The Contender Open meeting at Eastbourne Sovereign Sailing Club attracted 25 boats on the weekend 1 and 2 June ignoring the forecast for light winds.  With the Contender Worlds on Lake Como in just 6 weeks time and 122 already entered every bit of race practice counts.


Race I started in a light puffy off shore breeze.  Stuart Jones, in his normal imperious style, led from start to finish followed home by Tony Brooks, Ian Horlock and Martin Frary.  The second race followed after a delay while the course was relaid.  The wind had veered and increased to a healthy force 3 and some waves developed giving superb condition for the remaining 2 races of the day.  Jones won both.  Frary was never far behind adding 3 and 4 to his score, Stuart Hudson two 5s, Peter Dives 4 and 6, Horlock 6 and 10 and Chris Boshier 2 and 9. 


Sunday dawned sunny with a light wind which was forecast to decrease!  As the fleet arrived at the Committee Boat the forecast seemed to be coming true as the wind dropped to a whisper but the wise old Race Officer waited with the postponement barely fluttering.  Patience was rewarded when a sea breeze started to develop and settle as a 2/3 south westerly again giving excellent conditions with really close racing through out the fleet, just the kind of practice needed for the forthcoming Worlds.  Judicious use of the black flag ensured that 2 races were fitted in before the time limit.  Again Jones won both races giving him a clean score sheet for the meeting, Frary scored a further 2 and 3 to secure second overall and Hudson 5 and 3 for third place.  Overall positions 4 to 6 were decided on the last short beat to the finish with Dives getting through to 4 to secure 4th overall one point ahead of Horlock who was one point ahead of Boshier


The Contenders express their thanks to Eastbourne Sovereign sailing Club for a well organized event and particularly to Race Officer Mick Whitmore and his team for doing an excellent job in difficult conditions.


Next weekend the fleet is off to Eastbourne’s neighbouring club at Pevensey Bay for another action packed weekend.

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