Blue skies and a light winds kicked off of the Sprint 15 winter series at Stewartby on Saturday 4 November. A total of fifteen boats from all over the UK arrived to do battle - of which, six boats were from Stewartby - probably a record attendance for the locals!!
The first race, following a square course, was dominated by Bob Carter in his brand new boat. Newcomer to the fleet, Howard Hawkes, held second place for much of the race but lost out on the last lap leaving George Stephen to take second place with Paul Smith and Steve Sawford coming in joint third. The rest of the field came in, with an almost unanimous placing of the 'Stewartby Boys' propping up the race order.
After lunch, the wind dropped slightly and the course was changed to a 'P' shape. Good port flyer starts by Steve Sawford, George Stephen, Robin Hall & Howard Hawkes beat Bob Carter to the first mark. George Stephen progressively opened out a huge lead from Steve Sawford in second place. Paul Smith recovered from a bad start to climb to 3rd place by the end of the race ahead of Robin Hall. However, Robin later suffered in the rankings - due to his insistence on sailing a Sport rig! Towards the back of the race, the follow up places were hotly contested between the local Stewartby boys (Graham Shrimpton, Steve Wakelam, Mark Rushton) and our visitors from the Isle of Wight (Erling Holmberg & Paul Tanner) and 'Freddie' Keith Bartlett from Christchurch. Racing participants, Mike Loxley, Dave Smith and Tony Skinner were complemented on the water by Jim Leydon (practicing for next year after digging his boat out from the undergrowth and buying a trailer earlier in the day).
Retiring to the bar, the customary crates of beers were distributed to all participants and race organisers. Overall, George Stephen won the event, with Steve Sawford, second and Bob Carter, third. Sadly, there were only two crates of Kronenberg, so Bob has to settle for Stella!!
|1st||G Stephen||Queen Mary||3 pts|
|2nd||S Sawford||Anybody's||5.5 pts|
|3rd||R Carter||Grafham||6 pts|
|4th||P Smith||Beaver||6.5 pts|
|5th||H Hawkes||Thorpe Bay||10 pts|
|6th||P Tanner||Shanklin||13 pts|
Sport Format: 1st R Hall (Stewartby), 2nd M Loxley (Calshot Cats)
For the full results, click here.
Thanks to Steve Wakelam for the write-up and Karl Pountney for the pictures.