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With good winds predicted 17 Contenderers ventured to the picturesque Cornish coastline of Porthpean SC for the Southern Area Champs.

 

This was the last chance for many to hone their fleet racing skills before the Worlds in Denmark.

 

Damp, drizzly conditions ashore were off set by a good F3-4 South Westerly out in the bay.

 

The event was marked by some very tight startlines, often with a heavily biased pin end, which delivered some intriguing starting manoeuvres.

 

The fleet headed out to sea off the start line with the leaders at the top mark coming from those who went almost to the lay line. Mussell rounded first hotly pursued by club mate Langdown followed by Scott and Grace and the fleet screamed off down the top reach.

 

Langdown passed Mussell, much to his displeasure on the run before the finish to take the gun with Scott in third.

 

Race 2 and Mussell again lead at the windward mark but would not be denied the victory this time, while Scott beat Langdown to second.

 

Race 3 had the air of a match race between Langdown and Mussell as they pulled clear of the fleet, with Langdown coming out on top. Aston pipped Scott for third by a whisker on the line.

 

The club laid on a much appreciated pasta dinner, while beers were sunk as the fleet traded stories of the day’s events well into the night.

 

Sunday dawned with wind and sun, and the question as to whether anyone could break up what looked like a three horse race for overall victory.

 

Race 4 was a very close run thing, with Mussell letting off a victory yell on finish line initially believing he’d won his tussle with Scott. However, the race officer had a different view and awarded the bullet the Scott. Aston held off Bray for third.

 

Race 5 had Boshier lead approaching the windward mark, only for him to then ‘moor’ himself to it allowing Langdown and Aston to pass him.

The first four boats were absolutely neck and neck on the run before the finish, until Scott found an extra wave and some more wind to sail between the other three to lead!. They all rounded the bottom mark transom to bow, crash tacked and drag raced to the finish. In a four-boat photo finish Scott nicked it from Langdown, Aston and Mussell.

 

In Race 6 Aston lead for most of the race, letting his lead slip on the last long beat when allowing Scott too much freedom on the favoured right-hand side. Scott went on to win the race from Aston and Langdown.

 

The three bullets gave Scott overall victory, while Aston resigned himself to another report ! 

 

Many thanks to all at Porthpean for an excellent event.

 

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