A great start to the 2002 season with ten Dart 18s and five Dart 16s racing. Two of the 18s were new to the fleet – Paul and Michelle Roberts moving up to 18s from 16s and new members Chris Aspinall and Anna Lindsey.
Race 1 began belatedly with everyone misjudging the start against the strong tide (it’s a warm up, remember). Will, Pete and Chris Aspinall moved into the leading positions with places changing regularly round the course. James, who missed the start by minutes, caught up with the fleet on the third lap but it was in vain. Nobody realised at the time, but the race was finished after two laps. After a great scrap Pete won from Will with Chris third and Mark E fourth.
Race 2 – An interesting start with Paul Roberts dragging the start mark upwind and most of the rest of the fleet over the line. Despite having to go back, Will and Pete charged back up the fleet with Pete rounding the first mark in the lead. James followed round soon after and the three boats scrapped it out for the rest of the race with Chris Aspinall chasing. James barged(!) past and made it to the front at the end of the second lap and went on to win from Pete, Will and Chris.
Race 3 – On the changing tide everyone was now warmed up and showed it by queuing up early to start. Paul, and James were deemed to be over the line but continued unaware of the signals. The first beat was hectic, with a failing wind and a racing tide the fleet was close at the first mark with James, Pete and Will within a couple of boat lengths. James was soon made aware of his infringement giving Will the lead. This lead extended with Pete capsizing and losing second to Chris Aspinall on the second lap. Will disappeared over the horizon while Chris lost second to Pete after hitting a mark. Mark C pushed hard and came in a good fourth ahead of Simon.
Dart 16 report to follow.