Please select your home edition
Festival of Sails 2020 GIF - LEADERBOARD

Contender Open at Felpham Sailing Club

by Mike Murley-Hughes 15 May 2018 22:20 PDT 12-13 May 2018

The Contender class have, for a few years now, allowed unlimited downwind pumping in conditions over 10 knots. Fantastic news for the young and fit, and a challenge for the more mature sailor.

Saturday at Felpham was a no brainer – no wind forecast so no pumping. Sunday was more debateable with 10-12 knots in the forecast. However, class rules turn pumping on and off with flags O and R according to the wind strength. Since flag R was the designated Felpham club fleet flag we couldn't have pumping. Hurrah said the old farts.

Anyone who turned up on Saturday was definitely feeling optimistic, with a forecast of just 2-4 knots. As it was we had 3 good light air races on courses shared with a friendly bunch of Solos. In race one Stu Jones and Nick Noble got a decent lead on the rest and finished in that order with James Spikesley in third.

In race two Graham Scott and Mike Murley-Hughes built up a decent lead on the fleet with Murley-Hughes getting ahead on the penultimate beat to win comfortably. Jones was third.

The last race was notable for the second beat which saw the leaders reach the pin end of the Solo fleet start line on port just as the gun went. Well actually it was just Nick Noble at the pin end as he had a decent lead which he held to the finish even after ducking the entire Solo fleet. Murley-Hughes was second and Jones third again.

Ashore we were treated to a fantastic buffet of sandwiches and cakes, all included in the entry fee. Great value from a fabulously welcoming Felpham Sailing Club.

Saturday saw some new competitors with Simon Mussell and Gary Langdown having finally unpacked their boats from the Worlds container. Both seemed a bit rusty with Mussell even forgetting half his kit. To be fair it must be difficult to remember what to bring after two decades of Contender sailing.

On the water we were treated to a decent force 2-3 and a trapezoid course. This correspondent was over the line in both starts and had to go back which means I'm a bit sketchy about what happened near the front, but race four was won by Scott with Jones second and Spikesley third again. Race five was won by Scott again with Noble second and Jones third. This turned out to be the overall order too. Lovely sailing on Sunday.

The fleet is anticipating the arrival of the new British built Hartley Contender which promises to bolster the fleet with plenty on order. But alas we'll have to wait a little longer. As it stands the class is well served with the top three boats this weekend being Wooden Bonezzi, Epoxy Bonezzi and Chris Somner boats.

Next up is the Southern Championships at the wonderful Highcliffe Sailing Club on June 9th & 10th. Will we see a Hartley Contender?

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1st720Graham ScottRYA‑424118
2nd2618Nick NobleBristol Corinthian YC241‑829
3rd2465Stuart JonesDatchet Water SC1‑33239
4th2619Mike Murley‑HughesWeston SC‑7125614
5th705James SpikesleyNetley SC3‑993722
6th2496Tony BrooksOxford SC675‑9826
7th2477Chris HoweOxford SC567‑13927
8th2203Adrian SmithHythe and Saltwood SC8586‑1427
9th559Paul RossShotley SC(DSQ)86101034
10th666Bill HootonBurton SC9‑1211111142
11th2420Simon Mussell (DNC)DNCDNC4543
12th2439Gary Langdown (DNC)DNCDNC7445
13th2432Jerry HoneLancing SC1110‑12121245
14th678Tom HootonRYA101110(RET)DNC48
15th594Chris BrooksLeigh SC121313‑141351
16th585Matt BurnettFelpham SC13(DNC)DNCRETDNC64

Related Articles

Contender Inlands at Rutland
Largest fleet at the Symmetric Open Regatta The 2019 Contender Inland Championship was hosted by Rutland Sailing Club over the weekend of 19/20th October. The Contenders had a class start as part of the Symmetric Open Regatta and were the largest fleet present. Posted on 23 Oct
Contender open meeting at Netley
With half the fleet camping in the field there was a recipe for disaster 16 Contenders travelled to Netley SC despite a forecast of calms on Saturday and storms on Sunday. It was indeed a weekend of two halves and the forecasters were pretty accurate. Posted on 11 Oct
One Design or Two?
David Henshall looks at control (and abuse) of hull shapes over the years Science fiction and the Terminator movies introduced us to the notion of shape shifting, but in the real life of the sailing dinghy world, how IS a shape defined? Posted on 9 Oct
Contender Nationals at Broadstairs overall
Stuart Jones wraps up an impressive series With the final day of The Contender Nationals came the relief of only two races after 2 days and 6 races in blistering winds. Overcast and murky with a forecast of light wind; the day began with lots of grumbling about aching muscles. Posted on 15 Sep
Contender Nationals at Broadstairs day 3
The wind pipes up again! After the liveliness of the previous day on the water the fleet were looking forward to a much more relaxed affair, unfortunately the wind came up to 22knt with 2m sea at just about race time. Posted on 9 Sep
Contender Nationals at Broadstairs day 2
A full-on attritional battle in big wind Day 2, more breeze seemed likely, a slightly murky day heralded a steady 15 knots and the inevitability of 3 races thanks to ill-informed democracy at previous AGMs. Posted on 8 Sep
Contender Nationals at Broadstairs day 1
43 weapons of sailing perfection lined up and ready The Hartley boats Contender nationals has begun. 43 weapons of sailing perfection are lined up and ready, the boats have also been prepped. Posted on 7 Sep
Contender Nationals Runners & Riders
In one of three years that might be the 50th year of the class Over a long weekend of the 6th-9th September the Contender class will congregate at Broadstairs Sailing Club to thrash out, once again, who is the greatest sailing hero to ever live. Posted on 26 Aug
Contenders at Weston
Fleet stretch their legs in the breeze after a light wind World Championship With a fairly windy forecast for the weekend, 19 sailors descended on Weston Sailing Club. After a recent light wind World Championship, the fleet was looking forward to straightening their legs and enjoying the conditions. Posted on 19 Aug
Bojangles at the Menai Strait Regattas
Looking for logic Hello all from Bojangles, the International Contender 2523, reporting on the past fortnight's adventures at the Menai Strait Regattas. Posted on 19 Aug
RS Sailing 2019 - FooterGul 2019 GAMMA FooterNaiad 660x82px_Tourist