Catapult Catamaran TT : September 24-25th
Carsington Water Cat Open 

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The Boat


   For the Saturday set of back to back races the club set Olympic courses, with the big Sprint fleet on a separate inverted P, with a final short reach to the finish from the bottom mark, giving interesting tactics (beating on port to the windward mark through the running Sprint fleet) and demanding duties on the Committee boat recording the fleets.

  In Race 1 Gareth powered away from the middle of the line, comfortably trapezing and building up good lead with John Terry up with him. Others tryining trapezing gained nothing, pointing lower to keep enough power and coming back in. Justin Evans with the new Hood sail was well up until a shroud slipped the cam cleat. Alastair Forrest from a slow start and slow first beat pulled up slowly, and Paul Ellis, coming up through the fleet from being way back at the start took third.

 Below: event winner for the Catapults and the Open fleet, John Terry, gets away at the start

                                                                                                                                  (All Photos by Pauline Love CWSC)

 In Race 2, on the windward-leeward course, John and Alastair had good starts midway down the line and, pulled a little away, with Gareth faster to leeward but not gaining. Alastair just held the lead from John at the windward and leeward marks, with the John taking it back upwind, being taken again downwind and then holding a lead from the beat. The fleet behind was pulling up when a shortened course signal went up, and John dived down to the line Alastair with Paul close behind Paul was convinced the Open class flag was not flying, and started off again on the beat, only to see Paul and then Gareth bearing off for guns. He spun round, to cross ahead of George. Stuart following confirmed Gareth’s belief that the Open fleet had not been shortened and they set out to complete a further lap. (See below for outcome)

  In Race 3  John was again away well in the middle of line, but this time the boats competing for the starboard committee Boat end lifted over the fleet and George Evans was defending a useful lead to lead at top. Paul Ellis came from through the fleet to battle John around the course, to then catch George and take the first. John past George who defended the third place but was finally overhauled by Gareth. In a close battle for the other places, Alastair held out for fifth.

         (Below: George Evans checks out a crowded start)

 Sunday arrived cloudy, with a little more breeze, round to the west and staying gusty and shifting. Lighter helms (the emerging “top three” for the event) could now trapeze the beat, For the two back to back races, the complexities of the courses were ironed out into shared windward-leeward courses, with heavy advice on finishing from the RIB

n Race 4 John was again away fast in the middle of the line, with Gareth fast below him, and George again working effectively upwind from the pin end off trapeze, this front three being pushed by Paul. John held the lead to the end, and Paul and trhen Gareth got past George. Behind, Alastair and Stuart fought a tactical battle upwind (trying the left and right sides of the beat) and downwind, exchanging places until Alastair took the final run  

A close start and first beat for Race 5 saw gains for those electing to go far left, with Gareth Paul and Alastair around first, with John closing in having gone to the right, catching Alastair and then Gareth on the next beat. Paul held out for the win as the front three pulled away again, battling closely. This trime Gareth took John for second. George again worked well to windward after a slow start, threatening Alastair who held on to the fourth place.
(Below: there are four Catapults  in this picture and no hull to be seen--George (left, facing camera) has Stuart coming behind to the mark (yellow hulls, obscured) and Chris Phillips and Nigel Harrison chasing down behind.)

     The Catapult post-mortem on Race 2 concluded that only the positions at the last leeward mark were a safe measure, sportingly accepted by Paul as it dropped him behind John with the discard taken.

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