TT Round 4 Castle Cove - Report by Stacy Bray

17 boats made the journey to Weymouth for round 4 of the National Contender
Travellers Circuit. There were noticeable absentees due to the Nationals
only being the weekend before in N.Wales. The forecast for breeze didn't
quite materialise and sailors were greeted with rain and 5 knots from the
east. Race one got underway with the pumping flag up. The majority of the
fleet making there way to the right hand side of the course. Rodger White
sailed a sensible beat and popped out in front with Graham Scott, Gary
Langdown, Mike Murley and Paul Ross in the chasing group. There had been
some confusion as to whether the pumping flag was still up or not as John
Browett disappeared down the reaches to come from the back of the fleet to
5th. White extended his lead winning from Scott and Langdown. Race 2 and New
National Champ Langdown made an appearance at the front of the fleet with
Scott, Bray and White close behind. The wind direction and strength made it
quite difficult to pass and with boat speed differences being very small
Langdown won from Scott and Bray. Richard Batton headed the rest of the pack
home from Murley and Browett. Race 3 started on a Trapezoid course with
everyone realising that a good start was key we had our first recall. On the
second start Scott sailed out in front to the favoured course side with
Murley, Browett and White. These four sailed away from the fleet finishing
in that order, noticeably Murley was getting to grips with his new boat
and made the last leg uncomfortable for Scott with great boat speed.
Sunday morning dawned with sunshine and breeze.....yippee!! Race 4 and Simon
Mussell with his newly sharpened pencil strutted his stuff. Mussell sailed
into a comfortable lead that was never challenged with Browett, Langdown,
Scott and Batten heading the chasing group. They finished in that order with
Bray and Paul Ross close behind. Race 5 and Mussell was up for more, and
used his boat speed to full advantage taking the lead at the windward mark
from Scott, Browett and Batton. These were how the positions remained until
the finish with Landdown and Pete dives heading the chasing group. Race 6 in
a fading SE breeze and the pumping flag up still. Scott, Langdown, Browett
and Bray sailed to the left hand side of the course and rounded the windward
mark in that order. The breeze was now fading but Bray pumped himself to the
front until the flag was dropped at the leeward mark. Langdown then passed
Bray on the run and quickly capsize allowing Scott through. Scott sailed the
perfect last beat and took the race from Bray, Langdown and Browett.
Overall the racing had been very close with quick turn around between races
by the RO and his team.

Noticeable good performances came from Mike Murley, Tony Sawyer who won the
silver fleet and Andy Young from Castle Cove winning the bronze fleet prize.
The fleet now goes to Punta Ala, Italy for the European Championship May

1) Graham Scott (RYA)
2) Gary Langdown (Highcliffe)
3) John Browett (Datchet)
4) Stacey Bray (Porthpean)
5) Rodger White (King George)
6) Mike Murley (Weston)

Silver Fleet Winner
Tony Sawyer ( Poole YC)

Bronze Fleet Winner
Andy Young (Castle Cove)


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