Sprint 15 Triumph at Eurocat 2014
Eighteen Sprint 15s from the United Kingdom packed their boats onto trailers and ventured to Brittany in France to take part in the Interserie C4 at Eurocat 2014 in Carnac which was held over the weekend of 1st to 4th May. All courses were windward with two leeward marks.
Day 1, Race 1: A tough start in some very breezy F5/6 conditions with a heavy sea state. Steve Sawford making the early running up to the windward mark from Brian Phips & Mark Aldridge. The heavy sea chop and gusting conditions claimed early capsizes from Robert England & George Love. At the finish it was a close call but Brian Phipps just edged out Steve Sawford by less than half a boat length. Mark Aldridge finished fourth just behind a French combatant.
Day 2, Race 2 : F2/3 breeze and calmer seas saw Snell lead everyone up the beat from a chasing pack of Thomas Sandal, Sawford and Phipps. Paul Craft, Peter Richardson, Stuart Pierce on the second beat saw helms tacking in the wind shifts. Snell held on to his lead with Phipps second and Sandal third.
Day 2, Race 3: F2/3 with the breeze shifting all over the place Snell, Phipps, Craft, Thomas, England & Ray Gall starting at the far end of the line gained an early advantage. Snell led this group around the windward mark and as the race settled on the downwind leg it was Snell who held off Sandal from Craft at the finish.
Day 2, Race 4: a freshening F3 breeze saw a frantic start with some early tacking on to port by Kevin Kirby, Simon Hare, Craft & Love. Sailing in “sport mode 2 up”, Simon & Henry Giles were making their way through the fleet sailing slightly off-wind. The race settled down on the second lap and at the finish it was Craft 1st from Simon & Henry Giles 2nd and a fast finishing Kevin Kirby 3rd.
Day 2, Race 5: This race saw an early lead by Phipps closely tracked by Aldridge, Kirby & Sandall. Behind these on the downwind leg positions were changing as a large chasing group of Snell, Sawford, Craft, Love, Jon Pearse, Richardson, Petts & Gordon Goldstone harrying the leaders. Positions continued to change over the two laps but at the finish it was Phipps from Aldridge & Sandal.
Day 3, Long Distance “Raid Race”: The course took the fleet to the island of “IIe d'Houat” in a breeze of F3/4 and a distance of 25 NM. With all classes competing en masse, the start line of upwards of 150 boats was a busy place! A massive wind shift just seconds after the start saw all Sprint 15s tack on to port and had to battle their way tacking several times to the windward mark to start an anti-clockwise broad reach around Carnac bay before setting off on a screamer of a port reach all the way to “IIe d'Houat”. Chasing Craft, Stuart Pegum, Steve Petts and Hare, it was Gall who made a mistake on this leg and pitch-poled. Up at the front Snell led at the turn for home at the “IIe d'Houat” from Phipps & Sandal, closely chased Aldridge, Love, Craft and Sawford. At the finish Snell extended his lead over Phipps with Sandal third. The Sprint 15 competitors took eight of the top ten places with Simon & Henry Giles, Love, Craft, Sawford and England completing an almost clean sweep of the event.
Day 4, Race 6: In a F2/3 breeze and with the beat proving difficult in the shifting wind and short sea chop it was, once again the speed of Phipps to the windward mark which proved decisive. He led from Snell and Craft closely pursued by Sandal Sawford, Kirby, Love & Richardson. Several helms experimented taking different leeward buoys in an effort to gain advantage but, despite best efforts, it was Phipps who maintained his lead over Snell & Craft.
Day 4, Race 7: in a F2/3 breeze, a starboard start which had been the order of the day during the regatta for such a big field, saw once again a close fought battle over the two laps between the main rivals of Snell, Sandal, Phipps, & Craft always closely shadowed by Sawford and Love who had found some speed over the last two races and continued to pick his way through the fleet. But at the gun it was Snell from Sandal and Phipps.
Thus concluded a superbly successful first international event for The Class taking not only all three podium places but locking out all top ten places in a total fleet of 27 boats. The champagne was flowing!Full Results
Full Series Results available here