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Sailing Programme 2011

Sailing programme


Results and Reports

Catapult TT at Grafham Water Cat Open

Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd October 2011

 The TT at Grafham Water Cat Open marked the end of the Catapult sailing season, and decided the 2011 Travelling Trophy places. The big reservoir put on
warm October sunshine and very stimulating conditions with a fresh to strong SE to SSE breeze gusting to 6 and falling back at times to 4, swinging 20 as the gusts came through 

   The w
ind strength allowed the lighter helms to trapeze upwind consistently, usually with a clear advantage over the non-trapezing helms, although George Evans again effectively worked upwind off trapeze

The racing was again tight, with the lead changing, and the whole fleet often sailing the same leg, but Gareth Ede came through consistently, and finally took the event comfortably, counting five wins from the six races, although having to work for them.

   The seven Catapults made up most of the Handicap fleet (sharing the course with large Sprint 15 and Dart 18 fleets with their own start) and took all the Handicap podium positions

 .The club set three back to back races each day, all on an oblong port course, giving two fast reaches between the longer beat and flat run.

 Tactically, the upwind trapezing decision divided the fleet, and the gusting wind demanded that full advantage was taken from each gust (with big off-wind gains to be made.) For the starts, Paul Ellis, Alastair Forrest and John Terry competed hard for the starboard end of the line (with winners and losers as the races progressed, see Race reports, below) while the others opted for unobstructed speed further down the line.

  In the
2011 Travelling Trophy standings, Paul Ellis held on to his the leading position, while Gareth's set of firsts at Grafham swept him to second, past Alastair Forrest's gradually accumulated season's results.

catamarans at grafham



   In Race 1  John Terry captured the pin end of the line getting away well, with Gareth Ede coming up swiftly to take the lead. On the first flat run, the Catapults followed the Darts on a long port board way over to the right before a gybe and reach to the mark. With the extra distance the boats behind closed up, but Gareth got good speed and repeated the gybe downwind in later laps and later races, the others usually electing to go dead downwind.

 This set the pattern for the battle at the front, with John and Paul Ellis gaining on the beat, (Gareth pointing lower with more mast rake) with Gareth then gaining downwind, catching them to take the front and build a good lead.  In the chasing group, still in touch with the leaders, Stuart Ede held off George Evans, while Alastair Forrest had the first of two inexcusable breakages, with repairs to the inhaul-outhaul-inhaul taking him to the back with Chris Evans coming through

  The start of Race 2 saw Stuart stalling head to wind as he avoided a non-Catapult coming backwards at him just before the gun, never recovering from this in the tight competition. John Terry pushed Alastair and Paul up nearly onto the Committee boat, getting well away to battle Gareth for the first place, Gareth finally using his downwind speed to again move away for the win. The rest of the fleet stayed close, Paul defending third from George and Chris Phillips


  Stuart picked a wind shift giving a port bias on the line for Race 3, coming across fast on port but deciding not to risk crossing Gareth fast on starboard further down the line (although he probably would have crossed ahead of the fleet.) At the pin end, this time Alastair had the tight line to the Committee boat squeezing John and then Paul up take urgent avoiding action. Gareth moved well out going fast, building a good lead while they recovered, and at the top mark tight tacking,  Paul and John collided.. Paul's 360 then saw him came back fast through the fleet, to put Alastair and then George back, and finally catch Stuart, to keep the front three places shared by the "top three" through the whole day.


Sunday started cloudy with lighter winds, but sunshine and a gradually-building SSE breeze came through to give a stimulating 5-6 by the end of the racing, with dark 30 mph gusts. Again, the front three trapezed steadily, but the wind remained too variable for heavier helms, and again George Evans pushed up to windward off trapeze.


  In Race 4, Gareth led from Paul and John for the first two laps, with the group on the downwind leg going off on a broad port reach out right towards the far shore, with the plan of a fast starboard reach to the bottom mark. On the second lap, George following behind saw that they had slowed and were wallowing in a light patch, while the Darts going down the middle of the course were going faster, so he went left and then drove down the middle, to catch John and Paul, just missing gaining the lead as Gareth picked up some last-minute breeze to defend first.

 Starting Race 5, Paul claimed the pin end to move away, with Gareth fast below him, both getting away while  Alastair sliced up the Committee boat to block John's start and send him off to the right side of the course. Gareth stretched out from Paul for his fifth win, and John clawed back past Stuart and George to capture third.

By R
ace 6 the wind was piping up with dark sudden gusts reaching 30 mph, and very fast tight reaches enjoyed with great care. This time, John nailed the start and built a lead ahead of George, while a set of stalled tacks by Gareth let them get away.   In the closing lap, Gareth managed to claw his way back to just behind Paul and George and then on the final short beat back to the finish managed to overtake first Paul and then within metres of the line  get past George. John held his lead from start to finish.




                                  1    Gareth Ede           1      1     1      1      1     (2)        5


                                  2    John Terry             3     2      2    (4)     3      1        11


                                  3    Paul Ellis               2     3      3      3      2      (4)      13


                                  4    George Evans      (5)   4      4      2      4       3        17 


                                  5    Stuart Ede             4    (7)    5      5       5       5       24

                                  6    Chris Phillips         6     5      7      6       7     (7)       31


                                  7    Alastair Forrest       7    6     6    (DNF)    6      6       31