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Dart 16 Open at Thames Estuary Yacht Club

by David Brown 15 Jul 2003 13:51 BST

Dart 16 National Championship held at Thames Estuary Yacht Club, 12th and 13th July 2003. Eighteen Dart 16 cats were launched as the tide made on the Southend mud flats on Saturday 12th July. A hot sunny day was forecast and the cat crews were carrying bottled water for the three races scheduled for the day. However with a light North Westerly wind a few late starters were towed to the start, the committee boat being anchored at the far end of the course from the shore.

The first race was delayed twenty minutes, some boats had difficulty clearing the line, but Moondance (Roger and Jane Sinnhuber of Shoreham SC) were able to find a breeze and opened up a healthy lead. A triangle/sausage course had been laid and as the leaders approached the second (wing) mark the wind shifted by 180degs and started to increase. Moondance maintained her lead to take the race at the shortened finish.

For Race two, the race officer reset the course moving the committee boat nearer the shore. Most of the cat sailors found the wind, now at a steady F2 to 3 more to their liking. Three laps (triangle-sausage-triangle) were sailed for this race which saw Objet d’art (Tim and Chloe Bolton of Whitstable YC) the winner.

Objet d’art continued by winning the third race held with the same wind conditions and three laps again.

The hot sunny conditions continued on Sunday but a fine easterly F3 had set in. The course, again triangle/sausage was set parallel with the shore with the wing mark providing a superb view for spectators on the prom. There were no problems with boats getting to the start and the fourth race was started with only a small delay. The cats made good speed and the full six laps were sailed. Local sailors Paul White and Amy Tetchner (Thorpe Bay YC) contested the lead with Paul and Hannah Metcalf of Marconi SC around the course with Paul and Amy the eventual winners. The wind speed had gradually increased to F4 for the last two races and many of the cats were seen ‘flying a hull’. In the fifth race, Paul and Amy were in contention with Ben Daigneault and Hugo Jobling (Dart 2309) of Eastbourne SC, the latter winning.

The initial windward leg of the sixth and last race saw the fleet make a classic split of tacks at the start, those choosing port finally arriving at the mark slightly in the lead. Ben and Hugo repeated their win of the previous race with Mike Ager and Chris Brook of Thames finally coming through in second place.

Overall Results:

PosBoat NameSail NoHelmCrewClub
1st 2012Paul WhiteAmy TetchnerThorpe Bay YC
2nd 2309Ben DaigneaultHugo JoblingEastbourne SC
3rdObjet d’art2216Tim BoltonChloe BoltonWhitstable YC
4th 2042David WhiteNick AshbyThorpe Bay YC
5thTiddey Too1822Mike AgerChris BrookThames Estuary YC

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