Catapult Catamaran TT Racing at Rutland:
Rutland Open Meeting May 29th-30th

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The Boat

  Catapult made a good decision joining the Sailing Club’s Open meeting for Sunday and Monday of the Bank Holiday (extending the traditional Catapult Rutland event to two days)  Excellent racing in contrasting conditions brushed aside cloud and rain. The Open fleets all used inverted P courses,  suiting the boat, with one windward leeward race for variation. (Click here for more impressions, results table, and pictures)

 Conditions on Sunday tested the seven boats, with strong SW breezes for five (five!) races, with the boats which consistently trapezing holding the advantage On Monday, Rutland shared the day of rain across the country, with a light but steady westerly giving a different challenge.

John Terry dominated the first day, while Alastair Forrest collected seconds behind him. Alastair took both light-wind races the next day for the event win.

                      (Above: John Terry leads Alastair Forrest through the upwind gate, Sunday morning.)
                                                               (All photos Bob Jeynes, Rutland SC)

  New contenders were John Terry’s grandson Callum and Tim Evill, exuberantly pushing a jib-rigged Cannon. They dived and rolled before the first start, but come through to finish 6th, and on Monday morning rejoined the racing (minus jib) to take a 4th.

   The Races

  In Race 1 with the wind piping up the start was messy (hooters unheard and flags distant)  John and Alastair trapezing continuously upwind moved out ahead and built a good lead, with John coming in ahead by 40 seconds.

A few minutes back, George Evans established his grip on third, with Chris Phillips just ahead of Nigel Harrison.

  By the start of  Race 2 the wind picked up further, gusting 7 at times. This time John Terry moved out well ahead trapezing the long beat on a windward-leeward course.

  Alastair, also gaining by trapezing and tacking from the trapeze, had George pushing up to windward behind him, but a deep nose-dive on the final run took George out, recovering quickly enough to gain 4th.

  Meanwhile Nigel had captured third, beginning a sequence where he Chris and Justin Evans had four different combinations of finishing order over five races, excellent racing (and surviving)

(Right: Chris Phillips flies.)
  The lake after lunch looked a daunting arena for three back-to back races. In Race 3, good starts took John and Alastair well away, and again John held the front to lead by a minute at the finish. George again worked off trapeze for third, with Nigel building his time on trapeze to be close behind.

(Left: Nigel at speed  upwind through the gate.)

  By Race 4 the wind had dropped a little, and the helms' greater confidence and  familiarity with the start made it competitive, but still tricky in the gusting breeze, with boats above the true course to the line edging down onto the correct starters.

  Once settled down, John again established his place at the front, held to the end with a minute over Alastair, and George at the same interval again holding third. This time, Justin with the new Hood main out for the second time, captured fourth.

   Race 5 seemed destined to head the same way, with John Terry moving out ahead steadily after a good start, Alastair following and Nigel well up, trapezing consistently, and George pushing up to windward. However, beating on the second lap, John lifted to a gust, crashed back, lost his footing and capsized. Alastair stretched out ahead with George following steadily, while John recovered quickly and set off in pursuit. A two-lap course gave Alastair the win (although in the blustery conditions he missed the hooter, and did another lonely lap) George came in half a boat length ahead of John, hauling up on him on trapeze..

Monday morning brought drifting rain with more forecast, but with a steady light westerly keeping the boats moving out on the water. Three A class cats joined to give the starts some edge, and the two-up Cannon was back, minus jib.

The club set the same inverted P for both back-to back races.

In Race 6 John and Alastair got away well, but the boats starting behind climbed to windward above them, and the fleet arrived tightly bunched at the windward mark.

(Right: George Evans works up to windward in the strong  Sunday breezes)


 George rounded just first, to be caught on the first broad reach by Alastair, with John Terry close behind. Alastair gybed just ahead of a Squib which forced George and John wide at the mark and then sat on them on them slowly down the run.

Alastair extended this gifted lead to take first comfortably, with George leading John in. Again the racing was tight down the fleet, with the Cannon grabbing fourth

  Race 7 saw George away steadily upwind to build a good lead with Justin chasing, and the whole fleet close. Alastair again used the tactic of overstanding before the long final approach to the windward mark, coming in at speed through the calm around the mark, to capture second.

 On the next beat he pulled up on George upwind and the same tactic caught George at the mark, for a short lead extended downwind to the finish.

Justin held third round the two laps, with Chris taking fourth

  (Left: Justin comes through the gate at speed.)

     This was a very successful event, Catapult joining easily into the Open meeting (given its own start on Sunday and joining a fast handicap start on Monday when Nigel reluctantly left for other commitments) with courses suiting the boat, and excellent hospitality on-shore, and equally-good support on the water.

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(Below: Alastair carefully negotiates a win in Race 4, towards the event win.)