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Alton Water Eastern Series final Phantom Open Meeting

Alton Water Phantom Open 15th-16th October 2016

Alton Water hosted the last round of the 2016 travellers circuit with 23 entries from around the Eastern region and further afield. Th largest contingent  were from Creeksea SC with 6 boats and one Alton based ex-phantom sailor rejoined the fold for the weekend whilst Matt Hart also from Alton gave the boat a go.

Sailors were greeted with light shifty winds on the Saturday with the days proceedings kicking off with a phantom tuning tutorial by sailors from the front of the fleet, followed by 3 practice races. The last race of the day started the series and in light shifty winds the race was won by Alton water sailor Matthew House coming back to Phantom sailing after a summer sabbatical big boat sailing in Scotland

That evening The Gardeners Arms hosted 22 sailors and PWAGS for the evenings End of Season meal and social gathering. At the end of the evening half the fleet seemed to be staying with Matthew House, whilst the Creeksea  and one Oulton Broad sailor went back to the comfort of the back of their vans and cars.

John Torrance


The Phantom Class is sad to announce the sudden passing of John Torrance on Wednesday 19th October.  John was a long time Phantom Sailor, committee member and class measurer and will be sorely missed.  To quote one of the many posts on facebook "Sailing on the river Crouch won't feel the same without him"

Our thoughts are with his family at this time.

Phantom National Championships 2016 South Shields Sailing Club


This year’s Nationals were hosted by South Shields Sailing Club and saw a respectable turn out. There were entries from as far as Shoreham, Weymouth and Milford Haven.
On the morning before the first race, as well as sail measurements a few boats were picked at random for weighing (some more random than others!). The boats picked were brand new this year indicating a continuingly growing class. All boats measured were in limits and legal.
During registration the competitors received their embroidered fleece and the first of the bacon rolls, all included within the entry fee
Races were held outside the breakwaters just to the south. Day 1 saw a fairly stable breeze coming off the land with big shifts and prolonged gusts from 12 – 20 knots.
Race 1 – Boats got away cleanly under the new U flag start (like a black flag but if there is a GR you are allowed back in the fleet). A sausage triangle course remained for the weekend and was well set. Harry Briddon, Will Gulliver, Chris Turner, Jon Nuttall and Norman Byrd were all in the mix but Harry came out on top which was pretty much the form for the rest of the weekend.
Race 2 – Again boats were away and again Harry was off like a rocket. Peter Shuttleworth smashed the first beat to be first at the top mark, not that he mentioned that at all during the rest of the weekend! This time Will was hot on his tail closely followed by John Wayling who showed his usual upwing pace to beat Jon Nuttall who nearly managed to stack it on the short reach to the finish just in front of Nick Orman.


On return to shore the cook it yourself BBQ was up and running and the bar was making a healthy turnover until the early hours!
Day 2 started with a very light breeze still off the land and another bacon roll. As the fleet made it to the race area the breeze picked up nicely to give another 12 – 18 knot day but this time accompanied by drizzle and rain. The courses were sausage triangle and set promptly and true as before.
Race 3 – Will found himself lined up for the wrong start line at the one minute gun so encouraged the rest of the fleet to have a jump start which caused a GR which under flag U meant he was back in the game for the restart.
We got away cleanly the second time and it was the first bullet for Will. Harry followed him home and a superb sail by Nick Orman saw him third followed by James Dawson in fourth.
Race 4 – Harry, Will, Chris, Nick and Norman got away in clean air and couldn’t be touched on race 4, they stayed clear of the fleet all race and stayed out of trouble. The fleet were grateful for a rapid turn around between races at this stage as the rain set in and everyone was feeling the cold.
Race 5 – Chris Turner again challenged Harry for the bullet but Harry held on to confirm the Championship. Will came in third followed by Oliver Davenport who had been getting increasingly better results through the weekend, one to watch for the future! Neil Fulcher had a cracking final down wind leg rolling two boats to cross the line 6th.


With an award winning fish and chip supper and plenty of drinks to celebrate with the new National Champion, some decided to brave South Shields on a Saturday night. The less said about that the better!
Day 3 dawned with another bacon roll and the fleet looking forward to blowing away the cobwebs. The forecast for the Sunday had ranged from 30 to 2 knots over the weekend but in the end it had gone Northerly and was about 15 knots. The combination of the ebb tide and the Northerly breeze had caused a steep short swell at the river mouth and as a result the race officer decided it was too dangerous to race. It was increasing all the time.
At the prizgiving Phantom class association chairman Phil Longley thanked the sponsors – Colonial Capital, The Morton Partnership, Vicky’s embroidery services, Ovington Boats and Seabrooke developments – presenting the winners and committee prizes for each race, spot prizes for a few special competitors, as well as brandy glasses and wine for the top ten
It was a fantastic weekend and South Shields made us feel very welcome. The food was excellent as was the beer and company. Massive thanks to the ladies in the galley and the bar staff who made the weekend very special. Thanks also go to the PRO Nigel Denchfieild for getting the course right and turning the racing round in some varying condiditons.
Well done to Harry sealing the deal with 4 firsts and a second, look forward to doing it all again soon!
Individual trophy winners:-
Under 30 – Harry Briddon
30-40 Cup – Jon Nuttall
2 Score cup – Will Gulliver
Half Ton cup – John Wayling
3 Score – Jimmy Sanderson
Endeavour Trophy – Stephen Lowe
1st Classic – Stephen Lowe

Full results here

Optimum Time Watches Southern Series Phantom Open Meeting Round 4 held at Shoreham SC in July

This year also counted towards the Phantom class’s national Grand Prix series. 10 helms enjoyed three races on Saturday. Local Steve Popple won races 1 & 2 in champagne force 4 conditions.  Race 3 in progressively lighter conditions favoured local veteran Ivan Walsh who having nailed the start  bagged  his first open meeting race win. Consistently low scores by Chris Shelton & Richard Simms kept them in contention overnight.

Popular class stalwarts Titch & Viv arrived during the afternoon to initiate proceedings which kept Tyler & Lisa behind the bar fully employed thus ensuring a healthy profit !!

Grateful sailors tucked into bangers, mash & beans during the evening courtesy of the two Mandys.

Overnight winds increased creating typical Shoreham conditions. Titch easily won race 4 held in a held in a rising force 5 followed by Gareth Griffiths & Steve Popple. Toe strap failure immediately followed by an Olympic standard back flip meant Walsh finished 6th.

Race Officer Phil Ayton & his excellent team wisely decided to cancel race 6 due the deteriorating conditions.

Steve Popple retained his overnight lead with Ivan Walsh runner up & Richard Simms third overall.

Competitors wish to thanks club members both on & off the water for their help which ensured such an enjoyable event.   www.optimumtime.co.uk

Optimum Time Watches Southern Series Phantom Open Meeting Round 5 at Downs SC Kent on 30/31 July

1st and 2nd for Downs Sailors! 

As part of the Optimum Time Watches Southern Series, Downs SC welcomed 5 visitors making a fleet of 9 boats in total.  It was a gloriously sunny Saturday afternoon but unfortunately with very little wind.

The Race Officer and his team did a great job to get the first race started after a short postponement in very challenging conditions. The fleet was split on the first beat with everyone chasing whatever wind they could find. Unfortunately after three legs the RO decided to shorten the course at the wing mark so Race 1 was won by Ivan Walsh (Shoreham SC) and 2nd Chris Shelton (Downs SC) & 3rd Eric Styles (Downs SC). AP over H was displayed and after a short wait on the beach it was decided to cancel any further racing for that day.

Midland series 2016

18th Sept Bartley SC8th

9th October -  Shustoke SC (also GP event)

5-6th November – Grafham Water SC (also Inlands)

2-3 events to count

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