Catapult Northerns at Yorkshire Dales SC
October 11th-12th

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The Boat

  For the 2015 Northern Championships, the fleet was back at Yorkshire Dales on October 10th-11th, home club of Gareth and Stuart Ede, alongside the Contenders and a big fleet of Code Zero's for their Northerns.

 The high pressure clamped over the British Isles set the breeze as easterly, down the length of the lake. On Saturday, the light winds remained easily sailable. The Club set a square port-rounding course, squeezed by the lake. In the light breeze,  Catapult remained a bit quicker than the two monohull fleets, so threading through the Code Zero's downwind at at marks gave some careful tactical decisions.

 In Race 1, Alastair Forrest and John Peperell used good starboard-end starts to lead away to a useful lead, only to see the fleet behind get a big lift across the lake to the upwind mark, with John Terry and George Evans in the lead, held round the next of the two laps. Gareth Ede came through to take third.

(Below: the fleet swinging round the gybe mark, Day 1, to start the run down the lake.)

 Race 2 followed back-to-back, with the breeze shifting to give a port-end advantage, and Alastair, Stuart Ede and Syd Gage using this carried out to the left of the beat for a useful gain. Gareth and John T worked up through the fleet to set up their battle for the event, and close racing behind saw George come up for the third, and Syd hold on to his early gains for the fourth.

The course for  Race 3 following back to back extended the beat and run. A tight starboard end start saw Stuart pushed over the line, and after collisions in the fleet, Gareth and Alastair emerged usefully ahead, with Gareth stretching out for a good lead to the finish. John T and Stuart went well right up the first beat, losing out, but John came back to pressure George round and round the course, George holding out for the third place.

(Right: Stuart focusses on the beat as Syd (camera) chases him round the bottom mark, Day 1.)

 (Syd's video-camera exaggerates Stuart's mast bend!)

On Sunday, the easterly breeze picked up. The Club set a longer "P" course, with a long beat, a short fast reach, and runs intended to be dog-leg, but almost dead downwind (so tactics included preparing for the downwind mark amongst the Code Zero back markers.)

  John T and Gareth trapezed consistently, both using slingshot starts, coming through the middle of the line fast, straight onto trapeze and moving to the front.

In Race 4 Alastair from a good start and John T quick onto the trapeze led at the top mark, but Gareth came through to catch Alastair on the long downwind leg. John T stretched out for the first of his Day 2 wins over Gareth.  George came up relishing the breezier conditions to threaten Alastair who had enough in hand to defend third.

 Race 5 started back to back. Stuart saw the port end advantage but this took him to the right of the beat, not gaining.  John T and then Gareth were again ahead at the top mark, in a close group before moving away. This time, the battle for third was over a few yards, Alastair getting home after Cod
e Zeros held up George and Stuart at the downwind mark.

 At this stage, the first two, and next two, event places depended on the final race. Stuart again picked the port end advantage for the Race 6 start, but was just caught by John T starting fast on trapeze. George moved up from back at the start to pass Alastair downwind and this time moved out ahead to hold third. close Chris just across from Alastair wind gustier Gareth at limits John T stretched  out for a third win as Gareth found the breeze at top end of his range. Chris Phillips had good boat speed to come up fast to fight with Alastair  and Syd Gage for the next places. (Photo below)

                                               RESULTS    (Six races, one discard)


Place                                Race 1      Race 2      Race 3     Race 4      Race 5
     Race 6       Total       Nett

1   John Terry                  1               2               (4)              1                1              1               10              6

   2    Gareth Ede               (3)             1                1                 2              2               2               11              8

3     George Evans            2               3                3               (4)             4              3               19             15

  4     Alastair Forrest        4                5                2                3               3               4               21            16

  5     Stuart Ede                  5              (7)              5                6               5               6               34            27

  6     Syd Gage                   (7)             4                 6               7               6               7               37             30

  7     John Pepperell          6                 6           (10 DNC)      5               8          10 DNC         45             35

   8    Chris Phillips             (8)             8                7                8               7              5               43              35

9    Damien Cooney       (9)             9                 8               9                9              8               52             43  

The Northerns count for Travelling Trophy points, and John Terry's string of wins cleared out his DNC scores, lifting him to an emphatic top place on the TT Leaderboard and the Yellow Pennant.

  Behind, the battle between George and Alastair ratcheted up another notch, tying their scores before the final event (with George ahead on countback.)

(Below: Event winner John Terry in relaxed control.)

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