GRAHAM CLEANS UP AT DARTMOOR.
Visitor’s from as far afield as Buccaness and Fleetwood clubs joined the Dartmoor MBC fleet
boats to contend this year’s National Championships. Most of the competitors took the
opportunity to go through scrutiny on the Friday afternoon preceding the event, which
resulted in a more relaxed atmosphere on the first morning of racing.
DAY 1 – Whilst the race team moved buoys around on the lake to cater for the forecasted
veering SSW wind direction most competitors enjoyed the sun engaging with each other
and talked boats. This was not the case however for Graeme Harris, the owner of local Tias
designed boat (34) which experienced winch failure. As others watched on a new winch was
installed only for that to fail as well, sometimes things just do not go to plan do they!
Experienced Principle Race Officer Peter Cropper got the first seeding race underway on
time on the windward/leeward gated course down the east side of the Lake. This is probably
the most difficult side of Shaugh lake to use because the available course length is quite
small and minor wind direction changes can be difficult to read. Having said that the good
skippers always find the right course to take and in the early heat races a noticeable ‘A’
Fleet pattern emerged where Graham Bantock (53) and Shaun Holbeche (16) challenging
each other for line honours. Local pundit Richard Wills using the new Romanza (14) from
the John Kiff stable was also chasing hard and swapping places with John Taylor’s Drisky
(28). Further down the fleet Stan Cockeram (1) was having an up and down day as was the
local SW Champion boat 30 which was on loan to James Scrimshaw. In the Classic division
the two local Dolphin designed boats belonging to Martin Smith and Tim Nicholas were
scoring around the middle of the fleet with Tim having a slight lead at the end of the day.
Overnight Graham Bantock held the lead over Shaun Holbeche with Richard Wills in third.
Whilst many know of Graeme’s skill level in model yachting, could his impressive first day
score line reflect also the fact that he could be seen regularly running around the lakeside
banking to keep pace with his boat whilst most of the other skippers walked!
DAY 2 – The morning dawned with a glassy looking lake and with a light wind forecast
course laying during the day looked as though it could be challenging. With the windward
marks now sited on the South side of the lake, when racing resumed Graham (53) continued
his dominance over the fleet with Shaun (16) consistently scoring second places. The race
team and in particular the Clubs Sailing Sec in the boat was kept very busy shifting marks as
the wind direction veered further to the SSW. After the lunch break when the competitors
enjoyed the remains of the previous nights Moorland hotel buffet dinner, racing resumed.
By this time the wind had stabilised in the SW allowing the south control zone and the full
course length of the lake to be used. On the race course the race leaders remained the same
but further down the fleet things were getting up close and personal between the Blue
hulled Drisky of John Taylor and the Fruit Salad coloured Romanza of Richard Wills. With
contacts, entanglements and failures to finish redress protests went in and were quickly
dealt with, which resulted in average points being awarded to Richard in two races.
Prize Giving – Congratulations to Graham Bantock who received the Championship winning
trophy from the Club commodore Tom Eaves. The score line shows just how dominant
Graeme was, but does not reflect how hard Shaun Holbeche in second place tried to close
him down enabling him to win two races. Richard Wills from the home club took third place
from John Taylor who used to race IOM’s with the host club.
Mike Ewart who is also no stranger to the Dartmoor Club took fifth place and will no doubt
be back again next Year to try to win the SW Area trophy which has eluded him on several
occasions. Sixth place went to the very keen Doug Penman from Sedgemoor.
In the Classic division the newly awarded Perpetual ‘Old Jug’ trophy went to Martin Smith
(03) who got the better of the overnight leader Tim Nicholas (86). The first lady helm prize
went to Helen Cockeram from Solent RCMYC
In his championship winner’s speech Graham thanked Dartmoor for hosting the Event and
also for its general friendliness and hospitality towards the competitors.
On behalf of the club and its membership I would like to say what a pleasure it has been to
host this year’s National Championship and to praise those who competed in it for their
sportsmanship both on and off the water.
Thanks to everybody from the Club who was involved in the organisation and with Hthe on
the water running of the event.
Special thanks to the City College Plymouth and to the Babcock International degree course
apprentices for their work on providing 4G coverage at the club. This equipment was used
to good effect for the first time during the event as a link to the emergency services.
Finally, thanks to the 6M Association for selecting Dartmoor MBC as a venue and the club
hopes that the class will return to it for its National Championships at some time in the
Steve Watts (DMBC Race team)