Grafham Water SC Cat Open, 16/17th October 1999

Contact: Bob Carter 01438 354367

Location: Grafham Water Sailing Club

On the weekend of 16/17 October the Dart 15s met at Grafham for the last event of the traveller's trophy series. 23 competitors entered for an exciting weekend sailing.

On Saturday PRO, Mike de St. Paer and his team, set an Olympic course for the Dart 15s while the handicap boats on the same course had an up wind / down wind. The wind was a rather disappointing NE force 2 but 1 minute before the first start the wind veered 30 degrees to more easterly causing a postponement while the course was relaid. The race started with a heavy starboard bias on the line and the majority of the fleet started on starboard tack. Steve Sawford was last over the line and in desperation took the port tack, but got a lift along the south shore and was first to the windward mark by a mile. Paul Berry, back after a long absence, had tacked off early and was second to the windward mark. The beat was enormous and both reaches were consequently too broad for the liking of the fleet but light wind specialist, Paul Smith, closed on the leaders in the down wind sections, eventually overhauling Berry, but Sawford held on for a convincing win. Phil Breeze was the first sprint boat. The afternoon race was sailed in similar conditions but the reaches were improved by moving the wing mark to improve the angles. Smith made no mistakes and opened up a big lead from Sawford which was maintained to the gun. Sawford took second from Bob Carter and the leading Sprint boat was John Keyte.

On Sunday the forecast for weather and course was much better. An Easterly breeze of force 4+ was forecast and a trapezoidal course was promised - both turned out to be correct! National Champion, George Carter, made no mistakes and charged off to lead the race from start to finish. Steve Hanby, also a heavy weather merchant, held second place throughout but Smith was able to hold on for 3rd place giving him pole after 3 races. By the last race the wind was honking and G Carter and Hanby did an action replay but this time chased by Barrie Hoggard and Ron Sawford. During the race R Sawford went for a dip and Bob Carter and Nick Dewhirst overhauled Hoggard but made no impression on G Carter and Hanby. Tusting was first Sprint boat and was reveling in the windy conditions. Thus in the final count up George Carter won on the tie-break with 4,1,1 from Paul Smith with 2,1,3

Overall Results
1st G. Carter Beaver 6 pts
2nd P. Smith Beaver 6pts
3rd S. Sawford Rutland 7pts
4th S. Hanby Beaver 8pts
5th R. Carter Grafham 11pts
6th N. Dewhirst Whitstable 19pts

Sprint Results
1st W. Tusting Grafham
2nd J. Keyte Grafham
3rd P. Breeze Calshott

Longstaff Cup
R. Carter Grafham