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Dart 18 TT2 and Southwest Championship at Swanage Sailing Club

by Barry Peters 10 May 2023 05:34 BST 22-23 April 2023
Dart 18 TT at Swanage © Doug Horner

The 30 boat maximum entry for the Swanage Dart 18 open meeting (TT2) had filled up months in advance. Those sailors lucky enough to get onto the entry list were rewarded with a great weekend's sailing out in Swanage bay, hosted by Swanage Sailing Club on the Isle of Purbeck.

Arrivals began on Friday evening by land and sea with a contingent from Parkstone YC choosing to sail over from Poole harbour.

The forecast for the weekend was mixed, with potential for some light and variable winds but building during the day. Saturday started with a light easterly wind which saw the windward mark placed well offshore in some very strong ebbing tide. This resulted in some particularly challenging mark rounding with the lay line difficult to call accurately. Reaching heavily into the windward mark was the way most ended up going. The fleet was very well behaved, only one general recall needed for the day - just to show that we're keeping competitive on the start line!

Races 1 and 3 were dominated by Caleb Cooper and Chloe Millward from Worthing SC, with a notable win in between from Bill Parker and Andy Baldwin heading up a Parkstone YC 1, 2, 3 finish in race 2.

Post-racing the tea/coffee and cakes went down well on the balcony and it was nice to see the race officer wearing a different hat pouring drinks behind the bar whilst those in the clubhouse enjoyed the curry night with views over the town and out across the bay. Festivities continued late into the night with the usual suspects managing to find their way to the only nightclub in town!

Despite the late night, there was no opportunity for resting on Sunday with racing starting at 10:30 and boats required to launch well in advance to enable the fleet to go 2-by-2 from the cosy launching area to the committee boat at the north of the bay. However, the opportunity to rest was about to come as what little wind there had been launching soon died and the fleet was becalmed on the water for the next 2 hours.

At one stage the skies darkened and a light breeze blew in from the east, prompting the race officer to hastily set a course and get a race under way, however by the time the warning signal had sounded the wind was beginning to die again and by the start of the race had reverted to its previous state. With some boats well off towards the windward mark and some yet to cross the start line the race was abandoned.

With some sailors beginning to consider drifting home, fortunes were quickly reversed and in the space of the next 5 minutes a solid south westerly blew in. Suddenly the race area resembled a playground of boats joyously reaching around stretching out their trapeze wires. A race was soon started followed by another, both with particularly short courses- 3 laps in 17 minutes!

There was plenty of opportunity for chaos at the windward mark with several boats (including one belonging to a particularly long standing member of the fleet - you know who you are!) getting caught on the mark. The afternoon was dominated again by Caleb and Chloe with 2 wins out of 3 and another impressive performance by Grant Piggott sailing with his 12 year old granddaughter Ellamay Piggott of Weston SC taking 2nd place in all three races.

Race 6 was won by Rob Winrow and Sarah Gee of Worthing SC which propelled them into a 3rd place overall. A tricky set of conditions for Doug Horner the multitasking race office, but very well handled, and some great sailing that all would agree was worth waiting for.

More tea/cakes and a prize-giving and the weekend's sailing had concluded for all except the Parkstone YC boats who had one rapid 10 mile reach back along the Jurassic coast inside of 45 minutes. Quicker than driving! Congratulations also to Nick Troy and Gary Parratt (Swanage SC) for winning the UKIDA handicap prize and to Tom Kelley and Rosemary Crinion (Parkstone YC) as the Southwest champions and 4th overall.

The next TT event is part of the Rutland Catamaran Open event on 20/21 May. Another large fleet is expected there in preparation for the 2023 World Championships taking place at Bridlington at the end of July. For those that might want to join the 132 entries already received, it is worth noting that three of the four (sorry Grant you didn't quite make it!) competitors on the top two boats at Swanage were under 25, whilst their boats were 35 and 45 years old respectively, showing there is plenty of opportunity to be competitive at both ends of the age scale!

Overall Results:

1stCaleb CooperChloe MillwardWorthing SC1(7)11148
2ndGrant PiggottEllamay PiggottWeston SC(5)4222212
3rdRod WinrowSarah GeeWorthing SC4(11)654120
4thThomas KelleyRosemary CrinionParkstone YC(9)2363620
5thDavid LloydJojo TraffordStokes Bay SC2648(14)323
6thLido BadawyMark WebleyParkstone YC39(13)45526
7thDes BarnesFionnuala.Royal Yorkshire YC68737(DNC)31
8thBill ParkerAndy BaldwinParkstone YC8111116(12)37
9thAndrew McQueenStokes Bay SC(20)13578760 
10thNick TroyGary ParrattSwanage SC(15)101212111055
11thCharles SherwinAlex SherwinParkstone YC101415(17)10857
12thCharles HillierHenry KeatsParkstone YC(16)151010121158
13thIan ParkerRosie ParkerNetley SC1812(20)1691368
14thBen WhaleyMike McVeySwanage SC716815RET(DNC)71
15thMike CemmEmily DurtnallSwanage SC13(22)179171571
16thDarren WoodTracey‑Ann WoodIsland YC(OCS)5141318DNC79
17thHarry MulliganHannah AikenParkstone YC26(OCS)92213979
18thJohn HollandMarta BielskiParkstone YC171718(19)161482
19thKen CheneyParkstone YC1231923(DNC)DNC115 
20thRichard MillerMichelle StraceySwanage SC14182214DNF(DNC)93
21stGreg VaughnMike CleaverSwanage SC(25)192118221797
22ndTom ParkerEvie ElliotNetley SC112016(DNC)DNCDNC105
23rdPatrick MulliganParkstone YC23(25)25241518130 
24thPeter MeteauPili LopezSwanage SC2124242120(DNC)110
25thAndrew McLeishGary IvancoeFairlop Waters SC2427232019(DNC)113
26thNick WerrMike PayneSwanage SC(27)2626252116114
27thNigel JuppMelanie JuppWorthing SC1923RET(DNC)DNCDNC128
28thMartin SmithPippa RocksRutland SC2221(DNC)DNCDNCDNC130

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