show, and at the Dinghy Show etc. So keep the faith and supporting our favourite Class. 2008 looks like being a good one.