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Optimum Time Watches Phantom Southern Travellers race report and results for Round 3 at Frensham Pond SC 23rd April 2017 by Jeremy Hudson

…. And so to the 2017 edition of hard fought racing for the very prestigious Frensham Phantom Pie Platter ….  The forecast was not good and perhaps put a few off attending with very variable wind strengths depending upon the source … the only thing in agreement was a SW wind direction and as it happened that was about the only direction we did not get!!
Despite the dire forecast, 6 visitors joined 5 home boats and in between drifting managed to get in 4 reasonable races with even the occasional spot of hiking and planning witnessed.
Some of the key highlights included:
Ivan Walsh obviously still a little overconfident from winning the series last year deciding that he only needed to show up to the start area with a minute to go.
Simon (00 something) Bond capsizing in a momentous gust of around 4 knots in between race 2 and 3.
The appearance of a new trend in wooden booms on a brand new boat which won 3 races! The boom apparently being multi-purpose with a Salcombe Yawl as they are the same length!  Not sure where you buy them from but they clearly work so there may be a rush of orders …. Although we were advised that they are a bit hard on the head!
The phantom WAGS, who enjoyed a lovely walk around the lake with its beautiful scenic Surrey countryside and witnessing all the ungentlemanly behavior on the water from various angles! (not really in the friendly Phantom fleet  ).
Numerous calls for Mast Abeam, showing the age and current rule knowledge of some of the participants!

So Race number 1 got underway in a shifty force 1-2 and Ian Stewart in a new boat which had only 1 hour on the water and the aforementioned wooden boom, did a horizon job while the rest of the fleet battled it out and in fact at the last mark were all within about 10 boat lengths.  After much place changing Nick Royse sealed second and Chris Shelton stole third.
In the second race after lunch, Nick gave Ian a good run for his money with much place changing in a continual battle for the lead which Ian secured by edging in front at the Finish.  Chris was again third.
In the Third race, Ian again worked hard for a slim lead, this time from Chris and Nick following up in third place.   Having proved his point, Ian handed over the reins of his new steed to his son Jamie for the last race – no pressure to perform then!!
In the last race of the day Nick and Jeremy Hudson battled it out for the lead with Jeremy just winning the race by the smallest of margins.  Jamie Stewart managed a credible third in his old mans boat and a big grin for how much fun a phantom is to sail.
Some may say it was very shifty and a bit of a lottery but its amazing how consistently Ian, Nick and  Chris managed to get to the front of the fleet.
So the overall results were:
1.   Ian Stewart – Salcombe YC
2.   Nick Royse – Frensham Pond SC
3.   Chris Shelton – Downs SC
4.   Jeremy Hudson – Frensham Pond SC
5.   Simon Bond – Frensham Pond SC
6.   Steve Popple – Shoreham SC
7.   Bob Larder – Frensham SC
8.   Ivan Walsh – Shoreham SC
9.   Dave Patrick – Broadwater SC
10.   Jamie Stewart – Frensham Pond SC
11.   Gordon Kingston Minnis – Lee on Solent SC

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