Queen Mary Winter Handicap Saturday 17th February 2007

On Saturday February 17th the Sprint 15 fleet visited Queen Mary for the fourth event of their Winter Series. The weather forecast for the day was unfortunately for a very light wind. This almost certainly deterred some visitors from making the trip but the event still attracted 13 entries, though disappointingly none from the usually strong Grafham contingent.

For the event, race officers Martin and Joan Pride set the fleet a square course on the western side of Queen Mary reservoir. Not an easy task in itself in the very light and variable conditions.

The first race started in a light but reasonable breeze. 2 local men ,George Stephen and Ian Curd, were sharp off the line, and led the pack to the first mark, with Paul Craft (Open Dinghy Club) and Paul Tanner (Shanklin) in close company.

The fleet had split half way up the beat, but for those that chose to tack off early it proved disastrous. Gordon Goldstone, Erling Holmberg and Mike Loxley were amongst the losers as the light wind faded away on that side.

As the fleet rounded the windward mark, the wind became very light and the direction variable. It was difficult sailing for everyone, but Howard Hawkes (Thorpe Bay)gradually worked his way to the front overtaking Stephen and Tanner. The light conditions helped those behind to close up, and Steve Sawford and David Casale did very well to catch up.

At the finish, Howard Hawkes held on to take the win just inching ahead of Paul Tanner and Steve Sawford, who had managed to get in front of Stephen and Craft.

For the 2nd race, with the wind dropping, the race officers sensibly set a smaller course. Paul Craft and George Stephen were again in good position at the start, but many others were caught out of position, as the sequence counted down and they were late getting to the line. The wind was becoming desperately light and the sailing agonisingly slow by the time the fleet reached the 2nd mark. With the run to the 3rd mark sailed in almost zero wind, it required the utmost concentration to make any progress. Paul Craft did a good job to get there first, followed by Steve Sawford and Paul Tanner. At the finish, Paul Craft held on to his lead from Sawford and Tanner. Howard Hawkes was 4th and Erling Holmberg 5th. The rest of the fleet followed not far behind. A close competition between Queen Mary sailors Stewart Pegum and Keith Chidwick and Nick Thorpe-Beeson from Pevensey Bay finished in that order, Mike Loxley came in 10th ahead of Gordon Goldstone.

The conclusion of the 2 races was there were 3 people each on 5 points. After count back and aggregate time was applied the overall winner was Howard Hawkes from Paul Tanner and Steve Sawford. Paul Craft came in 4th and George Stephen just pipped Erling Holmberg out of 5th place.

The final event of the Sprint15 Winter series takes place at Grafham Water on Sunday March 11th.

Event Report by Gordon Goldstone

CompetitorsRacesEvent Placings
NameSailClubRace 1Race 2PointsPlace
Howard Hawkes1643 Thorpe Bay YC1451
Paul Tanner1991 Shanklin SC2352
Steve Sawford1733 S.S Marine3253
Paul Craft1977 Open Dinghy Club6174
George Stephen1594 QueenMary SC46105
Erling Holmberg1959 Shanklin SC55106
Stewart Pegam1918 Queen Mary SC87157
Keith Chidwick1840 Queen Mary SC98178
Nick Thorpe-Beeson1441 Pevensey Bay109199
David Casale1963 Queen Mary SC7142110
Gordon Goldstone2004 Queen Mary SC11112211
Mike Loxley1683 Calshot Cats13102312
Ian Curd1248 Queen Mary SC12142613

Last update: Tuesday 1st 2020f December 2020