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Aston wins Cup!!!

Contender Inlands at Rutland (27 and 28 October)

Over 40 boats were at Rutland for the inland championships.  The regatta was tightly fought in good conditions.

In the first race Tim Holden rounded the windward mark followed by Ben Holden.  However, in a blustery wind of force 3-4, there were many opportunities to pass.  Four boats broke away from the pack, the two Holdens, Stuart Jones and John Browett.   Browett, Tim and Ben Holden all lead for a period.  On the last beat Browett was lifted over the top of Tim Holden and just got round the windward mark from Ben Holden who had made ground on the left hand side of the beat.  The puffs of breeze that came down that last two reaches again gave chances to overtake. Browett sailed away to win with a reasonable margin.  But, improbably Stuart Jones moved from fourth to second with Ben Holden falling behind Tim Holden who finished third.

In the second race, Matt Aston was in a comfortable lead from start to finish.  In contrast the next five or so boats were changing places on each leg of the three laps.  Tim Holden, John Browett, Martin Frary, Stuart Jones and Richard Gimmler all had their ups and downs.  Tim Holden got away cleanly towards the end to take second, followed by Browett and Frary.

Tim Holden led at the windward mark in the third race from Matt Aston.  Aston and Holden sailed away from the fleet with Holden holding off Aston until the last reach.  Holden had a quick capsize that allowed Aston thru, but still was a comfortable second.  Stuart Jones picked his way thru the fleet to make it up to third on the run, with John Browett taking fourth place on the last couple of reaches.

Sunday started with much stronger wind, but still a gusty westerly.  The average wind speed was 18-20 knots over the day, but with strong puffs of breeze.

Tim Holden started race 4 leading the regatta, but off the start line disaster struck as his halyard for the main parted.  Ben Holden rounded the windward mark first and was not seriously challenged for the three laps especially as he had good speed down the reaches.  Stuart Jones came thru to second followed by Matt Aston in third and Simon Mussell in fourth.

For the last race, after discard, only three points separated four boats: Matt Aston, Stuart Jones, Tim Holden and John Browett.  Given the conditions it was possible for any of these four to win.  Browett rounded the windward mark first and led for the first lap.  Aston passed Browett on the second beat, but the first three boats which included Stuart Jones were well ahead of the fleet.  Down the run, Browett capsized after gybing, leaving Aston and Jones to fight it out for the lead.  However, Aston held onto the lead to the finish to win the regatta and defend his inland title.  Jones, Tim Holden and Browett finished the last race in second, third and fourth respectively to mirror their positions for the championship.

Overall positions:  1st Matt Aston GBR 702, Datchet Water SC (6pts), 2nd Stuart Jones GBR 701, Datchet Water SC (9pts), 3rd Tim Holden 2318, Halifax SC (10pts), 4th John Browett GBR 713, Datchet Water SC (12pts), 5th Ben Holden 2315, Halifax SC (19pts).

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