A small but select group of Dart sailors assembled in West Sussex for the 7th TT and penultimate of the long and eventful season, and this was to prove spectacular for a very different reason!
A short delay on Saturday and a slow drift out to the race area was rewarded with some decent breeze gradually filling in for the start and for the last two races of the day some full trapezing was evident with most crews showing their athletic prowess!! It was a day of typical Dart 18 close racing with different winners for each of the three races, Rob Garka/Abbey Jupp, Joffan Garka/Gesine Schreiber and Des & Fionnuala Barnes. In all three races mid order fleet could have been captured by a very modest sized net and therefore overall places were very close. However, at close of play on day one, nicely out in front was the Worthing duo of Rob and Abbey, the Restronguet juniors Dan and Amy Teubert close on their heels and only one point ahead of another Worthing team of Joffan and Gesine.
After a long night of ‘re-hydrating’ and loosening up to the seven piece jazz ensemble the morning’s ‘Full English’ was swiftly followed by easy launching down the new, sports aid funded, hardwood slipway! The breeze unfortunately not being that accommodating!
The vagaries of the British summer once again delayed the start and the first race was a tricky ‘drifter’, but lightweights Dan and Amy getting away and almost lapping the fleet! In fact they took the committee to task later when not given a finish as it had been assumed they had only done only one of the two lap race! Fortunately the sea breeze filled in for races two and three but that was almost irrelevant for what was to come!
On the Saturday there was a sighting of a pair of dolphins but they were some distance away and not that involved, but today that was all to change in a most spectacular fashion! The fleet rounded the windward mark all pretty close and started an exciting downwind surfing challenge in a good force 3-4. Then the sea began to foam!!
A school of the most beautiful creatures of the sea surrounded the fleet and proceeded to show us their mastery of their element! I have been lucky to be on a big boat when they have surfed the bow wave but this was so different, 10 dolphins zig-zagging across our bows, diving beneath the rudders and even coming up between the hulls and jumping just below the bridle wires! Completely mind blowing! The school moved off to each boat in turn and gave us all most unforgettable experience of being that close to the joy of pure fun from wild animals! Eat your heart out David Attenborough!
OK back to the sailing! Or maybe not! Most crews and helms were now a complete mess and had to recover their boats from some strange place on the race course but eventually got focussed enough to finish the race and calm down. Not sure what happened in the final race 6, I think Rob/Abbey won it! As they did the overall event, they were the outstanding team! However, we were all winners this incredible weekend!
The hosts, living up to their pre season promises, laid on a great event, even down to the weather and wild-life, which this summer has been somewhat varied to say the least! Ken and Diane Green working miracles behind the scene to put on another Boggers spectacular!
|1||Rob Garka & Abbey Jupp|
|2||Dan Teubert & Ami Teubert|
|3||Joffran Garka Gesile Schreiber|
|6||Des Barnes & FI Barnes|
|7||Adrian Parsons & Matt Kingsland|
|8||Shane Keen & Jill Andrews|
|9||Darren Wood & TA Wood|
|10||Ken Green & Megan Sword|
|11||Nigel Jupp & Mel Jupp|
Dart 18 Helm Handicap:
1st Adrian Parsons & Matt Kingsland (Datchet/Netley)
2nd Ken & Di Green (Bognor)
3rd Nigel & Mel Jupp (Worthing)
P.S. Great to see Jamie Lynch back! 5th overall.