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.
|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|
|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|
|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|