North Devon Yacht Club welcomed 20 visiting Dart 18s along with 10 local sailors looking forward to a weekend of sun and hopefully some wind. The main fleet was directed to Instow Beach to set up for the weekend offering sandy launching and recovery directly onto the estuary racing area.
Day 1 dawned with little wind and breakfast for 30 teams in the club bar. The early tides meant a briefing at 0900 and first race targeted for 10.30 but the wind was 2-3kn and easterly and a short delay was ordered by Race Office Gordon Smith. The Sea Breeze filled from the NW by 1030 and we were off on a course of triangles and sausages at 1100 in 6kn wind.
The early lead was established by Dan and Amy Teubert from Restronguet who held to the end with Darren and Tracey-Ann Wood taking second some way back. Brian Phipps close behind took 3rd. Garry Jennings held on for the locals taking 5th.
The second race saw the wind build a little and tide weaken but the fleet were too keen to get away and forced a general recall. On the second start the wind had shifted more westerly and built a little but the result was much the same with the Teuberts taking first from Brian Phipps giving Restronguet a 1-2, and 3rd to Tom Parker and Lucy Mayhew of Netley. Frazer Manning and Erica King, previous event winners at NDYC took a 4th with first singlehanded place going to Des Barnes in 5th.
The race officer squeezed a 3rd race in with winds now 8-9kn and a short race saw Dan Teubert lead most of the way only to loose it on the final beat taking a 3rd place but taking the overnight leader spot. First was Brian Phipps with Tom Parker in second and Marco Manganelli from Stokes Bay taking a 4th having missed the first race because of a gear failure on the beach.
Day 2 dawned with a light wind forecast with fickle Easterly breeze. The later start time of 11.30 however saw the Breeze set from the WNW at 6kn again. The wind steadily strengthened to 8-10kn at times but was shifting to West and even SW at times giving the RO team some headaches.
Race 4 saw Tony Rees and Jo Mullett taking a port end flyer only to suffer being headed and falling back while Frazer manning and Reika King followed but held a lift. Darren and Tracy Wood took a comfortable win with Brian Phipps having taken a 360 for hitting the wing mark (though you knew about tides at Restonguet) pulling through the fleet to take 2nd with Frazer and Erika in 3rd.
Race 5 saw a big shift to port on the start making the windward mark very one sided. The race team with a time limit over tides decided to let it go as the wind started moving back for the second beat. So the fleet was away on Port tack with another new race winner with Des Barnes from Briddlington taking 1st leading from the front but with strong battles behind for places all way through the fleet. Mark Gower and Blake Rutter made a strong bid taking 2nd and Darren and Tracy Wood in third. Brian faded to 4th and Frazer kept up the challenge, taking a 5th.
So with the wind shifting further, the windward make was moved and the course reversed to Starboard hand to give all a new view on the race course. With the tide now running out everyone took stock again. For once the fleet was quite well mannered on the start line, and got away well, splitting the fleet left and right.
Brian Phipps settled down in a confortable lead taken to the end to take the overall win. Des Barnes showed again single handers can do it with a 2nd but having to count a 15th in day 1 pushed him down the ranks to 5th overall.
3rd place was taken by Dan and Amy Teubert giving a good end to a solid weekend in 2nd overall. Tom Parker from Netly took 4th in the 6th race for 3rd overall. A link to the full results is below along with more pictures.
Despite weather forecast of heat with no wind, the RO managed 6 good races in winds from 6-10kn – some even spotted on the wire. Many comments on the challenge in stronger tides of the North Devon coast and we look forward to welcoming the Dart18 fleet back to NDYC again soon.
For more pictures, visit our Flickr page and for the full results, click here.
Overall winner - Brian Phipps