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Contender Open at Lee-on-the-Solent Sailing Club

by Stuart Jones 17 Aug 2023 04:42 PDT 12-13 August 2023

I left home with the boat hitched on a beautiful, sunny 20-degree morning, sun lotion applied. I wasn't expecting this as the forecast was for wind and rain. They can be wrong but as I arrived at Lee I was met by people running across the boat park to get out of the heavy downpour.

Mistakenly I thought they were coming to help me unload... So now cold, damp and rigged I surveyed the scene to find a good 5 to 6 blowing. Out we went, with minimal problems launching, thanks to the efficient beach party volunteers.

Yep, it was breezy and our number two sails did some flogging. With the non-waterproof sun lotion now streaming into my eyes, I could just about see Carl Tagoe and Ed Presley taking an early lead and looking good for a one two until Ed decided that going turtle would provide the best comedy. He was there for some time and let myself, Stuart Jones, through with Tom Hooton close behind. Mike Murley-Hughes did well as a little fella to come fourth, using the tactic of staying upright. The race officer took pity on our old sails and sent us in for the day to consider our dubious boat handling in the bar, where a great meal was laid on in the lovely surroundings of the clubhouse.

Sunday was a little less wind and relatively sunny, but older sails were still up. With the current going with the beat the fleet headed out to sea to make the most of it, or was it just an inability to tack in the breeze. Keep it simple if in doubt. Ed Presley made the most of his boat speed and stayed up right to win the two lap race. Stuart Jones was consistent in second with Grumbling Tom Hooton third.

In the next Stuart Jones came in on port at the first mark to just take the lead from the usual suspects overstanding in the current. Stuarts downwind speed let him down and was spat out to fifth by the bottom. Tom took the race with Ed and Carl hassling him all the way round in the sparkling conditions.

It was anyone’s in the last race, Tom took an early lead with a guest appearance from Gary Langdown. With the front five close some chancers thought they might risk a tack and go off on port on the second beat. It worked a treat and Ed and Carl got past by some distance with Stuart just getting round in third. The positions remained until the finish of the three laps. Ed had taken the tightly contested event, just three points between first and fourth, Carl second and Tom just grabbing third on countback.

That left me, red faced, to do the write up and to consider that I should have put some decent sun lotion on. Thanks go to the club and all the volunteers that helped to make this combined open with the Solution Nationals, Phantoms and Blazes a really enjoyable one.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st2708Ed PRESLEYCastle Cove SC‑51214
2nd2607Carl TAGOEOxford SC1‑4326
3rd678Tom HOOTONBurton SC331‑47
4th2706Stuart JONESDatchet SC22‑537
5th2484Gary LANGDOWNHighcliffe SC‑954514
6th2619Mike Murley‑HughesWeston SC4‑66616
7th2661Nick CURRYWeston SC777‑821
8th2720Jon POWELLEmsworth SC688(DNF)22
9th2710James DANIELSNetley SC8‑99724
10th696Tony CookDowns SC(DNC)10DNCDNC38
11th463Peter BLACKMANBurghfield SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC42
11th712Roger WHITEKing George SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC42

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