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The Catamaran Book by Brian Phipps
The Catamaran Book by Brian Phipps

Dart 18 Grand Prix 1 at Dee Sailing Club

by Des Barnes 8 May 2015 16:27 BST 2-4 May 2015
Dart 18 Grand Prix 1 at Dee © Simon Jenkins

Over the Bank holiday weekend 26 Dart 18's assembled from around the country at Dee SC on the Wirral for the first event of the 2015 circuit. Due to tidal considerations, an early start on Saturday was scheduled so it was a frantic Friday evening of rigging following the holiday traffic road chaos!

All panic was in vain as Saturday dawned with a 25 knot cold Easterly wind and following a 'road' test by windy weather specialists, Sean and Helen, all sailing was abandoned for the day. Sean was heard to comment that even he didn't fancy going downwind in those conditions! However, spirits were not dampened and the nautical activity continued through the evening with full fleet 'rowing' to the Gap Bands' Oops Up Side Your Head at the 1980's themed party and Mr Motivator keeping everyone dancing into the small hours!

Sunday was far more agreeable with a beautiful 15 knot South-Easterly and four races scheduled. The first three races all provided close racing with very little to separate the leading group and positions changing many times, the chasing fleet also not very far behind so tactical decisions were as important as pure boat speed. The final race of the day saw the wind veering to the South and strengthening to 20+ knots with a nasty chop that caused many tacking problems throughout the fleet and at least one capsize, fortunately Ben and Harry were not wearing their 'concrete boots'! With one discard kicking in the results revealed Mat and Jake to be leading by one point over James and Alison, Lloydy and Rob third with 8 points, Des and Sara tied in fourth place with Marco and James. In true Dee tradition the evening social featured a fantastic local band playing a wide selection of quality tracks from the Beatles to the Kaiser Chiefs with everyone reflecting on a great day on and off the water.

The conditions eased for the Monday racing with the potential for some big gains and losses as contending with the tide would provide much more of a challenge. The first race went pretty much to the form book with the overnight leaders sharing the top three positions but the second race was a complete turnaround! Halfway up the beat on the second lap the light breeze became lighter and variable across the race course and by the time the fleet had got down the run everyone was within touching distance of each other! Within 50 metres of the finish the wind died completely and the ebb tide was building, after 20 minutes a light zephyr closed in on the fleet and those in a favourable position benefitted and managed to finish, some less fortunate felt the full force of the tide and disappeared down river to be 'rescued' by the club RIBs some hour or so later!

That final race provided the discard for the three leaders with Mat and Jake taking a convincing win with two firsts and three second places, a single point separating James and Alison in second place from Lloydy and Rob in third. Des and Sara holding on to 4th and Geoff and Jenny coming through to take the fifth place prize. The handicap prizes went to Sean and Helen in first place (10th overall), Ben and Harry (8th overall) and Lee and Tom (15th overall). A great event hosted by the Dee Sailing Club and we now look forward to GP2 at Stokes Bay on 23/24 May.

Overall Results:

PosBoat NameSailHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1stMat Finish7685Mat ExonJakob ExonBridlington RYYC21122‑98
2ndBogtrotter II7534James DouglasAlison DouglasDee SC52213(DNF)13
3rddingyinsurance.com7711David LloydRob GiardelliStokes Bay14531(DNF)14
4thBusiness As Usual7923Des BarnesSara StonesBridlington RYYC733‑97323
5thLa Vachete Anglais7930Geoff LloydJenny LloydDee SC3‑6664625
6thLa Vela7961Marco ManganelliJames WaddingtonStokes Bay SC49456‑1328
7thDeva Sail Racing7973Simon MoruzziSteve RobertsDee SC1178411‑1541
8thConcrete Boots4701Ben WillisHarry McEvoyRunswick Bay SC9139‑169545
9th 7737Andy RobinsonBeverley GoodchildFelixstowe Ferry SC6871015(DNF)46
10thElektra6153Sean O'ConnorHelen JonesWeston SC1412108‑19448
11thFluid7894Joe FranksHarriet FranksBridlington RYYC10111313‑17249
12thEbay?7382Barry Peters Datchet Water SC20511148(DNF)58
13thComing From Behind7846Darren WoodT A WoodIsland Yacht Club131612714(DNF)62
14thCaptian Nemo7969Adrian ParsonsMark StonesDatchet Water SC‑1917141512765
15thScreaming Donkey6434Lee MatthewsTom NormanDee SC12141517‑22866
16th 7847Jay RoundAlyesha MalkamBridlington RYYC810(DNF)DNC131169
17thDeetox6235Mathew PollockPeter ClementsDee SC15191612‑231274
18thWalele7410Mick SingletonOlivia BarrettRunswick Bay SC1621181118(DNC)84
19thThe Flying Troll6557Jon HayleyMatthew WaddingtonDee SC181517(DNC)201484
20th 4630Roger SandersTom SandersDee SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC10192
21stDeva Sail Racing Youth Team6912Abbie SandersJake DaviesDee SC171819(DNC)24DNF105
22ndGrace Under Pressure7816Jonny HarrisAlex HarrisDee SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC1610107
23rdPussy Galore7707Will ThompsonJames MillerDee SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC5DNF113
24thGrace Under Pressure7816James MillerPete HopeDee SC(DNC)20DNCDNCDNCDNC128
25th 7662Ian SmithPippa OwenDee SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC21DNF129
26thTop Cat7959Mike JonesLee RowleyWBTLBY(DNF)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC135

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