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Report By Chris Boshier 

9 contenders made it past the broken down bus on the A12 with varying degrees of success and timeliness to meet up for round 5 of the Boat Bits travellers’ trophy at Brightlingsea.

The first race on Saturday saw nearly all Contenders away behind the fireballs and merlins, with Phil not quite in the dinghy park and Chris Bosh just making the start by 30 seconds.
The first beat saw Bernard, Roger and Ed all overstand (or underestimate the tide a little, perhaps partially due to the interesting stealthily coloured black mark at the top of the course surrounded by buoys of brighter colours). Bernard (who confided in me later that this was the first time he’d been allowed out for a few years) tussled with roger and Ed for the rest of the race with Roger taking line honours, Bernard 2nd Ed in 3rd. and Ginge in 4th, good going for his first appearance on the circuit this year.

Race 2 got underway after waiting for a general recall from both the fleets in front of us and the race officer resorting to the black flag for both of them. Chris Ban got bored waiting and decided to give his sail a quick rinse just prior to the starting sequence. Unfortunately with all the waiting it meant the contenders had to share their first beat with the front of fireball pack coming round to start their 2nd lap. During the reaches, the wind backed leaving just a short hitch with the now ebbing tide to make the top mark in the dying breeze, Roger lead  the beat with Bernard and Ed hot on his heels until, in an effort to give the rest of the fleet  a chance Roger was good enough to step off his boat at the end of the 2nd beat and have a little paddle around on the windward side, long enough to let Ed through and eventually claim an open meeting victory for the first time in his Contender billy no mates career, Roger 2nd and Bernard in 3rd, sneaking between Chris and a stray merlin at the bottom mark

On day two after the usually good night  of enjoying the hospitality and ales of Brightlingsea Sailing club we were awoken with buffeting winds (and a few sore heads).
The club house anemometer was reading 6-10 knots (which may have been under reading slightly). The race committee donned their oilies and went out to inspect the course, but with the wind blowing 30’s and forecast to increase, along with it being low tide in the creek, a sensible decision was taken to abandon by 9:30, leaving Roger the victor, Ed in 2nd and Bernard in 3rd.

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