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DART 18 GP2 at Whitstable Yacht Club - Event Report

Sailors from all over the country experienced the full range of weather conditions that Whitstable had to offer last weekend at WYC hosted the second Dart 18 class event of the 2012 season. For full report, read on.

18 visiting boats came to Whitstable from as far away as the Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club in Bridlington, and competed with 8 Whitstable boats in the 6 race event held over two days on 21st and 22nd of April.

The sea conditions were flat on the Saturday, and the predicted force 2 winds were made more interesting by a series of light squalls that swept across the bay throughout the afternoon. The wind conditions coupled with a strong tide to keep the competitors on their toes, and resulted in 8 boats not making the start of the second race due to a sudden drop in wind after a squall pushed through.

Sailing on the second day started at 10.30am, with a short first race in a force 3 to 4 wind, followed by a longer second race in a dropping wind. By the time the third race was due to start, the wind had dropped to almost nothing, but within minutes of the start of the last races a storm came over Whitstable, pushing the wind up to a force 6 and bringing with it rain and hail. Under the most testing of the weekend?s conditions, a number of capsizes occurred, including a spectacular pitch-pole by the boat sailed by Mike Jones from Netley Sailing Club and Yvonne Manzi from the University of Kent Sailing Club, which caused their retirement from the race.

The results at the end of the event saw Dan Norman and Mel Rogers of Isle of Sheppey Sailing Club take 1st place, David Lloyd and Hayley Smith from Stokes Bay Sailing Club take a close 2nd, Will Thompson and Catherine Farthing from Dee Sailing Club in 3rd. The Under 25 World Champions, Chris Goymer and Jenni Donovan from Isle of Sheppey Sailing Club came in 4th, and the first Whitstable Yacht Club boat sailed by Richard Ledger and Louisa Clifford came 5th.

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