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Category: Dart 18

Autumn Newsletter – Christmas specials & much more…

The work never stops at Windsport on or off the water – in the workshop or packing cat parts for shipping we certainly make use of all the hours:

We have produced an autumn newsletter for all our clients with useful news and fact relevant to each Class or a more general appeal.  If you want to find out more about Windsport and plans looking forward to 2014 then choose the relevant one as follows:

Dart 18: Click here Sprint 15: Click here

Dart 16: Click here General Cat Sailor Click here

Also check out our new addition of an E-bay shop for some great clearance bits and pieces – More bits coming all the time!

November 7, 2013 More

A Windsport Championship Story

Not sure how long I have been sailing and involved in the  Dart 18 -  on and off for a “long” time?

I joined  the Panthercraft manufacturing team as a technical sales person in 1979  (having initially been on the shop floor laminating some of the first production hulls), I worked in this position for a few years, then went off and did other jobs and sailed  other things (always cats!) like F18 and Hobies, coached for the RYA and worked with a host of performance catamaran sailors from many countries.

More recently, in the last 4-5 years, I have been working with Ian Fraser, one of the original Dart 18 design team, to  put the Dart production back on track, provide the sales support to the dealers and continuing the success of the Dart in the UK and other regions.

After all that time involved in sailing you might be surprised that our daughter, Katy, now 22yrs old, has managed to stay off catamarans, out of sailing other than the very occasional fun ride and off the race course. Katy has followed her own dreams to be “on the stage” and  an actress.

With France-catamarans  providing the spares and technical support at the 2013 Dart18 Worlds  it was a chance for myself to actually sail an event, something I have not done for many, many years. They say it is a bit like riding a bike and I guess I was about to find out! With the chance to “practise what you preach” as a catamaran sailing coach. Knowing that the more you practise the luckier you get and feeling a bit rusty on the practical side I need to get realistic.

Katy had some spare time , as you often do when you are an actress!! and a bit of father-daughter bonding was on the cards.

The result was Katy went into serious training and bought a new dress with boats on it! and I went off to support the SW Dart 18 championships at Starcross, was lucky enough to borrowed a local boat for one of the days, found a scratch and very keen crew to sail with and  enjoyed three short races.

Big panic to get everything loaded for the trip to Carnac and put on-going support in place back at Windsport for all those Dart sailors who could not make the event then off to Plymouth for the ferry, scooping up Katy on the way.

Arriving a day before was great, it reminded me of a time when I  was campaigning a variety of catamarans seriously,  arriving early with time to rig, check, sail and settle in.  Katy delivered some measure of boat building support by helping where needed and soaking up the sun.

To the untrained eye you might think Katy was not taking much notice but as I was to find out Katy had been taking it all in, including those boring discussions across the meal table between her brother, Tom, and myself !

Day 2 on location – the practice race day, we managed to get afloat a little before that  to run through the skills of tacking, gybing and sail setting, then down to the start line.  Flags,

hooters,  other boats and a imaginary start line was all a bit intense both in explanation and action , but we manage to keep out of trouble, do a round and then spend another hour getting in and out on the wire, which lead to a couple of dips for Katy and some basic helming , just in case I fell off!

The following days of fleet racing were  just good fun with periods of intense nervousness and action which proved always a challenge to our team. Some good result in the first few races  lead to a couple of black flags thanks to an over excited  helm and a  crew still learning what all the flags meant. Every day we experienced a new shared situation and learned a new lesson. Both of us were pooped at the end of each day but Katy made sure she did her share of the de-rigging and then shot off to grab the shower before I could get there. Being a party girl Katy made the most of the event socials but made sure she was fit for action by the next day, the 1.00pm starts helped! By 11.30 each day we were ready to launch and  do our pre-start routine and settle in on the race course.

By the final day we were in with a shout of a top three result, one black flag discarded and second one to go.  Got squeezed on and off the start line by other interested parties, which with our limited boat handling skills forced us back down the fleet a bit, but hey ho,  I was sailing with my daughter who “did not do sailing” !

Finished 3rd overall, very, very proud of Katy for pulling out all the stops whatever the wind strength and whatever the challenge and I think Katy was quite proud of her dad too.

Thanks must go to our ”Trolley Dolly” Cookie, not sure where she was when we came back to slip? Possibly enjoying a glass of wine and to Paul Chatfield who came to Windsport for 3 days before the event to help us to be ready on time.


Race 1             3rd

Race 2             3rd

Race 3             Black flag

Race 4             Black flag

Race 5             1st

Race 6             1st

Race 7             3rd

Race 8             3rd

Race 9             1st

Race 10           2rd

Race 11           22nd

Race 12           13th

Congratulations to Dan Norman and Jess – 2013 Dart18 World Champions and John Pearce also sailing with his daughter, Imogen  who finished  a very  worthy 2nd.

Sailing the worlds reinforced many things in my coaching mind, but here are a few…..


1) Sail with the wind you have and not the wind the boats around you have.

2) A good start is safer than the best start

3) A pre-race sailing session starts you off on the right foot

4) Boat handling is key when under pressure, that is when you need it.

5) Take each race as it comes but learn from the previous

6) Changing gear pro-actively works better than reactively


Very special thanks to Katy – Super Crew!


















All the best, thanks crew



PS. If anyone is asking  the hull weight of our boat is 39kg and 40kg ,  constant with the manufacturing target weight over the years.



August 1, 2013 More

Windsport & Team Phipps preparing for the 15th Dart World Championships in Carnac, France

Windsport are off to the Dart 18 Worlds in Carnac 4th – 14th July – “start spreading the news …….”  The countdown to what promises to be an amazing event with around 140 boats is almost over.
Not only is Windsport bringing along its unbeatable class support but Brian will also be sailing this year in  with his daughter, Katy.
Katy is taking this very seriously and has already bought a dress with boats on it!!!
Tom Phipps sadly will not be able to compete this year due to his Olympic Squad commitments – a price to pay for every-thing!  If you want to find out what he is up to check out his blog here – Although his latest post about international sailing being easier with a passport may lead some to question his off water preparation!
Tom wishes all the competitors at the Dart 18 Worlds good luck, good time and good winds – especially his sister! He hopes to be back next year!
Paul Chatfield will be defending his Dart 18 World Champion Single Handed Title – we will watch this space!
Back at Windsport there will be Alex and Elizabeth who will be keep the home fires burning – they will be fulfilling CATPART orders and managing enquiries during the worlds. The office however will only be open on selected days but please feel free to email and we will deal with these as soon as possible.
It will be back to normal on Monday 15th July.
July 1, 2013 More

2013 Stock arriving at Windsport

Windsport International TrailerAll go @ Windsport  with the Windsport trailer collecting stock of hulls, masts, rudder blades etc ready for dispatch to Dart Partners and customers. With all the boats on the trailer pre-sold,  production of boats for delivery in March and April is well under way.

For more information on test sailing a catamaran,  buying a Dart 18 / Sprint 15  new or used  contact the Windsport catamaran sales team.

+44 (0)1326 376191

Visit :-



mb.+44 (0) 7974 194308

office. +44 (0)1326 376191

February 25, 2013 More

Dart 18 Singlehanded and Ladies UK Championships 2012 (sponsored by Windsport) – 13th & 14th October 2012

Blue skies and puffy clouds greeted the teams as they rigged up at Parkstone YC club for a great weekend of  close Dart18 catamaran racing. The Windsport support team and trailer were on hand to keep sailors on the water and offer technical advice.  This was the last of nine UK  Dart 18 events the Windsport team has supported in 2012 with a comprehensive event package that only the Sprint 15 class (also supported by Windsport), can match.

Travelling to a Dart18 event is more than just the racing. The fleet racing is great, but the backup, help and social atmosphere is even better!!

Some of the Dart fleet @ Parkstone preparing to do battle on the water.Over the course of the weekend The Parkstone event saw:-

Day 1 saw a fresh breeze  with a strong spring tide across the course, requiring eyes out of the boat to  take advantage of every opportunity on the course. Every boat completed all 3 races setting up the following days racing as a cliff hanger.

Day 2  delivered a lighter breeze but just as testing with numerous changes in boat positions right up to the finish line of each race. The 6 race series  tallied up to a very close finish at the top in both fleets, with numerous battles mid fleet.

Alicia and Louisa Clifford won the Ladies championships by just one point from local team Cat Lee-Elliott -Marian Hallet.  Alicia and Louise are new to the Dart fleet but really enjoyed the close racing.

Des Barns won the singlehanded championships by the narrowest of margins.  He finished the event on equal points with Paul Grattage but took the trophy by virtue of  a count back. Remarkably Paul sailed  over from the IOW  just to compete, sailing back on the Monday!

No surprise it proved to be a great weekend on and off the water and for those who could not make it, you missed a great weekend.

Next and final event of the Dart TT program is @ Marconi end of October, a great event to finish the summer season off forAll Dart sailors.

Final results

Parkstone trophy Winners

Dart Singlehanded Championships 1st Des Barnes (Bridlington Sc), 2nd Paul Grattage(Stokes Bat SC) 3rd Bruce Stunt (Parkstone YC)

Dart Ladies Championships 1st Alicia & Louisa Clifford (Whitstable YC ) 2nd Cat Lee- Elliott & Marian Hallett (Parkstone YC) 3rd Mary Hill & Rosemary Crinon (Parkstone YC)

October 15, 2012 More

Netley SC – Dart 18 Teach in

Windsport supported the Netley Sailing Club Dart 18 regatta by holding a “try a catamaran” event and supplying spares and support to the sailors.

Despite the very unpredictable weather conditions …. Tom Phipps and a new UK built Dart 18 took eager participants for a taste of catamaran sailing – it was very successful.

Half hour slots gave the customers a chance to “have a go” and we hope that they will return to Netley Sailing Club and get involved with catamaran sailing. Most of them were please to stay around and watch the very well run and exciting racing with 35 Dart catamarans enjoying some fast and furious sailing, it was quite spectacular.

Windsport plan to support the Dart 18 class at other sailing events with the “try a cat” sessions

July 13, 2012 More

Get into Cats – Taster sessions

The Windsport Support Team will be running several “GET INTO CATS” taster sessions at various Dart Class Events and Regattas.  The sessions are available to sailors and non-sailors who want to start.  It doesn’t matter whether you are a youth or adult, beginner or experienced – The Windsport Support Team will be on hand to impart priceless tips to help your understanding and abilities.

The Dates and Locations will be announced shortly here and on our Facebook page.

Contact us now to be informed when an event will be coming close to you.

May 11, 2012 More

Windsport Spring Competition Winner announced

Fiona Carruthers draws out the winning entry

Today Windsport has announced the winner of the Catamaran Coaching competition:

David Woolston

With the help of Fiona Curruthers, grand-daughter of Ian Fraser of PantherCraft and Dart Catamarans, the draw was made in front of the Windsport Reception at Mylor Harbour.  Cookie Phipps and Celia Fraser watched as Fiona stepped up to pull out the lucky winners details.

David gets two days of top catamaran coaching from the windsport team in the Carrick Roads off the Windpsort Centre.

Keep an eye on the website for more offers.

April 2, 2012 More


Windsport supported the Sprint 15 and Dart 18 stands at the 2012 RYA Dinghy Show with the full Windsport Family Team!

Brian, Cookie, Tom and Katy Phipps were on-hand each day to answer questions, offer advice and show off their new UK built Dart 18 product.

A free WINDSPORT competition for 2 days of catamaran sailing was launched, open to everyone interested in catamaran sailing at any level – you can still enter until 31st March 2012 online from the Windsport Website

The show is always a good start to the season – a stage to promote an exciting year of new products and activities. Windsport offers the whole package to anyone interested in catamaran sailing.


COURSES & TUITION – for all levels from novice to expert




March 7, 2012 More

Win a weekend of Catamaran Coaching

This is an opportunity not to be missed.  Our Location on the banks of the Fal is perfect for catamaran sailing and with a chance to win  - your personal coach for  two days  intensive training – All you have to do is fill out a simple on line form or come to our Dart 18 or Sprint 15 stand at Alexander Palace at the RYA Volvo Dinghy Show.

Windsport has camping onsite, B & B close by and for those who want to splash out luxury hotels just down the road. Your visit to Cornwall does not have to be all about training, take a day or so either side and enjoy a short break with family or friends. There are plenty of places to explore, famous restaurants, cliff walks, picture galleries; the list goes on and on. For those who want some alternative sailing action, Windsport landyachting is an activity not to be missed.  For more information on the Windsport coaching weekend contact the Windsport office Tel: 01326 376191

March 1, 2012 More