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Optimum Time Watches Phantom Southern Travellers race report round 6 at the 2017 Weymouth Dinghy Regatta By Mike Tustin 

Sixteen Phantom sailors made the effort to travel down to Dorset to sample Olympic sailing waters for the two day Weymouth Dinghy regatta which started on Saturday 8 July.  With mainstream weather forecasters and windguru predicting very light winds all were pleasantly surprised with the gentle breeze along with the presence of the big yellow ball nice and high in the sky.  Almost perfect sailing conditions.  With 120 other dinghies in attendance and using a common start/finish line we were all very pleased to find that we were sharing a start line with a good group of Oks for the first race at 1.00pm.
With a very busy line and missing James Dawson who eventually turned up late for the second race we set off.  Very quickly and with very long legs in what turned out to be a windward leeward course Nick Orman and John Wayling sailed ahead to a slightly unexpected (in my boat anyway) finish at the committee boat after only 2 and ½ legs.
With the wind dropping slowly race two started in a very similar manner with Nick almost doing a horizon job on the rest of the fleet.  As per the last race we all approached the finish line to find that this time we were sailing onto the windward mark once again.  This did cause a little confusion in a few boats and several places were exchanged at this point and on the final approach to the windward mark.
The last race of the afternoon in even less but still a respectable breeze found Nick Orman heading right in towards Castle cove.  Others found this to be hard race as loose floating weed seemed to have become quite  a factor in this part of the harbour.  However Nick Orman once again won the day followed by Will Gulliver and John Wayling.

The Sunday dawned with very little wind in evidence.  With this situation improving by the minute we all crossed the harbour at around 10.00 to line up at the first start line of the day.  After a AP postponement for an hour the racing got off to a rapid start with many being held up on the line by a large number of Oks.  Boy do they point well.  As for the results it was all change for this race with Ian Stewart coming up from the upper mid part of the fleet to take a well deserved bullet for this race.  He was closely followed by Nick Orman and myself in 1438 after Will Gulliver very politely let us through by sailing towards the wrong leeward mark.
The next or second race  of the day started badly with a general recall leaving us to have a new start behind the slow handicap fleet.  For some who managed to get far to the left beyond the slow handicap fleet rounding their closer windward mark this race started very well with several mid fleet sailors making inroads into the top three.  This is where Jon Cooper made his podium debut with a very well sailed second place just behind the now predictable Nick Orman.  John Wayling who at the second mark had been behind me read the wind so much better and came in behind Jon.
The last race of the day which started 1 or 2 minutes before the 3 o’clock cutoff began very like the two previous races with quite light and shifting winds.  Several sailors did not stay for this last race and headed in for the early shower.  The leeward mark order was also very similar.  However this all changed when many in the fleet chose to go right on what felt like a lift only to find that the people heading left and towards Portland had been blessed with a significantly stronger wind which changed the race order noticeably with John Wayling having a go at the bullet followed for once by Nick and then Jon.
With 6 races to count and with Nicks good performance it was obvious that he would prevail at the prizegiving with a credible win.  Less obvious was the result of John Wayling (2) and Will Gulliver (3) due to a real mix of place changing from throughout the two days.  Overall this was a  difficult weekend to predict with wind swinging very much the order of the day.  Thankyou to Castle Cove for your hospitality and the tireless efforts of all the people acting as race officials.

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