Shearwater Catamaran 2003 Results
Shearwaters at Grafham Water Sailing Club
by Richard Hamblin & Bob Carter October 2003
15 Shearwaters attended the final event of the 2003 TT series at the, as usual, superbly organised combined Catamaran Open at Grafham Water over the weekend of the 11th and 12th of October.
6 races were scheduled to be sailed over a traditional Olympic style course, with very light and shifty breeze the order of the day on Saturday.
Race 1 was lead at the windward mark by Richard Hamblin and Laura Brown sailing China Crisis followed closely by Alan and Jenny Howland sailing Cat et Al et Jen with the rest of the fleet close behind. After the 2nd round the wind dropped away and shifted allowing Geoff and Jack Tindale sailing Dilligaf, and Dan Tindale and Lee Saunders sailing Caned & Unable to pass the leading 2 boats. China Crisis was able to slip through on the next downwind leg to retake the lead, which they held to the finish closely followed by Dilligaf and Caned & Unable.
Race 2 was sailed in similar conditions and once again it was China Crisis, Dilligaf, Caned & Unable and Cat et Al et Jen making up the leading bunch. With the wind dropping away throughout the race it was shortened with China Crisis taking first, Dilligaf second and Nigel Stuart and Sarah Howland sailing Sim Sek slipped through to grab third. At this point the fleet called it a day.
Races 3,4 & 5 were sailed in all but perfect conditions with an Easterly force 3 – 4 with plenty of shifts and gusts to catch people out on a crowded course. The early leaders in Race 3 were Caned & Unable, China Crisis and Dilligaf with Ben and Jamie Farnborough sailing Genesis, much happier in the windier conditions close on their heels. China Crisis and Dilligaf were able to break away slightly and swapped the lead several times, until China Crisis, whilst leading pushed a touch to hard and grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory, taking an unwanted swim. This allowed Dilligaf to take the lead with Cat et Al et Jen and Sin Sek having joined the fight with Genesis in a close duel behind. Dilligaf took the win with Genesis grabbing Second and Cat et Al et Jen third.
In Race 4 Genesis took the early lead from China Crisis with Caned & Unable and Cat et Al et Jen close behind. Again the leading 2 were able to create a very slight lead and fought another close duel swapping the lead with China Crisis just having the edge. Going into the final run Genesis was able to slip past China Crisis to take a well deserved Victory with China Crisis second and Cat et Al et Jen third.
In race 5 it was Genesis again taking the early lead and this they managed to stretch throughout the race never being troubled. Behind them was a different story, with Cat et Al et Jen in second having a ring side seat for the fight for 3rd to 5th between Shaun Allen and Amy Tindale sailing Take 5, Derek Williams and Charlotte Duck sailing UFO and China Crisis. These three seldom being more than 10 feet apart around the course none really breaking away until the final round where all 3 managed to pass the unfortunate Cat et al et Jen with Take 5 taking second UFO 3rd and China Crisis 4th.
Report from the Race Officer (Bob Carter):
There were 16 entries in the Shearwater fleet at the Grafham Catamaran Open 0n 11 / 12 October. On Saturday the weather was warm with a very light Westerly wind and the Shearwaters were set an Olympic Course so that they could get the maximum benefit from their spinakers. In the first race there was little to separate the boats of Richard Hamblin/Laura Brown and Jeff & Jack Tindale but it was the Hamblin boat which won from the Tindales. Dan Tindale and Lee Saunders were third making it a Stone S.C. 1,2,3. The second race followed back-to-back with race one but the wind progressively died through the race making it a long drawn out affair. Fortunately, most boats managed a finish and once again it was the Hamblin boat, which took the gun from J&J Tindale but Nigel Stuart and Sarah Howland were third braking up the Stone monopoly. There was then no wind and racing was abandoned for the day.
Sunday was much better. A fresh Easterly force 3-4 wind developed and the 3 races were sailed, once again on an Olympic Course with the other fleets going around the outside on a trapezoidal course. The leading Hamblin/Brown boat capsized in the first race of the day giving the others a chance and Nick Champion a photo shooting opportunity (see photo attached). The J & J Tindale boat took it’s first gun of the weekend from Ben & Jamie Farnborough in second and Alan & Jenny Howard in third, who were by now enjoying the fresher breeze. The forth race developed into an exciting scrap at the front between mssrs. Hamblin, Howards and J&J Tindale until the Tindale boat was involved in a heavy collision with a Dart, retired damaged and took no further part in the regatta. At the finish the sequence was Farnboroughs from Hamblin/Brown and the Howards were third again. The fifth and final race was sailed back to back and was once again an exciting thrash sailed in a force 4 Easterly Breeze. The Farnborough boat opened up an enormous lead and was never seriously challenged showing this team’s dominance in stronger winds. The battle for second place was intense but it was the multi coloured (2005) boat of Shaun Allen / Amy Tinboys which held off the challenge of Derek Williams / Charlotte Duck who had to settle for third. At the end the fleet were begging for mercy after 3 one hour races back to back in stiff breezes, but at least it made up for the drifting conditions of Saturday!
1st - China Crisis - Richard Hamblin & Laura Brown
2nd - Genesis - Ben Farnborough & Jamie Farnborough
3rd - Cat et Al et Jen - Alan Howland & Jenny Howland
4th - UFO - Derek Williams & Charlotte Duck
5th - Caned & Unable - Dan Tindale & Lee Saunders
6th - Sim Sek - Nigel Stuart & Sarah Howland