Report by : Simon Mussell

The weekend of the 9th and 10th of September  saw round 9 of the Contender TT circuit arrive at Burton Sailing Club. The forecast was for light winds and sure enough the fleet of 11 boats rigged up looking out over the glassy conditions that threatened to blight the days sailing. Fortunately with a hour or so until the start a light South Easterly started to build and as we headed out to the line it looked as though racing could be better that first thought.
The first race started in a force 2-3 and Simon Mussell lead at the first mark from Ben Holden and Bill Hooton with relative new comer to the fleet Peter Nelson showing some good form in hot pursuit. The first two reaches saw the lead change with Ben moving forward to form what we all thought was a dominant lead. The next half of the race however saw some very shifty and difficult conditions a despite Bens lead being threatened on more than one occasion he managed hold on to take victory from Bill with Tim following in 3rd.
The second race saw more of the same conditions although this time it was Tim’s turn to make the most of the of the 20 degree wind shifts when he managed to squeeze a victory over light wind guru Martin Metcalf with Bill Hooton remaining consistent following over the line in 3rd! The highlight of this race however was a Mr Sandy Clapham falling out of his boat provoking a torrent of abuse, most of which was directed towards a poor unsuspecting rescue boat crew who thought it would be a good idea to catch on film Sandy wallowing around in the water attempting to right his boat!! (Sandy did however offer his apologies to the crew (most of which were still laughing!) when back on shore)
The 3rd and final race on Saturday took place in slightly more consistent conditions and this time it was Bill Hooton’s turn to use his local knowledge to build a commanding lead over Simon Mussell and team Holden who followed in 3rd and 4th.
Back on land after the racing the discussion was dominated by talk of Sandy’s conduct during the second race and how big Bill’s head would grow if he could maintain such consistent form and win his home event!!!
The morning of the 10th brought no wind whatsoever and the postponement flag was raised while we all waited to see what would happen. At 11.00 however the ripples arrived on the water and the battle recommenced.
The first race saw 1st place change 4 times although its was Martin’s tacking on the second beat that enabled him to sneak in to a lead that would prove to be out of reach. With the down wind legs seeing big puffs of wind from behind sending back markers surging towards the front and the upwind legs being dominated by big shifts and lulls there was no time to relax. The race finished with Martin in Front with Simon following ahead of Peter Nelson who was showing some great boat speed once again.
The regatta was still up for grabs as the 5th and final race began with Tim, Ben or Bill all able to take overall victory. Bill however appeared to ignore the pressure of potential victory on his home waters and sailed a faultless race in conditions that were once again very difficult to predict. The race finished with Bill Hooton in front with Ben, Simon and Tim drifting in to 2nd,3rd and 4th respectively.
Many thanks to Burton Sailing club for hosting such a friendly and well run event and congratulations to Bill on his home victory… We will all look forward to returning next year.

Overall Results
Rank Tally SailNo Helm Club R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 Total Nett Notes
1st 3 678 Bill Hooton Burton SC 2 3 1 -4 1 11 7 
2nd 7 2315 Ben Holden Halifax 1 4 4 -6 2 17 11 
3rd 9 2318 Tim Holden Halifax SC 3 1 3 -5 4 16 11 
4th 10 709 Simon Mussell Highcliffe SC -9 6 2 2 3 22 13 
5th 11 659 Martin Metcalfe Killington SC 6 2 -8 1 8 25 17 
6th 4 536 Peter Nelson NSC 4 5 -6 3 5 23 17 
7th 6 711 Nick Noble Portishead -8 7 5 8 6 34 26 
8th 5 684 Sandy Clapham Yorkshire Dales 7 10 7 7 (12.0 DNS) 43 31 
9th 1 615 Stuart Backhouse Burton SC 5 8 -10 9 10 42 32 
10th 8 567 Matt Jackson Scaling Dam -10 9 9 10 7 45 35 
11th 2 541 Stuart Preston Burton SC -11 11 11 11 9 53 42 


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