Catapult Catamaran TT : September 24-25th
Carsington Water Cat Open 

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Sailing Programme 2011

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Tactics and Rules

The Boat

  Big fleets arrived for the Carsington Water Cat Open, with the Dart 18 Singlehanded Champs and a big Sprint 15 fleet. A strong Catapult turnout at the now-traditional September event  made up the biggest part of the Handicap fleet, joining three As, a scattering of other big cats, and Dart 18s (two contesting the Ladies Champs)  .

  Three new members boosted the  Catapult presence, not racing while building familiarity with their boats.

  The moderate WNW--W breeze gave excellent racing, keeping the boats moving quickly, and the helms alert with gusts and shifts, with unpredictable gains and losses. Several of the courses aimed to include a flat run, but the swinging gusts could give a burst of reaching, with big gains over the running boats if captured and sustained. (The gusts tempted tacking downwind, but by and large this was again confirmed as unhelpful for the Catapults, threading their way through the gybing fleets, and watching for Darts on a final starbord reach near the mark.)

  The big fleets gave new tactical challenges, watching the situation all around before any manoeuvre, and thinking ahead about being blanketed, sometimes avoidable. (The crowd at times set up a steep chop and standing wave patterns at the downwind mark.)

Below: TT event winner John Terry chased at the downwind mark by Gareth Ede in a cloud of Sprints)
 (All Photos by Pauline Love CWSC)

catapaults at carsington

   On Saturday, the fleets were separated, the Sprints on a reverse "P" and the Handicap fleet with Olympics, with complex threading through each other, although the port-starboard decisions remained cooperative rather than rigid between the fleets.

The starts shared with the handful of As and other big cats gave a tactical question---to defend the starboard end and not be passed by bigger stuff, or join the fast boats driving further down the line for speed, the latter usually the correct choice (photo below)

At the top end of the beat near the dam, there was the choice of holding the starboard tack in better breeze (at the cost of having to thread on port through the Sprints, or cross to the right of the course, never really answered.
(Below: a characteristic Handicap fleet start---John Terry (533) has driven off down the line with the A's, and Gareth Ede is already on trapeze, the rest well inboard still.)


   The Handicap results saw the TT winners Paul Ellis and John Terry take first and second in the mixed Handicap fleet.

  The Carsington races: report
and photos

Below: George Evans (yellow hulls) looks at the tactical challenge as the fleets go round the leeward mark and head across on port to the lake shore. There appeared little choice but to stay in the crowd, as an early tack away shortened the next long starboard tack, forcing a return to the righthand (dam) side or additional tacks---but anything could happen near the shore as the stream turned onto starboard, and at least one Dart 18 went aground at speed trying to duck below the starboard tack boats.

                                                              Carsington TT  Results
                   Race 1         2        3        4        5       Points       Place  

    John Terry                                       2         1        2       1       3*           6              1st

    Paul Ellis                                           3*       3        1       2       1             7              2

    Gareth Ede                                      1         4*      3       3        2             9              3

    Alastair Forrest                               4         2        5*     5        4            15             4

    George Evans                                  5*       5       4       4        5            18              5

    Stuart Ede                                        8*       6       7       6        6            25              6

    Justin Evans                                     6         7       6       7        8*          26              7

    Nigel Harrison                                  7         8*     8       8        7            30              8

    Chris Phillips                                     9         9       9      11*     9            36              9

    Dave Jennings                                10       10     10     11*     11          41            10

* = discard

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