Please select your home edition
Gill 2017 728x90

Dart 18 Nationals at Isle of Sheppey Sailing Club

by Geoff Lloyd 2 Jun 2011 23:04 BST 28-30 May 2011

This year’s Dart 18 Nationals were held at Isle of Sheppey Sailing Club over the Whit Weekend, and the proximity of the channel ports led to competitors arriving from France, Germany, Netherlands and Belgium to swell the entry to 78 boats – the best attendance for 10 years. Rigging and scrutineering took place in a very crowded boat park, but excellent organisation saw all the entries make the start line at 1 o’clock on Saturday in a breezy force 4-5 south-westerly.

The Race Officer got the first start off on time, and ex-World Champion Emmanuel Dode from France crewed by sister Marie-Candire Dode (SRU Vannes) were the first to recognise that the line bias and a big tide meant that a port end start was essential. They led throughout the race and were followed home by other ex-World Champions Dan Norman & Mel Rogers (IOSSC) in second and strong wind specialists Will Thompson & Zander Ozelton (Dee SC) third. The wind built further and race two started in an increasing force 5-6 with the tide running faster and conditions becoming difficult.

With reports suggesting stronger winds were to come the race officer sensibly shortened the course after one lap. Thompson & Ozelton led all the way around, and with Dode & Dode retiring with rudder damage the experienced pairing of David Lloyd & Joanna Jones-Pierce (SBSC) came in second with Norman & Rogers third. The fact that only 35 boats finished race two gives an idea of how difficult things had become.

That was the end of day one, which left Thompson & Ozelton overnight leaders and winners of the Exe Plate for the leaders after two races. The sailors then enjoyed a Caribbean Night at the club complete with grass skirts, palm trees and limbo dancing.

Day two saw similar conditions to the end of day one but with bigger gusts (although it was sunny!). The start was delayed at first for 2 hours, and then for four. With time running out the committee sent two “volunteer” boats out to test the conditions. They both reported difficult seas, an offshore wind with huge gusts, and a tide running out to sea. The decision was taken to cancel the days racing.

After another hard night partying from the social animals of the Dart fleet, everyone assembled for a 9.30am start on the final day, to be met by warm sunshine and a light force 1-2 from the south. Race one was won by Alan & Fiona Kernick (SBSC), who have previously won the French, Dutch, Belgian and Irish Nationals, but never the UK Nationals. They led home winners of the last three UK Nationals Dave & Louise Roberts (SBSC). Norman & Rogers crossed in third, but received the news that they had been black flagged making it difficult for them to win overall.

Light winds, wind shifts leading to a course reset, and a pushy fleet causing several recalls led to a long delay before race four, and with the latest start time 1pm (to allow our continental competitors time to get home), this race was going to be the final one. With several boats counting a high finish in their results and with the fourth race allowing a discard no less than six boats could still win. In the event Kernick & Kernick sailed a very determined race, and read the difficult conditions (shifty light winds with lots of tide) perfectly to collect their second victory of the day, which ensured their first UK National title. Second in the race was single handed sailor Paul Chatfield (SBSC) – an excellent result. Norman & Rogers, in a nearly impossible position after their black flag, gambled too often and eventually retired from the race. However, their black flag was rescinded in the protest room meaning that they eventually finished second. How different things might have been without that black flag call! Thompson and Ozelton finished 6th in race four to confirm third place overall.

UKIDA and IOSSC would like to thank the event sponsors: Windsport International (who gave full technical & repair support at the event); P&O Ferries; English Braids; Sailboat Exchange;; and NBC Bird & Pest Solutions. The competitors would like to thank IOSSC for putting on a great event and for showing how well a small club can manage a big fleet. The Dart 18 fleet now moves on to the World Championships in Knokke, Belgium at the end of July.

Time-Lapse Video during the Dart 18 nationals at Isle of Sheppey Sailing Club:

Overall Results:

1st 7770, Alan & Fiona Kernick (SBSC) 8pts
2nd 7788, Dan Norman & Mel Rogers (IOSSC) 8pts
3rd 7707, Pussy Galore, Will Thompson & Zander Ozelton (Dee SC) 10pts
4th 7835,, Dave & Louise Roberts (SBSC) 12pts
5th 1812, Emmanuel & Marie-Candire Dode (SRU Vannes) 13pts
6th 7724,, David Lloyd & Joanna Jones-Pierce (SBSC) 13pts
7th 7777, Herve LeMaux & Catherine Alton (Le Touquet) 17pts

Other Prizes:

UKIDA Handicap: Peter & Joanna Coe (Shoreham)
Lady Helm: Nicolette Van Gorp (DE Roerkoning)
Masters Trophy: Rod Winrow & Martin Stevens (Worthing YC)
Youth Trophy: Chris Goymer & Jenni Donovan (IOSSC)
Kim Stevens Trophy (Parent & Child): Peter & Joanna Coe (Shoreham)
Best ‘Moo’comer Trophy: Patrice Gautier & Carole Peletant (France)

Related Articles

Grafham Cat Open rescheduled
Storm Brian pushes event back to March The Grafham Cat Open that had to be postponed due to Storm Brian has been rescheduled to 17/18 March 2018. Posted on 29 Oct 2017
22nd Forts Race at Whitstable
A weekend of two weather extremes! The 22nd Forts Race Weekend was held on 9th and 10th September at Whitstable Yacht Club. The long-distance catamaran race, sponsored this year by NeilPryde Sailing and Whitstable Marine, was a weekend of two weather extremes! Posted on 12 Sep 2017
Dee SC catamaran training & development
Programme leads to hosting the Dart 18 Nationals A two year training programme, supported by the RYA and in particular the RYA North West based team (special thanks to Alan Jones), has helped Dee SC to host the Dart 18 UK National championships at the end of August. Posted on 9 Sep 2017
Dart 18 UK Nationals at Dee
Superb turnout of 64 cats just south of Liverpool According to Wikipedia "...the river Dee rises in the Cairngorms and flows through South Aberdeenshire to reach the North Sea at Aberdeen". However anyone who was hoping to do a spot of salmon fishing between races would have been surprised... Posted on 6 Sep 2017
adidas Poole Week 2017 overall
What a week that was! Poole Week 2017 was notable on a number of counts. Despite the generally light and perpetually shifty conditions that tested the skill and patience of the race officers to the limit, no racing was lost to the weather. Posted on 3 Sep 2017
adidas Poole Week 2017 day 5
The full gamut of wind and weather Thursday saw Poole Harbour provide the full gamut of wind and weather to delight and occasionally confound the competitors and Race Officers - with a full 360 degree shift in the wind, a band of rain, lightning, rainbows and glorious sunshine. Posted on 1 Sep 2017
adidas Poole Week 2017 day 4
Race Officer's rain dance does the trick The forecast for today did not look ideal with little wind and rain promised. However, the PROs had clearly done their rain dances as the weather improved ahead of the 1400hrs start and we managed to get some good racing in. Posted on 31 Aug 2017
adidas Poole Week 2017 day 3
Wind fills in after a slow start After a slow start to the afternoon's racing while those in the Top Triangle looked on enviously from a flat calm at the 6 to 8 knots of breeze at the Race Platform, the wind eventually filled in from the west and racing got underway. Posted on 29 Aug 2017
40th Bala Catamaran Open
Increased attendance as club breaks with tradition The 40th Bala Catamaran open meeting took place over the May bank holiday weekend, 29th April - 1st May. A total of 17 boats entered, an increase of 6 boats, mainly due to the 4 boats which ventured across the welsh mountains from Tresaith Mariners SC. Posted on 7 May 2017
Multihulls to get their own contest
Within the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series After seven successful seasons, the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series has become established as the Series where dinghy racers can get the highest quality handicap racing with the biggest turnouts during the winter months. Posted on 20 Oct 2016