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By Matt Aston

Castle Cove SC hosted the penultimate Contender event of 2012. A cracking forecast of wind and glorious sunshine blessed the fleet of 25.

Billed as the return of the prodigal son, the understated Highcliffe veteran and ex. National champ Gary Langdown donned his speed skins and trapeze harness for the first time since his class departure way back in July 2010 -  although it was a tight squeeze, as it looks like he’s eaten a few more pies in that time bulking up for Laser exploits.

Simon Mussell, always at a healthy fighting weight for breezy conditions, blasted the fleet away in the first 2 races held in 20kts and choppy conditions. Dan Taylor and Graham Scott barely hung on to his coat tail but did stay clear of the rest for safe 2nd places each. Nick Grace, after dispatching Matt Aston, at the windward mark ran home 3rd in first race and Stuart Jones took the final podium place in race 2.

Race 3 looked to be going a similar way as Mussell led at the top mark only for a momentary lack of concentration in his huge ego, to result in a dropped mainsheet followed swiftly by a boat on top of its helmsman. This let Scott and Aston through to tussle for the lead until the finish. These two gradually pulled away from the ensuing battle for 3rd in which Grace fought hard to hold off a determined Taylor.

Generous overnight lodgings by family Grace with good old local pub nosh, lubricated with the regional beer left everyone cheerful if not a little shattered and battered from the day’s exploits on the water. Thankfully for many Sunday served up lighter conditions, with the pumping flag only making a brief appearance during the last race.

Race 4 and Jones finally found his top gear and led from the start. Langdown having put his borrowed boat back together again remembered how to tack and notched up a 3rd just behind Mr consistent, Scott.

Roger White motored into a generous lead in race 5 and held on until the last lap when the fluky conditions got the better of him and notably Peter Dives, to let Scott and the now pumped up Langdown through for first and second. White and Dives held on for third and forth. This wrapped up the event for Scott with Jones and Mussell bombing out big style.

The final race saw no let up in the shifty conditions. Dives led Aston for the first half of the race. Dives not wanting a repeat of the previous race kept his cool leading for a round and half before Jones sailed in from the right in his own breeze making almost a dozen places in process, while what had been the leaders wallowed in the middle of the course. Jones took delight and could be heard choking on his own good fortune out on his trapeze for the reminder of race and to the finish! Dives and Mike Murley held off Scott and Aston for the remaining podium places. 

Place

No

Helm

Club

Race 1

Race 2

Race 3

Race 4

Race 5

Race 6

 Pts

1

720

Graham Scott

RYA

-7

2

1

2

1

4

10

2

2465

Stuart Jones

Datchet SC

5

3

6

1

-12

1

16

3

2484

Nick Grace

CCSC

3

5

3

4

5

-7

20

4

2466

Matt Aston

Datchet SC

-8

6

2

8

7

5

28

5

2315

Ben Holden

Halifax SC

4

8

5

6

13

-19

36

6

2420

Simon Mussel

Highcliffe SC

1

1

8

18

-24

10

38

7

2512

Daniel Taylor

Mengeham Rythe SC

2

4

4

-20

11

17

38

8

2505

Peter Dives

Eastbourne Sovereign SC

12

13

-17

10

4

2

41

9

2373

Mike Murley

Weston SC

9

10

-21

7

17

3

46

10

2551

Gary Langdown

Highcliffe SC

(26/DNF)

26/DNS

10

3

2

9

50

11

713

Ed Presley

RAFSA

6

16

7

13

-22

11

53

12

2496

Tony Brooks

Oxford SC

14

14

15

-19

6

8

57

13

2522

Chris Boshier

Thorpe Bay Yacht Club

10

12

11

11

14

(26/DNF)

58

14

657

Rob Smith

Castle Cove SC

(26/DNS)

11

12

17

10

12

62

15

469

Carl Tagoe

Oxford SC

11

7

9

21

16

(26/DNF)

64

16

712

Rodger White

King George SC

15

20

(26/DNS)

9

3

18

65

17

659

Martin Metcalfe

Killington SC

17

18

-19

14

8

13

70

18

696

Tony Cook

Downs SC

-19

17

18

15

15

6

71

19

2491

Pete Barr

Mengeham Rythe SC

-18

9

13

16

18

15

71

20

589

Keith Paul

Weston SC

(26/DNF)

26/DNS

16

5

19

14

80

21

2477

Chris Howe

Oxford SC

(26/DNF)

26/DNS

26/DNS

12

9

16

89

22

688

Mark Basham

Restronguet SC

13

19

20

-24

20

20

92

23

2347

Martin Jones

Wilsonian

(26/DNF)

15

14

22

21

26/DNF

98

24

2503

Jock Fellows

Castle Cove SC

20

(26/DNF)

26/DNF

23

23

26/DNF

118

25

687

Jeremy Blaydes

Weston SC

16

(26/DNS)

26/DNS

26/DNS

26/DNS

26/DNS

120

 

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