Catapult Racing 2019
A summary of a good season

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2019 kicked off at Rutland SC,
13th-14th APRI,  in the Cat Open on Saturday with the Shearwaters, and joining the club fleet for their "Big Pond" series. Brisk easterlies gave bracing sailing. Chris Phillips began the season with impressive new upwind speed, but Gareth Ede and John Terry re-established their battle at the front, flying upwind on trapeze. Chris counted 5 straight Handicap wins.(Results and Report)

 Catapult was back at Bassenthwaite for the May Bank Holiday, with snow on Skiddaw, and brisk NE breezes. Around the traditional Bass complex courses, the clear leaders were again Gareth Ede and John Terry, although pushed at times (and with Stuart Ede scoring one runaway win.) Stuart was a clear Handicap winner, but Damien Cooney scored two handicap firsts in the four races.(Results and Report)

A return to
Yorkshire Dales SC up on the Grimwith Reservoir 8th-9th June caught the tail end of Storm Miguel with initial survival conditions, abating to a stiff Force 4 for some exciting but manageable racing, suiting Mike Gough who swept the event on handicap with 4 firsts and 2 seconds (Report)  (Photo Right: Stuart survives Grimworth Reservoir with his reduced rig, chased by Mike.)

Catapult had its real sea sailing at  
Bridlington for the Nationals on 25th-27th May, but Saturday had very light airs, with two wins for Gareth Ede (and a good second place for Syd Gage.) Then a gusting 6-7 for Sunday and Monday blew racing away, and the Nationals were held over to Bala in July (Report)

Bala Sailing Club again hospitably hosted Catapult for the Bala Gala, 12th-14th July, combining the fun races (on Friday) with the held-over 2019 Nationals Light ENE breezes provided good racing (but died to nothing in the final race!) The Nationals were fought to the last race; from a fleet of nine, six different helms had a first or second place, and the three leaders had two firsts each. Gareth Ede took the 2019 title by three points from John Terry. On Handicap, Chris Upton with the TI rig was a clear handicap winner.

(Report) The Bala Fun Races went off smoothly and (for fun races) intensely, and excellent support from Bala Sailing Club let us complete the Pairs, Pursuit, and Relay Races. (Report)

On July 27th-28th,
Felixstowe Ferry SC Cat Open was a new sea open-water venue. Mike Gough welcomed steady Force 3-4 breezes, with a clean sweep of firsts in the scratch results. (Report)

For three days of Stone Week, August 5th-7th, brisk south-westerlies tested four helms, who accumulated forced withdrawals, unforced blunders, gear failure and a capsize. Mike Gough drove fast upwind, counting 5 wins from 6 races, including the final race, when the club fleets (and a Catapult) were wiped out by a 40mph front. (Report)

(Below: Riding downwind at Stone
Photo Syd Gage's on-board camera.)

We made a welcome return Sept 14th-15th to Bewl Sailing Association welcoming the elegant red and black boat of new member Dave Chamberlain . In warm sunshine but minimal wind, Alastair Forrest eked out two wins and a second  in the small fleet, while Dave scored a Saturday handicap second (and a win on lap elapsed time in Race 2
)  (Report)

  On Sept 28th-29th, Catapult was back to favourite setting at Carsington Sailing Club in the Derbyshire Dales, for the Northern Championships, joining the Laser 3000 Nationals. In strong gusting WSWesterlies on Saturday, with bursts of rain and whitecaps down the lake, Gareth Ede found that his cut-down rig gave a stable platform to trapeze upwind, while suffering downwind. Sunday was less demanding, and close racing saw John Terry hold on to the Northern Trophy two points ahead of George Evans (who was a clear Handicap winner.) (Report)

 Grafham Cat Open, October 19th-20th, finished the season, again sharing the course with the Sprint 15s (with one or other fleet tacking up while the other ran down, with at least one Sprint-on-Catapult incident!)

The SW breeze allowed trapezing for Gareth Ede and John Terry, and they continued their dominiance in a cold NW breeze next day,  with George Evans consistently chasing (and getting a second in the final race.) (Results)

For the 2019 Jon Montgomery TT Series, Gareth Ede was a very convincing winner, with John Terry a comfortable runner-up, George Evans was a consistent third, challenging the leaders at times, but had to count a two DNS scores, so  Mike Gough with his victories at Felixstowe and Stone held on to third place for the year.

Mike also took the 2019 Handicap prize, ahead of Syd Gage.

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