40 Contenders made the annual journey to Rutland for the Final Boat Bits Travellers Trophy event of the year, which also comprised the Inland Championships.
With small wavelets travelling across the lake competitors consumed their bacon sandwiches with a mixture of excitement and trepidation.
Would the big boys dominate or could some of the little-uns spoil the party?
Race 1 started in a healthy 25 + Knots and was led away by Stuart Jones closely followed by Ben Holden, Stacey Bray and John Browett. Excitement occurred throughout the fleet as what could be described as “strong “ gusts took  their toll, many imaginative capsizes were completed further down the fleet, final positions being Jones then Bray followed by Holden.
Race 2 continued with the no let up in the conditions. Competitors had now tuned to the conditions, with extremely close racing throughout the fleet. Ben Holden took the win with a dramatic top batten clearing dive at the finish, followed by a consistent Stuart Jones,  and a rapid Paul Ross in third, finally competing in an event in his preferred strong wind conditions.
Race 3 and the excitement continued, John Browett led off the line and extended his lead throughout, the minor placing's were fought out to the end with Jones taking second and Ross again in third. 
Sunday arrived with a much lighter breeze, could the big uns hang on, or would the little-uns make a move?
Race 4 and David Gautier stormed up the 1st beat, unfortunately he relinquished his lead with a slight navigational error. John Browett continued his move up the leader board with Martin Frary taking second and Mike Murley 3rd. Holden and Jones both took their discards, meaning going into the last race the overall winner could be taken from Holden, Browett or Jones.
Race 5 and the breeze had strengthened. Holden returned to the fore taking the win, with Browett in 2nd and Matt Aston in third finally appearing in his normal front of the fleet position. Had Holden done enough to take the win?
Showing the competiveness of the fleet this left the front 3 all tied on 9 points, with John Browett taking the overall win on count back with Holden in Second and Jones in third, a consistent Martin Frary took 4th overall and with this 1st place in the Boat Bits National Travellers for 2008.
Many thanks go to Rutland Sailing Club especially the race and rescue crews who had a lot to do with four classes to after on the water.
Special thanks go to our sponsors Boat Bits and North Sails for providing the excellent prizes.
Author Martin Frary

Latest Classified Ads

British Contender Association

SSL Secure site protected by SSL