Despite the forecast, twenty nine Contenders descended on Rutland Sailing Club over the weekend of the 3rd-4th November for their Inland Championship, the last event of the 2012 Contender Travellers Trophy.
The first race started promptly in ten knots with Holden the younger taking the honors dispelling the rumor that he is just a heavy weather sailor. He was followed home by the usual suspects: Nick Grace, Matt Aston and Holden the elder in that order.
Race two was a similar affair but this time Stuart Jones showed awesome speed and sailed away from the fleet to win by a comfortable margin from Holden the elder. Peter Dives slipped through on the last beat to take third closely followed by Chris Boshier and Dan Taylor.
In the final race of the day Holden the elder was leading when, to his delight, the race was shortened. The breeze was dropping and the sun setting so a wise decision on the part of the race officer. He was followed over the line by Tom Hooton, Miles Blewett (his best ever result) and Holden the younger.
So at the end of the first day the Holdens locked out the front row of the grid with the elder on seven, the younger on 12, 'Mr. Consistency' Dan Taylor with three fifths and then Stuart Jones, Peter Dives, Nick Grace and Matt Aston all tied on 18 points. All to play for on Sunday!
Arriving at the Club on Sunday morning the weather was as forecast: four degrees, eight knots and drizzle which later developed into steady rain. A perfect day to finish the series!
Again a prompt start. The wind was forecast to go left which it did and Peter Dives lead the boats in from the left hand side of the course and held the lead to the finish followed over the line by Jerry Hone and Tony Brooks who had swapped places several times during the race. Stuart Jones was forth followed by Jon Hill, back in Contenders again after a gap of 15 years. The Holdens could only manage to make the teens and Dan Taylor was back in 21st setting up the points for the final race shootout.
A bit more breeze for the last race and by now the rain was steady. Mike Murley grabbed the lead and doggedly defended it as only Mike can. Holden the elder was second which was good enough to win the Championship. Nick Grace finished third again to claim fifth place overall. The ever consistent Stuart Jones finished fourth to claim the runner’s up spot and to win the 2012 Travellers Trophy and Holden the younger was fifth to claim the final place on the podium. Peter Dives, after an incident at the first mark, headed for the hot showers leaving the rest to slog it out, finishing fourth overall.
Our thanks go to Rutland Sailing Club for hosting the event and turning the races around so promptly which was greatly appreciated on a cold November day.
Rank Name Club Nett Points 1 Tim Holden Halifax SC 9 2 Stuart Jones Datchet Water SC 15 3 Ben Holden Halifax SC 17 4 Peter Dives Eastbourne Sovereign SC 19 5 Nick Grace Castle Cove SC 20 6 Daniel Taylor Mengeham Rythe 23 7 Mike Murley Weston SC 25 8 Matt Aston Datchet Water SC 28 9 Tom Hooton Burton SC 38 10 Ed Presley RAFSA 38 11 Chris Boshier Thorpe Bay YC 41 12 Tony Brooks Oxford SC 42 13 Jerry Hone Lancing SC 44 14 Chris Howe Oxford SC 53 15 Neil Ferguson Yorkshire Dales SC 55 16 Mick Pullin Halifax SC 57 17 Jon Hill Bough Beach SC 61 18 Malcolm Hall Carsington SC 61 19 Martin Jones Wilsonian SC 71 20 Colin Gates Eastbourne Sovereign SC 71 21 Myles Blewett King George SC 72 22 Roger White King George SC 72 23 Geoff Norman Notts County SC 77 24 Alan Mollatt Downs SC 78 25 Nicholas Bell Aldeburgh YC 81 26 Michael Gower Southwold SC 99 27 Martin Metcalfe Killington SA 102 28 Paul Green Port Dinorwic SC 102 29 Tony Cook Downs SC 107