Inland Championships, Rutland, 15-16 May 2004

The Dart 15 Inland Championships were held at Rutland Water Sailing Club on the weekend of 15/16 May. Seventeen travellers took part but sadly no local boats took up the challenge. On Saturday Race Officer, Dave Wilkins, set a course for the 5 starts of various catamarans but the wind was very light and fickle and died before a start could be attempted, resulting in the inevitable postponement. The courses comprising of a total of 9 marks were moved a couple of times before a start was achieved after some two and a half hours of postponements.

The Dart 15s were on an inverse P course and Paul Smith made no mistakes sailing freely into an early lead from Andy Chidwick and Alistair Dean. At the end of the first lap at the bottom end of the course by the leeward marks and the start finish line the course was very congested and the other classes had converged to make matters worse. Smith maintained his advantage up the second beat from Steve Hanby and Alastair Dean. Chidwick stalled his tack at the windward mark yielding fourth place to Peter Richardson. The race was shortened at the end of the second lap as the wind died towards the end of the run causing severe compression of the various fleets at the leeward mark. Smith and Hanby made no mistakes to take the first two places but the unfortunate Dean was headed off on port by a group of Sherwaters and was stranded while a sudden windshift saw Peter Richardson take third place followed by Gordon Goldstone and Philip Howden who both made up a number of places. Alastair Dean, who had been 2nd or 3rd for the whole race ended up finishing in 9th place not believing his bad luck. Subsequent races were postponed to the next day.

On Sunday it was hot and sunny but no appreciable wind materialized and so after a series of postponements the results were declared based on just one race. Paul Smith was declared the Inland Champion from Steve Hanby and Peter Richardson

Overall Results
1st Paul Smith Beaver
2nd Steve Hanby Beaver
3rd Peter Richardson Marconi
4th Gordon Goldston Queen Mary
5th Philip Howden Grafham
6th Tom Gall Carsington
7th Bob Carter Grafham
8th Matt Smith Beaver
9th Alastair Dean Grafham
10th C Watson Halifax
11th Ray Gall Carsington
12th Ken Harvey Beaver
13th Phillip Marran Beaver
14th Steve Wakelam Stewartby
15th George Wood ASC
16th A J Chidwick Morland
17th Colin Wood Whitstable

Round Rutland Trophy: Not Sailed