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Dart 18 Grand Prix 6 at North Devon Yacht Club

by David Groom on 11 Jul 2011 9-10 July 2011
Dart 18s at North Devon © Mike Bentley / www.mikebentleyphotography.co.uk

20 visiting teams joined 7 local boats for the latest in this year’s series of Dart 18 Grand Prix events. Competitors were welcome Friday onwards and many of the long distance visitors took advantage of the offer to come early, go sailing during the day and enjoy food and entertainment at the Club that evening. Competitors and supporters also had the advantage of free tickets to the Milky Way and the Big Sheep, both local attractions supporting the event. Other local sponsors were John’s of Instow, E-Cards and Farm and Cottage Holidays.

Saturday dawned windy, dry and bright. Triangle, sausage, triangle courses provided exhilarating close reaching for the fleet and a hard but fast slog up the beat especially when the tide turned. Race One was won by Alan and Fiona Kernick with David Lloyd and Tory Hackman second and Sean O’Connor and Helen Jones third. Races Two and Three saw first and second reverse with Mike Gomme and Will Bell coming in third. James Kunden with local crew Rory had the double misfortune of the only capsize of the day.

That evening Peter Ewing, organised one of his traditional epic Dart socials featuring a very loud local band and a pig roast. The fleet rose to the occasion and managed to drink a West Country bar dry of cider.

Next day the weather provided a dry and at times sunny day with far less wind meaning tide would be king. Race four commenced with a long slow beat and those that went right were right as short tacking along the beach was the name of the game until the tide turned when it all reversed. Race Four saw another Kernick first and LLoyd/Hackman second with Geoff and Jenny LLoyd third. The fleet romped home as the wind increased. Final race of the day saw the wind increase with the normal culprits coming first and second with Alex Metcalfe and Hayley Goacher third and birthday boy Ian Akthurst crewed by daughter Victoria sixth.

Thanks to the local sponsors and all those who helped out on the water and on shore , notably Race Officer Richard Stone. Also thanks to Brian Phipps of Windsport who sponsor the GP series and provide a spares and repair service at the events. Roll on the next Dart 18 GP event at Felixstowe Ferry on the 20th and the 21st August and the Worlds in Knokke Belgium the last week of July.

Overall Results: (top three)

1st 7770, Alan Kernick and Fiona Kernick (UKIDA) 4pts
2nd 7724, David Lloyd and Tory Hackman (SBSC) 7pts
3rd 7942, Mike Gomme and Will Bell (RYYC) 16pts

Handicap prize: Alex Metcalfe and Hayley Goacher
First Local Boat: Nick and Sera Williams

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