Beaver S.C. hosted the 2002 event on Sat/Sun 20th and 21st July, and was attended by 9 local boats plus 6 visitors from Angmering, Queen Mary, Grafham, Rutland and Grimwith.
Race one started in an extremely fickle 5-10 knot breeze with Richard Hanby 1st to the windward mark, followed by Barrie Hoggard and Steve Sawford. As the race progressed, Paul Smith came through to second for a time before being dumped in a hole along with Sawford, and went down the pan. Meanwhile Hoggard was still plugging away and ultimately found a lift which took him to the front to give him the first win of the day, followed by Austin Flather and Richard Hanby, all from Beaver.
Race two began in slightly more wind which had changed to a North-Westerly, and with a heavily port-biased line, it was Smith who shot off into a comfortable lead for over a lap, but the fickle breeze started playing tricks again, and in one leg, with the wind shifting dramatically and un-predictably, George Stephen suddenly found himself in the lead, followed by Sawford who had actually come through from last place! Later in the race, a thunderstorm blew through, increasing the wind strength, but changing the direction, and continued to juggle the players around at will. On the final beat, Richard Hanby managed to get past Sawford and took line honours, with Stephen finally holding on to 3rd place, and that concluded the day's racing, with everyone tucking into an evening meal at the club, ably provided by the Beaver ladies.
Sunday awoke to a lively breeze of around 15 knots, after a howling gale had passed through during the night, and promised plenty of action for race 3. Paul Smith again made the windward mark first, and looked to be establishing a comfortable lead, but the chasing boats of Flather and Steve Hanby slowly but surely reeled him in, and by the last lap, Hanby had taken charge with Smith still clinging on to second. Flather decided to go the opposite side on the last beat, to give himself a chance of second, but he didn't look like making it until Smith's final tack for the line caused both rudders to come up, giving Flather the opportunity to claim second after all.
Race 4 started in similar conditions, but with a stabilising wind direction, Steve Hanby soon stamped his authority and opened up almost a full leg lead from Hanby junior, Sawford and Smith. As the race developed, all three chasing boats were closing back again, but Sawford dropped off the back as Smith got the beat right for a change. So the race ended with Hanby senior still holding station, closely followed by Hanby junior then Smith, and that concluded the weekend's event after some of the most un-predictable conditions the club has experienced.
With a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place therefore, it was Richard Hanby who deservedly became the new Dart 15 Northern Champion, thereby retaining the trophy by Beaver S.C.
Prizes were awarded to all competitors, and Beaver extends it's thanks to the visitors who made the effort to attend, in particular Alan Welman all the way from Worthing, Gordon Goldstone and George Stephen from Queen Mary. Thanks also to Phillip Howden, Steve Sawford and Ian Smith for helping to make the event a successful weekend's racing, and one which the club would be happy to repeat.
|1st||Richard Hanby 1451||Beaver|
|2nd||Steve Hanby 1869||Beaver|
|3rd||Austin Flather 1808||Beaver|
|4th||Steve Sawford 1733||Rutland|
|5th||Barry Hoggard 1815||Beaver|
|6th||Paul Smith 1961||Beaver|
|7th||George Stephen 1594||Queen Mary|
|8th||Philip Howden 1939||Grafham|
|9th||Matthew Smith 1900||Beaver|
|10th||Gordon Goldstone 1918||Queen Mary|
|11th||Neil Storr 1715||Beaver|
|12th||Daniel Burkill 1543||Beaver|
|13th||Ian Smith 1955||Grimwith|
|14th||Alan Welman 1922||Open Dinghy Club, Angmering|
|15th||Nathan Cooke 1769||Beaver|