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Category: Dart 18

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Tom Phipps aims to encourage young cat sailors


Tom working on the Dart 16 Fleet

Sailing in catamarans has been part of Tom Phipps life since he was 10 years old. Now at the age of 26 years and aiming to represent GBR at a future Olympics Tom is involved in making sure other young sailors get a similar chance to start sailing catamarans as he did some 15 years ago.   Outside of Tom’s hectic Olympic Nacra 17 catamaran sailing program which includes working all hours and fund raising to finance his Olympic quest,he has been refurbishing the UKCRA (UK Catamaran Racing Association) fleet of Dart16 cats in preparation for the charter program available to clubs & associations.

Working from his home base at Windsport near Falmouth, Tom has been servicing, renewing and replacing the boats to prepare the three fleets of Dart 16s to be available for clubs to charter commencing the beginning of 2015.

Age ten, Tom started his cat sailing on the Dart 16 with his best friend John. He progressed on to the RYA junior cat program in Hobie Dragoons, the youth program in Hobie 16 ‘s , RYA development program in Hobie Tigers and eventually stepping into the Tornado catamaran just as ISAF pulled the plug on Olympic catamaran sailing. Although he continued to sail catamarans with titles in both the Dart 18 and F18 fleets as well as an invitation to sail in a C-Class event Tom re-focused his efforts and went to university, gained a first Class honours degree. Recently, with the introduction of catamaran sailing into the Olympics in Rio, he has slotted back into the Olympic catamaran program in the Nacra 17.


With all his experiences Tom certainly has not forgotten the fun, adrenaline and multihull skills he learnt as a young sailor in cats which is why he was very happy to get involved in the UKCRA Catamaran Club Charter Project. As Tom P said, “ sailing catamarans as a young sailor was the best buzz you could possible get. We sailed hard, had many crazy capsizes, enjoyed the squad coaching and made sure we enjoyed our down time at the end of each day. Getting into cats was the best decision I made in my sailing career and I hope every young sailor gets the chance to have a go”.

For more information on the UKCRA catamaran club charter program contact Cookie by e-mail

To follow Tom Phipps visit


October 29, 2014 More

UKIDA – Windsport Sponsored Training Weekend

DART 18 Set up in Windsport boat park.

DART 18 Set up in Windsport boat park.

Six crews enjoyed amazing weather at the Windsports Centre over the weekend of 27th 28th September.  The Crews had been drawn at random by after attending at least one UKIDA supported event.   We are blessed with the perfect location for these coaching events although it was not all a hard slog.  Windsport laid on a BBQ on the Friday night and a sociable Saturday evening in Castaways East just a short stroll away from our Centre in the Harbour.

A combination of good club to championships racing teams enjoyed a concentrated two days with Brian Phipps  covering both classroom, boat park and on water coaching

From our viewpoint at Windsport,  we hope everyone in the coaching group  got some valuable food for thought  they can work with  and add to their Dart racing  tool box.

We hope we left all those attending our sunny very light wind weekend with the understanding that: coaching is not about telling, but it is about drawing, expanding and evaluating, why, how and what we do when we are in Dart mode.

If you would like to find out more about Windsport Coaching please contact us at 01326 376191.



October 1, 2014 More

Fabulous turnout for Barts Bash

12 Dart 18s turned out at RSC for Barts Bash 2014

12 Dart 18s turned out at RSC for Barts Bash 2014

We are delighted to ask all Dart 18 Catamaran sailors to take a bow – Fabulous to see at least 193 joined in over the weekend in the Bart’s Bash – Results are still coming in but brilliant to see such a turnout and that you ranked in the top 20 of classes represented through out the World.
At our local club Restronguet Sailing Club we had one of the biggest turnouts for the year with 12 boats on the start line.

#jobwelldone #BartsBash
September 24, 2014 More

UKIDA Coaching Weekend – 27th & 28th September

Windsport as part of its sponsorship package with UKIDA offered 2 full days of Race Coaching.  Drawn at random  two crews have the pleasure of a weekend at the Windsport Centre in Mylor Yacht Harbour.

Combine Boat handling and race techniques

With land drills, theory and assesment

A welcoming BBQ on the Friday night is followed by two intensive days of input on the water improving all areas of race technique and boat handling.  This will be coupled with classroom time offering comprehensive advice in all areas of preparation and race theory as well as analysis of performance on the water.  With Brian’s vast coaching experience it is certainly session that all crews will benefit from and we look forward to welcoming them and take home with them an improved level of performance.

For more details on all Catamaran Coaching Options offered by Windsport  – Please contact : or call our office on 01326 376191

September 10, 2014 More

Dart European – Last call for orders & see you there!

The Windsport team are in our final stages or preparations for the European championship support. For those who have already placed a pre-event parts order, your order is picked and packed ready for collection on day one. For everyone else this is the last week to get your replacement parts order in and marked up for collection at the event.
After this week it will be what ever is in the support trailer at the time and still available.
To make sure you get what you want at the start of the event Windsport recommend you place an order this week for collection at the event. (Order by close of day Sunday 10th August)

Order on line here or call us.

Windsport Dart18 support

Make sure you join us for the Welsh Wednesday – Windsport suppliers party –
‪#‎lovecatsailing‬ ‪#‎sailing‬


August 6, 2014 More

DART 18 South West Championships – Restronguet Sailing Club Report

One of the largest Catamaran Fleets ever to sail at Restronguet Sailing Club took to the water over the weekend to compete for the Dart 18 South West Championship.   RSC was the first sailing club to adopt a class of these boats and was the venue for their first National Championships in 1976, were delighted to be chosen as a location for the event.
A sociable get together in the Windsport boat park on Friday evening saw many competitors meet with sailors from all over the UK and set the scene for a great weekend on and off the water.  We even laid on Pre event Coaching for a limited number of sailors who were looking to improve their skill and knowledge before the weekend 

Saturday dawned with almost perfect racing conditions for the 26 crews saw an organised start to the first three of six challenging and tactical races programmed for the weekend. 

Dart 18 Launch at RSC South West Championships

With the first three races completed almost everyone enjoyed a brilliant themes Beach Party and Barbecue with some rocking live music from the Night Tickers well into the evening. 

Beach Party - Bar, BBQ and great music

It certainly put everyone in a good mood for the final 3 races on Sunday.

Under the watchful eyes of the Experienced RSC Race team on the water and ably assisted on the shore by the Windsport Support team and helpers, all the sailors enjoyed some of the best racing the Carrick Roads could have provided.   With well laid courses, bright sunshine and a perfect north westerly wind direction the racing challenged everyone across the fleet to make use of the perfect combination of fluctuating wind strengths and some tactical wind shifts as well.
With 9 boats representing the resurgent Dart 18 Restronguet Sailing club fleet and 5 boats from North Devon  there was a good turnout from the south west but some crews had travelled up to 450 miles to enjoy the location that has helped create some of the best UK dinghy sailors.
The best place local crew of Wyl Menmuir and Anthony James fought hard to attain 5th place overall with some consistent top 10 places – Only two places behind husband and wife Dan and Amy Teubert from Restronguet also sailed exceptionally well in their first large regatta to take 7th place.
In the end the experienced sailors who had travelled from as far as Bridlington in Yorkshire and Netley, near Southampton, showed they could both read the local conditions and Matt graciously accepted his first prize and thanked both the Restronguet Sailing Club team for all their efforts and the adjoining Windsport Centre for laying on their infrastructure & excellent boat parking that ensured this  successful event will become a regular fixture on the Sailing calendar. 

Plenty of space for all the boats

Matt Exon and Jakob the winning crew




Full Results.

Event Photos on our Facebook Page Please like us and if anyone wants Hi Res copies please email us.



July 9, 2014 More

Dart 18 South West Championships – Forecast looks amazing

Hi all , all systems go for the SW Dart 18 championships hosted by Windsport and RSC. Best bring your Sunglasses and sunblock!

IMPORTANT NOTE :- For those towing –  follow your GPS to Mylor Bridge Village by all means but after that make sure you DO NOT follow any GPS direction down CHURCH ROAD, which is a no through road, many GPS do not know that!!! It starts well and gets narrower and narrower with a path at the end!!

  • For those arriving Thursday night to do a sailing harbour pub crawl on the Friday we look forward to seeing you.
  • For those arriving Friday to take advantage of the afternoon coaching session welcome.
  • For those arriving Friday afternoon / evening the Windsport “beer and burger” welcome BBQ will be on hand from 18.00hrs – 22.00hr
  • For those arriving Saturday morning the sailors briefing is 10.00hrs and the first start 12.00hrs so time to get yourself sorted.

Fabulous Beach Party Live music on Saturday night !

The fleet size is looking good and if everyone who promised to come keeps their promise we will have 25 – 30 boats!
Windsport camping is set up FOC, just let us know you are coming down.
Full info is on the RSC website , heading events.
If you can / would pre-register it would help the caterers and the race team, if not we will make it work one way or another!

Any last minute questions call the Windsport team 01326 376191
All looks good
Brian Windsport


July 2, 2014 More

Dart 18 South West Championships – Restronguet Sailing Club – July 5th & 6th

Calling all Dart 18 sailors – The south west championships are taking place  at Restronguet Sailing Club over the weekend of July 5th and 6th.

For entry form and Notice of Race – Click Here

The original Dart Sailing Club is hosting a weekend of racing in the Carrick Roads and

  • Pre-Event Coaching on Friday 4th July (2 – 5pm) (Must be pre-booked with Windsport 01326 376191)


  • Meet & Greet BBQ Friday evening

(Welcome beer & sausage provided – Bring your own supper)

  • Saturday evening Beach Party – not to be missed!

(Tickets available for sailors at only £7.50)

  • Brilliant Racing * Fab venue * Friendly Welcome

  • Camping on-site (provided by Windsport) (Please call Windsport 01326 376191)


May 29, 2014 More

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