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Optimum Time Phantom South East Traveller Series 2021

by Chris Shelton 9 Nov 2021 22:16 PST
Inaugural Broadwater Phantom Open © John Greaves

The Optimum Time Phantom South East Traveller Series concluded recently with the final event at Broadwater SC. Back in 2020 the class decided to split the rather large Southern region into smaller South East and South West sections. However Covid-19 meant that all Open events in 2020 were cancelled, so 2021 was the first season for the new South East Series.

Unfortunately Covid travelling restrictions were still in place at Easter 2021 which forced the cancellation of the first event at Shoreham SC. Restrictions were eased in May which meant that the event at Downs SC became the Open Meeting of the series. Conditions were extremely mixed with the wind dropping to nothing during the first race on Saturday afternoon, swiftly followed by torrential rain. With all of the competitors drifting backwards on the tide towards Dover the Race Officer had no choice but to abandon and arrange for the fleet to be towed home. Sunday morning dawned with a Southerly F5 and a rising forecast. It was just possible to get 2 quick races in before the conditions became too extreme. Local sailor Chris Shelton took the honours, followed by Nick Mason from Island Barn SC in second place and Clive Morley from Minnis Bay SC in third.

June saw the fleet travel further east for the first ever Phantom event at the picturesque Broadstairs SC. A F2 Northerly on Saturday produced very close racing between the 9 strong fleet. Sunday morning dawned without a breath, but after a short postponement the breeze started to build and the fleet ventured afloat. Again the racing was very close with places changing throughout the fleet as the wind gradually built during the day. At the end it was John Wayling from Northampton SC in first place, followed by Chris Shelton (Downs SC) second and Tim Denby (Broadstairs SC) third.

Following a summer break, the fleet re-convened at Lee-on-the-Solent SC at the beginning of September. Held jointly with the club's annual Regatta, it was another light wind weekend for the Phantom sailors. Nick Orman had the best day on Saturday afternoon with 2 firsts and a second, and all of the sailors enjoyed a Regatta dinner in the club's brand new clubhouse overlooking the Solent. With similar conditions on the Sunday, this time it was Chris Shelton with the best speed closely follow by Leigh Riddell. Further down the fleet the racing was again close with a number of different helms achieving top 3 finishes. At the prize-giving (again in the new clubhouse) it was Chris Shelton in first place, Nigel King (Lymington Town SC) in second and Martin Watts (Netley SC) third.

The fifth event of the series was to have been at Felpham SC at the beginning of October. However with gale force winds and heavy rain forecast for the weekend the decision was rightly made to cancel the event in advance to avoid people from travelling needlessly.

The final event of the series was held at Broadwater SC later in October. The only inland venue of the series attracted the best entry of 17 boats, with sailors traveling from Kent, Suffolk and Hampshire to join the strong local fleet. Once again the sailors arrived to no wind and a short postponement. However the wind slowly built and the Race Officer managed to get in 4 races during the day. Being inland, the racing was even closer than at the coastal venues with plenty of place changes during all of the races. However local knowledge obviously paid off with Leigh Riddell (Broadwater SC) taking first overall with an impressive 3 wins out of 4 races. In second place was Bob Portway from Royal Harwich YC with Nigel King from Lymington Town SC third.

Overall the series attracted 30 different sailors, some of whom travelled considerable distances to compete. A big thank you to all of the clubs who hosted the events and also to Optimum Time who donated watches as prizes for the overall results. Consistency of attendance certainly paid off with the sailors who attended most events being at the top of the overall series results. Overall it was Chris Shelton (Downs SC) first, Dave Patrick (Broadwater SC) second and Paddy Denby (Broadstairs SC) third.

Overall Results:

PosHelmSail NoClubDownsBroadstairsLee-on-SolentBroadwaterPts
1Chris Shelton1473/1491Downs SC12164
2Dave Patrick1318Broadwater SC745916
3Paddy Denby1245Broadstairs SC5631718
4Tim Denby1430Broadstairs SC9331820
5Gordon Kingston‑Minnis1465Lee on Solent SC31891734
6Nigel King1391Lymington Towns SC31312336
7John "Titch" Wayling1385Northampton SC61313138
8Leigh Riddell1392Broadwater SC31317139
9Tony Cook1364Downs SC85313144
10Stewart Jarvis1441Broadstairs SC107313148
11Thomas Field1193Broadstairs SC119313151
12Bob Portway1334Royal Harwich YC313131264
13Nick Mason1386Island Barn SC231313164
14Martin Watts1481Netley SC313133165
15Clive Morley1420Minnis Bay SC331313165
16Jeremy Deacon1377Broadwater SC313131466
17Ed Child1340Lee on Solent SC313143166
18Mike Webster1440Northampton SC431313166
19T. Platt1130Broadwater SC313131567
20Ian Stone1280Maidenhead SC313163168
21Chris Yelland1275Hayling Island SC313183170
22Graham Dale‑Jones1461Creeksea SC3131311072
23Henry Ayres1466Lymington3131103172
24Steve Popple1460Sussex YC3131311173
25Mark Robinson1333 3131113173
26S. Swinchatt1318Broadwater SC3131311274
27B. Deacon1243Broadwater SC3131311375
28Mark Spruce1342Lee on Solent SC3131311476
29Yossi Galico1224Stewartby Water SC3131311577
30B. Yates1389 3131311678

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