On the 13th February Datchet Water Sailing Club hosted the penultimate round of the Sprint 15 2015/16 winter series. Fourteen helmsmen arrived at the club after travelling a combined total of over 900 miles to be greeted by a rather rainy and chilly morning, at least the vital ingredient of a 15 knot wind was present.
Newcomers to the class Andrew Sinclair and Daniel Drew joined us for their first Sprint 15 TT with their recently purchased boats after travelling all the way from Plymouth in Devon.
Race officer Barry Peters set the Sprint 15 favoured trapezoidal course and soon got proceedings underway with a clean start by everyone for race one. Paul Grattage was first to reach the windward mark and held the lead for the rest of the race, hotly pursued by Stewart Snell and David Groom. Through the rest of the fleet helms were tussling for places as large wind shifts allowed some sailors to make good gains if they were lucky enough to be in the right place as the gusts came through.
The second race promptly got underway with Gordon Goldstone and Steve Sawford starting on port and crossing ahead of the fleet. After rounding the windward mark, the wind increased and Andy Bunyan caused a bit of a distraction by flying a hull a bit too high until the inevitable happened and he capsized, all suggested claims of showboating were refuted. Steve Sawford had a race long battle with Paul Grattage for the lead with Paul finally taking the gun.
Thanks must be given to the race officer, along with his team for their efficient management both on and off the water to ensure a good days racing for all.
The winter series continues on the 20th March at Grafham Water Sailing club.
Pictures by Barry Peters
Full Series Results available here