Rutland Winter Handicap 21 January 2001

Location: Rutland Water Sailing Club, Near Stamford.

On Sunday 21 January the Dart 15 fleet visited Rutland for the third event of the winter series. 11 travellers (6 Grafham, 4 Beaver, 1 Queen Mary) joined 4 locals to blow off the cobwebs after a long Christmas break, which was a good attendance given the poor forecast. Dave Stanbridge did a briefing in the snow storm before the first race. Uniquely he was able to draw the course in the snow on the foreshore and rollicked any competitors who stood on the course! This was an ideal photo shoot opportunity and magazine supremo, Simon Farthing, obliged so watch out for the next magazine. Race officers, Malcolm & Jane Whitmore obliged by setting the favoured square course in a force 3-4 south easterly snow flurry. Fortunately the visibility was just about OK for safety.

George Carter & Stuart Snell got off to an early lead on the first beat but got stuck in a hole at the windward mark, letting Bob Carter through to take the lead. R Carter led the way for the ensueing lap opening out a sizeable lead from Snell and G Carter. This was further increased when Snell hit the windward mark on the second lap, necessitating a penalty turn. On the following lap, R Carter led the leading group round mark 19 instead of mark 18, which enabled the following group of Chris Black, Steve Sawford and Austin Flather to overtake the leaders. The beat to the finish was exciting. G Carter was the clear winner but 6 inches separated second (Black) from third (Flather) and Sawford came through to take forth from Snell. Both Elliot Gill and newcomer, Chris Barrow retired with gear failure.

In the afternoon both Steve Sawford and Bob Carter were over the line and forced to go back. This left George Carter in a clear lead from the new boats of Chris Black and Mark Aldridge. G Carter opened out his lead throughout the race and was never seriously challenged. Chris Black suffered a loss of concentration and a capsize on the second lap leaving Aldridge, Snell and Flather fighting for second place. Snell mastered a route through the mooring buoys and was clear second, while Aldridge beat Flather to third place by about 2 feet

Thus the final result was G Carter winning with two firsts from Stuart Snell and Austin Flather was third. The next Dart 15 traveller event is 18 February at Queen Mary Sailing Club.

Bob Carter.

Thanks to Guy Harwood for these pictures, showing just how cold it really was!
(Click on an image to see a larger version)

Overall Results
1st G. Carter Beaver
2nd S. Snell Grafham
3rd A. Flather Beaver
4th M. Aldridge Grafham
5th C. Black Grafham
6th G. Goldstone Queen Mary

Sprint Results
1st W. Tusting Grafham
2nd R. Sawford Rutland
3rd A. Webb Rutland