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Dart 16 Traveller Series at Grafham Water Sailing Club

by Robert Atkinson 20 Oct 2008 18:55 BST 18-19 October 2008

The finale of the Dart 16 Travelers Trophy (T.T.) Series took place at the Grafham Water Cat Open weekend on 18/19th October. Racing took place as part of the Medium Handicap Fleet, which, with nearly 30 boats, made starts more testing than previous T.T. events. Given the recent strong weather warnings from the Met Office it was expected to be windy and we were not disappointed with gusty conditions keeping everyone on their toes on the upwind legs and reaches - perfect weather for the Dart 16 to excel!

Saturday saw the Father/Son pairing of Nick & Tom Hart take an early lead with three consecutive wins having lead from start to finish, however their usual dominance faltered on Sunday when, after an uncharacteristic mistake in race two, they lost the lead at the first windward mark allowing Rob Atkinson & Mandy Batchelor to take the lead and a rare win.

On Sunday it was clear the Sun that warmed us on the day before was not going to come out to play and everyone wrapped up expecting chilly conditions. The wind blew even harder and the gusts even bigger making the reach at the bottom of the course more one of survival than racing. Despite this only one Dart 16 capsized all day, a fairly spectacular cartwheel by Rob Atkinson and Mandy Batchelor, who managed to right the boat from inverted only losing one place, to finish 3rd in race three.

First prize for Blondness went to the crew who, when asked why they were holding onto the trapeze handle for dear life, responded “I’m pulling on it to help keep the boat flat” - you know who you are!

Grafham Results:

1st N Hart / T Hart (E.S.S.C.)
2nd R Atkinson / M Batchelor (E.S.S.C.)
3rd P Sharrod / R Playford (H&SL SC)
4th R Hamilton / T Playford (H&SL SC)

Congratulations to Nick & Tom Hart who added 1st place in the T.T. Series to their victory in the Nationals.

Overall Traveller Results:

1st N Hart / T Hart (E.S.S.C.)
2nd R Atkinson / M Batchelor (E.S.S.C.)
3rd P Sharrod / R Playford (H&SL SC)
4th R Hamilton / T Playford (H&SL SC)
5th J Thomas / D Hart (E.S.S.C)

The Series was generously sponsored by Laser with a new Trampoline for 1st Prize, a Quibber Bag for 2nd ,a nifty multi tool for 3rd place and a ‘goodie bag’ for fourth place. As an added surprise the top three Dart 16’s came 1st, 2nd & 3rd overall in the Medium Handicap fleet, (and Jacky and Di came 11th out of 24)

Well done to all involved and a special thank you to Jackie Thomas for all her hard work behind the scenes on the T.T. Series and the nationals.

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