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Rutland Contender Inland Championships 31st Oct / 1st Nov by Dave Davies

Twenty Contenders made their way to Rutland for the final Open Meeting of the season. In recent years the fleet have shared the event with some other well established classes and this was no different with the Ospreys also racing. The usual travellers were there were but some notable absentees, due to various sports injuries including "Scuba" Dives and "Jammy" Jones. Stu Jones would have revelled in the light and fluky conditions, no doubt (had he bothered to turn up) adding another victory to increase his already unassailable lead in the travellers series.

The wind was non existent on Saturday with the forecast for less on Sunday the current World Champion (Simon "the mighty" Mussel) was looking forward to putting his considerable light wind skills to the test. A mention also has to go to Nick Noble (the Nob part of the team NobTag), who arrived straight from Italy with brand new Luca Bonezzi plastic boat, the competition was going to be fierce.

After an abandoned start sequence for the first attempt in race one in around 2 knots of breeze (and the constant moaning from Tommy Hooton all the way round "it's less than 5 knots lads" drifting irritatingly across the water all day!), the fleet got away at the second attempt. First round the windward mark could only have been the brand new boat of Nick Noble, with a group close behind containing Tony Brooks, Nick Grace and Gary Langdown. A short distance back a second group with Robert Angus, David Davies and Tony Cook. The wind dropped (and Tom Hooton's moaning increased), as the fleet drifted down towards mark 2. Roger White and Tim Holden took a flyer into the middle of the lake and for 5 minutes (!) looked like it may pay off, but it didn't.

Tony Brooks drifted into the lead as the wind gently came back to 2 knots, with Nick Noble second, Gary Langdown 3rd and Nick Grace 4th.

For a while it didn't look like the wind would settle enough for another race. But eventually (with god playing with Tommy Hooton's emotions, making him think it was all over), the breeze settled enough for a second start. Another tense first leg had Gary Langdown, Robert Angus, Nick Noble and David Davies in the front group. The race officer teased the fleet as they completed the first round sending them off for a second lap. Davies decided to go for broke down the final run and made a huge mistake going too far left. Four boats went past, but as the leading boats went round the bottom mark with only 100 yards to the finish the wind dropped. Davies arrived in 8th, as he rounded the mark a breeze filled and lifted him right past all the boats he had let past down the run. Robert Angus won the race far enough out to not be effected by the breeze change with Gary Langdown second, Roger White 3rd and David Davies 4th.

That was it for the day and in fact for the weekend.

Overall winner was Gary Langdown, second Robert Angus, third Tony Brookes and 4th David Davies.

Pos Sail No Helm Club Race 1 Race 2 Total Nett
1st 2439 Gary Langdown HighCliffe 3 2 5 5
2nd 703 Robert Angus Weston 5 1 6 6
3rd 2496 Tony Brooks Oxford 1 8 9 9
4th 2383 Dave Davies Lock Ryan SC 6 4 10 10
5th 2599 Tony Cook Downs 7 5 12 12
6th 2410 Nick Noble Portishead 2 11 13 13
7th 712 Rodger White King George 10 3 13 13
8th 2484 Nick Grace Castle Cove 4 13 17 17
9th 2503 Tim Holden Halifax 11 7 18 18
10th 2405 Geoff Norman Notts County 8 10 18 18
11th 678 Tom Hooton RYA 14 6 20 20
12th 2490 Rob Smith Castle Cove 12 9 21 21
13th 2420 Simon Mussell HighCliffe 9 16 25 25
14th 2477 Chris Howe Oxford 16 14 30 30
15th 666 Bill Hooton Burton 15 15 30 30
16th 2506 Tony White Lancing / RNSA 21 DNC 12 33 33
17th 652 Nick Curry Weston 13 20 33 33
18th 697 Malcolm Hall Carsington 17 19 36 36
19th 2318 Alan Mollatt Downs 18 18 36 36
20th 445 Paul Green Port Dinorwic 21 DNC 17 38 38

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