Catapult TT at Bassenthwaite
Bank Holiday May 29th-31st

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2021 Catapult Nationals, Bassenthwaite


Bassenthwaite welcomed the Catapult fleet with sunshine but only a light breeze.

John Terry got a cracking start from the committee boat end and forced port tacker, Stuart Ede to tack onto starboard. These two sailed in close company for the first lap, but John gradually extended his lead leaving Stuart to fend off his son Gareth with Syd Gage poised to strike in fourth place. On the last beat Gareth went more left and overtook his father, so the finishing order for the leading quartet was John, Gareth, Stuart and then Syd.


The breeze was getting lighter still as the afternoon progressed, and the start of Race 2 was delayed in the folorn hope that it might fill in and stabilise. When the race did eventually start John, Eamonn Cotter and Stuart sailed along the line towards the pin end to be sure of crossing on the gun. Unfortunately for them, Gareth and Mike Gough and the rest of the fleet who started at the committee boat end could point higher. John tacked across to the middle of the course but was caught on port by Mike and forced to do a penalty turn. Meanwhile Gareth had reached the windward mark first only to park up with the club fleets as the wind died. He finally managed to break free as John and Mike approached the mark followed by Stuart. Downwind the wind died completely and most of the fleet decided to retire, even though the course was shortened to 1 lap. However, the leading four plus Eamonn who was 100m behind Stuart stuck it out. What little zephyrs there were now changed direction by 180 degrees. John and Mike managed to creep away leaving Stuart wallowing while Eamonn closed the gap and eased past him. Meanwhile Gareth had crossed the finish line, and now the clock was ticking to see if the remaining boats could finish within the time limit. Fortunately for them they did in the order John, Mike, Eamonn, Stuart.


The next day dawned with more light breezes. In Race 3 John and Stuart started from the front rank mid line, but Gareth, who crossed 1m20s late because of a lack of wind managed to find more pressure up the middle of the course to catch them by the windward mark. These three broke away from the pursuing pack. Stuart overtook John on the second reach and held on for a few legs until John secured an inside overlap at a mark.  Stuart fought off Gareth for the next two laps only to succumb as the breeze eased some more as they approached the last windward mark. Behind them George Evans, Mike and Eamonn had found more pressure, and Stuart found himself back in the chasing pack. A windshift turned the next reach into a beat. Mike and Eamonn went left while Stuart persevered to the right to get past them and pursue George. At the front Gareth also went right and reached the last mark just ahead of John. Side by side these two headed for the line with John winning by just a second. Behind them the finishing order was, George, Stuart and with a last minute breakaway from the pack, Nigel Harrison.


A last minute course change to Race 4 caught out several helms, but Gareth and John were onto it and led the charge to the new windward mark with Eamonn in their wake. These three opened up a sizeable lead over the rest of the fleet and over one another. Stuart clawed himself out of the chasing pack by picking the right side of the last beat to take fourth place.



In Race 5 Gareth and Stuart who had spotted a last minute wind shift that gave a port bias to the line, managed to cross the fleet, while Eamonn who had been with them, but a little early, was forced to tack by John. That worked out well for the latter pair because they found more pressure on the left of the course, while Gareth and Stuart hit a light patch. John rounded the windward mark first followed by Gareth, George, Eamonn and Stuart. This order was retained around the rest of lap 1. George who had been lying third retired when he realised he had missed the gate at the beginning of lap 2. That left two tightly contested duels being fought out at the front between John and Gareth and between Eamonn and Stuart. John managed to hold his narrow lead to the finish, while Eamonns late tack for the line allowed Stuart to snatch third place by less than a boat length.


John and Mike approach 'B' to round on port

Day Three dawned with an average wind speed of Force 4 with gusts up to the top end of 5, so a slightly depleted fleet made their way to the start line of Race 6, though the wind did ease somewhat soon after the start. On the gun Gareth and Eamonn hit the start line mid-way along with the rest of the fleet grouped nearer the committee boat. The race to the windward mark saw Gareth start to pull away from Eamonn after both boats tacked onto port. John was in hot pursuit. All three boats maintained their positions round to the leeward mark, but John got inside of Eamonn and called for water at the mark, enabling him to pull away after rounding the mark. Those positions continued until George Evans caught up with Eamonn during lap 3. Close competition ensued during lap 3 until George got the better of the conditions gradually pulling away and crossing the finish line at the end of the race minutes ahead of Eamonn.

Start of Race 6. Gareth and Eamonn nail it.

Gareths win left him and John with three firsts and three seconds each. The tie was broken by the result of the last race, so he became National Champion for 2021 with John a very worthy - and extremely close - second. Some way back on points Stuart bagged the other podium place to keep his son company. After all it can be lonely at the top!


Catapult National Championships 2021
Bassenthwaite SC
Rank Sail_No Helm Rating R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Total Nett
1st 91 Gareth Ede 798 2 1 2 1 2 1 9 7
2nd 533 John Terry 815 1 2 1 2 1 2 9 7
3rd 531 Stuart Ede 885 3 5 4 4 3 8 27 19
4th 520 Eamonn Cotter 890 7 4 7 3 4 4 29 22
5th 540 Mike Gough 890 5 3 8 6 5 6 33 25
6th 510 George Evans 895 6 DNC 3 5 DNC 3 43 30
7th 522 Nigel Harrison 958 8 DNC 5 9 6 5 46 33
8th 506 Syd Cage 940 4 DNC 6 8 7 DNC 51 38
9th 282 Chris Crawley 940 9 DNC 10 DNF 9 7 61 48
10th 244 Damien Cooney 1110 10 DNC 9 10 10 DNC 65 52
11th 2020 Chris Upton 1000 DNF DNC DNF 7 8 DNC 67 54
12th TBC Robert Baker 965 DNC DNC DNC DNC DNC DNC 78 65


Catapult  2021
Bassenthwaite SC
Rank Sail_No Helm PY R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Total Nett
1st 533 John Terry 815 3 2 4 6 1 5 21 15
2nd 91 Gareth Ede 798 4 1 6 5 4 4 24 18
3rd 520 Eamonn Cotter 890 7 4 7 3 2 3 26 19
4th 531 Stuart Ede 885 1 5 5 8 3 8 30 22
5th 522 Nigel Harrison 958 8 DNC 1 7 6 2 37 24
6th 506 Syd Cage 940 2 DNC 2 4 8 DNC 42 29
7th 540 Mike Gough 890 5 3 8 10 7 6 39 29
8th 510 George Evans 895 6 DNC 3 9 DNC 1 45 32
9th 244 Damien Cooney 1110 10 DNC 9 1 10 DNC 56 43
10th 2020 Chris Upton 1000 DNF DNC DNF 2 5 DNC 59 46
11th 282 Chris Crawley 940 9 DNC 10 DNF 9 7 61 48
12th TBC Robert Baker 965 DNC DNC DNC DNC DNC DNC 78 65


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