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UKIDA Dart 18 National Championships at South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club

by Ben Willis 21 Aug 2022 21:26 BST
Dart 18 National Championships at Abersoch © Sarka Nassau

The 2022 Dart 18 National Championships was hosted at the South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club (SCYC), which has a proud history of hosting many prestigious championship events within the surrounding waters of Cardigan Bay and the very popular holiday destination of Abersoch on the doorstep. The Dart 18 Fleet were certainly going to fit in nicely.

Twenty-Five Dart 18s entered, with 12 UK Sailing Clubs being represented. Most of the Darts were sailed two-up with a varied combination of family members, partners or borrowed crews. There was just the one singlehanded entry without the jib (and at times without a helm!).

Boats arriving on Saturday were welcomed by Emlyn, the Beach Patrol Officer, assisting Darts onto the beautiful Beach at Cardigan Bay. Some campers opted to use the local golf club car park to base themselves for the week (close to the boats in case of excessive intake the night before), whilst others chose to use a number of the more peaceful local caravan and camp sites or other local accommodation establishments in Abersoch.

Windsport's Brian Phipps (Tom's 'Old Man'), was set up prior to the event and greeted all the Darts on arrival from the top of the slipway. This became Brian's Base Camp for the first five days of the event - offering an onsite sales and repair service along with a popular social media 'studio' for the event.

The weather throughout the event was varied, with a bit of everything thrown into the mix. The First weekend was Wet and Wild (luckily the wet bit mostly came at night). Once 'wet' had gone, we were left with just 'wild' who kindly abated to just 'windy' towards the end of the week and throughout the sun kept appearing to top up the summer tans and ensure ice cream sales remained high..

Race Day 1 on Sunday had a good wind F3-4 (RO's wind gage definitely needed more WD40!) and the first race was won by a young couple from Worthing S.C., Caleb Cooper and Chloe Millward. The second race was won by "Triggers Broom" David Lloyd & JoJo Trafford of Stokes Bay/Worthing. Once racing had finished it was off to the Yacht Club for Welcome Drinks courtesy of UKIDA, with Pimms on the veranda taking prime option from the drinks table. The fleet leaders Dave & JoJo received their well earned Exe Plate as leaders after the first 2 races.

Monday: The wind was now building from the South West, with a constant fresh wind F4/5 sweeping into the Bay. David and JoJo handled the conditions very well and gained from their success the previous day, winning both Race 3 and Race 4; by this point it was becoming increasing difficult to see these two giving away their superior lead from their close competitors. By the time the fleet had returned to shore, the wind was building and due to the forecast overnight with the chances of a storm setting in, masts were dropped.

Tuesday: unfortunately, as predicted the wind was now significant gusting over 40mph, so it was decided that Tuesday would now replace of the Wednesday as the 'lay day'. This was a much needed rest day, as the conditions (or the bar) the previous day had started to take their toll on several competitors (or was that just me?). A number of hardy sailors braved the elements on an 11 mile cliff top walk, returning 'refreshed and windswept' whilst others saved their legs and did battle on the local go kart track. Tuesday evening was the UKIDA AGM, followed by a meal in the Cove Restaurant. The cove is situated directly above the clubhouse and nestled into the side of the cliff overlooking the bay it is an idyllic setting, although on that night, it had a rather stormy view as the wind and rain drove into the west side of the clubhouse. However the weather did not stop the fleet moving onto the SCYC bar for some notorious UKIDA partying, games and various party shenanigans.

Wednesday: with the wind still strong in the morning, combined with a few sore heads... it was decided that the Race Office would postpone the start time by an hour to 1.00pm, the wind had now started to subside, but it was still feeling very much like a fresh F5 gusting 6, with a few of us questioning if we were going to sail or not... but conditions allowed for Race 5 to proceed. Rob Garcka & Fi Goegebeur sailed a very good race in tough conditions and took the bullet, in what proved to also become their last race in this championship due to Rob aggravating his back. Race 6 was postponed until Thursday as the wind started to build again and the Race Officer took slight pity on the fleet!

Thursday: With the wind now subsiding back into a constant F4, the fleet were back on the water eager to get racing. Race 6 was won by Michael Mourizzi & Mark Stones of Dee S.C. a well-earned win for the boyszz, Michael having flown back into the UK from the USA just a day before the nationals had started. Race 7 and the fleet leaders were back at it again, David & JoJo showing us all once again how consistent and talented they are at racing the Dart, taking the win.

Friday: earlier start than the other days, 11.00am the fleet had assembled on the start line. Conditions were good F4/5 and Caleb & Chloe were back at their best, taking their second win of the championship. With a 2nd place, and the Championship overall win now confirmed, David & JoJo decided to call it a day and get an early flyer to shore to de-rig and give time for David to work on his speech for the presentations... it was now time for the closing pack in the top 5 to press on and make an impact, with Ben Willis & Dalton Smith of Runswick Bay winning their first nationals race in what was Race 9, the final race of the championship.

Prize giving was later in the afternoon at the SCYC, with the Commodore being presented with the Garcka Trophy, as SYSC were the host club, which will now be displayed in the club house until the next UK National Championship combined with the World Championships, at Bridlington (RYYC) 30th July - 4 Aug 2023.

Thanks go to SCYC for hosting the event, Hoppo our RO and his team and everybody that in some way made the event happen (too many to mention) and a special thanks to Sarka for her great on the water photos

Prizes were awarded for the top five boats, as follows:

1. David Lloyd of Stokes Bay & JoJo Trafford of Worthing SC (UK National Champions 2022)
2. Caleb Cooper & Chloe Millward of Worthing SC (First Youth Trophy & First Couple Trophy)
3. Michael Mourizzi & Mark Stones of Dee SC
4. Ben Willis & Dalton Smith of Runswick Bay (RBBSC)
5. Deborah Waters (First Lady Helm) & Barry Peters of Worthing SC

In addition to the above trophies the following were also awarded:

First Parent & Child Trophy: Matt & Jakob Exon (RYYC)
Masters Trophy (Combined age of 116+) Andrew McLeish & Peter Rauxloh (Fairlop Waters SC)
Moo'comer Trophy (first attended Nationals) - Simon Lake

Handicap Results (first 3 most improved on handicap):

1. Ellis & Tilly Stonehouse (RYYC)
2. Paul Hemsworth & Rachel Meddick (Mumbles YC)
3. Neil White & Brandon (RYYC)

The Captain Catastrophe Trophy went to Joe Franks (Kieran was innocent!)

Overall Results:
If you finished in the top ten at the Dart 18 nationals then enter your Gear Guide information here

1stTriggers Broom7711David LioydJojo TraffordStokes Bay Worthing21113212(BNC)13
2nd 7324Caleb CooperChice MilwardWorthing132022‑541217
3rdDeva Sall Racing7973Michael MoruzziMark StonesDee ac556741‑106640
4thFalcon Performance7983Ben WilsDalton SmithRunswick Bay7485‑11835141
SthTesting The Waters7838Deborah WatersBarry PeteisWorthing865463‑1431045
6th 8004Mat ExonJakobRYYC Bridington3836542(RET)DNC57
7thBusiness as Usual7923Des BamesFlonnuala BarnesRoyal Yorkshire YC‑99998774861
8th 3007Bimon MoruzziBara StonesDee ac1077147‑16610364
9th 7983Nell BondJoStokes Bay1112‑161196127573
10thTofl8000Robert GarcksFI OcegebeurWorthing42431(DNC)DNCDNCDNC92
11th 7847Ells StonehouseTity StonehouseRYYO18161310(RET)12168497
12thFat Boy Blim7977Darran WoodTracey‑Ann Woodisland YC19‑201419131151112100
13thDalay & Buttercup7778Lee MatthewsChantele MatthewsDee ac15‑171016101915139103
14thBogay Moggy9481Paul HemsworthRachel MeddickMumbles YC16101712(DNC)171797105
19th 3011Joe FranksKieran FranksRYYC131515(DN8)DNC1331211113
16thOne for the Road7644Tom ParkerEivie BlictNetley ac614(DNC)DNC1291115RET119
17th 6693Chris WhiteClivia EssemRYYC/BBC1218128(RET)109COSRET121
18thThis of Dart of mine6473Andy KelleyAmanda TaylorStokes Bay ac14111113(RET)1413RETDNC128
19th 6130Nell White RYYO/BSC‑232220131420191615144
20thDee‑ranged6137Kevin MastersonPaul OliverDee ac21191817161821(RET)14144
2ist 7546Martin SmithPippa AlcockRutland20(DNC)19201919181716144
22nd 5011Andrew McLeishPeter RauxichFairiop Waters ac‑222121191721201413146
23rd 7931Anthony ReesJoanne MullettMumbles YC1713(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC186
24th 7993Bimon LakeMichele Ryderowac(DN8)2222DNCDNC22DNCDNCDNC200
2SthCaptain Nemo7969Adrian Parsons DWBC(RET)2323DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC205

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