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Round 7 of the BCA travellers series attracted 18 competitors to the picturesque Christchurch Harbour and Bay in Dorset.

Saturday saw the Contenders sharing with Lasers of various rigs and sizes ages and ability adding a few complications for the race committee trying to get away equally eager fleets of contenders and lasers without them clashing too much on the shorter course, well done Paul for keeping the waiting down between races.

As usual there was plenty of tide running out of te harbour as we launched (enough to pull your trolley away as you launched!) fortunately there were members of the local club to hand helping out asa shore party, thanks guys & gals.

The winds were blowing a warm and pleasant F3 SW for the first race giving with small waves building and made for lovely conditions.

Race one was a battle between local boy Simon Mussel and the everygreen Stuart Jones and Graham Scott, with Scott coming out on top despite rudder issues, then Jones and Mussel.

Race two saw the same 3 leading the first lap but a windshift and more tide further out saw a change at the top and at the finish it was Mussel, Boshier and Jones (Scott unfortunately having an issue with a knot in the wrong place in his mainsheet and losing out down the last reach to Jones).

Race three saw Mussel, Jones and Scott tale the top 3 places and going in for the night the top 4 places were Mussel, Jones, Scott and Daniel Taylor who'd consistently been up there throughout the day.

Curry was provided as usual by the marvellous ladies in the galley and a selection of ales at very reasonable prices were available at the bar.

Sunday we were awoken with more wind and a chillier 10am kick off, the forecast had been for more wind from the South East and for once that's what we got.

Race four and the usual three were up there vying for the lead again, this time it was Mussel, Scott and Jones.

Race five, out of the start Taylor's traveller strop broke giving him a disappointing end to his weekend and the wind was freshening bringing in some good surfing waves for the reaches and the decision whether to go out for more wind or in for flatter water seemed to make little odds up the first beat, the usual 3 were up there, until Scott took a swim down the 2nd reach and decided to call it a day, giving 3rd place to Carl Tagoe who was showing exceptional height upwind and good speed down the reaches too in his old boat.

The final race of the meeting and the wind had built giving even bigger waves for the reaches for excellent 2 foot reaching if you could stay on the back tank, this proved a little much for many in the fleet and by the end of the first reach the lead had changed at least 4 times with people taking a dip, the gybe mark took a few more prisoners and it became a race of attrition as sailors fell in and retired. By the finish it was Jones, Mike Murley,(obviously excelling in what must be his conditions from the speed he flew past me on the first reach) and then Tagoe in 3rd.

Thanks again to the team at Highcliffe for yet another enjoyable weekend's racing, see you again next year.

Overall Results: (top three)

1st Simon Mussel
2nd Stuart Jones
3rd Carl Tagoe

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