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Contender Northern Championship at Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club

by Neil Ferguson 11 Oct 2018 00:56 PDT 6-7 October 2018
Contender Northern Championship at Yorkshire Dales © Paul Hargreaves Photography

With 180 degree wind shifts and freezing temperatures forecast, the Contender fleet travelled to the picturesque Yorkshire Dales for the penultimate traveller with visitors from as far as Brightlingsea and King George.

Early arrivals on Friday made it to the local hostelry to sample the local food and beer to take on ballast and energy ready for the competition.

Saturday as forecast saw a cold Northerly wind sweeping in off the fells into the depleted reservoir. Even with levels at -10 metres there was still plenty of room to play. Richard the OD made some great calls and enabled the three fleets to enjoy some great close racing.

Race one saw Tim Holden back in the boat and showing he'd not forgotten how to make it go. Hot on his heels Tom Hooton still going strong proving he's becoming someone to watch out for when he concentrates in the medium winds. Neil managing to find more holes than a Swiss cheese seemed to be quoting a lot of "Monty Python".

Race two Liz potter's main sheet decided being frayed wasn't enough so it delaminated and ended her race. Luckily club members were on hand to sort out a quick replacement in time for race 3. Roger White enjoying the fluctuating wind moved nicely into 3rd.

A quick cup of Yorkshire tea warmed the fleet up ready for race three. With the wind easing and a wind shift saw the race leader's drop to the back. Neil Ferguson at last in second on Ben Holden's heals ended a gust in a teabag. By now he had changed movie scripts and after reciting most of a "Derek and Clive" album left him fighting for last place. Liz's new lucky mainsheet was meanwhile still finding her the pressure and she was cutting thru the fleet. By the finish line she nearly overtook Tom for second place behind Ben.

As the boats packed up for the evening and with frost already on the covers James arrived with curry from Rozie's Takeaway in Grassington for the fleets to enjoy and catch up with old friends. Tim was the overnight leader from Tom and Ben.

The next morning saw the tents covered in frost and flat calm. With Ben missing due to football duties left the competition wide open. A much appreciated half-hour postponement saw the Grimwith effect kick in. By the time the Contenders started it was full on trapeze conditions but this time to give the OD a headache and the fleet a change of course it was South Westerly. Tom showed his form in the building wind to sail away from the fleet. Liz showing it wasn't just luck clinched another 3rd from Mick Pullin.

Race five proving why Grimwith is made for Contenders give them flat water and flat wiring, skimming the water at speed. Close racing ensued with any mistake punished by being overtaken.

By the end of race five and the anemometer hitting 25 knots, it was at last time for Neil to stretch his legs and get back into the groove. But Tim still showing great speed held him off. After all Neil's hard work his second place rewarded him by pipping Liz for fourth place and the coveted report to write up.

Many thanks to all competitors and club members for once again giving us great racing. The fleet heads off to Rutland next on the 20/21 October for the last fleet event of the year the Inland Championship.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st2503Tim HoldenHalifax11‑62116
2nd678Thomas HootonBurton SC22‑412310
3rd2602Michael PullinCovenham‑64245419
4th2422Neil FergusonYDSC56‑753221
5th2523Liz PotterWest Kirby7(RET)334522
6th712Rodger WhiteKing George4356(DNS)DNC28
7th2315Ben HoldenHalifax351(DNC)DNCDNC29
8th2519Henry GoodmanHalifax98(DNS)7RETDNC44
9th672Trevor LloydBrightlingsea87(DNS)RETDNSDNC45

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