Traveller 6 – Weston Cat Open


11 Spitfires enjoyed a fantastic weekend at the Weston cat open, sponsored by GP sails. With a total of 85 boats on the water and racing in the big mixed fleet including foiling boats and the world’s fastest sailor, the course was busy and getting a good start and clean air a real challenge, the Spitfire being smaller than most of the other boats. But Spitfires could be found doing just that and obtaining some really good results in the overall handicap fleet as well as enjoying close one design racing. 


In race 1, a tight battle between the first three boats saw Olly and Ben Harris choose the right way up the second beat to pull out in front to be first Spitfire and second on handicap to the Foiling Nacra 20 which although firmly in low rider mode, was very quick in the light and shifty breeze. Additionally Lotte/Becki Johnson achieved an excellent result of 3rd in the Spitfire fleet and 9th overall by the end of day one.


After some great social at the BBQ on the Saturday evening, Sunday began with Race 2 that saw William and Megan Smith close to the front, until a broken halyard sent them to the beach for a quick repair. This race, and the subsequent ones, saw new partnership Jack Butters and James King lead their way around the course. There was some very close competition between Alex Philpott/ Jess D’Arcy and Olly/ Ben Harris, with some fast, exciting action at the leeward mark – a good day to brush up those leeward mark rules. 


Starts became even more interesting when the Shearwaters joined the same start and as the wind shifted and tide started to flow, getting to the preferred side of the course became important and the leading 2 teams often got this right, finding an early path across the fleet to gain the most benefit.


It was great to see the teams that have only started Spitfire sailing this summer rising up through the fleet. There was a great performance by Sophie and William Heritage to take second in race 4 and Anna Prescott/ Tom King in race 5 whilst William and Megan also came back strongly in race 5. Jack and James won the Spitfire event, with a straight set of first places only upset by a BFD in race 1. They were also 3rd overall on handicap, beaten only by two of the top F18s. After a couple more F18s came Alex/ Jess then Olly/ Ben, showing the competitiveness of the Spitfire in handicap racing. Lotte/ Becki Johnson received the award for 1st All Girl Crew.

Port and Starboard hair

Best Capsize went to John and Tom Holland on the bear away in race 2, which unfortunately took them out of the racing with a very interestingly shaped boom. Highest commitment to the sport was shown by Lotte Johnson who dyed her hair green to create “Port and Starboard” complementing sister Becki’s red hair.

Thanks to Weston Sailing Club for the excellent weekend. The weekend highlighted the strength and enthusiasm of UK youth cat sailing, but adults are also very quick on Spitfires so come and join the fun. The next event is the Inland Championships at Grafham on October 17th/ 18th, preceded by a training weekend at Grafham the weekend before. Then a full program of winter training at a number of venues. 

Rank SailNo Club HelmName CrewName R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 Total Nett
1st 128 Poole / Brightlingsea Jack Butters James King (12.0 OCS) 1 1 1 1 16 4
2nd 145 FPSC Alex Philpott Jess D’Arcy 2 2 2 -3 2 11 8
3rd 89 Weston Olly Harris Ben Harris 1 3 3 4 -9 20 11
4th 131 Gurnard Sophie Heritage William Heritage 5 -5 4 2 5 21 16
5th 160 Hayling Island Anna Prescott Tom King 4 6 -8 5 3 26 18
6th 106 Carsington Tom Woodings Molly Desorgher -8 4 7 8 6 33 25
7th 53 GWSC William Smith Megan Smith 6 (12.0 DNC) 5 10 4 37 25
8th 82 Weston Lottie Johnson Becki Johnson 3 7 10 6 -10 36 26
9th 136 Restronguet Theo Williams Ryan Gill 7 -9 6 9 8 39 29
10th 57 Marconi Jack Collis Nia Crockford (12.0 OCS) 10 9 7 7 45 33
11th 109 Netley John Holland Tim Holland 9 8 (12.0 DNC) 12.0 DNC 12.0 DNC 53 41



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