Carsington Cat Open, 27-28th September 2003

Location: Carsington Sailing Club, Near Matlock.

Eighteen Dart15's turned up for the two-day Northern Championship event at Carsington reservoir, Derbyshire, on the 27th-28th September. The weather was pleasantly mild and sunny however wind conditions were light and variable in direction, despite this, five dart 15s opted to sail in the sprint mode obviously hoping for stronger winds, also an indication of the popularity of the twin sail trapeze format. The first race started at noon with wind strength 3-4 mph. It was a good start with most boats heading off on starboard tack, halfway up the first beat Norman Grum (Carsington) who had been squeezed out at the start line decided to tack off onto port and was rewarded 30 seconds later with a massive lift towards the first mark of a square course. As we watched the lone dart 15 sail past the rest of the fleet, the wind slowly died and by the second mark the fleet had split in two. The front half of the fleet got the last breaths of wind to take them to the finish line, leaving the unlucky boats to battle home with barely any wind. Norman Grum now "local hero" took first place, second George Carter and third Phil Howden, the last boat finishing one hour fifteen minutes after the leader. An attempt was made to start race two, however, wind conditions dropped to nothing and the lake became a mirror, with this, racing was abandoned for the day and activity in the bar commenced, celebrating Grums' first Open win.

Day two saw a slight improvement in the wind strength with a giddy 5-6 mph. The second race saw Bob Carter and Jack Thompson storm away in front of the fleet to take first and second place, G Carter finishing third. At the rear of the fleet, grid lock seemed to have taken over with a number of boats in irons after tacking short to make mark three, Jerry Hampshire, George Love, Allen Welman and Ray Gall all in jovial mood by this time. Race three was a square course and the wind had picked up a little. George and Bob Carter closely pursued by Richard Hanby were up at the front until Tom Gall sailed past them on the down wind leg, as they all sheeted in around mark 3, Bob Carter who was to windward and in second place accidentally brushed up against Tom, costing Bob a 360 penalty and dropping him to fourth. Tom won with Richard Hanby close in second, G Carter even closer in third. Further celebration for local Carsington sailor Tom Gall achieving his first Open win.

In Race four ,a figure of eight course was set but the wind was as fickle as ever and swinging. Bob Carter and Ray Gall managed to get away to clean air and by the second mark were well clear of the fleet. Richard Hanby battled strongly over the three-lap race but was unable to make sufficient ground to challenge for second place across the line.

Ray Gall.

Overall Results
1st George Carter Grafham 11pts
2nd Bob Carter Grafham 12pts
3rd Richard Hanby Beaver 16 pts
4th Tom Gall Carsington 20 pts
5th Jack Thompson Carsington 20 pts
6th Philip Howden Grafham 23 pts
7th Gordon Goldstone Queen Mary 31 pts

Sprint Format Results
1st Jerry Hampshire Carsington
2nd Norman Grum Carsington
3rd Ray Gall Carsington

For the full results, checkout the results for the series so far.

George Carter
George Carter, Northern Champion.