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Hartley Boats Contender British Nationals at Paignton Sailing Club - Day 1

by Ed Presley 15 Jun 15:13 PDT 13-16 June 2024
Hartley Boats Contender British Nationals day 1 © Tony Brooks

Stop then go! After doing nothing then we had everything. The Contender nationals have begun. Exactly as the forecast had predicted, it was wind followed by more wind. The smell of anticipation and old rubber started to stink up the green at Paignton SC. The club's immaculate organisation leaving no reason to not go sailing.

The choice to get up early and get sailing had paid off, with the previous day written off from a cosy bar (the forecast was so accurate - we knew really that we weren't going sailing - however, we waited around just to make sure).

Today was much of the same. The forecast was better and it began light, but we knew it was gonna become interesting. The fleet got onto the water and headed out to the committee boat. Gradual building wind showed what we assumed had come to pass, building up to the first start, the anticipation began.

It was a miracle that we got away clean with the left immediately paying for Ed Presley at the pin with Ben Holden; this pair led the fleet. Those coming in on port getting an advantage.

Ed, Ben, Graeme Wilcox and Tom Hooton blasted down the first reach in the lead, all seemed well and Ed extended his lead after battling with Tom and Graeme. All nailed shut it seems, until a last minute dip for Ed handed it to a sympathetic Graeme. Ed did get second but that felt superficial in the grand scheme.

The next test started in considerably more wind, much to the delight of one S Mussell who was determined to prove he hadn't wasted vast amounts of cash on a new rig.

Unfortunately in this wind of around 22kts, downwind skill was required and Mr Wilcox's serene moves were slightly more effective than the wild swings that Simon threw at it.

With first and second sewn up Ben Holden made gains to take third.

Simon did eventually put a package together as he took his revenge on Graeme in race 3, we will hear a lot about this in the clubhouse as he eased into a commanding lead and on to the win, Graeme held second again from Ben.

Graeme is the clear leader with Ed Presley and Ben Holden tied for second.

Tomorrow looks big again......

See more on the class Facebook page.

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