Catapult TT at Carsington Cat Open

Saturday September 26th and Sunday September 27th 2009

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Carsington: more photos

The penultimate sailing event in the Catapult calendar, at Carsington Water in the White Peak district of Derbyshire, took place over the weekend of 26 and 27 September. Our TT formed part of the Carsington Cat Open.

An Indian Summer weekend with sun forecast, and the beautiful race setting  brought a ten-entry fleet (giving Catapults their own start, with the traditional large Dart 15 attendance, and an Open fleet.) (Click for Race Report)

Catapults at Carsington Water


The Unofficial Carsington report                   from Nigel Harrison


Only ten Catapults arrived at sunny Carsington this weekend.Paul had broken down on the way to the race and never made it Otherwise it should have been eleven

The weather was like the Greek Islands as we assembled our boats on the chalky beach
Jo and Cliff had parked up their supa motor home and placed the deckchairs for the spectators

Later I spotted Barbara, Jo and Sue drinking cocktails there

Thank you to Dave, Happy John and Cliff for helping me with my difficult hulls
Gareth and Stuart were final tuning their boats in an enclosed Team Ede pit area

Dave and Neal were serene having arrived the night before and assembled their boats. Alastair was carefully reading the sailing instruction for any loop hole in the laws

Right: Dave Jennings and Neil Graneau contest Race 3

(Photos: Pauline Love)
catapults racing at carsington


catapult racing

11 O'clock and it was time for briefing

Justin and Chris arrived with boats still on their cars

How would they make the start in 30minutes?

They wouldn't


Even though we only had 10 boats

We had earned our own start


The hooter went and I suffered my usual bad start

Followed by more mistakes

I finished the race and eventually retired to come last

Just in time to see Justin join the fleet for a practice lap

After lunch I had hope for better things.Chris joined us with his new competitive rig

I think I saw him lying second at one point

Left: Gareth Ede sets out past the Darts to hunt down Stuart Ede, and the series title)



In the second race Alastair taught me what no barging rights mean (So that was what he was reading up)

The argy bargy cost me a competitive start and then I lost my mast on the first mark.


From the very back of the fleet I did see Justin coming the other way

He gave me a V sign to signify he was lying second

"Well done" I sportingly shouted


Waiting for the third race I noticed half the Dart fleet start on the Port side of the line

Stuart had taught me about looking for a Port bias in the line

With 2 minutes 37 seconds to go I traversed the line to the port mark closely followed by Stuart, Cliff and Neal


(Right: Dave leads Nigel  and Cliff at the top mark.)


catapults at the windward mark



Stuart made the best start and after a lap or two I was lying second Flicked the V sign at Justin but he was too far back to see me.Cliff, Neal and I swapped position on every mark Gareth and Alastair overtook from nowhere

I eventually finished fourth Having made few mistakes, hit no-one and sailed the proper course

Very proud on myself A great days sailing  Wish you could have been there


I unfortunately had to miss the dinner (Thank you Jo for organising it) and Sunday's sailing (I had to take my daughter to University) What a great weekend - only one more race to go

(more Carsington photos: click here)



The Races


The predicted light wind filled in from the NW, 2-3, swinging through both days as far as NNW. Fluctuating wind strength, added to the challenge of threading through the Dart fleet (starting ten minutes ahead on the same course) gave an absorbing tactical as well as boat-speed battle.


In close racing, seven minutes covered the whole fleet in some races (and in Race 2, thirty-three seconds covered 5 finishers)


The Club set a port 4-point trapezoid course suiting everyone over the 5 races of the series.

catapult catamarans in close downwind racing


In Race 1, Alastair Forrest capitalised  a good start to lead round the windward mark, closely chased by Stuart Ede, but Gareth Ede pulling up had caught them by the end of the lap, and he went on to hold the lead under pressure. These three built a solid lead, Stuart and Alastair exchanging second until Stuart led home by a few lengths

In the chasing pack, Neil Graneau and John Peperall exchanged places until Neil defended fourth.


Gareth stormed away from the Race 2 start and kept unchallenged boat speed to record his second win.


Justin Evans climbed up the second beat to capture second from Stuart holding him off for a lap until Stuart confirmed another second place, getting away from the fleet. Chris Phillips made a sudden gain to record third, and Neil Graneau came steadily up through the fleet for fourth

For the next back-to-back Race 3, a big pre-start shift made only a start on port possible, stranding half of the fleet at the starboard end of the long line.

close catapult action


                                         (Above right: Cliff concentrating on closing Alastair out of the mark, the race and the photo)


Stuart Alastair and Neil were away well, and Stuartís long board up the right, and tacking on the shifts stretched him out ahead. Gareth came gradually up from the back to lie second after the second beat but could not finally catch Stuart for first.


The rest of the fleet battled out the places back and forth, until Alastair on the final downwind legs moved just ahead of a mass of Darts and Catapults to get away for third, and Nigel Harrison emerged from the resulting pile-up for fourth. Thirty-three seconds covered 5 boats.

perfect port start

Sunday brought cloud cover over the same shifting NW---NNW breeze, and the same tactical challenge of playing the shifts over short laps. Nigel Harrison resigned to spend more time with his family, but a good fleet came to the two back to back races.
For Race 4 Garethís well-timed start got him away at speed, to stretch out ahead again. Alastair and Stuart went right to build on a good start and were disappointed, but Stuart again played the shifts well to gain and hold second.
 Meanwhile Dave Jennings pulled out from the rest, maintaining a storming race in third, never challenged, and Cliff Antill held a similarly comfortable fourth.
Another big shift gave a big port bias to the final Race 5, with Gareth away well from the port starters, while a tangle on the start line let the starboard starters catch up. In the battle back and forth for places,

 (Above: Stuart and Alastair get an ideal port end start, Race 3)


John Peperall had good boat speed upwind to hold second until Cliff came through to take and hold it. Gareth was first through the Dart pack, and clear air helped him stretch away


 Stuart steadily overcame setbacks to come through the fleet to catch Cliff at the windward mark, and duel downwind. In the shifting air of the final short beat, Cliff crossed a few seconds ahead. Alastair after exchanging places all round the course with Neil and John had enough on the final legs for fourth. 



Final Results


1      Gareth Ede              (Filey SC)             4 points

2      Stuart Ede               (Filey SC)             7

3      Alastair Forrest       (CCA)                  16

4      Cliff Antill                (CCA)                    18

5      Neil Graneau           (CCA)                   18

6      Dave Jennings        (Aquarius SC)     25

7      John Peperall          (CCA)                    27

8      Justin Evans            (CCA)                   29

9      Chris Phillips           (CCA)                   31

10    Nigel Harrison         (CCA)                   31

                                          (Right: John Pep mixes it with the Darts)  

john Pep deals with Darts



catamarans running free. 

Gareth Ede on his successful hunt from the back in Race 3