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Dart 18 GP Round 7 at Whitstable Yacht Club

by Robert Govier 25 Oct 2018 06:13 BST 20-21 October 2018

Whitstable Yacht Club welcomed the Dart 18 fleet for GP7, and the last TT event of the season for the class. 28 boats entered, including travellers from as far afield as Yorkshire, with the Dart 18 showing its diversity and ability to attract sailors from across age ranges, and including all male, all female, mixed crews and single handers.

The forecast predicted a light wind, but warm and sunny weekend, and that certainly delivered with the fleet arriving in conditions more akin to August than late October! The wind gradually died as boats were put together, and the Race Officer for the weekend, Tom Bruton, called a postponement to see what happened. When it became clear that the wind wasn't going to fill in, he made an early call to abandon racing for the day, and to make the start an hour earlier on Sunday to attempt 4 races. This released the visiting fleet to explore the pubs, shops and walks that Whitstable has to offer, making the most of the sun!

The class held the Dart 18 end of season party at Whitstable Yacht Club on Saturday evening, with the fleet dressing up in black tie or best to celebrate another great year of sailing on the Dart 18 circuit. The sailors showed once again why the Dart 18 is such a popular circuit by partying late into the night!

Sunday saw an early start with a few sore heads, which plenty of coffee and bacon sandwiches from the WYC Coffee Hut soon cured. With a very light wind, predicted to fill in, the Race Officer delayed the start for 45 minutes, providing a bit more recovery time for the sailors, and making the right call to get the fleet out just as the light breeze came in.

The fleet got off cleanly, with a tactical and technical sail upwind in the light breeze producing close racing throughout the fleet. As the tide started to turn during the race, the windward buoy proved tricky, catching several sailors out on the second lap, but the boats at the top of the group got away cleanly with a convincing win by Rob Garcka and Fi Goegebeur from Worthing taking first place, closely followed by Dan Norman and Alyesha Monkman from Isle of Sheppey Sailing Club in second.

A quick turn around by the race team got the fleet back out for the second race with no fuss. This time the tide was well and truly against the fleet and with the dropping wind, the windward mark again proved a challenge for many. The top boats got around cleanly, pulling away to get around the course, with Rob and Fi cementing their lead with another first place, and Dan and Alyesha not quite able to catch them to take another second. Towards the back of the fleet, the windward mark proved too much for some as the wind died, forcing the last three boats to retire. As the wind died off to near zero, the Race Officer rightly abandoned the last two races, and sent the fleet to shore.

Despite only two races, Whitstable Yacht Club demonstrated once again it's ability to run a quality event, and be a popular destination for sailors and their families, many of whom went home with an unexpected October tan! Overall results from the two races saw Rob and Fi take the undisputed first place overall, with Dan and Alyesha in a well deserved second. David Lloyd and Chris Rust from Portsmouth SC consistently stayed at the top of the fleet, with their 5th and 3rd place putting them in third overall. Top Whitstable Yacht Club boat was Abby Zambinski and David Figgis, and the first single hander was Tony Dodd.

Thanks to all of the volunteers and staff from Whitstable Yacht Club for working hard to put on the event, and thanks to the travelling Dart 18 fleet for coming to the club and being such a friendly bunch!

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR4R5Pts
18000Rob GarckaFi GoegebeurWorthing SC112
27945Dan NormanA MonkmanIOSSC224
37711David LloydChris RustPortsmouth SC538
45242Riccardo BertazzoliAdriana AggioWorthing SC3811
58010Rod WinrowSarah GeeWorthing SC11516
67962Mark RobsonKerra PearceUKIDA9716
78007Simon MoruzziHayley SmithDee SC12618
87968Charles HillierTilly ChesterParkstone SC41519
97697Abby ZambinskiDavid FiggisWYC81119
107847Jay RoundSara StonesRYYC14923
111229Tim RobertsSue JonesRunswick Bay21425
127735Tony Dod  62026
135585David OakleyMatt OakleySeasalter SC161026
145505Simon PalmerRhona MacgregorWorthing SC101727
157382Barry PetersSam NgassaWorthing SC72128
167429Richard LedgerTheresa PageWYC131629
177846Darren WoodTracey‑Ann WoodCanvey Island YC151429
186464James HeadSam WalkerFelixstowe Ferry SC171330
196893Holly WinrowChloe MillwardWorthing SC201232
207969Adrian ParsonsMark StonesDWSC182341
217070Henry McCannNeal McCannWhitstable Yacht Club221941
225063Robert Govier WYC251843
237644Tom Parker Netley SC192443
247345Rob ClayDan ClayMarconiDNC2250
256922Patrick PalmerIzzy GeeWorthing SC23DNF51
267894Joe FranksHarriet FranksRYYC24DNF52
277978Richard JonesPatty BakerWYC26DNF54

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