Traditionally this weekend starts with a Training Session, 15 helms arrived Friday evening and early Saturday morning to take advantage of the expertise of Simon Childs. The weather however was not on our side as a strong 6 to 7 SSW blew straight down the river, not to be put off seven or eight took to the water, which quickly resulted in almost, if not all, capsizing over and over again.
Due to the excessive work load this put on the two safety boat crews, as well as it was quite obvious that there was little going to be learnt on the water in that weather, Simon decided to hold the rest of the training inside. Many thanks to Simon and Val, despite not being able to get on the water a great deal was learnt, and greatly appreciated by all that attended.
Sunday started the Phantom Open season, along with the first round of the Tempera-tech Ltd sponsored Eastern Series. After the excessive wind on Saturday’s training day, we were lucky to have almost perfect weather on the Sunday morning. With 22 boats rigging for what promised to be a great day. After a briefing at 10:30, we were set for a prompt 11:00 start.
Following the start sequence everybody got off to a good start, Couch took a strong lead off the line. The beat saw little action other than a good deal of calling for water, starboard etc. A strong consistent wind meant that everybody could settle into the groove and sail their boats to their best.
The fleet slowly began to spread, Couch was first round the mark onto a steady reach, however Ingram, and Gulliver were hot on his heels. Couch however responded to the threat and maintained a strong position until he continued past 4 towards 3, losing his lead by 8 places; he is probably still kicking himself over that one.
Meanwhile Jarvey lead the second wave of boats into the mark. By this time the wind had shifted, which resulted in a mass of boats tacking across reaching boats.
Ingram and Gulliver were battling for first on the dash back to the line, whilst Couch was clawing places back, and starting to threaten the podium positions once again. As boats rounded the final mark, there was more conflict for water but no collisions.
With Ed Dixon, Denver’s S.Cs latest member making an excellent overtaking manoeuvre using the inside line at 3.
On the second lap, Taylor almost took the first capsize of the day but just managed to hold it up. Gulliver took finally took first place from Ingram, and Couch managed to battle his way back into 3rd.
The same course was kept, but reduced to only 1 lap. After a tight start there was much shouting for right of way, as the fleet criss- crossed up the river. Couch took the lead from the start again, as the wind started to freshen up. Everyone was wrestling for places all the way up to 6. Couch was first into the mark with a storming lead, Gulliver and Gregory were next to pass. After a battle for 5th place, an armada of boats in very close contention could be seen flying back down to the next mark.
On the return up to mark 6, Clarke went down right on the mark which created some difficult manoeuvring for the remainder of the fleet, once they had passed Clarke was able to right his boat, recompose and sail on to finish the race. Couch took the win, with Gulliver, Gregory and Roberts filling in the places.
Run back to back, again, everyone gets a good start, this time Case taking the early lead. Even more shouting this time, as everyone had now perfected the start.
Huggett takes the first capsize of the race as a gust of wind catches him. Jarvey was forced to retire with a split sail. Couch took the lead leaving Case and Conway behind him. There were some close battles at 6, Gulliver battled through and tried to hold his lead round the buoy, but ended up with a rather stylish capsize, diving over the gunnel.
At the line there were some many close finishes, in which proved to be the closest race of the day. First four positions falling to, Couch, Case, Conway, Gulliver.
Prizes presented to
Furthest Travelled D.Conway
First Wooden Boat I.Miller
Spot Prizes D.Pike and J,Taylor and I.Clarke Phantom - Final positions
1277 A.Couch Blithfield S. C 2 1 1 1
1216 W.Gulliver Northampton S.C 1 2 4 2
1111 A.Gregory N/A 7 3 6 3
1147 P.Evans Rudyard L S.C 8 5 5 4
1183 D.Pike Rollsby Broad S.C 4 10 7 5
1278 C.Roberts Creeksea S.C 5 4 12 6
1175 J.Wayling Northampton S.C 6 8 8 7
1116 M.Ingram Creeksea S.C 3 11 9 8
1255 J.Case Wells S.C 10 13 2 9
1229 E.Brooks Elton S.C 12 6 10 10
1288 D.Conway South Shields S.C 14 16 3 11
1259 J.Taylor Southwold S.C 15 12 11 12
1209 J.Jarvey Hickling Broad S.C 9 7 R23 13
1157 J.Frost Buckenham S.C 11 14 14 14
1169 E.Dixon Denver S.C 13 15 13 15
1155 I.Miller Felixstowe Ferry S.C 16 9 16 16
1273 P.Gough Draycote S.C 17 17 15 17
1171 D.Hawkins Denver S.C 20 18 16 18
1128 P.Neve Creeksea S.C 18 19 18 19
1184 C.Morley Minnis Bay S.C 21 20 19 20
1150 I.Clarke Alton water S.C 19 22 20 21
1074 J.Huggett Denver S.C 22 21 21 22