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Competitors came from as far as Holy Loch and Weston for the Contender Northern Championships on 11/12 June. After a convivial evening in the Hooton canvas mansion, all was ready for an early start on Saturday morning in a lively north-wester, except for Matt Aston who blamed his late start on the A1 traffic.

Fresh from his first National Championship win, Tim Holden took an early lead and would not give it up. He was closely followed by Neil Wilson, also on good form, who pulled out a considerable lead from Bill Hooton in 3rd.

Race 2 rewarded those who went hard left into the corner up the first beat, with Neil Wilson and Neil Ferguson being the biggest beneficiaries round the mark. Wilson eventually pulled away to win but Holden chased hard, quickly overhauling other boats. After a slow start, Aston eventually reeled in Martin Metcalfe, passing him on the last reach to take 3rd.

In lighter winds and despite doing turns for hitting the committee boat on the start, Wilson was first to the windward mark in race 3, followed by Metcalfe with Aston leading the chasing pack. Metcalfe fell in to windward after rounding the wing mark, letting Aston, Holden and others through. Aston pulled through to lead while Wilson struggled in the lighter conditions. Having dropped behind Holden, he sneaked back in front on the finish line to take 2nd.

In moderate northerlies Race 4 started on Sunday after a general recall. Left paid up the first beat again, Holden and Wilson battling it out followed by Aston. Holden eventually won.

The final race was a battle between Holden and Wilson on equal points. Once again they were followed by Aston, with Rodger White, Simon Forbes and Sandy Clapham. Metcalfe eventually pulled through the last two but lost a long battle with White for 3rd, but at the front Holden was once again victorious and with this, took the series and the silverware.

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