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What a contrast in conditions after the first two races!
Clear blue skies, actual warmth in the sun and a pleasant 8/10 knts of breeze greeted the sailors as they rigged their boats.
Race officer Alec Moss set an excellent course, simple but testing and all legs of sailing included.
The start was a reach from the line set off Titchmarsh Marina to a buoy just off Stone Point at the mouth of the channel so a good long leg to begin with.
The two Phantoms of James Oxley and Martin Jenkins were first across the line but Oxley was able to sail over Jenkins in the drag to the corner of the Twizzle where the boats headed off upstream on a dead run.
Oxley has clearly got his boat well set up for running as he maintained a four or five boat distance between his transom and the chasing Phantom.
Further back the three Lasers of Dominic Jacobs, Ken Potts and John Tappenden were having a very close duel with young Dominic just edging ahead of his rivals.
Oxley rounded the first mark some twenty seconds ahead of Jenkins, the tightly bunched group of Lasers rounded together a minute or two further back.
Unfortunately Paul and Gemina Burnage suffered a broken centreboard and had to retire before rounding the first mark.
Jenkins settled into the beat and split tacks with Oxley. Although James is getting to grips really well with his new Phantom, Jenkins has still got a noticeable edge on the upwind legs.
By the time the two leaders rounded Spit Buoy Jenkins had passed his rival and established a lead of nearly a minute.
In the pack of chasing Lasers Jacobs had eased
away from Potts with Tappenden pushing his friend hard, all three rounded the buoy in close company.
With legs out into the Wade, a run back down river and then a good long beat to the finish the order stayed the same. At the finish line Jenkins had stretched his lead over Oxley to one and three quarter minutes and it looked that this would be enough to take the overall win with the Lasers almost out of sight down river.
The race lasted some eighty minutes and this meant the Phantoms had to give over seven minutes in handicap to the Lasers.
When the results were worked out it was confirmed that Jenkins was first with Jacobs second and Potts third. It’s a competitive and fleet and it’s been hard for young Oxley to get into the top three so far but he is making excellent progress.
The series is now very tight at the top with Potts leading with five points to Jenkins six. With two races to go there is a lot to play for.
The next race is on Sunday 4th March.

Results
1st, Martin Jenkins, Phantom
2nd, Dominic Jacobs, Laser
3rd Ken Potts, Laser
4th, James Oxley, Phantom
5th, John Tappenden, Laser


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Winter Series Race 3
Jenkins win leaves it tight at the top!
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