Datchet Fast Cat Open

The weekend of the 22nd-23rd saw six Hurricanes register to race for the season’s opening event. With five home boats and one solitary traveller all the way from Bala, the weekend was lining up to a benefit for the home club boats.

Race officer Barry Peters, set a course for 4 races on both Saturday and Sunday and with the forecast for winds of 4 gusting to5 and occasionally 6 it was going to be a tough weekend especially those who have been sedate over the winter months.

Race 1 was won by the travelling team of John Tuckwell and Chelsea Furber from the local boats of Nick Moore and Maxine Oliver and then Mike Holmes and John Moore. The win was made easier by some boats turning up late to the start line.

Races 2 and 3 were won by Holmes / Moore with Tuckwell / Furber and Moore / Oliver sharing 2nd and 3rd places. The 4th and final race of the day was won by Tuckwell/Furber with Holmes/Moore second and class Chairman Andy Bedford with Sam Nicholls taking 3rd. Moore/Oliver retired due to gear failure and the fleet retired to nurse aching limbs.

Sunday dawned with the initial forecast being for slightly less wind than the previous day, how wrong the forecast was! The fleet launched and race 5 got under way and finished again with Tuckwell / Furber taking the win from Moore/Oliver and Holmes / Moore bringing in a third.

The wind increased and so did the gusts becoming more vicious through race 6 which turned into a survival mission. Holmes / Moore suffered a capsized with Bedford/Nicholls taking the win from Tuckwell / Furber and then Moore/Oliver. Race 7 started and the gusts were recorded at 37knots it was a test of seamanship. Holmes/Moore went on to win the last race from Moore/Oliver with Tuckwell / Furber coming third, Bedford / Nicholls suffered a capsize.

After 7 races the event was won by John Tuckwell and Chelsea Furber from Bala Catamaran Clib finishing just one point ahead of Mike Holmes and John Moore with Nick Moore and Maxine Oliver coming 3rd. Datchet is always a good season opener and thanks go to Race officer Barry Peter and rescue support Neil.

The Hurricanes now move North with Carsington Cat event on the 12th and 13th April and then Bala Catamaran Open over the May bank holiday weekend. It is hoped that this will encourage some of the northern boats to support these events.

Report by John Tuckwell



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