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Dart 16 Open Meeting at Dee Sailing Club

by Mark Pollard 31 May 2001 19:22 BST

The second Dart 16 Travellers Trophy event of the year was competed for at Dee Sailing Club on the 26th, 27th, 28th May in a variety of conditions from no wind to the extreme conditions of a gale 8.

The races on Saturday were competed in light winds of force 1-2 with some good close racing. The first race was won by Anthony Smith followed by Paul and Steve Roberts, with Shaun and Mark Pollard in third. The second race results were a reverse of the first with Shaun and Mark taking line honours in front of the Paul and Steve with Anthony in third. The final race of the day gave Paul and Steve their first win of the event ahead of Dee youth Mathew Pollock and Stuart Clement with Anthony Smith in third.

On Saturday night the sailors experienced the Dee sailing club hospitality and great band of Rubbersoul.

On the Sunday race conditions were variable with a strong tide, which lead to the first race being abandoned. As everyone was attempting to go ashore whether paddling or other means the wind increased to a variable force 3-4 for the next race. In this second race Paul & Steve won in front of another Dee youth team Tom Johnson and Paul Oliver who managed to hold off Shaun and Mark who got third. The last race was sailed in a steady force 4. This favoured the Pollard and Roberts pairings who fought for the lead with the Pollard’s coming out on top. This left Paul and Steve in second with Anthony following in third.

On the Sunday night we were not only given excellent food but also entertained by the gladiators and Sumo-wrestling. Special mention to Paul and Steve who left the rest of us cringing with the angles that they were flying!

The last day was brought to a climax with Shaun and Mark needing to win the remaining races in order to win the event. The day’s conditions posed great challenges for the crews with a force 6 and forecast gale 8 warnings. Not surprisingly the whole fleet reefed after watching the first boat out Mike Hilton and Steve Vickers fly along with many near capsizes on the way out to the line, and then reefing themselves. The first race began with what looked to be decreasing conditions, Shaun and Mark rounded the windward mark first with a small lead over Paul and Steve. Paul and Steve then decided to unreef but in doing so lost a lot of time. The wind then filled in with the Pollard’s taking the win with the Roberts’ second and Tom Johnson and Chris Coppell taking the place of injured Paul Oliver third. It then all came down to the last race but with a tiring first race and a force 7 wind blowing all but Shaun and Mark went ashore. This then left Shaun & Mark racing only against the elements and the race officer which they managed to do steering their way through the many capsized 18’s.

The final race result left Paul and Steve, and Shaun and Mark on ten points each. The tie was then broken on count back in favour of Shaun & Mark with four firsts against Paul & Steve's two. This left Anthony Smith who would have been competing for the lead had it not been for the last day.

A special mention should be made about the three Dee Youth teams on the club boats that sailed admirably surprising the leaders on quite a few occasions. The teams were Mathew Pollock & Stuart Clement, Tom Johnson & Paul Oliver and Chris Coppell & George Rogers.

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