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THE 2014 JON MONTGOMERY TRAVELLING TROPHY A tight three-way split for the  2014 Jon Montgomery Trophy between John Terry, Paul Ellis and Gareth Ede came to Grafham (Report) but the TT was decided by one long Force 7 gust in the fifth race ---the Race Officer (and the fleet) thought racing too risky, and called off the final Race 6---so Gareth (event winner, above) could not "clear" a DNS from his overall TT results--and John Terry's string of good results lifted him to be the 2014 winner, four points clear of Paul in second.

The 2014 Sailing Programme
 kicked off when six Catapults came to Bewl Water on April 13th, the traditional venue for the first TT event, in warm sunshine and in light, variable and shifty conditions. New helm John Coster was welcomed to his first TT. The gusts and big shifts made for some interesting racing. Alex Montgomery again nipped up from nearby in Kent to come out on top with 2 wins and a 3rd.

(Below: a hard day's competing: Catapults at Bewl

catapults at Bewl 14

Catapult then made a welcome return to Bassenthwaite on the traditional Bank Holiday weekend, with its usual friendly vibe, complex courses,and variable conditions, with the SE wind varying from a whisper to fierce gusting over the three days. Gareth Ede dominated the results (Report) pushed by Paul Ellis in the light, and John Terry when it piped up.

The third event in the  TT saw the Rutland Open, May 25-26, give contrasting conditions to say the least ---a brisk SW testing the Sunday fleet, and the next day whispers from every direction until racing was abandoned. John Terry on his home waters scored four wins, fighting off George Evans (with a battle of contrasts, John tearing away on trapeze upwind and George pushing up in the gusts) and Paul Ellis. (report and photos)

(Photo below: John Terry, second from right, makes a characteristic driving start on the hooter.)

A good Catapult turnout came back to a highlight of the season at Bala, July 12th--14th The traditional combination of serious and fun racing included the 2014 Nationals (photo below) where Alex Montgomery took the honours after a tough battle (and a tie-break with John Terry, each on 11 points.) (Results and Report)

A second tie-break gave Paul Ellis the edge over Gareth Ede, and a third tie-break for 5th and 6th sums up the intensity of the racing in mixture of light and moderate breezes. (results) John held on to the yellow pennant at the top of the Leader Board
with  Paul, Gareth and George Evans just behind.

(Below: Nationals underway at Bala: Paul Ellis, far left, chased downwind, Race 1)

 (Photos: Bala SC Rescue rib, with many thanks.)

The three fun races, one each day, went off in great style. The short reaching course for the Relay exposed both skilful handling
(see photo below) and chaos, and the Pairs and Team races gave chances for some ruthless tactics.  (Results and Reports)

 (Below: George Evans and Paul Ellis demonstrate perfect relay technique)                                                        
       (Photos: Bala SC Rescue rib, with many thanks.)

Stone as a new venue for the Catapult fleet offered great facilities, and six races for a TT event, August 4th-6th, part of Stone Week, on the Blackwater estuary. Three Catapults (including John Coster, new to Catapult sailing) raced mainly in sunshine and light winds, through some challenging tides.  (Report and Results)

(Below: rigging on the wide hard at Stone (a D-Day legacy) with event winner Paul Ellis on the right.) 

Catapult returned to its real sea-sailing at Bridlington, August 23rd-25th, joining the Royal Yorkshire SC Bank Holiday Regatta, with a good fleet and close racing (three helms scoring two or more wins across the nine races) and winds varying from wafting breezes shifting 180' on Saturday, to fresh trapezing on Monday. (Results and Report) Gareth Ede's string of wins and seconds gave him a clear victory. Gareth's win lifted him to just at the top of the Leader Board three points ahead of John Terry, with Paul Ellis one point behind.

(Photo below: event winner Gareth Ede rounds the the top mark, Race 3: Report and more photos to follow.) (Photo RYYC Safety Rib, with much thanks.)

 The Catapult fleet dominated attendance at the Carsington Cat Open, September 20th - 21st  with a good entry (and participation in the mass Bart's Bash race to finish the weekend.)  The varying conditions (light nor-easterlies on Saturday, and fresher ENE  on Sunday) brought out great racing (photo below) with three helms scoring at least one first place

 John Terry (8 points) headed Paul Ellis (11) and George Evans (14.)  John held the Northern Trophy
(results and reports)  and was lifted to the top of the TT Leaderboard  just two points clear of Paul.

 Grafham Cat Open October 25th-26th tested a fleet of seven with fresh SW breezes rising to Force 6 gusts on the second day. Gareth Ede and John Terry, trapezing throughout, dominated racing but mishaps and the wind strength kept racing unpredictable, and gave Gareth the event win, and George Evans' working the strong breeze upwind saw him into second.

(Results and report)

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