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Hartley Boats Contender National Championship at Broadstairs SC - Day 2

by Ed Presley 8 Sep 01:21 PDT 6-9 September 2019
Contender Nationals at Broadstairs © Broadstairs SC

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.

Getting out to the course it was confirmed, pretty windy but with less tide than expected. Tim and Ben Holden with Tom Hooton made the early running in race 1, locking out a fully northern front-line. Being fast upwind helped but Stu Jones explained the benefits of downwind speed by coming through to lead and ultimately win. Tim came second with Nick Noble shaking off a poor first day to get 3rd. Special mention must go to James Daniel who lost his main ratchet but still managed to finish whilst only able to sheet straight from the boom.

A bit more wind in the second race handed the advantage to the bigger units in the fleet, primary beneficiary being Ben Holden who blasted off from the Pin and was able and to cross the fleet and lead until the finish despite (by his own admission) having less off-wind speed, particularly when suffering from disco knee down the flying reaches. Ben was chased home by Tim Holden and Nick Noble.

Race 3 started with more starboard bias and most boats opting to stay close to the committee boat, The fleet hit a header off of the line allowing those who had risked starting further down to come back into the party. Simon Mussell and Ben Holden were in this 2nd pack and on tacking had to duck a few transforms but ultimately came out in front. These two continued to lead with Tim tucked in behind. On approaching the final leeward mark Simon and Ben hardened up for another upwind tussle only to realise that should be heading to the finish line when Tim shouted at them, but it was too late Tim crosses the line first and the over keen duo came in behind with Ben able to turn back sooner to take 2nd.

After a full-on attritional battle in big wind there were many broken bodies on the return to shore, the free beer in the boat park helped somewhat. That evening games were played and prizes handed out, courtesy of Essex-rigging. Ben Holden holds a slender lead over Tim but with a 13th to drop Tim will be in a strong position when the discards come in.

Graeme Wilcox leads the silver fleet from 5th and Bronze is led by Simon Dodds in 19th, Ben Hawkes is top U25.

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