Contenders at Yorkshire Dales

Contenders at Yorkshire Dales
In true Yorkshire fashion, Saturday dawned sunny and warm with the heather moors perfectly reflected in the smooth water of the reservoir. Unfortunately this scenic beauty went largely unnoticed by the mainly large and burly 15 strong Contender fleet looking forward to some exciting trapezing.

A southerly Force 1-3 arrived in time for the start and it was Martin Metcalf who led the fleet up the first beat. Unfortunately he had taken his weight saving measures too far as, when he tried to clip on some slightly stronger breeze, he found he had left his harness on shore, allowing Tom Hooton, Tim Holden and Ian Smith to finish first, second and third. In the second race Tim Holden picked the right way up the beat to finish first, with Stuart Hudson and Rodger White second and third. The wind was starting to drop slightly for the third race leading to some tense sailing up shifty beats and down the long runs with the breeze full of holes.

Stuart Hudson held his nerve to win, with Martin Metcalf second and Tim Holden third. Well, right up to the finish line anyway, when Martin had another senior moment while enraptured by the balmy delights of the Dales and invented his own (wrong) finish line, allowing the indefatigable Tim to finish ahead of him in the final metres before he could rectify matters.

The Race Officer was helped in his decision about whether to the run the final planned race in the dying breeze by most of the fleet heading straight for the shore, so that was it for the day, except for an evening of traditional Yorkshire ales and slightly less traditional curry. Neil Ferguson kindly filled up his house and garden with Contender sailors for the night and those camping fully enjoyed the nocturnal bleating of the nearby sheep.

The fleet waited on day two for the low hanging mist and drizzle to clear, with everyone wondering at such unusual Yorkshire weather conditions. A Force 1-3 Westerly obligingly filled in and the fleet was off, splitting into two halves, on the right and left sides of the beat. The right paid off allowing Tom Hooton to progressively build up a big lead, followed by Ian Smith and a fast recovering Tim Holden.

In the fifth and final race Tim ‘I’m not going left again’ Holden made no mistakes, glued to the right shore up the beat and winning the race, with Martin Metcalf finally combining all the bits of his boat with all the bits of his brain to finish second, and Stuart Hudson third.

Tim Holden showed great consistency in the shifty conditions, with his lowest result being a third place, to win overall. Tom Hooton combined youth and great boatspeed to finish second overall, thankfully being given a sailing jacket as a prize to cover up his charity shop cardigan and improbably low crotch jeans (their trendy nature being lost on most of the rest of the fleet). Stuart Hudson was tied on points with Tom but was third overall on countback while Ian Smith from the home club finished fourth overall. Kris Atraszuitwic, although last overall, won the persistence prize for finishing every race.

Overall results:
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RankSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5TotalNett
12503T HoldenHalifax2123196
2654T HootonBurton164151711
32490S HudsonKeyhaven521531611
42519I SmithYorkshire Dales3146242915
5659M MetcalfKillington853622416
62314R WhiteKing George935793324
72315B HoldenHalifax64144OCS4828
8627M PullinHalifax41291284533
9678B HootonBurton77129104533
10674C HellonBurton131110864835
11697M HallCarsington118111074736
122422N FergusonYorkshire Dales109711124937
13596G NormanNotts County1213813115744
14605T PressdeeYorkshire Dales141013DNCDNC7757
15577K AltraszuitwicYorkshire Dales15151514137257

British Contender Association website