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Contender Nationals - Looe SC - 26th to 29th May 2007

Once again the Contender fleet found themselves heading south west for the nationals, this year to the popular location of Looe in Cornwall. This was the forth time the Nationals have been hosted by Looe SC and all have been memorable for the racing organisation, friendly welcome and convenience for families. This year was no exception and with 54 entries the class showed it was happy to come back again to shove off the sandy beach.

Saturday brought a force 2 to 3 offshore, chilly northerly wind, which provided a shifty, thought provoking day. For the first race the left paid handsomely on the first beat causing the leading bunch to close reach to the first mark. A fine sight if you were out on the right. "Local" Graham Scott got it bang on to clearly lead down the reaches and looked comfortable from there. Stacey Bray showed fine offwind technique, while Ed Presley, resplendent in his new shiny blue boat, put in a bould appearance along with "surf star" Pete Dives. Stuart Jones, the defending Champion, eventually overhauled this trio on one of the shifty beats to finish second with Bray third. The second race of the day saw Tim Holden, Scott and Jones pull well clear of the chasing pack in the freshing breeze. All three had a go in the lead but when Jones poked his nose clear he deciding to rejoin the chasers by rolling the boat over to windward having let go of the mainsheet on the reach. Holden joyfully sailed past to win from Scott. Jones dripped in third with Neil Wilson, complete with balaclava in fourth.

Early Sunday morning was grim, as those camping will confirm, as a gale blew tents to destruction. The day had the same forcast but the wind swung round and never settled. Sometimes strong wind and thunderstorms and sometimes calm. The race officer, Rodger Hocking, knocked it on the head fairly early as it was impossible to set a course.

Monday dawned bright and breezy and after a short wait for the wind to calm down it was off for a battle in the force 6 to 7. Again the wind was off the land there were some mighty shifts and gusts causing not a few quivering lower lips.

In the first race heavy weather experts Wilson, Simon Mussell and Holden lead with a gap back to a gaggle of boats. Despite the conditions there was little capsizing in the first third of the fleet but Mussell laid it down briefly on a couple of tacks to let Scott catch up while Holden dragged the boom to trip up on a reach. It now looked to be Wilsons for the taking but he just failed to lay the finish line and the resulting tacks let in Holden, Mussell and Scott in that order.

The second race of the day saw a reduced fleet as the wind had piped up to full strength. To keep things basic the fleet in general went hard left on the first beat, hung on for the reaches and hard right thereafter. The gybes had to look after themselves or not. Scott stamped his mastery on the event by winning this sail ripper with Bray second, still nicely two footing the reaches. Mussell and Wilson were not far behind.

For the final race of the day the wind calmed down a bit, tempting a larger entry out for three recalls. Tactically there was a similar pattern with the leaders coming from the right on the first beat. A lot of the usual faces were up there but Wilson, this time, made no mistakes with the finish to take it. John Browett had a good one to cross in second with Holden and Mussell completing a good day for themselves. Scott had a relatively poor sixth but it put him nicely in poll position for the last days racing.

The racing looked in doubt for most of Tuesday, as the low causing all the fun had move off up the channel leaving a glassy sea. The race officer persevered and finally got the fleet away in what was obviously, by now, the last race of the series. With this scenario only Holden could overtake Scott on the leader board and the two were in close attendance on the start line. Although not a full blown chase it was perhaps just enough to put Holden off at the vital moment to see him sink to mid fleet at the first mark. Jeff Bettle lead, just about trapezing up the first beat with Wilson, Scott and Jones a little behind. Bettle held the lead for three quarters of the race but was overtaken when the reach tightened to a trapezable one. Wilson went on to win with Jones slipping through Scott to be close behind the race leader.

This was Graham Scotts umpteenth British championship win but not for a few years.

Thanks go to Looe SC which is a very friendly and helpful club to sail from. Rodger Hocking and team did a fine job on the water and the beach party are one of the finest. Then there's the bar and catering. Anyone for an all you can eat buffet and a few pints, does it for me everytime.

Pos

SailNo

Helm

Club

R1

R2

R3

R4

R5

R6

Total

Fleet

1

720

Graham Scott

RYA

1

2

3

1

6

3

10

Gold

2

685

Neil Wilson

Holy Loch

29

4

4

4

1

1

14

Gold

3

2318

Tim Holden

Halifax

8

1

1

5

3

19

18

Gold

4

701

Stuart Jones

Datchet

2

3

6

9

9

2

22

Gold

5

2405

Stacy Bray

Porthpearn

3

9

13

2

8

11

33

Gold

6

2315

Ben Holden

Halifax

10

8

5

7

16

4

34

Gold

7

702

Matt Aston

Datchet

7

6

7

10

5

9

34

Gold

8

2372

Simon Mussell

Highcliffe

36

22

2

3

4

6

37

Gold

9

713

John Browett

Datchet

20

12

8

8

2

8

38

Gold

10

2373

Gary Langdown

Highcliffe

17

7

15

14

7

10

53

Gold

11

683

Geoff Bettle

Highcliffe

4

10

25

15

20

7

56

Gold

12

646

Martin Frary

Weston

28

5

12

17

11

15

60

Gold

13

674

Richard Gimmler

Whitefriars

11

13

14

11

15

14

63

Gold

14

716

Paul Ross

Shotley

32

20

9

6

12

18

65

Gold

15

2376

Nick Noble

Portishead

23

14

10

12

10

28

69

Gold

16

707

Pete Dives

Eastbourne

5

21

22

18

13

13

70

Silver

17

589

Keith Paul

Weston

14

18

17

24

18

5

72

Gold

18

700

Nick Grace

Castle Cove

13

35

11

19

14

29

86

Gold

19

629

Ed Presely

RAFSA

6

31

18

55

22

12

89

Silver

20

659

Martin Metcalfe

Killington

22

16

16

20

19

22

93

Silver

21

694

Chris Boshier

Thorpe Bay

25

30

21

13

55

25

114

Bronze

22

696

Tony White

Lancing

12

34

27

23

55

20

116

Silver

23

613

Tony Burton

King George

27

28

29

55

17

16

117

Silver

24

678

Bill Hooton

Burton

38

17

19

55

23

23

120

Gold

25

615

Stuart Backhouse

Burton

16

36

31

55

24

30

137

Bronze

26

718

Duncan Ellis

Hunstanton

19

25

20

55

55

21

140

Silver

27

710

Chris Kirk

Queen Mary

30

41

28

21

21

55

141

Silver

28

2314

Rodger White

King George

15

11

55

55

55

17

153

Silver

29

647

Mark Robinson

Gurnard

31

39

24

16

55

55

165

Silver

30

675

David Gautier

Datchet

18

42

55

22

55

32

169

Silver

31

2359

Tony Cook

Downs

33

26

23

55

55

33

170

Bronze

32

622

Tim Humphries

Pevensey Bay

43

37

30

55

25

40

175

Bronze

33

657

Mike Murley

Weston

26

15

55

55

55

26

177

Silver

34

654

Roger Gates

Datchet

21

19

55

55

55

27

177

Silver

35

2361

Alan Orton

Porthpearn

9

40

55

55

55

24

183

Silver

36

617

Richard Cooper

Brightlingsea

44

46

32

55

26

37

185

Bronze

37

1520

Joel MacDonald

Weston

42

45

26

55

55

41

209

Bronze

38

476

Robert Angus

Weston

35

29

55

55

55

35

209

Bronze

39

673

Howard Osborne

Weston

40

23

55

55

55

39

212

Bronze

40

538

David Bate

Weston

24

33

55

55

55

55

222

Bronze

41

708

Chris Bannister

Brightlingsea

34

24

55

55

55

55

223

Silver

42

649

Mark Basham

Penzance

41

38

55

55

55

34

223

Bronze

43

697

Chris Howe

Oxford

55

32

55

55

55

31

228

Silver

44

692

Colin Gates

Eastbourne

37

27

55

55

55

55

229

Silver

45

693

David Gough

Starcross

39

43

55

55

55

38

230

Bronze

46

2324

Colin Strangeway

WPNSA

45

44

55

55

55

44

243

Bronze

47

549

Andrew Holmes

Glasson

46

48

55

55

55

43

247

Bronze

48

397

Ryan Holmes

Glasson

48

55

55

55

55

42

255

Bronze

49

695

Gerry Driscoll

Datchet

55

55

55

55

55

36

256

Bronze

50

473

Venessa Weedon Jones

Broadwater

47

47

55

55

55

55

259

Bronze

51

303

Wayne Miller

Thorpe Bay

55

55

55

55

55

55

275

Bronze

52

441

Tim Grisby

Thorpe Bay

55

55

55

55

55

55

275

Bronze

53

643

Gareth Humphrey

Weston

55

55

55

55

55

55

275

Silver

54

682

Ginge Lincoln

Hayling Ferry

55

55

55

55

55

55

275

Silver

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