Article originally published on Yachts & Yachting
All photos © Brian Phipps
Easter weekend saw the first GP of the season for the Dart 18 fleet. Held at Dee Sailing Club, an old favourite of the class, we eagerly anticipated the 3-day event organised for us. With people arriving on Good Friday there was the usual high jinks and prank playing whilst 27 crews rigged their boats, and of course the occasional trip to the bar!
Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny, if with very little wind to speak of. A short briefing saw the fleet changed and launching the boats… before taking 45 minutes to drift to the start! The first race eventually got underway, though in very changeable winds, including having boats sailing upwind at the start, but in different directions! David Lloyd and Hayley Smith (SBSC) eventually won the race and went on to hold the lead throughout the event.
With the wind building slightly the next two races were slightly quicker and the second race was again won by Lloyd & Smith, but it was a closely fought battle with Will Thompson & Anne-Marie Clarke (Dee) coming 2nd, Mike Gomme & Will Bell (RYYC) 3rd. Lloyd and. Smith completed their winning streak in the 3rd race, followed again by Thompson & Clarke, with Chris Goymer & Jenni Donovan (IOSSC) 3rd.
Saturday night saw the first of two Dee parties, with the Magical Mystery Tour playing us in to the night.
Sunday morning was windier, and not appreciated by those who had enjoyed themselves a little too much the night before! The first race got under way on time, and Lloyd &. Smith continued their winning streak from the day before, followed by Mat Exon & Gary Freeman (RYYC) 2nd & Paul Roberts and Hannah Smith (Dee) 3rd. Race 2 on Sunday saw some arguments on the start line as the fleet tried to tuck themselves around the committee boat, with Lloyd &. Smith getting caught up in it, allowing Exon and Freeman to take the lead and hold it to the finish, followed by Mike Moruzzi & Michelle Blakemore (Dee) 2nd, Goymer & Donovan 3rd.
With the wind well and truly built in the 3rd race of the day, and the weather getting more ominous by the second the fleet were keen to start and get ashore before the sky got any greyer! Lloyd & Smith took off in flying fashion and crossed the finish line closely followed by Exon & Freeman 2nd, & Marco Manganelli & Paul Oliver 3rd.
Monday; the final day, for which the fleet were glad… we were tired! Again very little wind and with the forecast set to drop further the R.O and team had us changed and launched in a jiffy. Race 1 was a drift rather than a race, and it definitely paid to go in shore. With the R.O deciding to finish the race on the 2nd lap Exon & Freeman took 1st, Goymer & Donovan 2nd and local boat James. and Alison Douglas 3rd.
With the wind dropping more and more rapidly it was not looking hopeful for the final race, but deciding to plough ahead, the R.O organised a second start, and we were visited by a brief (as long as the race) increase in wind speed which saw some out on trapeze. With Douglas & Douglas springing a Port Flyer on the fleet they sling shotted themselves in to 1st position, a place where though the fleet tried they could not catch up! It was then a closely fought battle between Lloyd & Smith, Goymer &. Donovan for 2nd and 3rd position. With the wind dying at the fleet approached the final lap the. Douglas’ crossed first, followed by Lloyd & Smith 2nd, & Goymer & Donovan 3rd.
1st D. Lloyd & H. Smith, 11pts
2nd M. Exon & G. Freeman, 20pts
3rd J. & A. Douglas, 29pts
4th C. Goymer & J. Donovan, 34pts
5th M. Moruzzi & M. Blakemore, 50pts
6th G. & J. Lloyd, 54pts