Graham Scott won last weekend’s Contender inland championship at Rutland SC
On the stormy weekend of 26-27 October 30 Contender sailors were drawn to Rutland SC for the annual end of season inland championship. As forecast, the breeze was up, with the wave tops being whipped off and the blackness of the water looking ominous.
Many helmsmen, on arrival, made for the safety of the breakfast bar in the Sumptuously renovated clubhouse rather than rig up. However, the race officer was in no doubt that the conditions were sailable. So, for the majority, it was up with the mast for a swift sail to the starting area in a gusty Force 6.
The first race was an exciting splash round, with the fleet remaining remarkably upright. The battle for the lead was between Graham Scott and Tim Holden with John Browett sticking his bow into the fray on occasion. Holden held the lead coming to the last mark when Scott, finishing fast on the reach, nipped in by a matter of feet. Browett followed up, with Stuart Jones trailing in next.
With the wind now abating somewhat, the second race saw Scott again at the front, going on to win with some comfort. Richard Gimmler, one of this seasons best improvers, claimed second having been well up after the first round. Jones took third having recovered from an average position at the first mark sneaking past Browett on the run to push him down to fourth.
The wind for the third race of the day was a positively light and patchy Force 3. Chris Mitchell, despite an ordinary start from the middle of the line, caught a favourable shift on the left to lead the fleet round to the finish. He was chased home by an ever gaining Scott who was himself given a run for his money by Martin Metcalf. Browett and Keith Paul also found a shift on the left on the last beat to pull through to claim the next places. The other front runners of Jones and Gimmler struggled a little but claimed the next two places.
The fleet sailed in for the evening, just trapezing, in what was predicted to be the calm before the real storm on the Sunday. Most competitors were packed up by 1000 on Sunday morning as the wind blew 60 miles an hour and rising. From the safety of the clubhouse, the effect was a spectacular backdrop to the prizegiving. With one discard to count Graham Scott had won with minimum points. Gimmler, Browett and Jones all tied on seven points were split in that order on countback.
1st Graham Scott Porthpean SC
2nd Richard Gimmler Rutland SC
3rd John Browett Datchet Water SC
4th Stuart Jones Datchet Water SC