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GJW Direct 2024 Dinghy

2023 Dart 18 Inland Championship / TT3 at Rutland Sailing Club

by Darren Wood 23 May 2023 23:45 BST 20-21 May 2023
2023 Dart 18 Inland Championship podium © Darren Wood

Rutland Sailing club Cat Open was host to Dart 18 GP3, 15 Dart 18's entered and would share the event with 6 other classes and 70 boats in total. A beautiful weekend was forecast and that is exactly what we got, with 12knots of breeze with gusts up to 20knots and bright sunshine for both days.

Two courses were set to cater for the 7 classes, but with the faster classes windward mark rather close to the slower class finish line, some chaos was expected but fortunately no inter class collisions occurred, although plenty of shouting!

In the Dart 18 fleet Race 1 got away cleanly with David Lloyd & Jojo Trafford leading the way pretty much from start to finish, with Matt & Jakob Exon close behind in 2nd and Darren & TA Wood in 3rd. Will Stefanou & Amanda Jenks event came to an end during the race with a couple of capsizes and gear failure, meaning an early beer for them.

Race 2 saw more gusts and shifts play a part, as Paul Hemsworth & Rachel Meddick led the fleet, followed by Team Exon again, but Paul hadn't clocked the extra lap added by RO on the board and headed for the finish on L3, Exon nipped through for the win, with Hemsworth 2nd and Ellis & Tilly Stonehouse 3rd.

Race 3 first beat saw a huge gust and shift catch a number of helms out, with crews being dumped in the water, but no capsize until Andy McLeish sailing his new boat for the first time couldn't bear away in a gust while on Port and piled into Mick Singleton sailing his new boat for the first time! Big hole in Andy's and the end of his event, Mick's had rudder damage and the end of his race, but he would be back tomorrow. Race dominated by Lloyd and Exon, with Lloyd winning in the end, Exon 2nd with Tom Parker & Evie Elliot finally waking up and taking 3rd.

A great first day on the water, the fleet returned to shore for a BBQ and Band evening and plenty of liquid refreshment while discussing the racing and carnage of the day.

Day 2, conditions were similar to yesterday and racing got off swiftly with Race 4 at 10.30, Hemsworth & Meddick led lap1 followed by Team Wood and the always present Team Exon, Hemsworth went left and those going right got the better of the shifts leaving Wood leading, Exon 2nd, Hemsworth 3rd, it stayed this way until L4 when Lloyd & Trafford got a nice lift and jumped into 2nd. Wood held on for the win, with Lloyd holding 2nd and Exon 3rd.

Race 5 Shifts and gusts started to play a big part in the races, a right or wrong decision could see you jump or lose 3 or 4 places in one leg, Lloyd & Trafford had them worked out by now, winning this one with plenty to spare, Tom & Evie bagged 2nd place and Joe and Kieron Franks claimed 3rd.

Race 6 was the final race and plenty to play for with several boats on similar points, the race positions changed several times as the shifts took their toll, but Lloyd & Trafford came through again to win, with Team Exon close behind in 2nd, with Mick & Freddie Singleton in 3rd.

Overall Results:

1st David Lloyd and Jojo Trafford
2nd Mat & Jakob Exon
3rd Paul Hemsworth & Rachel Meddick

Handicap prizes went to:
1st Paul Hemsworth & Rachel Meddick
2nd Mick & Freddie Singleton
3rd Taylor Sage & Abbie Sloan

Full results can be found at

The prize-giving included a raffle for a new mainsail kindly donated by Hyde sails. This was an incentive to encourage early entries into the Dart18 World Championships at Bridlington this year. The incentive seems to have worked and all 137 entries were included in the draw, the lucky winner was Andrew Perks of Marconi SC.

The next event is Mumbles on June 10th & 11th, see

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