Catapult TT at YRRC Bridlington
August 28th-29th

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2021 Catapult TT Series, Bridlington,  RYYC

Catapult TT at Bridlington


A Force 3 breeze and sunshine welcomed the Catapult fleet to the Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club at Bridlington for a TT event to be held in parallel with a Dart 18 Open.

An interesting tactical choice faced competitors: to go upwind offshore and benefit from the stronger favourable tide or go inshore and gain a shoreline lift in the breeze. In Race 1 Stuart Ede opted for a port tack start so he could go offshore. He couldn't get across in front of the first couple of starboard starters but he found a gap to get through. At the windward mark it was the boats that went in shore that came out ahead with, John Terry, Gareth Ede and Mike Gough rounding in that order. However John had tacked early to avoid a close rounding of the mark and had lost 100 metres to the others. The wing mark presented a challenge with the waves and faded colour making it difficult to spot the mark. Gareth spotted the mark before John, who had sailed too low on the wind, enabling Gareth to overtake and put space between them.  Over the next two laps Gareth stretched out his lead over John who in turn pulled away from George who by now had overtaken Mike.

By Race 2 the tide was slackening, so the whole fleet went inshore up the beat. The first three to round the windward mark were Gareth, John and George in that order. At the leeward gate the majority of the fleet went inshore again but surprisingly Gareth and George opted to go offshore. That proved to be a bit of an error, because John was hot on Gareth's heels at the next windward mark. However, Gareth learnt by his mistake and on the last lap he went inshore and lengthened his lead over John, while George was able to defend his third place from Mike.

By Race 3 the breeze had increased to give marginal trapezing conditions for the lighter helms, and because the tide had turned everyone sailed up the shore side of the beat. Gareth on the trapeze sailed low for speed while John hiked and climbed to windward. That proved to be the best choice, because John rounded the windward mark ahead, though Gareth and George were hot on his heels. Downwind John was struggling with boat speed and Gareth overtook him and over the next two laps the fleet spread out with Gareth leading from John, George and Mike. John had set his mast back anticipating strong winds which he believed was partly the cause of his lack of downwind boat speed compared to Gareth in all 3 of the first day's racing.

Sunday's racing started in a Force 4 breeze, with gusts of Force 5, and wind against tide made for lots of waves to beat through upwind. A rudder broken on the way out through the waves to the start of Race 4 forced Gareth ashore.

Mike and Stuart spotted a significant port bias on the line and went for a port tack flyer that worked a treat. Going right up the beat into the stronger favourable tide also paid dividends. At the first windward mark Mike rounded first, with a strong lead, and then came Stuart with John and George hard on his heels. Finding the wing mark again proved difficult, but once they found it John and George went dead downwind while Stuart opted to go wide in the hope of picking up speed. He was glad to be clear of the other two, because in a momentary lapse of concentration George's boat mounted the rear of John's, and it took them some time to disentangle themselves. On the last beat John caught up with Stuart and took off in pursuit of Mike who by now had a long lead. Stuart fluffed a tack in the waves near the windward mark allowing George to catch up, but then George, too, stalled, and Stuart drew ahead downwind to claim third behind Mike and John.

Thanks to the generous loan of a pair of rudders from Syd Gage, who had had to sit out the event due to ill health, Gareth rejoined the fleet for Race 5. After its success in the previous race most of the fleet opted for a port tack start, and, though most crossed just ahead of Gareth who came storming off the line on starboard, the tidal advantage of going more offshore was largely negated by the steepening waves. John rounded the windward mark with a good lead, followed by Gareth and George. Over the next two laps Gareth slowly eroded John's lead especially downwind where he seemed to find a groove, but he couldn't quite finish the job, being denied by just 5 seconds on the line.

By Race 6 the wind had strengthened to a solid Force 5 causing a few capsizes in the Dart fleet, and the Catapult fleet was not without its mishaps. Despite his light weight the conditions obviously suited Gareth who demonstrated his mastery of trapezing in waves by shooting off into a long lead on the first beat followed by John, George and Mike. George came to rue modifying his rig canting system when a shroud attachment snapped as he rounded one of the leeward gate marks bringing his mast down. The next mishap came when the wing mark was blown past the committee boat leaving sailors to improvise the downwind leg. As they did so the shorten course flag went up. Unfortunately John missed that entirely, and, rounding the leeward mark away from the committee boat, set off for a third lap. Back on shore there was a debate about what to do about Race 6. The options were to scrub it entirely because of the lost mark or to base the results on the positions after Lap 1 (but not to count it for the handicap results because of the lack of times for the first lap). It seemed a shame to lose the race entirely, so it was decided to take the latter option, which was fortunate for John and George who now had results they wouldn't otherwise have enjoyed, though it left Mike mourning the lost buoy and the second place he might have had behind Gareth.

Brid 2021 HC podium


George, Mike and John on the podium receiving their Personal Handicap Pennants


Brid 2021 podium scratch


Gareth, John, George and Mike on the podium receiving their Pennants



Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club Catapult TT 
28-29 August 2021
Catapult TT  RYYC 2021 Scratch
Rank SailNo HelmName Rating R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Total Nett
1st 91 Gareth Ede 798 1 1 1 (8 DNS) 2 1 14 6
2nd 533 John Terry 815 -2 2 2 2 1 2 11 9
3rd 510 George Evans 895 3 3 3 -4 3 3 19 15
4th 540 Mike Gough 890 -4 4 4 1 4 4 21 17
5th 531 Stuart Ede 885 -5 5 5 3 5 5 28 23
6th 244 Damien Cooney 1110 6 6 6 (8 RET) 8 DNS 8 DNS 42 34
7th 506 Syd Gage 940 (8 DNS) 8 DNS 8 DNS 8 DNS 8 DNS 8 DNS 48 40
Catapult TT  RYYC 2021 Handicap
Rank SailNo HelmName Rating R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Total Nett
1st 510 George Evans 895 1 2 1 -4 1   9 5
2nd 540 Mike Gough 890 2 -3 2 1 2   10 7
3rd 533 John Terry 815 3 -4 4 3 4   18 14
4th 531 Stuart Ede 885 5 -6 5 2 3   21 15
5th 91 Gareth Ede 798 4 5 3 (8 DNS) 5   25 17
6th 244 Damien Cooney 1110 6 1 6 (8 RET) 8 DNS   29 21
7th 506 Syd Gage 940 (8 DNS) 8 DNS 8 DNS 8 DNS 8 DNS   40 32


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