Contenders at Pevensey Bay
14  Contenders made to trip to Pevensey for round 7 of the Traveller  Trophy.
Saturday dawned to a cloudless sky and a F6  shrieking through the dinghy park from the NE making the waters  edge a little agitated.
Race  officer Gary Pearson called for a show of hands and racing was binned for  the day, nothing to do but bimple, bask in the sun and avoid the bar until a  socially acceptable hour which seemed to vary widely. Curry was eaten with  copious Harveys real ale then an earlyish night with threats of a 10:30 start  and 4 races.
Sunday  presented itself with slightly less wind still stuck firmly in the NE but now  with leaden skies and damned cold for June.
The  race officer announced his intentions and left purposefully leaving competitors  to mournefully bulk up on champions breakfasts.
After  a short delay tallies were released and 10 Contenders were hurled afloat by  the beach party, when all were assembled racing quickly got under  way.
Race  1, 15-20 Knots with big big seas.
A  clean start despite the last of the flood threatening to push boats over the  line, Stu Jones quickly slotting into the groove with Carl tagoe snappig at his  heels. Chris Boshier and Ed Presley battling for 3rd. Tagoe boat on boat with  Jones but tacks to soon for the layline allowing Jones a fast rounding and  unassailable lead. Just behind Presley holding Boshier off for first triangle  but a bungled tack on the second beat allows Boshier to claim  3rd.
Further back the conditions were preying on  the vulnerable and elderly with Pete Dives opting for an early retirement  plan due to a busted traveller.
Race  2, Breeze building.
Another clean start on slack water with Jones again  powering away and Tagoe in pursuit, Boshier gets the better of Tagoe on the  first beat and is holding 2nd up the next beat only to gybe like a girl on  the wing mark and let Tagoe and Presley through to claim 2nd and 3rd  respectively. James O'Leary follows Dives for an early bath when  he tries to use his sail as a fire door and is returned to the beach  with a rip from leech to luff. Breeze now gone more northerly and  screeching through at 25Kts, even colder.
Race  3, 20-25Kts, slightly flatter.
Obvious port end bias sees Jones and Presley  go with port end fliers and Tim Humphries following off the pin while the  rest plan some sort of suprise attack from the wrong end. Jones goes left with  less tide and flatter water inshore making a more comfy ride, Presley and  Humphries settling in behind. Boshier follows Dives and O'Leary  ashore with a busted kicker leaving Tagoe to press home the  surprise attack. Sneaking up the second beat with superior boat  speed Tagoe errodes the gap and rounds onto the run a boat length behind  Humphries, half way down the run Humphries buckles under pressure and hands  over 3rd place to Tagoe when his gybe causes a spot of  horizon trouble.
So  frooty were the conditions that only 6 finished the 3  races:
1 Stu  Jones 1,1,1
2 Carl  Tagoe 2,2,3
3 Ed  Presley 4,3,2
4 Tim  Humphries 6,7,4
5  Alistair Hodge 8,5,5
6 Tony  White 9,6,6
All  competitors were greeted ashore by a crowd of wetsuited club  members assembled to lift boats over the munching shore  dump.
Thanks  to Pevensey Bay for hosting the event in difficult conditions and providing a  small army of volunteers to make sure everyone went home in good  condition.

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