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36 Contenders ventured to Brading Haven YC on the Isle of Wight for round 6 of the Traveller’s Trophy with generous sponsorship from WightLink, Spinlock and North Sails.

Race 1 started in a northerly 3 on a heavily port end biased start line. First to show on the port side were Phil Dickinson (681) and Dave Davies (693), who led at the windward mark, hotly pursued by Stuart Jones (701). Good waves for pumping to the wing mark and the second broader reach. Stuart Jones picked the right way up the second beat to lead by a substantial margin and held on the end. Phil Dickinson squeezed past Dave Davies for 2nd and 3rd places.

Race 2 the windward mark was brought closer in the now dropping breeze. Geoff Bettle (683) shot out from the port end and soon tacked onto port, laying the windward mark followed by Nick Grace (700), Gary Langdown (2324) and Stuart Jones. Plenty of place changing up the beats as the effect of the tanker moored to the north of the windward mark played its part. With superior downwind tactics, Gary Langdown took the lead with Geoff Bettle and Stuart Jones 2nd and 3rd.

Even shorter windward leg and tide made the line crossing difficult again, but Stuart Jones took too much advantage of the sag in the line and was OCS, while Nick Grace, Rodger White (2314), Matt Aston (702) and Richard Gimmler (674) were best off at the port end, all soon tacking on the port lay line. Grace led at the windward mark, followed by Aston and White. Aston squeezed past Grace by the wing mark. On the next beat, the main bunch of leaders soon headed for the port side, to leave White to test the starboard side. Not quite successfully enough to pass Aston who held on the finish after the run. On the short beat to the line, Alan Hudson (614) rounded the Committee boat stern on a gust to pip Langdown and Grace.

Sunday afternoon and the north easterly wind was much lighter and the majority of the fleet decided to start near the Committee boat and tack inshore out of the tide. Local Martin Davies (585) was best there but Grace right at the port end and White, Ben Stitt (610) and Keith Paul (589) headed left and the breeze filled in there giving a comfortable gap from those on the right. White passed Grace at the wing mark and stretched a lead only to fail in elementary tactics (not covering the opposition) going to the line on the final beat and losing to Grace by a boat length. Langdown recovered from a shocker to 4th just behind Keith Paul. Langdown was first overall and the tight minor places were decided on count back.

An excellent weekend of sailing at a very friendly club – we will return next year !.

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