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Contender Travellers' Series Round 3 at Broadstairs Sailing Club

by Nick Noble 8 May 2018 06:24 PDT 28-29 April 2018

The third round of the Contender Travellers Series was contested for on the weekend of the 28th and 29th April 2018. The fleet had been bolstered by the arrival of boats returning from the Worlds the Friday before the event. An entry of 20 boats gathered on Saturday morning. It was a cold damp start to the day with a light off shore westerly blowing.

The first race was started with a strong tide against going up the first beat. Those that went inshore appeared to have an advantage due to less tidal flow and Carl Tago showed his recent form by opening up a considerable lead over his rivals, whilst the returning Australian Worlds competitors were showing a degree of rustiness from their long winter layoff, apart from David Davis who followed Carl home for second place with Ed Presley third.

The second race followed a similar pattern although it was Stuart Jones this time that opened up a big lead again realising that going right and heading for shore and less tide was the key to success.

Stuart came home first followed by a consistent Ed and an improving Simon Mussel in third.

The wind had veered further right for race 3 catching the race office off guard who set an extremely bias pin end start. A few port track starters got through the gap but a few failed causing an extremely congested start. Those that managed to get a clean start pulled clear, with Stuart Jones taking the win from a great second place Dave Adams and third Adrian Smith.

Sunday morning dawned with a strong North Easterly Force 4-5 blow against the strong tide. Only the brave and foolish set afloat for a shore-based start line.

With a much-reduced fleet the Race Officer got Race 4 underway but now the wind over tide was kicking up a 4-5-foot chop, boat handling skills and fitness would be the key to getting through the day. Carl Tago showed that he had an abundance of these attributes and came in first followed by an improving Nick Noble and Simon Mussell.

Race 5 and Carl again led from start to finish whilst his rivals floundered in the conditions. Stuart Jones showed his all-round ability by coming second followed closely by Nick Noble.

Race 6 and Nick Noble finally got ahead of Carl on the second reach by riding a wave that had built up somewhere in the North Sea. This lead wasn't to last long and Noble's excitement was quickly dashed as he capsized on the next windward mark rounding whilst releasing his kicker. So, it was Carl who made a clean sweep of Sundays racing, but it was Stuart who showed consistence and all-round ability in all weather conditions to take round 3 of the Contenders Travellers Series.

All would agree it was a great event run by the slick Team at Broadstairs Sailing Club and we all look forward to coming again next year for our National Championships.

The next event for Contenders will be Round 4 of the Travellers Series at Felpham Sailing Club in Bognor Regis on 12th & 13th May 2018.

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