The Contenders visited Eastbourne Sovereign Sailing Club over the weekend 7/8 June for the 6th round of their Travellers Trophy to be greeted by a beautiful Eastbourne day.  Warm and sunny with a freshening south westerly.  Expectations were high.

Everything was ready for a prompt start at 1pm but then the wind gods decided otherwise.  The wind started to veer and decrease finally going through 90 degrees.  The race team postponed and reset the course to the new north westerly direction.  Once completed it went back to the south west and another course reset.  Who would be a race officer?

The wait was worthwhile.  Code flag Oscar for free pumping was flying, the wind was gusting to 18 knots and the sea was building – perfect.  Immediately, Simon Mussel showed that he has lost none of his upwind speed in a breeze by comfortably winning the first two races and finishing a close second in the third.  Gary Langdown, in yet another new boat, and Stuart Jones chased hard.  Landown managed to snatch the final race from Mussel to put him second overall at the end of the day.  Jones could only manage third overall with a 2, 3 and 4, probably his worst result for years!  Carl Tagoe did manage to disrupt the leading trio to grab a third in race 2 to put him fourth overall and Tom  Hooton, showing improving speed in a breeze, recorded 5, 6, and 5 to be fifth at the end of the day.  But the day belonged to Mussel who won Peter’s Pot for the leader on the first day.

Sunday dawned a beautiful seaside day for holiday makers!  Not a cloud in the sky and the gentlest of breezes ruffling the water.  A perfect beach day.  To the disbelief of most the race officer signalled that he would start on time but as the boats made their way to the start area the breeze started to increase and, by the time of the start, was 6/8 knots.  The race officer set a large course with the expectation that the wind would strengthen, but it didn’t.  Again three boats broke clear of the pack but this time Peter Dives took the place of Mussel who’s attributes, which had proved such an asset in the breezier stuff, were now a handicap.  In the first race Jones rounded first followed by Dives and then Langdown.  At the final leeward mark the three rounded in a group with Dives leading followed by Langdown and Jones.  Langdown tacked off to go for the pin end of the line and, at the finish, only 2 seconds separated the three with Langdown slipping through to win, Dives second and Jones third.

The second and third races were sailed in similar conditions and normal service was resumed with Jones winning both comfortably followed by Langdown.  The lighter conditions brought some other faces nearer to the front of the fleet with Roger White and Tim Humphries having a good day and Guy Marks, new to the Contender and doing his first sea event, having his best result of the event.

When all the points were added up Mussel had slipped to third overall having been overtaken by Langdown and Jones who finished first and second respectively. Dives was promoted to fourth at the expense of Tagoe who finished fifth.

Gary Langdown thanked Mick Whitmore and his race team and Eastbourne Sovereign Sailing Club for an excellent event.

Pos Helm R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Total Nett
1 Gary Langdown -3 2 1 1 2 2 11 8
2 Stuart Jones 2 -4 3 3 1 1 14 10
3 Simon Mussell 1 1 2 7 -11 8 30 19
4 Peter Dives -7 5 7 2 3 4 28 21
5 Carl Tagoe 4 3 4 6 -9 6 32 23
6 Tony Brooks 6 7 6 5 7 -9 40 31
7 Rodger White 10 -11 9 4 6 3 43 32
8 Tim Humphries 8 8 -10 10 4 5 45 35
9 Tom Hooton 5 6 5 11 12 (17 DNC) 56 39
10 Jon Hill -11 10 8 9 5 7 50 39
11 Bill Hooton 9 9 11 8 10 (17 DNC) 64 47
12 Chris Walker 12 12 12 14 -15 10 75 60
13 Guy Marks 15 13 14 12 8 (17 DNC) 79 62
14 Mark Jackson 14 (17 DNC) (17 DNC) 15 13 11 87 70
15 Chris Yates 13 (17 DNC) 13 16 16 12 87 70
16 Colin Gates (17 DNF) (17 DNC) (17 DNC) 13 14 13 91 74



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