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Downs Sailing Club hosted Round 7 of the Optimum Time Phantom Southern Series over the weekend on 14th/15th July

Unfortunately a combination of injuries, weddings and a very light forecast resulted in a disappointing entry, but the sailors who did attend had some very close competitive racing, and by combining the event with the Contender class there was a reasonable number of boats on the water.

As the boats rigged on Saturday morning there was 5 knots ENE and this was forecast to increase by the scheduled start time of 1300 hrs. As the forecast for Sunday was even lighter, the Race Officer made the (wise) decision to run 4 races on the Saturday afternoon in case Sunday dawned with very little wind.

After a short hold on the beach, the fleet launched into about 8 knots NE and a strong flood tide. Race 1 got underway with everyone being cautious on the line, not wanting to be swept across and receive an OCS. At the windward mark it was Chris Shelton who lead, closely followed by Richard White and Simon Green. Richard showed some impressive speed on the reaches to take the lead by the leeward mark. In the meantime, following a poor start, Steve Popple had very good boat speed to windward in his brand new boat and was slowly catching the leading pack of three. On the second lap there was even more place changing with Simon staying the mix. However by the finish Chris had manged to get ahead again and Simon had overhauled Richard to take second.

Race 2 followed a similar pattern, but this time it was Steve round the windward mark first. However Chris, Richard and Simon were not far behind and all 4 boats were continually changing places around the course. On the final triangle Chris managed to pull ahead again, but this time it was Richard second and Simon third.

The start of race 3 saw Richard and Chris parked up on the start line which allowed Peter Harlow to cross the line at speed and into the lead. However by the windward mark the rest of the fleet had caught up and once again the merry-go-round of place changing started. By this time the tide had slacked and the wind had also dropped slightly. Working the shifts on the beats became more important, as did finding good pressure downwind. By the final triangle a similar pattern had emerged, Chris in front, Simon second this time and Richard third.

The ebb tide had kicked in by the time race 4 started and this resulted in the boats taking a long starboard tack course to stay further inshore. At the windward mark Simon and Chris arrived simultaneously on port, but crucially Chris was inside as both boats tacked and was first onto the reach. Richard and Peter were not far behind in that order. In contrast to all of the previous races, places stayed exactly the same for the duration of this race. The ebb tide gave less choice of routes on the windward legs and the distance between the boats slowly increased as the race progressed.

It had been a long afternoon on the water, and the sailors gratefully returned to shore ready for the free evening meal in the clubhouse. The meal was accompanied by live music from the popular Jackson Bell Duo and plenty of liquid refreshment.

Unfortunately Sunday morning dawned precisely as forecast with the occasional 2 knot Easterly in-between periods of flat calm. However all was not lost as the competitors tucked into a full English as the AP was hoisted. The Race Officer announced that the wind was forecast to increase (slightly), and he was going to take advantage of the short slack water period due about 11.00 am. However the wind was a little late arriving and by the time race 5 started about 11.30 the flood tide had already started.

Simon Green made a cracking start on port and was soon ahead on the long slow port tack beat against the tide. Richard was second with Chris uncharacteristically in third. The boats remained in this formation until the first reach where once again Richard showed his downwind speed to overhaul Simon. By the time the second beat started the wind was back down to about 3 knots and the tide was getting stronger. This meant that almost the whole windward leg was spent on port tack lee-bowing the tide, with the boats staying in the same positions. After a long, slow run the competitors were grateful to see the Shorten Course signal, with Richard crossing the line first, Simon second and Chris third. As the wind was showing no signs of improving, and the tide was getting stronger, race 6 was cancelled and the competitors returned to shore to be greeted by the Band of the Royal Marines playing at the bandstand and a Spitfire fly-over.

Congratulations must go to Race Officer Steve Restall for getting in five races over a difficult weekend. Thanks also to all of the Downs Sailing Club volunteers who gave up their time over the weekend to man the safety boats, beach-party, canteen, bar etc. to make the event a success.



Sail No












Downs SC

Chris Shelton










Downs SC

Simon Green










Downs SC

Richard White










Lilliput SC

Pete Harlow











Shoreham SC

Steve Popple












Report written by Chris Shelton

Optimum Time Watches Southern Series Round 7 at Downs SC 14th/15th July

Downs SC (Deal, Kent) once again welcomes all Phantom sailors to their Open Meeting on 14th / 15th July.
There will be 3 races on Saturday afternoon (first start at 1300) and a further 3 races on Sunday (first start 1000).
Food will be available on arrival and a Saturday evening meal is included in the entry fee.
Full details are available on the Notice of Race or at www.downssailingclub.co.uk
(click on "Open Meetings" in the left hand menu column).
This is great opportunity to get some practice on the open sea before the Nationals in September.
Come to Deal to experience our unique "sledges" and some great sailing.
Chris  1211 


The grass had been cut, starting hut painted, engines serviced, beer bought and food prepared.  All was ready for another classic open meeting for the Phantom Eastern series at Creeksea Sailing Club in deepest Essex over the weekend of 16th/17th June. 

Nineteen boats entered the two day event, racing under the watchful eye of race officer Edwin Buckley ably assisted by his wife Pat.  The large home fleet was out in force with 10 boats entered (and a further two displaying “dual nationality”) looking forward to competing with the best from Northampton, Royal Harwich, Stone, Oulton Broad, Up River and Alton Water.

The wind god’s had once again smiled on the club and made sure that they were not to go without breeze over the whole weekend.  Saturday’s South Westerly built during the day and this direction gave Edwin a tough job in getting the fleet away from the club line.

Employing a temporary mark in Race 1 and 2 gave a challenge to the fleet in deciding whether to risk the tide with a fetch to the mark or benefit from slacker tide and a tighter beat.  Surprisingly the fleet spread out well for the start and battled strong gusts approaching and exiting the mark which required a bear away gybe.  Early victims included Bob Portway who had been in second place at the mark.

The race then reverted to the default setting of a reach to the Cliff mark close to the entrance to Althorne Marina and a beat up river to the Canewdon mark on the south bank of the river.  This stretch of the River Crouch presents a challenge in wind over tide conditions and as the day progressed both wind and tide built and it was inevitable that challenging conditions would develop.

The downwind legs back to the club line saw a classic tacticians dilemma that was also to be a feature of the weekend.  Crossing the river to hug the northern bank was the obvious choice but when and where to cross over were the hard choices.

Race one saw John Wayling resume his past form at Creeksea by playing things just right and holding off Matt House and Chris Roberts to take the gun.

The decision where to cross the river again played a crucial role in deciding the winner in Race 2, where up and coming local sailor Roger Smith defied the usual convention by crossing the river early after rounding Black Point, to reach home along the shore whilst the leading group of boats looked on in horror.  A well deserved first open meeting race win by the ever humble Smith who attributed his astute tactical analysis to the need to clear weed from his rudder.  As if….

Lunch in the “pop up” galley was enjoyed in glorious sunshine with a veritable banquet provided by the club.

Race three saw a further variation upon the theme – a fast reach to Cliff and a tough beat up to Canewdon with a repeat of this gruelling beat sorting the men from the boys.

Bob Portway showed that he had recovered from his earlier mishap, with a win from Wayling and Ben Falat.

Returning ashore the fleet showered and pampered in the beautifully refitted showers and enjoyed the free beer provided by the home fleet. Barrel 1 was swiftly disposed of as tactics, rules and tuning tips were debated at length.  

The home fleet is sponsored by the Polash Indian Restaurant in Burnham and an excellent meal was enjoyed by all at their establishment.  A night cap in the Queens Head before carriages were called rounded of the evening.

Sunday dawned grey with light rainfall.  Not what had been ordered but this soon passed and the day developed with more sun and slightly less wind evident to the relief of many.  Similar courses were necessary for the day as the breeze refused to follow the forecast and stuck in a general South Westerly direction.

In what seems to be something of a habit for day two of the Creeksea Open meeting, Chris Roberts got a grip on race one and he and former club mate Marcus Ingram, sailing Rod Thorpe’s beautiful JJ boat, had a close race at the front of the fleet before Roberts made the decision to cross the river early and left the fleet strung out behind him to score a win for the home fleet.

Race five again provided another suprise with a win for Ben Falat as John Wayling who had led from start to finish was judged to have been OCS.

The astute reader will realise that at this point after ffive races there were five different winners and the closeness of the racing was evident throughout the fleet.

Lunchtime saw a fair bit of calculation work amongst the leading boats.  John looked likely to win but it was very close between the four following boats of House, Portway, Falat and Roberts.

The final race saw the breeze build a little and the reversion to the double beat to Canewdon tested the endurance of the fleet. 

Special mention has to go to Warren Martin sailing his newly acquired boat who sped away from the line to develop a commanding lead on the reach to the Cliff mark only to fall back upwind.  The Creeksea Phantom Sailing Academy will be dishing out more homework on upwind technique next term for this promising new boy.

Having been stung by the denial of a victory in Race 5 John Wayling, however, made few mistakes to take the gun from Portway.  This secured the same results overall for them as a consequence.  Falat followed them home in third place to secure his fourth overall position, whilst House and Roberts were buried mid fleet. After the application of two discards House took third overall and Roberts fifth.

Special thanks were made to the race officer and rescue boat crews.  The single handed recovery of a dismasted Phantom by Finn sailor Keith Fedi manning the Safety boat was masterly and after minor work on Sunday Pete Sarbut was back on the water to fight again.  A special mention also goes to Alan Shrimplin who once again took some superb photos on Sunday morning but could barely keep awake for the rest of the day having returned from an overseas holiday early that morning!

The next event in the Phantom Eastern Series is at Royal Harwich Yacht Club on the 14th / 15th July.

1st 1346 John Wayling         Northampton

2nd 1334 Bob Portway         Royal Harwich

3rd 1432 Matt House            Royal Harwich

4th 1266 Ben Falat               Waveney and Oulton Broad

5th 1395 Chris Roberts        Creeksea


Optimum Time Watches Phantom Travellers Series Round 5 at Lee on Solent Sailing Club 23rd-24th June

This weekend we are at the venue of next years Nationals for an open meeting shared with the Aero class.
Registrtion is between 10.00 and 12.30 on Saturday with the first race at 13.00 and 3 races scheduled each day, notice of race can of course be found on the club web site www.lossc.co.uk , triangle/sausage course with a view of the Isle of Wight I'm informed. And if  anyone wants to arrive on Friday evening please contact Gordon at the club or class forum to make arrangements.
Entry is £25 and an an evening meal will be available at £8 from the excellent galley.
So come and familiarise yourself this weekend and give yourself an advantage for 2019 Nationals !!


The 2018 Phantom Inland National Championships @ Northampton Sailing Club

The Championships were held over the weekend of 27th & 28th May @ Northampton Sailing Club

The forecast for the weekend was for fair winds, lots of Sunshine with the threat of an odd Thunderstorm

On the Friday a measurement day was held for sails and boats alike, with the newest being 1461 a JJ Sinker design which makes it easier to right and less likely to invert, the boat performed well during the Buoyancy Test, righted easily and drained fast.

With sails measure and Boats weighed the Friday team, with a partial attendance from the Creeksea Massive, set off the local curry house to re-fuel ready for the following days forecast which was gradually building.

Saturday arrived with pliantly of breeze coming straight down the lake, the threat of the wind swinging east didn’t materialize but it did build from the F3 to F4 during the day.

Race 1 ~ The PRO Neil Pitcher had set a Trapezoid course around the large inflatable buoys 1,2,3,4 all to port, a nice long beat, a reach and good true run proceeding to a broad reach to the leeward mark and posted for 4 laps. The first horn of the Championships sounded and the 19 sailors lined up in preparation for the start, with the line set true the start was clean and Andy Couch soon made it clear about his intentions, he was off up the beat like a “scolded cat” or was it the fact the Phantom is so much easier than the Finn?!!, The battle was close for the honor of getting round the top 1st and Ian Stone just managed to take the privilege along with being officially the tallest Phantom sailor displacing our Chair my Longley…  Once round the top mark Andy eased out a good lead and the battle for the top 5 spot commenced. Ian held onto 2nd and Will Gulliver fought hard to get into 3rd, just holding off Alister Morley in 4th and John Wayling in 5th.

Race 2 ~ Using the same course the start was quickly turned round and the battel to hunt down Andy commenced again, with the chase on Will managed to scrape through to second  with Ian dropping to 3rd and Nick Orman climbing upto 4th once he had remembered he was now pond sailing with very small lumps, John came through in 5th with the worry of writing the report already looming.

The fleet sailed in for a well-deserved lunch and to discuss when John’s wood wind shift would start working?!

Race 3 ~ Got underway with the breeze building and a slight course adjustment  to give a tighter top reach, longer run and another short blast to the leeward mark. The order changed as Nick must have had some sugar for lunch but the fleet were also closing in on Andy with the finishing order, Andy, Nick, Ian, Will and surprise surprise myself in 5th..

Race 4 ~ With everyone keen to get away (The bar was open) and a small shift just before the start the gun went but followed by too hoots and we all returned to do it again, Neil held his cool and kept with the blue peter and the 2nd start was clean. The battle at the front was getting a lot tighter and the distances gained were small, several place changes driven by the wind flicking east made a game of Snakes and Ladders but the finish order was similar, Andy, Will, Nick, John and Jim Hopton gaining a well-earned 5th.

With 4 hard races completed the fleet retired to the clubhouse and a well-deserved pint and an excellent evening meal provide by Elaine in the Galley.

Sunday morning arrived with a little less wind but not much less, the threat of Thunderstorms had the race team on their toes to get completed but they had the Abandon flags ready to hand.

Race 5 ~ Started clean and with the lighter breeze the thought that the order would change did not materialize, the wind had more shifts, so the gains and losses could be big but the fleet picked their way through them and the finishing order was all too familiar with Andy, Will, Ian, Nick and Myself taking the top five.

Race 6 ~ was smartly away and the pond sailors were coming good, Andy decided to sit out the last lap to be first in the showers, the top five had a shake up and the order changed with the Puddle Sailors finding their way around the shifts and the final race order was, Will, Ian, Jim, Richard Simms and Nick. We came off the water with the sun shining, Wind blowing and no sign of the Thunderstorms which did arrive much later to flood some areas of Northampton town.

The prizing giving was held promptly and the thank you’ s were made.

Top five places ~ Andy, Will, Ian, Nick and Myself in 5th ~ Hence writing this report!!


Maud - 1346


Sailwave results for Phantom Inlands - 26th & 27th May 2018 at Northampton Sailing Club 2018.htm

Phantom Inlands - 26th & 27th May 2018

Northampton Sailing Club

Results are provisional as of 11:57 on May 27, 2018


Sailed: 6, Discards: 1, To count: 5, Entries: 19, Scoring system: NSC Phantom Inlands 2018

Rank SailNo Boat HelmName Club R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Total Nett
1st 1456   Andy Couch Leigh & Lowton SC 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 (11.0 RET) 16.0 5.0
2nd 1435   Will Gulliver Northampton SC 3.0 2.0 (4.0) 2.0 2.0 1.0 14.0 10.0
3rd 1280 Spooks Ian Stone Maidenhead SC 2.0 3.0 3.0 (14.0 RET) 3.0 2.0 27.0 13.0
4th 1446   Nick Orman Castle Cove SC (8.0) 4.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 26.0 18.0
5th 1346 Maud John Wayling Northampton SC 5.0 5.0 5.0 4.0 5.0 (6.0) 30.0 24.0
6th 1459   Alister Morley Salcombe YC 4.0 7.0 8.0 (12.0) 6.0 8.0 45.0 33.0
7th 1400 Spotty Dog Jim Hopton Shustoke SC 9.0 8.0 9.0 5.0 (10.0) 3.0 44.0 34.0
8th 1405 Tess Nigel Pybus Northampton SC 6.0 (18.0 RET) 13.0 7.0 7.0 7.0 58.0 40.0
9th 1447   Richard Sims Carsington SC 10.0 10.0 (11.0) 10.0 8.0 4.0 53.0 42.0
10th 1347 The Apprentice Chris Biglin Shustoke & Staunton Harold 7.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 (20.0 DNC) 20.0 DNC 68.0 48.0
11th 1343   Olly Hopkins Bowmoor SC 15.0 12.0 10.0 6.0 9.0 (20.0 DNC) 72.0 52.0
12th 1443 Spanish Inquisition Phil Longley Stone SC (13.0) 11.0 12.0 11.0 11.0 9.0 67.0 54.0
13th 1266 Gherkin Ben Falat Waveney & Oulton Broad YC 11.0 9.0 6.0 9.0 (20.0 DNC) 20.0 DNC 75.0 55.0
14th 1430 Oswald Gordon Kingston-Minnis Lee-On-Solent SC 12.0 13.0 14.0 14.0 RET 13.0 (20.0 DNC) 86.0 66.0
15th 1404 Well Eeled Eric Howe Creeksea SC 14.0 15.0 15.0 13.0 12.0 (20.0 DNC) 89.0 69.0
16th 1184 The End Graham Dale-Jones Creeksea SC 16.0 (18.0 RET) 16.0 14.0 RET 15.0 10.0 89.0 71.0
17th 1244   Bill Taylor Creeksea SC 19.0 RET 14.0 18.0 RET (20.0 DNC) 14.0 20.0 DNC 105.0 85.0
18th 1233 Pink Djinn Pete Sarbutt Creeksea SC 18.0 17.0 18.0 RET 14.0 RET (20.0 DNC) 20.0 DNC 107.0 87.0
19th 1111 Barcode B Webley Shustoke SC 17.0 16.0 17.0 (20.0 DNC) 20.0 DNC 20.0 DNC 110.0 90.0

Scoring codes used

Code Description Points
DNC Did not come to the starting area 20
RET Retired Varies



Sailwave Scoring Software 2.24.0

Roger Brown

As some of you will already be aware Roger Brown, long-time Chairman and Treasurer of the Phantom Association, tragically died on Sunday 15th April during an organised snorkelling trip whilst on holiday in Costa Rica with his wife Sue.

The death of a loved one is hard enough to deal with but to be so far from home must have been incredibly hard for Sue. With the support of her daughter and family, Sue had to make the difficult decision to return home and await Roger’s repatriation.  Once home Sue then had to make the heart-breaking decision to agree to Roger being cremated in Costa Rica as they were unable to fully embalm him for the flight home in a coffin.  Roger’s ashes were returned to the UK on Monday 14th May.

I’m not sure how long Roger had been involved with the Association because he was every present guiding us through some interesting times. Roger held both the position of Treasurer and Chairman for many years in the days when all subscriptions, measurement forms and any other correspondence was all hard copy and via the post. I believe there was quite an intricate card system in operation then as well.  Although he tried to give up these posts on many occasions, this was always a half-hearted attempt and he would carry on for the next year after a short silence at the AGM, following the “is there anyone else who wants to volunteer?” question. 

I always had a lot of time and respect for Roger as both a Chairman but mostly a Gentleman. He could be approached about pretty much any subject, and one thing was for sure, you would get a straight answer - maybe not the one you wanted, but always the way he saw it. I like that type of man.

The family have arranged a service to celebrate Roger’s life at 10.30am on Tuesday 29th May at United Church, Crowborough, East Sussex TN6 1HA, followed by a lunch at Barnsgate Manor, TN22 4DB.

Family flowers only please. Donations to RNLI via Tester and Jones Funeral Service, Crowborough, East Sussex, TN6 2TT

If you would like to attend, or know of other Phantom sailors who may like to attend, please can you contact his daughter, Caroline, via email so they can advise the caterers - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tyler Harmsworth

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