After an enjoyable evening of pie and quiz evening (2 contender teams tied for 1st place so everyone was happy) on Saturday night, the final day of racing for the British Contender Association National Championship at friendly Felpham Sailing Club, with 3 races scheduled for a 10am start was underway.

After a perfect couple of days sailing and an equally perfect performance by Simon Mussell, 5 bullets from 5 races which left him only needing an 8th in one race and Ben, Gary or Stuart to win the next 3 in a row to beat him. As the morning dawned with winds considerably lighter making it certainly feasible that a great light wind performance might be able to steal the championship away from the Mussell.

After some mark jostling by the Race Office the wind settled down and the second try of race one got under way, the fleet split and the right hand where Simon had gone was looking good, until the wind filled in from the left, giving little Tommy the honour of rounding the top mark first, followed mostly by the left, middle and then right handers. Tom was half way down the reach by the time Simon rounded, with at least half the fleet between them. By the gybe mark, the fleet was compressing as the wind had backed and turned the 2nd reach into more of a run, Simon went low and managed to sneak round a lot of the fleet as Peter hung up on the bottom mark in the tide and caused a little commotion. Stuart Jones had wiggled his way past Tom. With yet more impressive sailing Simon pulled his way up to 7th by the finish, so that was job done for him as there was only going to be time to get one more race in.

After much milling about and discussions with the race team, 6 knots managed to pipe up before the agreed cut off time for the final race, with quite some tide running (compared to the wind we had anyway) it was almost impossible to cross the line on starboard, so half the fleet opted for an attempt at port flyers and the other half tried to force them tack by sailing along the line, considering the tide, line and wind it was a pretty clean getaway for all except Stuart who I think I saw doing some turns. By the top mark it was Gary Langdown, Iain Horlock, Chris Boshier and miraculously Stuart Jones. Down the reach Chris and Stuart overhauled Iain with Gary in the lead. The 2nd reach was deep despite the tide tightening it up and with the wind getting even lighter the fleet was bunching again. At the bottom mark Jones had taken the lead, then it was Boshier, Langdown and Frary. The race had been shortened, so the final beat up to the finish line was a nail biter for the whole fleet as the wind shut off and then veered abut 30 degrees, unfortunately Langdown had tacked out so that gave Frary the edge and the finish was Stuart, Chris, Martin and Gary, unfortunate for Gary in the end as he missed out on 3rd place by 1 point when all was said and done.

Overall Results:

1st Simon Mussell
2nd Stuart Jones
3rd Ben Holden
4th Gary Langdown

6th & Junior Champion, Tom Hooton
Silver Fleet winner, Rob Smith with a nice Exe Sails voucher
Bronze fleet winner, Alan Mollat also with an Exe Sails voucher

1st Master, Peter Dives
1st Grand Master, Keith Paul
Rondar Trophy for oldest boat, Paul Karas

A big thanks to all our sponsors; Magic Marine, Exe sails, ABP and Cserve for the prizes and an a huge thank you to Tom the race officer and all of the members of Felpham Sailing Club who made it such a great event for us, a highly recommended venue.


full results here http://www.felphamsailing.co.uk/contender.htm

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