Please select your home edition
RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Catapult National Championship 2023 at the Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club

by Stuart Ede 14 Sep 2023 13:03 BST 26-28 August 2023
Gareth Ede retains his title at the Catapult Nationals 2023 © Paul Hargreaves Photography

A reduced, but nonetheless competitive, fleet of six Catapults assembled at the Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club, Bridlington, over the August Bank Holiday Weekend to compete for the title of Catapult National Champion 2023.

The event was held as part of the RYYC's Annual Dinghy Section Regatta. The fleet are always sure of a warm welcome at the Club, and this year they were also greeted with sunshine but light winds.

Race 1

The first race finally got under weigh after an hour's delay waiting for the wind to fill in, which it did, up to the top end of a Force 2 with an occasional puff into the lower end of Force 3. The race was set to be three laps of a square course.

Stuart Ede and Syd Gage went right up the beat hoping to take advantage of the ebbing tide, but the flow was not yet strong enough to make a difference, and Gareth Ede, John Terry and George Evans came in fast from the right and rounded the windward mark well ahead.

The leading three stayed a few boat lengths apart for Lap 1, but up the beat of Lap 2 Gareth made use of the marginal trapezing conditions to build a substantial lead leaving John and George to contest second place with a number of place changes. As they approached the mark at the end of the run, George timed his gybe better and stole a march on John. George held onto second place until John managed to ease past him down the running leg of the last lap.

Race 2

This time the tidal flow was stronger, and both John and Stuart went right up the beat, both having gone for port tack starts, Stuart from the pin end and John from the Committee Boat end. They looked to have a good lead as they approached the windward mark, but Gareth, who had gone left, still managed to tuck in under Stuart's lee. Side by side they pursued John. Down the run Gareth went down tide of the rhumb line while Stuart went up tide and rounded the bottom mark in second place. John increased his lead up the beat of Lap 2, while Gareth overtook Stuart, but he could not catch John. The race was shortened at the windward mark of Lap 3, and much to Stuart's chagrin George managed to overhaul him up the last beat to snatch third place by a few boat lengths.

Race 3

Sunday dawned with hardly any breeze. After a two hour postponement the wind filled in to a Force 2. The race comprised two laps of a triangular course.

Most of the fleet started at the pin end on port though Stuart decided he wanted to start on starboard. John's well timed start meant he got away, but Gareth and George had to duck Stuart's stern. This didn't do their cause any harm, though, because all three were soon drawing away up the beat. Gareth managed to overtake John, and rounded the windward mark in the lead, though John and George were close on his heels.

Over the rest of the lap Gareth stretched his lead, while George continued to harry John. Behind them Syd and Stuart were engaged in a close tussle, with Syd just a couple of boat lengths ahead at the gybe mark. An incident as they exited the zone left Stuart doing a penalty turn and trailing by 100 metres and now threatened by Chris Upton.

Then on the final lap the heavens opened, visibility decreased alarmingly, and the wind picked up and swung 90 degrees turning the last beat into a reach and making the leg to the former gybe mark a beat. Alas, this sudden change disoriented Syd causing him to round the wrong marks and subsequently retire, which put him out of contention for first place overall on personal handicap.

Just before the deluge John had managed to build a safety margin of a few boat lengths over George which he held to the finish to claim second place behind Gareth.

Safety concerns over the loss of visibility in the rainstorm led the Race Officer to decide to send the fleet ashore. Unfortunately that is where they stayed for the rest of the day, because once the front had gone through it left no wind behind it.

Lack of wind also led to Monday's racing to be abandoned, so the Championships had to be determined on the results of the three races sailed with no discards applied.

With two wins to John's one Gareth won the National Trophy for a record ninth time, 13 years after his name first appeared on the trophy.

Overall Results:

PosHelmClub R1R2R3Pts
1Gareth EdeCatapult Class Association1214
2John TerryYorkshire Dales SC2125
3George EvansBala SC3339
4Stuart EdeCCA44412
5Syd GageRoyal Yorkshire YC55RTD17
6Chris UptonCCA66517

Personal Handicap results

The Class Association also runs the Alastair Forrest Personal Handicap Series in parallel with the level rating results. George Evans’s strong performance taking third place in the Nationals won him another first place on handicap – virtually guaranteeing him the Series Trophy.

PosHelmClub H’capR1R2R3Pts
1George EvansBala SC8901416
2Chris UptonCatapult Class Asscn10103227
3Syd GageRoyal Yorkshire YC95621RTD10
4Stuart EdeCCA89543512
5John TerryYorkshire Dales SC81355313
6Gareth EdeCCA78066416

Related Articles

Catapults at the Grafham Cat Open
Gareth Ede finishes the season in emphatic style Gareth Ede finished the season in emphatic style with six wins out of six at Grafham Water Sailing Club's Medium Handicap Catamaran Open event, which cemented his claim on the 2023 Jon Montgomery Travellers Trophy. Posted on 22 Oct 2023
Catapults at the Rutland Cat Open
John Terry scores a long-deserved victory Sunshine and a stiff breeze welcomed the Catapult fleet to the Rutland Cat Open, where John Terry scored a long-deserved victory. All the races were sailed on a large trapezoid course that made full use of the wide expanse of water near the dam. Posted on 30 May 2023
Catapult TT at Yorkshire Dales
An enjoyable joint event shared with the Contender and Vortex fleets At the first Catapult TT of the 2023 season over the weekend of 22-23 April Gareth Ede, on his home turf at Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club, showed he had not lost any of his competitive edge over the winter. Posted on 29 May 2023
Catapult TT at Bassenthwaite
Always sure of a warm welcome at the club The Catapult fleet returned to its annual three day May Day Bank Holiday event at Bassenthwaite SC where it always sure of a warm welcome. After an early slip Gareth Ede regained his winning ways with five wins out of six. Posted on 28 May 2023
New date for Gill Cat Open at Grafham
Event has reputation for being extremely sociable, and now it's in July The Gill Catamaran Open at Grafham Water SC has moved from its traditional autumn slot to 15/16th July this year. This event has a reputation for being extremely sociable with highlights including an evening meal, open bar and on-site camping. Posted on 24 May 2023
Mirrors and Catapults at Bassenthwaite
Koint open meeting includes the Ginger Boats Mirror Northern Championship Seventeen Mirrors and eight Catapults descended on Bassenthwaite Sailing Club on the early May Bank Holiday for a joint open meeting and to compete for the 2023 Mirror Northern Championship, sponsored by Ginger Boats. Posted on 2 May 2023
Time to enter Spring Open Meetings at Bass
Visitors invited to camp in the extensive grounds and enjoy views of Skiddaw We are expecting a busy but exciting Spring at Bassenthwaite Sailing Club with several open meetings scheduled, both of which you can now enter! Posted on 14 Apr 2023
Catapults at Grafham
John Montgomery Travellers Trophy and £75 Gill voucher at stake Gareth Ede demonstrated his dominance of the class with another emphatic win at Grafham Water over the weekend of 22-23 October to get his name on the 2022 John Montgomery Travellers Trophy. He also won a £75 gift voucher thanks to Gill. Posted on 1 Nov 2022
Catapults at Kielder Water
A well organised and friendly event Having discovered the delights of Kielder Water Sailing Club's Annual September Open last year, five Catapults returned over the weekend of 10-11 September 2022 to take part in this well organised and friendly event. Posted on 24 Sep 2022
Catapult 2022 Northerns at Bridlington
A warm welcome over the August Bank Holiday weekend The Catapult fleet returned for its annual pilgrimage to the Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club at Bridlington in the East Riding of Yorkshire for its 2022 Northern Championships held over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Posted on 7 Sep 2022