Catapult TT and Northern Championships at YDSC
August 14th-15th

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2021 Catapult TT and Northern Championships,  YDSC SC


Yorkshire Dales SC lived up to its reputation as a high wind venue by delivering a solid Force 5, which suited the heavier helms and trapeze artists. However, the strong winds winnowed down the number of starters from seven to five.

The Race Officer set an inverted P course to be sailed by both Catapults and Contender fleets who were sharing the event.

Everyone started Race 1 cleanly on starboard and beat towards the clubhouse shore of the reservoir. Even at this early stage John Terry was starting to draw away from his competitors. At the first windward mark rounding the order was John, Mike Gough and then George Evans followed by Eamonn Cotter and Stuart Ede. Positions remained the same for the four laps, but the only difference was that John's lead increased over Mike who also put more distance between himself and the chasing pack.

Race 2 developed in much the same way as Race 1 with John opening up a wide lead over Mike who in turn had an increasing lead over the pursuing posse of Stuart, George and Eamonn. At the start of the last lap Stuart was just clinging on to third place. However, he wanted to tack over to the favoured right side of the beat. He judged he had just enough space to tack onto port in front of George, but a fluffed tack meant incurring a penalty that put him out of contention. Meanwhile Eamonn trapezing up the remainder of the beat overtook George to take third place at the finish.

There was another all clean starboard start to Race 3 with Mike and John getting an early lead. A pattern was emerging at the first mark with John rounding first followed by Mike, George, Eamonn and then Stuart. John continued to increase his lead over the rest of the fleet. Meanwhile George was closing on Mike down the final run, which made for a close finish with Mike just clinging on to second place.

Race 4 started with Mike off the line first heading towards the clubhouse shore. Mike and John tacked only for George to catch Mike on port. That allowed John to take the lead to be first at the windward mark followed by Mike, George, Eamonn and Stuart. John pulled away from the chasing pack on the next tight reach. On the run to the leeward mark George pulled in front of Mike, and on a subsequent beat Eamonn managed to climb past Mike to claim third place at the finish.

For the racing on Sunday the Race Officer added an extra mark downwind to take the fleet away from the Contenders beating up the right hand side of the reservoir. At the end of the first downwind leg of Race 5 Eamonn found himself in pole position when approaching the leeward mark, closely followed by John and then George. A discussion broke out between these three leading boats about the correct direction to round the mark. John insisted it was starboard, while Eamonn and George went for a port rounding. Realising his mistake John had to wind himself back dropping him to fourth place and then compounded his error by sailing past the gate before being asked by the Race Officer where he thought he was going. A close contest ensued for the rest of this race between George and Eamonn with George eventually coming out on top.

Despite the course change the gybe mark near the north shore still proved quite a tricky turn, as the Catapults came down at speed meeting with Contenders beating up that shore and needing to tack in the vicinity of the mark. The previous day's racing had taught the Catapults how to negotiate this turn without incident. However, Syd Gage, who had been tempted afloat by the more moderate start to the morning's breeze, had an unfortunate coming together with a Contender in the strengthening wind which resulted in the Contender helm on the wire being caught by Syd's shroud and capsizing. Syd stood by to ensure the helm as all right, which he was, apart from feeling a little bruised.

In Race 6 Mike and Stuart led the fleet across the line up towards the club house shore. John tacked first for the favoured right hand side followed by George and Eamonn. At the first windward mark John was leading George, but George managed to ease ahead downwind and had a narrow lead through the gate. However after the first tack John was back just in the lead, and he managed to hold off further challenges from George, while Eamonn finished a close third.

Fatigue was starting to set in by Race 7, the third back-to-back race in strong winds, and there were added tactical decisions required up the beat to avoid sailing into the club fleets' racing area. A close contest ensued between John, Eamonn and George with their relative positions and distance between them hardly changing for the entire race. As they crossed the line it was John first, Eamonn second and George third.

The fleet came ashore weary but pleased with themselves having enjoyed two days of well managed racing in challenging conditions. With a perfect scoreline (after discarding his one aberrant result) John Terry retained his Northern Championship Trophy. George Evans claimed second place overall, and close behind Mike Gough and Eamon Cotter had to be separated by a tie break that went Mike's way with three second places to Eamonn's two.

In the Catapult Class Association's Personal Handicap Series (run in parallel with the level rating TT Series) George Evans came out on top with Mike Gough in second and Eamonn Cotter in third.


John and Eamonn


Newcomer to the Catapult circuit Eamonn Cotter is sen here chasing Northern Champion John Terry


Mike and Stu


Stuart Ede closes down on Mike Gough on a reach to the wing mark.





Catapult  2021 TT series

Yorkshire Dales SC  TT and Northern Championships
Scratch Results
Rank SailNo HelmName R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 Total Nett
1st 533 John Terry -1 1 1 1 -4 1 1 10 5
2nd 510 George Evans -3 -4 3 2 1 2 3 18 11
3rd 540 Mike Gough 2 2 2 -4 3 -4 4 21 13
4th 520 Eamonn Cotter -4 3 -4 3 2 3 2 21 13
5th 531 Stuart Ede -5 -5 5 5 5 5 5 35 25
6th 506 Syd Gage (8 DNC) (8 DNC) 8 DNC 8 DNC 8 DNC 8 DNC 8 DNC 56 40
6th 244 Damien Cooney (8 DNC) (8 DNC) 8 DNC 8 DNC 8 DNC 8 DNC 8 DNC 56 40
Yorkshire Dales SC  TT and Northern Championships
Handicap Results
Rank SailNo HelmName Rating R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 Total Nett
1st 510 George Evans 895 -2 -2 2 1 1 1 2 11 7
2nd 540 Mike Gough 890 1 1 1 -3 -3 3 3 15 9
3rd 520 Eamonn Cotter 890 -3 -3 3 2 2 2 1 16 10
4th 533 John Terry 815 4 4 4 -5 -5 4 4 30 20
5th 531 Stuart Ede 885 -5 -5 5 4 4 5 5 33 23
6th 506 Syd Gage 940 (8 DNC) (8 DNC) 8 DNC 8 DNC 8 DNC 8 DNC 8 DNC 56 40
6th 244 Damien Cooney 1110 (8 DNC) (8 DNC) 8 DNC 8 DNC 8 DNC 8 DNC 8 DNC 56 40

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