Photo © Catapult Class Association
The Catapult Northerns at Bassenthwaite SC from 30 April – 2 May were decided on the last day after two days were lost to strong easterlies gusting up to 49mph.
In Race 1 choosing the right approach to the windward mark in the lee of Skiddaw, proved critical. Early leader John Terry tacked towards the shore too soon and lost out. Paul Ellis and Alastair Forrest gauged it right and gained a large lead over the rest of the 11 boat fleet. On the next lap Ellis gradually eased ahead of Forrest. Meanwhile Gareth Ede had recovered from a poor start to begin closing the gap, but he could not catch Forrest.
Stuart Ede was first off the line in the freshening wind of Race 2 and went right up the beat to lead at the windward mark. The next mark was in the wind shadow of Skiddaw, which separated the leading four from the chasing pack. By the final lap Stuart had a quarter mile lead over his son Gareth with Ellis and Terry in pursuit. However, he threw it away when he couldn’t find a mark. Gareth was the beneficiary with Ellis and Terry taking second and third places.
A port tack flyer at the start of Race 3 gave Stuart Ede a substantial lead, which he lost by pitchpoling in one of the gusts that were now reaching 39mph. Gareth Ede again benefited from his father’s misfortune. He clung on (literally!) as many boats pitchpoled in his wake. Meanwhile Forrest, who had recovered from gear failure, passed several swimmers to pip Terry for second place.
Gareth Ede’s second win enabled him to retain the Bill Graham Northern Championship Trophy ahead of Ellis, who had a first and a second to count, and Forrest’s two seconds.
1st Gareth Ede (Filey SC) 2pts
2nd Paul Ellis (Marconi SC) 3pts
3rd Alastair Forrest, 4pts
4th John Terry (Rutland SC), 6pts
5th Stuart Ede (Filey SC), 8pts