F18s in Whitstable

Gathering of the clans for the annual Forts Race and F18 TT

Tuesday September 8th 2009, Author: Carl Jones, Location: United Kingdom
This weekend saw Whitstable Yacht Club host some 45 catamarans across a wide variety of classes, for the annual Forts Race regatta, this involved two days of racing. Saturday's programme was fleet racing including an F18 TT while Sunday was the long distance handicap Forts Race.

Saturday and the F18 TT

David White crewed by John Sweet, on a Nacra Infusion, dominated the F18 TT
with an outstanding day's sailing. Fresh from his fouth overall at the
UK F18 Nationals, he took first place in the first and third races and placed
second in the middle race to take the overall victory convincingly...

The first race was in around 13 knots of very patchy wind and strong tide. This
meant boat speed was paramount to get from one pressure patch to the next. They
were chased home by Kevin Cooper on a Tiger in 2nd with Adam Piggott and Oli Egan
(sailing together for the first time) third on another Nacra Infusion.

The second race was dominated from start to finish by Adam Piggott, who sailed
into a three minute lead, from David White in second and Stuart Gummer on a
Shockwave taking third.

The third race and David White and Adam Piggott got into some tactical 'shenanigans'
pre start which didn't pay off for Piggott as White powered off the line with
immense boat speed to another race victory!

F18 TT Overall:
1st David White and Jon Sweet (Nacra Infusion)
2nd Adam Piggott and Oli Egan (Nacra Infusion)
3rd John Payne and Matt Hunt (Shockwave)

Sunday and F18s' in the Forts Race

Sunday dawned with a little less wind and a from a good direction to hold the Forts Race. With a downwind start, away at the first attempt bang on 1100, the fleet charged off towards the Forts in the Thames Estuary. The leading F18s were, in first Toby Orpin and Lewis Crawford, with a gap to David White second, closely followed by Stuart Gummer and Diana Bogaards third and then Adam Piggott in fourth.

Then off to the wind farm in the northeast. The Nacra Infusions of White and Piggott both took a big chunk out of the gap to Orpin over this leg, but Orpin still led at the gate.

Next off to the Spile marker and the wind strengthened giving a tight reach there and back. David White capsized trying for the spinnaker, allowing Toby Orpin to extend the lead on his F18 rivals, while Adam Piggott continued his tussle with Stuart Gummer.

The positions remained unchanged on the next leg up into the Swale estuary with Orpin maintaining a comfortable lead over Piggott in second, who continued to fight with Gummer in third.

The last two legs were great for the Infusion of Piggott as he picked the perfect line down the shore off Whitstable, Tankerton and then Herne Bay. He closed the gap to the leading F18 of Orpin, with Gummer dropping back a little in third and the Infusion of White in fourth. Into the finish of the fourth hour race and the first and second places in the leading the F18s were only separated by a 16 second margin!

Leading F18s:
1st F18 Orpin and Crawford (2nd overall)
2nd F18 Piggott and Egan (3rd oferall)
3rd F18 Gummer and Bogaards (4th overall)
4th F18 White and Sweet (6th overall)

Many thanks to Whitstable Y.C. and their race team for an excellent event.

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