The Contender Nationals has now come to a close with a record 95 entries taking part at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.
7 races were sailed in light to medium conditions over 3 days as a warm up for the upcoming Worlds with 143 entries confirmed for the start line on Monday.
Race 1 saw newcomer Ben McGrane take his first win of the series in a light breeze followed by Stuart Jones and Soren Andreasen.
Race 2 started in similar conditions and dropped below 3 knots at the finish. The race started with an individual recall and a few boats were OCS including the leader Jones who led the entire race to the finish. Richard Gimmler should have taken line honours as he was just behind Jones until the last 100 yards to the finish when the wind shut off. The really light wind at the end allowed only 1/3 of the fleet to finish within the 20 minutes time limit.
First was Jesper Nielsen winning his first major race followed by Christoph Engel, McGrane and Andrea Bonezzi.
Race 3 was held in the harbour, with a building sea-breeze allowing high trapezing. A group of 7 boats got away after the first lap, headed by Jones and McGrane, who then had a dingdong battle down the run. Jones just won the race to the leeward mark, but up the final beat McGrane showed outstanding pointing ability to take the win, followed by the hapless Jones, Matt Aston, Gimmler and Stacey Bray.
After three recalls Simon Mussell dominated Race 4 in a solid trapezing breeze. Neil Furguson had a strong first beat following Mussell round the windward mark. Andreasen and Bonezzi pulled there way through on the reaches to finish in that order behind the disappearing Mussell.
Race 5 saw a slightly lighter breeze which became patchy as the race progressed. Bonezzi took line honours followed by Graham Scott and McGrane.
Race 6 was raced in a steady force 3-4. Andreasen took line honours followed by the Bonezzi brothers Luca Bonezzi in 2nd followed by Andrea.
Going into the final race McGrane still held first spot from Andrea Bonezzi so it was all to play for in the final race. Scott won followed by Luca Bonezzi then Neil Wilson. Andrea recovered well to finish 4th and to give him the Open Championship title while McGrane became 2011 British National Champion missing out overall by just 1 point when finishing 9th.
1st Andrea Bonezzi ITA11 and 2011 British Open Champion
2nd Ben McGrane GBR2497 and 2011 British National Champion
3rd Soren Andreasen DEN 1
4th Stuart Jones GBR2465
5th Graham Scott GBR720
6th Neil Wilson GBR685
7th Michele Benvenuti ITA 69
8th Jesper Nielsen DEN2352
9th John Browett GBR713
10th Simon Mussell GBR2420
Article Author Duncan Ellis 17/7/2011 14:20