The Phantom Trophy 2012 16 Jul 2012
The Burnham 707 fleet compete each year for the Phantom Trophy -one of the oldest trophies in sailing, older than the America’s cup. This year the event was run over the weekend of 14th & 15th July as a practice and feeder event for the National Championship at Stone SC.
Saturday did not look appealing with heavy rain and light winds forecast. Nevertheless seven 707s headed for out in the hope that the four scheduled windward / leeward courses could survive the conditions. In fact there was 6-10 knots of breeze and the rain was not always as bad as expected.
By the end of the day Racehorse and Baby Beluga were in equal first place with positions 1, 1, 3, 3 and 3, 2, 2, 1 respectively. Beaver Hunter was regretting a decision for the event to have no discards having missed out the gate in race 2 and hence scores of 2, DNF, 1, 2.
Sunday was the 25 mile feeder race to the River Blackwater, and conditions were much improved with sunshine and 10-15 knots. The course was simple – a run out of the Crouch followed by a spinnaker reach to the Swin Spitway gap in the sandbanks, followed by a three hour beat against the tide to the finish off Bradwell.
Racehorse led the fleet of ten boats through the Spitway followed by Pocket Battleship, Baby Beluga and the hard charging Beaver Hunter. Racehorse made a decision to make the long trek over to the West Mersea side of the channel rather than cover the fleet, which for a long time looked like a really bad decision. However with a separation of a couple of miles between the left and right hand sides of the fleet, a significant wind shift could make all the difference. “Only a 30 degree wind shift can save them now” said Paul Gray. And it did. Racehorse eventually led the fleet home with a very comfortable lead. Beaver Hunter came from the left to claim second, and Joe Blob just pipped Pocket Battleship for third.
So Racehorse was the well deserved winner of the Phantom Trophy and full results will appear later. Now for the Nationals ….