Catapult TT at Carsington Cat Open

Saturday September 26th and Sunday September 27th 2009

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The penultimate sailing event in the Catapult calendar, at Carsington Water in the White Peak district of Derbyshire, took place over the weekend of 26 and 27 September. Our TT formed part of the Carsington Cat Open.

An Indian Summer weekend with the forecast of sun, and the beautiful race setting  brought a ten-entry fleet (giving Catapults their own start, with the traditional large Dart 15 attendance, and an Open fleet.)


The predicted light wind filled in from the NW, 2-3, swinging through both days as far as NNW. Fluctuating wind strength, adding to the challenge of threading through the Dart fleet (starting ten minutes ahead on the same course) gave an absorbing tactical as well as boat-speed battle.


In close racing, seven minutes covered the whole fleet in some races (and in Race 2, thirty-three seconds covered 5 finishers)


The Club set a port 4-point trapezoid course suiting everyone over the 5 races of the series.


In Race 1, Alastair Forrest capitalised  a good start to lead round the windward mark, closely chased by Stuart Ede, but Gareth Ede pulling up had caught them by the end of the lap, and he went on to hold the lead under pressure. These three built a solid lead, Stuart and Alastair exchanging second until Stuart led home by a few lengths


In the chasing pack, Neil Graneau and John Peperall exchanged places until Neil defended fourth.


Gareth stormed away from the Race 2 start and kept unchallenged boat speed to record his second win.


Justin Evans climbed up the second beat to capture second from Stuart holding him off for a lap until Stuart confirmed another second place, getting away from the fleet. Chris Phillips made a sudden gain to record third, and Neil Graneau came steadily up through the fleet for fourth


For the next back-to-back Race 3, a big pre-start shift made only a start on port possible, stranding half of the fleet at the starboard end of the long line.


Alastair Stuart and Neil were away well, and Stuart’s long board up the right, and tacking on the shifts stretched him out ahead. Gareth came gradually up from the back to lie second after the second beat but could not finally catch Stuart for first.


The rest of the fleet battled out the places back and forth, until Alastair on the final downwind legs moved just ahead of a mass of Darts and Catapults to get away for third, and Nigel Harrison emerged from the resulting pile-up for fourth. Thirty-three seconds covered 5 boats.


Sunday brought cloud cover over the same shifting NW---NNW breeze, and the same tactical challenge of playing the shifts over short laps. Nigel Harrison resigned to spend more time with his family, but a good fleet came to the two back to back races.


For Race 4 Gareth’s well-timed start got him away at speed, to stretch out ahead again. Alastair and Stuart went right to build on a good start and were disappointed, but Stuart again played the shifts well to gain and hold second.


 Meanwhile Dave Jennings pulled out from the rest, maintaining a storming race in third, never challenged, and Cliff Antill held a similarly comfortable fourth.


Another big shift gave a big port bias to the final Race 5, with Gareth away well from the port starters, while a tangle on the start line let the starboard starters catch up.


 In the battle back and forth for places, John Peperall had good boat speed upwind to hold second until Cliff came through to take and hold it. Gareth was first through the Dart pack, and clear air helped him stretch away


 Stuart steadily overcame setbacks to come through the fleet to catch Cliff at the windward mark, and duel downwind. In the shifting air of the final short beat, Cliff crossed a few seconds ahead. Alastair, after exchanging places all round the course with Neil and John, had enough on the final legs for fourth. .


Final Results


1      Gareth Ede              (Filey SC)             4 points

2      Stuart Ede               (Filey SC)             7

3      Alastair Forrest       (CCA)                  16

4      Cliff Antill                (CCA)                   18

5      Neil Graneau           (CCA)                   18

6      Dave Jennings        (Aquarius SC)      25

7      John Peperall          (CCA)                    27

8      Justin Evans            (CCA)                   29

9      Chris Phillips           (CCA)                    31

10    Nigel Harrison         (CCA)                    31

Below: waiting for the start at Carsington 2008                      (photo CSC)

waiting to start:Carsington 2008

There is no camping on the club grounds, but there are camp sites nearby. The nearer ones are listed overleaf with their distance from the Club. For B&B accommodation try the tourist information office on 01335 343666, or, if you have access to the web, try Googling for Derbyshire tourist information websites.

The social side
Cliff is looking into organizing an evening meal. He will let attendees know separately where and when this will be. One option may be to join in with the evening meal being offered by the Club, though places will be limited.

Lots to see and do
As always we have selected Carsington not just for its great sailing but also for its location. It is in the White Peak, close to the Peak District National Park, and offers wonderful walking. Beautiful Dove Dale is just a few miles away. Stately homes abound, like Chatsworth, Haddon Hall, Market House, Kedleston Hall and Wingfield Manor.

 The picturesque towns of Matlock Bath (take the cable car up the Heights of Abraham), Bakewell and Buxton offer lots to do and see, and then there is the Alton Towers theme park as well. For those interested in transport there is the Peak Railway and a Tramway Museum to be visited. So Carsington could be the centrepiece of a super holiday or long weekend break.

Caravan and Camping Sites

Caravan and Camping Sites
Blackwall Caravan Site (0.5 m but No Tents)
Kirk Ireton
01335 370903

Closes Caravan Park (2 m)
01335 343191

George Kirkham (200 metres)
01629 540208

Knockerdown Pub (0.5 m)
01629 540209

The Ketch
01335 342341


. Below: easing along in Autumn sunshine: Carsington Cat Open 2008

 (photo CSC)