Sailing: Stuart Jones wins Contender Southern Area Championship

Bournemouth Echo: . .

FORMER world champion Stuart Jones turned the tide on the hosts’ Gary Langdown to win the Contender Southern Area Championship at Highcliffe Sailing Club last weekend.

Jones (Datchet Water SC), who lifted global titles in 1993 and 1998, had run his rival close at the Contender Open in Eastbourne earlier this month but got the better of Langdown with four top-three finishes.

Saturday’s racing saw the field troubled by inconsistent winds which caused the race committee to spin the course 180 degrees to cater for the shift to a south-westerly breeze.

Tom Hooton (Burton SC) and Adrian Smith (Hythe & Saltwood SC) won the first two ahead of Jones, while Langdown took fifth and third, respectively, before race three was abandoned with the wind dropping below three knots.

On Sunday, the conditions were more favourable with gusts of 15 knots with Jones taking the honours in the first race. Another fifth for Langdown in the opener proved costly with victory in the last two races not enough to catch Jones in the final reckoning. A late flurry saw Highcliffe’s Simon Mussell finish eighth overall.

Meanwhile, Bruce Keen (Stokes Bay SC) won the Musto Skiff Open with success in the opening races on Saturday and Sunday.

Dave Poston (Datchet Water SC) suffered a snapped halyard but recovered to finish second, including one race win, with Alex Knight (Castle Cove SC) third.

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