Simon Childs wins Phantom Open at Bewl Valley
Simon Childs looked set to dominate the first race from the start and pulled out a good lead by the first offwind mark only to watch the fleet sail on to the correct second mark that he had overlooked. James Case took the lead but miscounted laps and marks to surrender his significant lead and allow Russell Smith into the lead. Simon Childs gradually hunted Smith down to win. Russell Smith took second place with 'new boy' Andy Gregory from Blym taking third, Case couldn't recover finishing eighth.
The second race was a more spread out affair as the fleet developed the art of negotiating the Solo fleet over the short windward / leeward section of the course. Daren Pike took an early bath whilst in second place leaving Chris Roberts ahead of Case to follow Simon Childs. Russell Smith sailed well to pull through to second place again with Roberts in third and Case in fourth.
Following a splendid lunch the fleet took to the water in a stiffening breeze to settle the minor places after Childs.
Smith and Jez Taylor were too enthusiastic on the start and had to return allowing Case and Childs to lead followed by newcomer Greg Eaton. Russell Smith however sealed his second place record with a charge through the fleet with Childs who got through Case upwind, yet again showing the fleet the quick way round the course and Gregory taking 3rd.
By now the fleet was showing signs of tiring with a few swims and dodgy tacks in the shifty breeze. Overall the results were tight with equal scores for fourth and fifth with countback king Pike again pipping James Case. Of the three club boats racing Peter Cour won the bitter battle ahead of class stalwarts Roger Brown and Bob Barris.
It was a pleasure to see more new faces in the class and the return of past aces to the class bodes well for the next class events. After the prizegiving the new very desirable Eastern Series Polo shirts were handed out to all entrants by Rod 'Brucie' Thorpe.
Phantom - Final positions after 3 races, 1 discard
1st 1274 Simon Childs Northampton (1) 1 1 3 2pts
2nd 1177 Russell Smith Bowmoor (2) 2 2 6 4
3rd 1111 Andy Gregory Blym 4 (8) 3 15 7
4th 1183 Daren Pike Rollesby 3 (7) 5 15 8
5th 1255 James Case Wells (8) 4 4 16 8
6th 1278 Chris Roberts Creeksea 9 3 (10) 22 12
7th 1116 Marcus Ingram Up River 7 5 (DNC) 30 12
8th 1211 Chris Shelton Downs (11) 6 6 23 12
9th 1250 Greg Eaton Littleton 6 (9) 7 22 13
10th 1256 Rod Thorpe Creeksea 5 11 (DNC) 34 16
11th 1155 Ian Miller Felixstowe (12) 10 8 30 18
12th 1259 Jez Taylor Southwold 10 (12) 9 31 19
13th 1267 Phill Cobby Blym (14) 14 11 39 25
14th 1171 Dave Hawkins Denver 13 13 (DNC) 44 26
15th 1125 Peter Cour Bewl Valley (17) 17 12 46 29
16th 1167 Roger Brown Bewl Valley 16 15 (DNF) 49 31
17th 1244 Bob Barris Bewl Valley 15 16 (DNF) 49 31