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Catapult National Championships at North Devon Yacht Club

by Stuart Ede 9 Sep 2006 00:30 BST 1-3 September 2006

Unseasonable gales severely curtailed the 2006 Catapult National Championships, and the title was decided on just two races held on the first day, 1 September. Fortunately the results of those races were so clear cut that there can be no dispute over the worthiness of the new champion, Alex Montgomery. Alex, who is son of the Catapult's designer Jon Montgomery, last held the title in 1999 and 2000.

The North Devon Yacht Club ably hosted the championship at Instow on the Torridge estuary. The first day provided sunshine and an excellent Force 3-4 trapezing breeze, so much so that everyone came off the water with smiles on their faces. In the close reaching start of race 1 Alastair Forrest got ahead by sailing in clear air well below the rest of the fleet. He was followed around the up-river turning mark by Montgomery, while Paul Ellis grabbed third position by tucking inside a melee of tacking boats. On the long reach down-river Montgomery overtook Forrest. Then on the next beat Ellis climbed into second position and pressed Montgomery for the remainder of the race, though could not catch him. Forrest came third and Cliff Antill followed in fourth.

In race 2 Montgomery was first to the up-river turning mark with Forrest and 2005 champion Hugh MacIntyre close behind. Ellis climbed through the fleet on the long down-river reach to round the leeward mark in second place. He and Montgomery duelled up the long beat to the next mark, but a good choice of layline gave Montgomery sufficient margin to hold off Ellis for the next lap and secure his second win. Meanwhile Antill had been using the beats to gain places, and by the second lap he snuck ahead of MacIntyre to grab third place behind Ellis, which was enough - after gales stopped racing for the next two days - to claim the disputed third podium place overall.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmPts
1st 001 Alex Montgomery 2
2nd 507 Paul Ellis 4
3rd 017 Cliff Antill 7
4th 513 Alastair Forrest 8
5th 2105 Hugh MacIntyre 9

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