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Phantom Eastern Series Training Day and Open at Ardleigh Sailing Club

by Bill Taylor 14 Mar 00:08 PDT 9-10 March 2024
Phantom fleet at Ardleigh © Phil Longley & Matt House

The first event of the 2024 Eastern Phantom Series saw 16 sailors arriving for a tune up training day on Saturday 9th March. Local expert Matt House talked through the key elements of sail trim followed by "on the water" training run by P&B's own Richard Nurse.

A windward leeward course was set with Nurse following closely in a RIB, shouting the familiar words of encouragement: "more rake; more kicker and hike harder!" All in all, everybody gained something and in the evening, the sailors had a pub meal in the local hostelry, "The Wooden Fender" discussing what they'd learnt from the day.

Sunday started off with bacon rolls from the galley, hoping the rain would ease, but it didn't - instead it rained solidly for the three planned races back to back.

Twelve boats took to the water, with the first race getting under way promptly with an Easterly beat up to the windward mark. Matt House looked clean away until he decided to visit mark 2 which had nothing to do with the course! Bob Portway showed good boat speed as always along with Ben Falat and Richard Nurse, rounding the leeward mark in that order, with Matt House trying to make good his error and David Nichols getting into the mix. Ardleigh is not known as the pond of frustration for nothing, and true to its name there was confusion with the course. Number six was is in, but was it a rounding mark or a passing mark, who knows! Ben Falat came out the worse from it with boats either ignoring or three sixty'ing around it. Eventually the race won by Bob Portway, Matt House 2nd and Richard Nurse 3rd.

The Race Officer responded and took out the confusing mark for the 2nd race. Richard Nurse lead the way round with Portway, Fallat and House in hot pursuit. Unable to keep up with Nurse's boat speed and course management, no one made inroads to his lead leaving Rich to take the win.

A couple of sailors called it a day and race 3 started with Portway and Falat showing the way, leaving Richard Nurse, David Nichols and Bill Taylor battling it out for 3rd. Portway and Falat finished in that order and Nurse pipped Taylor on the line to finish 3rd.

Post racing, talk in the clubhouse was about race 1 costing Ben Falat the most and at least 2 places overall. The final results were Portway 1st, Nurse 2nd and Taylor 3rd. Bob thanked the club and the volunteers for putting on the open and the new commodore reciprocated by saying they love welcoming travelling Phantoms for the Winter and Frostbite and hope to see more later in the year. The next event of the series is at Stone Sailing Club on the 27th and 28th of April, hope to see you there.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmR1R2R3
11334Bob Portway131
21500Richard Nurse313
31420Bill Taylor544
41459David Nichols465
51266Ben Fallat1222
61432Matthew House25DNC
71279Ian Pavey696
8949Dean Saxton777
91214Nick Thorpe888
101425Steve Pates91010
111291Sean Sear11129
121433Warren Martin1011DNC

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