Please select your home edition
Hyde Sails 2022 One Design LEADERBOARD

Catapults at the Rutland Cat Open

by Stuart Ede 1 Jun 11:40 BST 18-19 May 2024
John Terry came a very close second in the Catapults at the Rutland Cat Open © Gordon Upton

The Catapult TT event was run as part of the Rutland Cat Open over the weekend of 18-19 May 2024. Triangle-sausage courses were employed both days for this notably well-run event.

The forecast 10 to 15 knots failed to materialise on Day 1, so the first three races were sailed in light and shifty conditions, which meant you needed skill and luck to be working together to be successful on the race course.

Race 1

Eamonn Cotter started at speed nearer the pin end of the line, and, as the wind bent progressively, those who had the windward gauge found themselves following in Eamonn's wake. Stuart Ede saw what was happening and tacked off, benefitting from more pressure up the middle of the course and giving him a substantial lead at the windward mark. However, down the next reach the wind filled in from behind, and the rest of the fleet led by Eamonn caught up. Stuart still had a small lead at the start of the sausage leg and went right followed by most of the fleet, except Eamonn who went left where he picked up some extra pressure along the north shore. This enabled him to snatch the lead at the windward mark, which he held to the finish. Close behind, Gareth Ede was challenging his dad down the run, and they crossed the line neck and neck, with Stuart, on the inside berth, claiming second place by just two seconds.

Race 2

John Terry squeezed between Stuart and the Committee Boat at the start of Race 2 to grab the windward gauge. He exploited that to reach the windward mark first followed closely by Gareth with Stuart a few boat lengths back. John held his lead on the reaches and up the next beat, but on the last downwind leg Gareth caught up with John, and a hand-to-hand duel ensued. Stuart who had been gaining on them hoped they would slow one another down so much that he could sneak through at the finish, but that was foiled by the wind dying. As they ran downwind to the finish John was keeping himself between Gareth and the line, but Gareth eased ahead just enough to be able turn in front of John and snatch the win by only two seconds.

Race 3

Race 3 demonstrated how in the shifty conditions making the right or wrong choice of direction up the beat could make a world of difference to progress. The fleet had kept together pretty well round the first triangle and sausage with Eamonn at the front of a tightly packed bunch. Had it not been for a the Race Officer deciding to let the fleet go round for another triangle, Eamonn might have won. But the next beat threw all the pieces in the air, and at the last windward mark John had a 100m lead over Gareth with Eamonn another 100m back, which determined the final places. Meanwhile Syd Gage and Stuart were fighting hard for fourth place, and they were side by side down the last two reaches with Stuart just a boat length ahead at the finish.

Race 4

Day 2 dawned with champagne sailing conditions: sunshine and a Force 3 breeze, albeit a bit shifty and patchy at times. Eamonn was first to the windward mark followed closely by Gareth and John. Gareth overtook Eamonn downwind, and John got past up the next beat. The race then divided into two close-fought duels; Gareth versus John for first place and Eamonn versus Stuart for third place. On the final reach to the finish John was a couple of boat lengths ahead to take the win. Meanwhile Stuart was pressing Eamonn downwind but ended up 13 seconds behind as Eamonn took third at the line.

Race 5

Gareth took an early lead at the windward mark, which he steadily increased to finish a full two minutes ahead of the fleet. Meanwhile John, Eamonn and Stuart (in that order) were in close company for the first triangle. On the beat of the sausage leg John went right, while Eamon and Stuart went left. They were rewarded with more pressure along the north shore and overtook John. However, John fought back up the beat of the final triangle to take second place leaving Eamonn and Stuart dicing with one another downwind. On the reach to the finish Eamonn was challenging hard trying to get past Stuart first to windward and then to leeward, but Stuart hung on to take third place by a couple of boat lengths.

Race 6

By now Gareth was into his stride and led away up the first beat. John led the chasing pack, but again Gareth built up a sizeable 200m lead. By the last triangle another 200m separated John from Eamonn with Stuart a further 150m back. On the next reach Stuart spotted more pressure down the middle of the lake and decided to downwind tack to take advantage of it, while Eamonn persevered along the rhumb line. Stuart's gamble paid off handsomely, so that at the gybe mark he had the inside track with his nose in front. Eamonn was right on Stuart's tail along the bottom reach, and as they turned upwind for the final sausage leg, rather than sail in Stuart's dirty wind, Eamonn decided to tack off in the hope of finding more pressure along the north shore again. Alas, this time it wasn't there, and Stuart, who had sailed up the middle of the lake, had a healthy margin at the last windward mark, which he retained to the finish.

Jon Montgomery TT Series results

Third place in the last race put Stuart on equal points with Eamonn, but Eamonn took third overall on countback thanks to his win in Race 1. It was tight for first place overall, too. Gareth, with three wins to John's two, finished a point ahead to win the event and the Blue Pennant. This put Gareth at the top of the TT Series leader board, so at the next event he will also be flying the Yellow Pennant.

1Gareth Ede‑3122117
2John Terry‑4211228
3Eamonn Cotter1‑4334415
4Stuart Ede23‑443315
5Syd Gage‑66566629

Alastair Forrest Personal Handicap Series results

The Catapult Class Association also runs a personal handicap series based on the same set of races. Syd Gage, who is struggling with injury, won on handicap the only race he was able to complete, while Eamonn won Race 1 both on the water and on handicap. However, Stuart could claim the remaining four wins, so he took the Lilac Pennant for the event win, to which he added the Magenta Pennant for being top of the Handicap Series leader board.

1Stuart Ede‑2121116
2Eamonn Cotter1‑222229
3John Terry33‑433315
4Gareth Ede44‑543419
5Syd Gage‑66166629

Related Articles

Catapults at Bassenthwaite
The class returned to one of its favourite venues The Catapult fleet returned to one of its favourite venues, Bassenthwaite Sailing Club, to take part in a shared event with the Mirror Northerns and the various club fleets over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend (4-6 May). Posted on 31 May
Rutland Sailing Club Cat Open 2024
A-Cats, F18s, F20s, Shearwaters, Catapults and a lone F15, an F16 and a Dart 15 make up the fleet Rutland Sailing Club hosted its Catamaran Open in their traditional mid-May slot this weekend. Unfortunately, this year for some reason, attendance was somewhat below the usual numbers who would flock to this big and picturesque venue. Posted on 20 May
Oldest videos of racing catamarans
We start in 1965, covering Hobie, Shearwater, Prindle and C Class, then the Worrell 1000 We delve into the past, and round-up all the videos which show racing catamarans, including Hobie cats, Shearwaters, Prindles and C Class, from the 1960s to the 90s. Plus some Worrell 1000 history. Posted on 7 Apr
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
Catapult Nationals 2023 at Bridlington
Gareth Ede wins for a record ninth time 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. Posted on 14 Sep 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