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Wightlink Spinlock Contenders at Brading Haven Yacht Club

by Simon Mussell 1 Jul 2006 01:08 PDT 24-25 June 2006

Brading Haven on the Isle of Wight was the venue for the latest round of the Contender TT Open Circuit. Situated next door to Bembridge, Brading Haven has to be one of the most picturesque and friendly clubs on the calendar. The majority of the 23 strong fleet boarded the Whitelink ferries in Lymington and Pompy (AKA Portsmouth) destined for IOW early on Saturday morning and as we sat looking out the window I think we all new we were in for a light wind regatta and with Gary Langdown Hungry for a regatta win having just lost out at the UK nationals I for one thought we all going to see a master class from perhaps one of the fastest light – Moderate wind contender sailors in the world this year.

Race 1:

The first race started in a 6-8 knot south easterly breeze and sure enough Gary in his new boat sailed to the front of the fleet closely followed by Stuart Jones, Simon Mussell and Matt Aston. As the race progressed Gary pulled away to form a dominant lead with Simon, Matt and Stuart battling it out for second. With the tide strengthening the course became a little one sided and as the race came to an end the positions ended up:-

Race 2:

The second race started with an extra few knots of breeze and sure enough Gary was off in to the lead again with Matt, Simon and Stuart in hot pursuit. This time however Gary (along with a few other members of the fleet) seemed to become distracted by something on the lee sure and over stood the windward mark the second time round by a good 100 yards. This momentary laps in concentration let Matt Aston through to take the lead on the penultimate leg with Gary in Second and Simon close behind. As the fleet drifted down wind Gary and Simon Caught Matt however despite some tussling at the bottom of the leg Matt held his nerve and maintained his lead to the finish with Simon sneaking in to second, Gary third and Stuart fourth.

Race 3:

Race 3 was held on Sunday morning in a very very light South Easterly. As the start gun went competitors were sat on the leeward side in a vain attempt to create a bit of shape in the rather limp sails. Paul Ross (not famous for his light wind performances) arrived at the windward mark first with the Wiley old Keith Paul in hot pursuit. Stuart Jones who always seems to be there or thereabouts rounded third and Matt Aston followed in Fourth. As Matt rounded the wind seemed to disappear completely allowing the front few to drift with tide away from the rest of the fleet. The race finished after only one lap with Keith claming victory over Ross and with Stuart and Matt Following in behind.

A very enjoyable (albeit very light wind) regatta ended with Matt Aston in the lead having sailed a consistent series in very difficult conditions. Gary followed having managed a fifth in the last race and Stuart Jones claimed 3rd. This left me (Simon) in forth having capsized in the last race with the job of writing the report.

The buddies system was again in play with 'lightwind master' Paul Ross, and local favourite and Class Secretary Mark Robinson taking home Henri Lloyd sailing smocks.

On behalf of the whole fleet I would thank Brading Haven for a very well run and enjoyable event and we will all come back next year in the hope there will be a little more breeze.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmClubPts
1st GBR 702 Road Cone Matt Aston Datchet 
2nd GBR 2373  Gary Langdown Highcliffe 
3rd GBR 701  Stuart Jones Datchet 11 
4th GBR 2372  Simon Mussell Highcliffe 13 
5th GBR 589 Dementia Keith Paul Weston 17 

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