Contender Travellers Trophy – Hayling Island S.C.   -  27th/28th June.

Report by Graham Scott

27 Contenderers travelled from far and wide to the exotic location of Hayling Island for the latest fixture on the 2009 Travellers Trophy circuit. Although the forecast was for light winds there was always the hope that the ‘Solent Doctor’ would provide an afternoon sea breeze.

However with the tide on the flood the only way out to the bay was a long walk towing the boats by hand through the shallows around Sandy Point. After a short wait the sea breeze finally arrived and the fleet was able to sail to the start area and get racing underway.

Race 1 started in about 8 knots of wind and most of the fleet headed right but a slight shift to the left saw Stacey Bray lead from Stuart Jones and Graham Scott at the first mark. Scott moved into second on the reach but with only two laps to complete Bray easily held his lead although Mike Murley got through Jones to take 3rd place.

As expected Race 2 saw a slight increase in wind speed and with a starboard bias a lot of the fleet went right as soon as possible. However a slight increase in pressure favoured the left again and Gary Langdown had a good lead at mark 1 followed by Bray, and Keith Paul, Nick Grace and Jones. The breeze was still fitful enough to provide plenty of opportunities and Jones sailed through to 2nd at the finish with Paul 3rd.

By the start of Race 3 there was a nice Force 3-4 building and sailing conditions were near perfect. A slightly longer race saw a great tussle between Matt Aston, Simon Mussell, Jones and Langdown with Mussell finally taking the winning gun from Aston.

A beautiful windless Sunday morning greeted the fleet but with 6 knots from the East forecast the Race Officer decided to go for it after a short postponement. Unfortunately this involved another long walk out to the point (don’t HISC rescue boats have tow ropes?) and a slow sail to the start area.

With the easterly breeze constantly vying with a faint sea breeze the racing was going to be tricky but this did not deter Nick Grace from providing a masterful display and leading Race 4 from start to finish followed by Langdown and Scott.

With time now running out, the Race 5 was going to be the final one and was started in virtually no wind on a very heavily port biased line. Jones made a great port tack start but with a strong tide now influencing tactics it was Aston who led at the first mark, followed by Jones, Grace and Mussell. As the wind gradually vanished completely Jones sneaked through Aston to win the race and the event while Rodger White moved through the fleet to cross the line in 3rd place.

Final results;
1. S. Jones
2. G. Langdown
3. M. Aston
4. G. Scott

1st Silver M. Jones (19th)
1st Bronze J. Hone (11th)

 Full results see HISC website




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