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Shadows at the Grafham Cat Open

by Robin Leather 29 Oct 2014 06:44 GMT 25-26 October 2014
Paul Tanner downwind in a gust © Shadow class

The Shadows once again attended the Grafham Cat open and took part in the Fast Single Handed Cat fleet. Five Shadows competed with 15 A Class cats and an Inter 17.

The Saturday racing was fast in the fresh and gusty winds. On the first leg, the upwind performance of the A Class allowed all but the slowest to get to the windward mark before the lead Shadow of Robin Leather. Fortunately, the Shadow is no upwind slouch and if you can stay near the A Class on the beat, it was easy to make big gains against them on the runs. Leather usually managed to round the leeward mark in 3rd or 4th on the water and pulled a head of the A Class mid field! The following Shadows of 'new boy' Tom Dawson and Paul Tanner in close pursuit, revelling in the strengthening wind.

Pat Moore and Elaine Phillips found the strong gusts challenging but enjoyed the conditions. Elaine managed to finish all three races on the Saturday.

As per forecast, the wind increased on Sunday. There was more space on the race course, as only two A Class took to the water. The racing was similar to Saturday, but with more 'umph'. Only the Shadows remained for the last two races as the wind continued to increase. Leather managed to stay ahead of the charging Tanner and Dawson, who both sailed at 110% and had a few 'iffy' moments mixed in with lots of white spray. The excitement was curtailed as the last race was not run and everyone headed for shore.

Leather finished first Shadow and second overall, on equal points with the A class of Chris Field, but with less wins. On handicap, only Field was able to compete with the Shadow X, with Tanner and Dawson taking 3rd and 4th overall.

A great time was had by all the fleet and thanks should go to Grafham Water SC for putting on such a great and well run event.

1st Robin Leather (2nd overall)
2nd Paul Tanner (3rd overall)
3rd Tom Dawson (4th overall)
4th Elaine Phillips (14th overall)
5th Pat Moore (18th overall)

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