Report by Mike Murley

Being so soon after the Europeans in La Rochelle, where over 35 Brits competed in a fleet of 92, numbers were down for the Contender Open Meeting at Weston on August 14/15.  But with 20 boats on the line the racing was as close as ever with four different race winners over the weekend.


Saturdays three races were sailed in a light northerly, making it very shifty on Southampton Water.  The first race was won by Ben McGrane in what was, in fact, his first ever race in a Contender.  Ben is one of a growing number of established sailors joining the Contenders in anticipation of the Worlds which will be held in Weymouth in July 2010.


In race 2, local sailor Rob Angus read the shifts well to take line honours from Ben.  In the final race of the day, old Contender favourite Stuart Jones got his act together with a decent win.


A chilli and skittle evening was enjoyed in the club house on Saturday evening.  David Holt from Minnis Bay, also in his first Contender Meeting, won the skittles.


Sunday provided more wind but still from the North and equally shifty.  Stu Jones declared the surf was up (his opinion, but no one else’s) and went on the win the first two races of the day, with second places taken by Mike Murley and then Nick Noble.


Nick went one better in the final race, with an excellent win over Stuart.


After a tense delay the results finally gave the win to Stuart, Ben second and Martin Frary in third.

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