Catapult TT at Rutland Open
Bank Holiday May 23rd-24th


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  John Terry clamped a firm hold on the Catapult TT event held as part of Rutlad SC Open Meeting (and the TT Leader Board) winning all but one race, to score straight wins. The chill of NNW-N moderate breezes under cloud did not dampen enjoyment of an absorbing set of races. You can see John pushing the boat along hard and getting it going quickly in light winds at  http://youtu.be/IjfiVjoWtxc

   Catapults started with the fast handicap fleet including A Class cats, but shared the shorter dinghy course, and did one more lap than shown on the Committee boat. (Clear so far?--please pay attention!)

  Catapults joined the Open on Sunday afternoon, set a port-rounding triangle course.  Race 1 got underway in a light shifting NW breeze, and with a port-favoured line (a feature throughout the weekend.) John Terry and Alastair Forrest started on port and successfully threaded through the A classes sweeping across on starboard, with Alastair pushing John downwind  until he reached away and steadily built a lead, holding this round three laps for the first of his wins. In the shifting breeze, laying the Committee boat from the downwind mark (and later the upwind mark) gave big gains. Alastair defended second round the laps, as Alex Montgomery followed by Syd Gage came up steadily.


(photo below: Alex and Syd slide downwind, Race 1)



 By  Race 2 following back-to-back, the breeze had shifted further north, and continued to fluctuate in strength and direction. With another heavily port-favoured line, John swept through from port ahead of the A's to earn a good lead, which he gradually extended over the four short laps.

  Alex chased John, with the rest close behind. Syd Gage chased Alastair hard, taking the lead on the last reaches until Alastair gained mark room from a Flying Fifteen which then sat on Syd sending him wide round the mark and blanketed, pushing him behind for the final short beat to the line.

 Monday brought the same NNW and N light-moderate breezes, shifting with the influence of the peninsula, so finding good breeze was the tactic aim. The "inverted-P" course was set wide (to accommodate the Fast Handicap fleet on their longer course) so the fleets crossed at several points.

For Race 3, Alastair (with a lone A Class) picked the heavy port bias but was late to the line and John caught him on starboard, to take a useful lead which he again converted to a win around the three laps. Behind, Syd and Paul running down on starboard met the big Handicap Fleet beating across from their start on starboard, and the wall of Lasers left no space for Paul, whose collision was then complicated by a Laser rudder locked over the bow-board. Alastair (who had decided to bear away after the upwind mark for breeze, and was comfortably-separate) gained from the confusion to chase Syd, but  could not defend the lead over Paul round the next laps. With a second place in sight for Syd, he was taken wide (and wider and wider) round the final mark, letting Paul through.


   Race 4,
following back to back, kept the wide "P" and port-favoured line, but this time Alastair reaching down from the starboard end caught John trying the port start. At the top mark, tight-packed rounding had Paul trapped on port in front of John, letting Alastair gain a lead, defended round lap 1 until John fought past, extending his lead gradually over the next two laps for another win.
(photo above: event winner John Terry eases past Alastair)

As with each race, the beat on port up to the Committee boat gave no choices, so a lift rounding the downwind mark, to go straight to the start line, was a great boost---and welcomed by Paul and then Syd climbing over Alastair.

 
   Paul stretched away for the second. Alastair caught Syd downwind on the last lap, and in the beat to the line watched Syd climb above him to windward but made it to the favoured end of the line just ahead.

After lunch, the inverted-P course was retained but lengthened to reduce the crossing of the fleets.

   A good starboard start with the A's in Race 5 gave Alastair a small lead with the fleet tight round the first lap. John Terry went out to the left upwind, and lost out in the shifts, falling back, and Alastair defended his lead from Paul round the next three laps for the win, with John pulling back up steadily (photo right) to recapture second.

Race 6 followed back to back, and to round off the weekend, Catapult was sent off on four laps of the lengthened course. Alastair accepted John's control of the starboard start, following him closely, and these two had a good lead upwind. John gradually stretched away, and Paul came up from a late start to overhaul Syd, with  the Catapult procession keeping these places to the end.

Alastair


 (Above: John Terry hunts down Syd and Paul, Race 5)


                                                          
RESULTS     (6 Races, 1 discard)

        1    John Terry                      1              1             1              1            (2)            1             5
     
         2    Alastair Forrest             2               3           (4)            3              1              2           11
           
         3    Paul Ellis                        (5)             5             2              2             3              3           15
 
   
         4    Syd Gage                       (4)             4             3              4              4             4           19

 
         5    Alex Montgomery          3              2      (8, DNC)     8 DNC      8DNC      8 DNC      29


         6     Damien Cooney       (8DNC )  8 DNC            5              5          8 DNC     8 DNC      34


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