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Craftinsure Contender Open at Poole Yacht Club

by Ed Presley 5 Jul 2018 09:11 PDT 30 June - 1 July 2018

Twenty-four boats turned up at Poole in two batches; those that had attempted to drive on the hilarious M3 and about two hours earlier, those who didn't.

Arrival was greeted by coffee, cake and sunshine, two of three provided by the club and fleet got on with rigging in amongst the cheerful Osprey fleet who we have now shared three events this year. As is tradition with less than a month to a big international event there was lots of knowledgeable rig adjustment for that next burst of speed, only to be reversed for faithful settings come zero hour in Italy.

Conditions out in Poole harbour were about expected, less than 10 knot so no pumping and very much a crouch on the side stance upwind. David Evans used his local knowledge of the patchy conditions to lead with Roger White, not much was happening on the reaches due to the light wind but the beats were fraught with peril; Stuart Jones stuck in a lot of risky left and came out in front as the previous favoured right side bombed for many, repeating this pattern on the next round gave him an obnoxious lead, the only survivor of the collapse of the right was Roger White who held onto 2nd from Ed Presley. After the race the three or four sailors who decided to follow the M3 arrived.

Thankfully the wind picked up for race two to let most people stretch legs, "no one wants to sail a Contender in light winds and those who do are obviously cast out". Immediately Simon Mussell decided to return to form by winning the start and blitzing the first beat to lead. Now by this point everyone had decided that the hard right was a big risk of less pressure, sadly Simon knew better and sailed into mid fleet with style and swear words, this presented opportunity to conservative Gary Langdown to pick the shifts and stay ahead of Carl Tagoe and the fast advancing Graham Scott.

Race three's start left a bizarre big gap at the favoured committee boat end into which Ed Presley was left with so much room that he lost all bearings and was rolled by the only other boat around in the form of James Spikesley, this caused Ed to tack off and catch a beautiful patch of pressure all the way to the top mark followed by Stuart Jones and a regretful James. The rest of the fleet battled with an ever changing picture of wind direction and strength. The 2nd round brought further change, Stuart jones made headway on Ed and Carl Tagoe jumped from mediocrity to glory in one high stakes left hand corner. Many place changes later and Jones wrapped it up ahead of a grateful Tagoe with Graham Scott gaining lot on the last beat to get 3rd That night Poole YC laid on their annual Midsummer Madness event with bands and DJs, specifically designed to coax sun burnt Contender sailors into fun, drunken dancing and ultimately, morning regret.

Sunday's racing is a blur of attempted starts in fickle winds, headaches and thankfully, one race. The wind on this day were just about sailable at a quivering 3-4 knots. The RO worked with the available wind to conjure up a start. The gaggle of boats at the favoured pin all agreed that going left was the wrong way but none of them tacked either, apathy winning the race to last place. Those who started up the line appeared to be faring better, Graham Scott and Fiona Collins took the windward mark and things looked wrapped up until the last 25 yards to the line. Firstly the wind dropped for the front four boats requiring them to gybe to come into the final mark, this allowed the next four to come in with pace to meet the front four and then everyone became compressed, Tony brooks drifted into 1st from original leader Scott and 3rd was Jones who had found gap to make use of his pace when all others had been blocked by slowing boats in front. The whole fleet finished within 2 minutes of the front.

No further racing was possible and the fleets were eventually sent home. Poole as always delivered exceptional organisation and a great social affair. Overall Stuart Jones won despite being a terrible dancer, we all listened politely as he made another classic speech and that was it. Thanks to Poole YC. Next stop for Contenders is Downs open on 14/15 July.

Overall Results:

PosBoat NameSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
1stGreen Floating Thing2465Stuart JonesDatchet SC1416
2nd-2572Ed PresleyCVL SC35513
3rd-2439Gary LangdownHighcliffe SC91616
4th-705James SpikesleyNetley SC513422
5thBobbins2263Richard BattenMudeford SC88925
6thThursdays2607Carl TagoeOxford SCDNC2228
7thAlicia713Dave EvansPoole YC4121228
8thBDS-UK.Com2496Tony BrooksOxford1010828
9th-716Richard FranksWeston SC157729
10th-720Graham ScottRYARET3330
11thHurry Curry2661Nick CurryWeston SC6111330
12thFoxy Lady712Rodger WhiteKing George2171635
13th-2407Richard ButtnerRNSA7152042
14th-2420Simon MussellHighcliffe1292142
15th-559Paul RossShotly SCDNC61848
16thRed Ted2449Rob SmithCastle Cove SC14OCS1149
17thDelilah630Fiona CollinsNetley SC16181549
18thRabbiting On2477C HoweOxfordDNC161050
19thRoaring Forties2347Martin JonesWilsonian SC13201750
20thSouolatile2599Tony CookDowns SC17191450
21stBojangles2523Liz PotterWest Kirby11211951
22nd-2639Ralph Drew-19142356
23rd-675David GautierLymington Town SC18222262

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