On Sunday 21/22 April the Dart 15 fleet visited Swanage for the first event of the 2001 travellers series. It was good to see two father/son teams (Henry + Oliver Clark and Steve + David Littlejohn) entering, which is the first time for some time we have had family teams in the TT series.
The wind on Saturday morning was less than the forecast and the proceedings kicked off in a easterly force 2. Race officers, Terry Warren and David Chalcraft set a trapezoidal and Steve Littlejohn, who has not raced for some time, went around getting tips on how to sail a Dart 15 two-up. He clearly listened as he sailed straight off into an early lead. At the first mark it was Littlejohn from Philip Howden and George Stephen, who was sailing Sprint mode. During the ensuing lap Nick Dewhirst and Gordon Goldstone sailed through the fleet to take second and third places (from Erling Holmberg), but they could not make contact with Steve & David Littlejohn who took the gun. By the afternoon race the wind had swung to Southerly and picked up. Nick Dewhirst sailed into an early lead from Littlejohn and the Clark boat. Goldstone, pointing high took up the lead on the second lap. At the finish George Stephen (sailing Sprint) was the first across the line but the places went to Goldstone, Dewhirst, Bob Carter, Howden and Geoff Howlett.
Sunday was overcast with a force 5-6 south westerly wind which whipped up a big swell out of the bay. Race 3 was exciting sailing (especially surfing down the large waves out to sea) and saw a number of capsizes. Dewhirst and Carter tore off into the lead, but the race was abandoned on the second lap when the wing mark was swept over the dangerous Peveril Ledge. The competitors went back for an early lunch while the rescue team set about recovery of the missing buoy. After lunch, a smaller course was set to avoid the high seas and Peveril Ledge. A reduced fleet enjoyed an exciting sail which was lead from start to finish by Carter. The Clark boat was second but Dewhirst came back form an early swim to take 3rd place and the regatta from Goldstone by 2 seconds.
Thus the final result was Dewhirst winning by a point from Goldstone in an exciting weekend sailing. The next Dart 15 traveller event is 19/20 May at Rutland Water Sailing Club.
|2nd||G. Goldstone||Queen Mary||8pts|
|4th||S. & D. Littlejohn||Swanage||11pts|
|5th||H. & O. Clark||Swanage||20pts|
|1st||G. Stephen||Catamaran YC|