On the weekend of 13/14 April the Dart 15s met at Marconi for the first event of the 2002 Traveller's series. 13 travellers joined 8 locals to make an entry of 21 competitors. For the start of the season there was a training theme to the event and competitors were paired up into Pros and Ams to receive ‘one-on-one’ coaching. The first race on Saturday was a one-lap practice for the Pros to give their Ams some on the water tips and it was Geoff Howlett who was first to finish from local fleet captain Tim Dowley. Then the real racing commenced in a stiff northerly breeze and a choppy sea. First to the windward mark was George Carter, followed by Peter Tovey and Bob Carter. Youngsters, Richard Hanby and Sam Jones, sailed through the fleet during the race to take the gun some way ahead of the next boat of Peter Tovey. For the second race the race officers, Dave Williams and Steve Monks, lengthened the course by putting in a long reaching sausage alongside Osea Island. The wind had freshened and it was an enjoyable thrash around the cans. George Carter was the first to the finish but was deemed OCS thus the race winner was Steve Hanby from Tim Dieu de Bellefontaine, who was revelling in the fresh conditions, and was just ahead of R Carter.
On Saturday evening class chairman, Nick Dewhirst, gave a demonstration of race tactics with a difference (with knives on a table) in the bar and this developed into a disco and social to round off the day.
On Sunday there was much less wind and the practice (Pro-Am) lap had to be shortened to get on with the serious racing. In the third race the tide represented a serious challenge in the light wind and the fleet walled-up after turning into the tide at the windward mark. The wind filled to favour the centre-channel boats and it was Gordon Goldstone, Nick Dewhirst, Paul Smith and George Stephen who were the first group to the second mark. The mark was bad news for a number of the following boats who were swept onto the mark and had penalty turns to perform. By the time of the forth mark G. Carter was in the lead but on rounding the buoy the wrong way had to unwind and let the others past once more. Dewhirst, Smith and Hanby rounded the wrong yellow wing mark and had to return losing many places. At the finish it was G Carter from Jenny Ball, Geoff Howlett and G. Stephen - who had been second up to the last few feet when he mounted a mooring buoy and parked letting two boats by!
The final race was a one-lap race of Osea island. Sprinter and new Dart 15 owner, Will Edwards, led the fleet for much of the lap but could not shake off local lass, Jenny Ball, who won the race on handicap from R Carter and S. Hanby.
Thus after an enjoyable regatta, S Hanby (4,1,3) won the event from R Carter (3,3,2) on a count-back with the locals of Ball and Tovey taking the next places.
|Richard Hanby & Sam Jones||1769||916||1||8||12||6||15||5|
|Tim Dieu De Bellefontaine||1898||916||14||2||9||4||15||6|
|Hilary Dieu De Bellefontaine||1876||916||22||14||21||19||54||18|
Sprint Results: 1st G. Carter (Grafham), 2nd W. Edwards (Grafham)