Catapult TT at Yorkshire Dales
June 8th-9th 2019

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  The  2019 racing programme
returned to Yorkshire Dales SC  up on the Grimwith Reservoir in the Dales, for a TT weekend, 8th-9th June. The tail end of Storm Miguel made for survival conditions in the first race but fortunately the wind abated bit by bit over the rest of the weekend, and the sailing was conducted in a stiff Force 4 for some exciting but manageable racing.

On Saturday morning after a quiet start, the wind swung north and blew hard and cold, with four boats struggling off a lee shore to race. It swung NNW and the club set a narrow triangular course (the hills giving some protection for a tricky gybe decided at some point down the top run.)

From a tight starboard end start, Gareth Ede moved steadily away, spilling wind, to be handle the conditions in spite of his light weight. Stuart Ede, discovering a gap in his dry-suit and not risking a capsize, changed to a smaller rig, with no disadvantage as he battled Mike Gough around the course, staying just ahead for most(photo right)

Behind, after a chapter of mistakes Alastair Forrest was well back.The Race Officer seeing the frozen Catapulters battling the wind gave them a whole five laps of enjoyment, not changing the overall positions

(Above: Mike chases Stuart's reduced rig. Photo Paul Hargreaves with thanks.)

By Race 2 after lunch, the breeze had gone to NW, and moderated, with strong gusts. Stuart's dry suit betrayed him further, and he decided caution was the better part of drowning and withdrew. Alastair and Gareth won the tight starboard start, and Gareth again moved out gradually ahead. Alastair held off Syd Gage and Mike, but by the end of Lap 1, the Committee boat gate had swung and narrowed, and Alastair pinched up touching the mooring rope. His 360' put him behind.  Syd showed his improved up-wind speed and pointing to take the second.

Race 3 followed back to back, with the same tight starboard pack at the start. Gareth was chased by Mike round the four triangular laps, the breeze Force 4 and gusty but manageable and swinging further NW. Alastair held off Syd for the third place.

Race 4
followed back to back, with the breeze further NW and moderating, with gusts and lulls. The RO extended the beat up the lake, giving a sharper (and easier) gybe. Again, from a tight starboard start Gareth moved out from the fleet, building a big lead, then held  to the finish.

(Right: there are three boats in the photo, as Mike hunts Stuart (obscured) and Gareth crosses ahead.)   (Photo Paul Hargreaves.)

Syd had consistent upwaind speed up into second, and in the final third lap was closing on Gareth. Behind, Mike and Alastair were close, Alastair closing downwind, so that on lap 4 Mike defended fiercely, with wild involuntary gybes at the downwind mark, until Mike's better speed across the final short reach gave him the third.

On Sunday the breeze had swung to the west, brisk but manageable. The Catapults joined the Club fleets, with the RO giving them a broad reach and tight reach on a thin triangle course. The long beat let Gareth trapeze (after not risking it in the previous day's gusts.)

(Above: Mike shifts some water around downwind, .
Confusion over the start line for Race 5 meant  Stuart, Alastair and Syd started in the narrow space between the Committee boat and an inner distance mark (the only mark they could see nearby!) Gareth and Mike (local sailors understanding the course board instructions!) started in clear air at the right end of the line, gaining a significant advantage.

 Alastair then touched the Committee Boat, and a 360' turn left Stuart pursuing the leading pair. Gareth built on this advantage to get well ahead of the fleet

Mike on the penultimate lap hit a lull and a header near the windward mark which he then touched. His penalty turn allowed Stuart, who had been 300m behind but was storming towards the mark from the other side of the course, to close on Mike and then overtake him on the next reach. Stuart held this advantage down the run and the bottom reach, but Mike picked a better line through the club fleets as they beat up to the gate to get ahead again. On the downwind legs Stuart closed the gap, but Mike hung on to claim second place with Gareth claiming first by a large margin.

In Race 6 Gareth, Mike and Stuart got the best start after Alastairís lone port tack flyer didnít quite pay off (photo below). Gareth nosed ahead up-wind but Mike and Stuart were on his heels. On lap 2 of the three lap race Gareth crossed tacks with Stuart only 30m ahead, but then found better wind on the right and widened his lead considerably, leaving Mike and Stuart to resume their duel for second place. Again Mike would pull away up wind, while Stuart would close the gap again downwind.

At the last leeward mark Stuart was right on Mikeís tail, but he couldnít quite get past, and Mike snatched second place by just 4 seconds. Behind, Syd dogged Alastair, gaining up-wind, and then at the final mark had better acceleration from just behind to take the gun by 6 seconds.

(Below: Race 6 start: Alastair bears away behind the starboard starters, Race 6. Gareth has got away on trapeze, but is chased by Mike and Stuart.) (Photo Syd Gage's on-board camera.)

The windy conditions clearly suited Mike Gough who was the clear winner on handicap with 4 firsts and 2 seconds. This boosted him from 4th to the top of the Handicap Series leader board, so he will be flying the Magenta Pennant at our next event at Bala. He displaced Chris Phillips, who has twice topped the table this season, but who was away sailing in Scotland so had to counting several DNCs. Syd Gage has had an equally meteoric rise up the Leader Board from 6th to 2nd thanks to his 2nd place at Yorkshire Dales with a couple of firsts and a second in his scoreline.

 (Below:Event winner Gareth Ede flies downwind, Race 1. Behind in the murk, Alastair plans the tricky gybe.)

The Yellow Pennant for the level rating TT Series remains firmly in the grip In Gareth Ede, who further cemented his lead with an astonishing 6 wins out of 6 races at Yorkshire Dales, adding to his already impressive array, despite the best efforts of Syd who was hot on his heels in Race 4.
John Terry had enough good results in hand to retain 2nd place, despite his absence abroad, and Stuart Ede is still hanging onto 3rd place, though Mike Gough has now moved up into 4th place to challenge him.

Stuart Ede and Alastair Forrest


Rank Helm R1
R4 R5 R6 Total Nett
1st Gareth Ede 1 1 1 1 (1) 1 6 5
2nd Mike Gough 3 (3) 2 3 2 2 15 12
3rd Syd Gage (6) 2 4 2 4 4 22 16
4th Stuart Ede 2 (6) 6 6 3 3 26 20
5th Alastair Forrest 4 4 3 4 (5) 5 25 18


Rank Helm R1
R4 R5 R6 Total Nett
1st Mike Gough 1 2 1 (2) 1 1 8 6
2nd Syd Gage
(6) 1 2 1 3 3 16 10
3rd Gareth Ede 3 (4) 3 4 2 4 20 16
4th Alastair Forrest 4 3 4 3 (5) 5 24 19
5th    Stuart Ede 2 (6) 6 6 4 2 26 20

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