Twelve Contenders entered the Oxford Blue and raced within the fast handicap fleet of 50 boats.

Race 1 started in rain and a light easterly breeze, the first attempt saw a general recall and after some adjustment of the line and the threat of the black flag the second attempt was successful apart from Jones who was giving the rest of the fleet a head start.  The fleet remained reasonably close together for the first lap,  with Jones working his way towards the front.  The second lap started with the fleet attempting to beat against almost no wind, the right hand side paid and the first 7 boats rounded the windward mark comfortably ahead.  This gave them the advantage of completing the next reach before it turned into a beat. Pete Mitchell just took it from Jones on the line.

After about an half hour delay to allow the course to be reset for the new north-easterly wind direction  the fleet made a clean start and those people sticking to the left hand side of the beat showed that it paid.  With the wind strength high enough for trapezing Holden demonstrated his abilities by being first to the windward mark closely followed by Jones and Mitchell. Jones overtook Holden on the off-wind leg and on the following beat Smith moved into second place, with Brooks third at the windward mark.  Grace used the last lap to move into third place but Jones was a clear winner by more than a leg closely followed by Smith.

Race 3 was sailed in similar conditions Jones had an excellent start and first beat to lead at the first mark closely followed by Ferguson and Grace.  On the second lap, left on the beat again paid and Grace moved into second closely followed by Howe, this was the order for the remainder of the race with Jones again pulling out a commanding lead.

With one discard the final results were Jones in first place (8th overall on handicap), Mitchell 2nd and Smith 3rd.


Posn Sail No. Helm Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Total
8 GBR2465 Stuart Jones (2) 1 1 2
76 GBR2491 Pete Mitchell 1 3 (13 DNC) 4
60 GBR2490 Rob Smith 3 2 (4) 5
72 GBR2484 Nick Grace (5) 4 2 6
75 GBR2477 Chris Howe (9) 5 3 8
85 GBR2315 Ben Holden 4 7 (13 DNC) 11
84 GBR2496 Tony Brooks 6 6 (13 DNC) 12
101 GBR2422 Neil Ferguson 8 (8) 5 13
136 GBR2373 Mike Murley 7 (13 DNC) (13 DNC) 20
141 GBR2420 Simon Mussel (13 DNC) (13 DNC) (13 DNC) 26
141 GBR2572 Ed Presley (13 DNC) (13 DNC) (13 DNC) 26
141 GBR678 Tommy Hooton (13 DNC) (13 DNC) (13 DNC) 26
141 GBR2588 Gary Langdown (13 DNC) (13 DNC) (13 DNC) 26


Report by Chris Howe


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