Over 40 Dart 18s travelled to Grafham Water for the inland nationals last weekend

Over 40 Dart 18s travelled to Grafham Water for the inland nationals last weekend. After a week of high pressure over the UK, everyone was hoping that the weather forecast for a change of weather was going to be accurate. Fortunately, the event started with three races on the Saturday held in 10-15 knots.

Jasper and Finlay Barnham led the first race, only to discover that they scored an OCS, allowing Paul and Chris Harwood to win, with Jamie Lynch and Jamie Ferguson in second. The second race, in similar conditions was won by Alan and Fiona Kernick in ‘red Insurance’ with Stokes Bay clubmates David Lloyd and Polly Bishop, in ‘WH Insurance’claiming second. The wind eased slightly for the final race and this time the Barnhams made no mistake, winning by a comfortable margin from Dave and Louise Roberts in www.sailingbooks.co.uk.

Unfortunately, the wind did not hold for the second deciding day. With five boats still in with a chance of winning, the light and fickle winds would make consistency all-important. In very trying circumstances, the Grafham race team set three excellent upwind/downwind courses which maximised the tactical options.

The first race on the Sunday was won by Lloyd/Bishop with Kernick/Kernick in second. There was a small delay for the next race, hoping for the wind to settle a little. With a port biased line and a late wind shift which accentuated the bias, the port tack starters, Kernick/Kernick found themselves half way up the first beat before anyone else crossed the line! They maintained this sort of lead to the finish and secured the title with a race to spare. This left the only remaining battle for the runners-up slot and by winning the last race Dan Norman and Catherine Farthing secured second overall, while third in this race secured third overall for Roberts/Roberts.