Dart 18 Grand Prix


12 travellers arrived from the length and breadth of the country, to join 7 locals at Felixstowe Ferry for the 6th Grand Prix of the year.

Three races where scheduled on Saturday with a 1330hrs start, allowing plenty of time for the travellers to assemble and tune their boats for the forecast conditions, which promised a solid F4 gusting F5.

Three of the travellers had arrived without crew, but such is the versatility of the Dart 18, that youngsters from the FFSC cadets could be quickly drafted in.

On the course the strong breeze was accompanied by some seriously confused wave patterns, making for challenging sailing.

Race one and locals Mark and James still buzzing from their nationals success, took the win followed by Mat and Jake current GP series favourites.

Race two and the roles reverse, as Mat and Jake show what they could do, but the euphoria is short lived as Mark and James fight back to take the final race.

Back to the shore and the overnight results see Mark and James with a slight advantage over Mat and Jake with Simon and Jenni, Mike and Nick ready to pounce. Other early favourites Sean and Helen, have broken their mast in race two and only have one result to count.

The evening gets underway with a chilli, followed by a live band. The party theme is “Emergency Services” and Sara wins the prize for best costume, a rather inventive home made Ghostbusters outfit.

Sunday brings very similar conditions, the only change being a 1030hrs start meaning a different tidal situation to challenge the competitors.

Race four and Mike and Nick emerge as the first of the pack to take the initiative with a bullet, chased home by Sean and Helen sporting a replacement mast and sail after Saturdays calamity. Local sailor and event organiser Andy with crew Daniel, take third leaving the overnight leaders and other challengers picking up the minor places.

Race five and Mark and James get back to their winning ways but as the relentless conditions take their toll, Mat and Jake continue to fade and Simon and Jenni take over the initiative with a second place coming from a close fought battle with Mike and Nick.

The final race and its still all to play for. Sean and Helen take the win showing that they had the potential to win the event if their gear had held up. Simon and Jenni take second to secure second place overall. With Mat and Jake not able to repeat Saturdays form, a third place is enough for Mark and James to win the event. Mike and Nick take third overall after a setback in race 6.

The final GP of the series is at Whitstable YC on the 11th and 12th of October.


Overall Results:

Pos Sail No Helm Crew Club R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Pts
1st 7475 Mark Robinson James Head FFSC 1 2 1 ‑4 1 3 8
2nd 7973 Simon Moruzzi Jenni Donovan DSC 4 3 4 ‑6 2 2 15
3rd 7964 Mike Gomme Nick Swain RBSC 6 4 2 1 3 (DNF) 16
4th 7685 Mat Exon Jakob RYYC 2 1 3 ‑8 5 7 18
5th 7737 Andy Robinson Daniel Smith FFSC (DNS) 6 5 3 4 5 23
6th 7846 Darren Wood Tracy‑Ann Wood IYC 5 5 6 7 ‑8 4 27
7th 6153 Sean O’Connor Helen Jones WSC 3 (DNF) DNC 2 9 1 35
8th 7962 Mark Robson Kerra Pearce IOSSC 9 8 7 ‑10 6 6 36
9th 7347 Barry Peters N/A DSC 13 11 (DNF) 14 11 10 59
10th 7443 Sam Rowell Simon Rowell FFSC (DNC) DNC DNC 5 7 8 60
11th 7969 Adrian Parsons Matt Kingsland DWSC 10 10 9 13 (DNC) DNC 62
12th 4202 Ian Akhurst Victoria Akhurst NSC 14 9 8 12 (DNS) DNF 63
13th 7119 Luke Scott Sara Stones NSC/FFSC 8 7 (DNF) 11 DNC DNC 66
14th 7923 Des Barnes Holly Parker RYYC/FFSC 7 (DNF) DNC 9 10 DNF 66
15th 6800 Rich Coker Mark Stone FFSC 12 12 (DNF) DNS 13 9 66
16th 7677 William Porteous Anna Masters FFSC 15 13 (DNF) DNS 12 DNF 80
17th 7723 Peter Wilson Mark Wilson RSC 11 (DNF) DNC DNC DNC DNC 91
18th 7141 Rob Watson Rhian Roberts FFSC 16 (DNF) DNC DNC DNC DNC 96
19th 6693 Paul Williams Suzannah Turner/Jess Ellery FFSC (DNF) DNC DNC DNS DNC DNC 100

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