Success for Royal Yorkshire crews at home Grand Prix races

The Dart 18 crews line up ahead of one of the races at the Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club's Blyth Park base.

The Dart 18 crews line up ahead of one of the races at the Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club's Blyth Park base.

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Only 15 hardy crews decided to challenge the severe weather forecast and travel up to Yorkshire for the second Dart 18 GP of the season.

The first day was spent unloading the articulated lorry which had transported the Darts from the previous week’s French Nationals on the Riviera near St Tropez and it seemed that some of the hot sunshine had also been brought to Bridlington.

On Saturday for the first race, other than very tricky launching through the metre high breakers, the 25 knot wind and thunderstorm didn’t quite materialise and close racing ensued with local team Mat and Jakob Exon taking the win, followed by team OMG’s Mike Gomme and Jenn Donovan.

A last lap downwind surfing tussle promoted Des and Fionnuala Barnes from fifth at windward mark to third at the finish.

After a course change and some dodgy wind swings, there was a race win for Mike Jones and Christian Hocking with a second for the Exons.

Sunday racing started on time on a beautiful sunny day and four races were scheduled. Mat Exon had it his own way in the first three races but was pushed all the way by the chasing pack, with OMG taking the last race which helped secure an overall second place.

Royal Yorkshire’s Joe Franks was having a better day and pushed for a share in the top places.

Adrian Parsons and Matt Kingsland were very happy with their new boat and took the handicap prize with an eighth overall, including a fourth place in race two.

Overall results: 1: Mat Finish: Mat and Jakob Exon (RYYC Bridlington) 6 points

2: OMG: Mike Gomme and Jenn Donovan (UKIDA) 16 points

3: Deva Sail Racing: Simon Moruzzi and James Waddington (Dee SC) 16 points

4: Business As Usual: Des and Fionnuala Barnes (RYYC Bridlington) 21 points

5: Fluid: Joe Franks and Ellis Stonehouse (RYYC Bridlington) 23 points