Grafham Water Sailing Club TT : Winter Series
Sunday 17th March 2019

 The Chris Black Sprint 15 Icicle Winter Event at Grafham

(or Thrills and Spills at Grafham)

The Grafham Sprint 15 Icicle traveller event took place on 17 March in a force 4-6 Westerly wind which was the residue of Storm Gareth. Seven travellers joined 3 locals for an exciting days racing in which many practised their capsize drill.

In the first race, top traveller, Paul Grattage, went straight into an early lead from Kevin Dutch and Stuart Snell. Grattage  progressively opened out a huge lead over Dutch and likewise Dutch opened out a huge lead over the rest of the  fleet in the 5 lap race and so neither were challenged. Further back it was a different story and there was some close racing for the minor places. Snell, Jenny Ball and local, Christian Mash were the main protagonists with each taking turns in 3rd place. At the end of a tiring 5 lap race Mash took third place from Ball, Snell and John Pearse.


The second race was sailed back-to-back with the first but ex-champion Dutch, making a welcome return after some time away from the circuit (racing his Tornado), was first up the beat and lead the fleet for the first lap. Grattage, (also an ex-champion), gave hot pursuit followed by Ball, Snell and Mash. At the start of the second lap Grattage eased into the lead and once again pulled away from the fleet. Ball and Snell traded 3rd place but then on the third lap Ball beat up the left side of the course to displace Dutch in second place. Dutch recovered however, on the downwind leg so after 4 laps at the gun the sequence was Grattage, Dutch, Ball, Snell and Mash.

A lunch break followed (to fit in with the Grafham club racing schedule ) before the third and final race took place. Just as race 3 was started the sky darkened and a squall blew up covering the lake with white horses. Race leader, Grattage found he could not bear away to gybe on the run and ended up putting in a tack and a 270 instead. A number capsized. Ball found her boat to be “self righting”  from a quick capsize in the stiff 35 knot breeze and Dutch put in 3 capsizes in quick succession. Race officer, Phil Bevan had his own  problems as the  Committee boat dragged  its anchor taking it off station for a while. Four of the competitors retired but 6 completed the full race and some revelled in the conditions. Grattage took his third win and Mash and Pearse were second and third. Ball was fourth and Kevin Cummerson was fifth.

So at the end of the day, Grattage was the clear winner from Dutch and Mash. Judith Black kindly came to present the prizes including the elegant trophy she donated in Chis Black’s memory.

There were 2 boats sailing Sport mode (a brave move in these conditions) and Derek James just beat Simon Hare, but both retired in race 3. It was also particularly nice to see a 2-up boat from Seasalter take part (ably sailed by John Bainbridge and Karen Baker).

This event concluded the Winter Series but the Summer Series starts at Marconi on 6/7 April.

Report by Bob Carter.  Picture by Jon Pearse.

Position Fleet Sail Helm Crew Club PY R1 R2 R3 Total Nett
1st Unarig 2018 Paul Grattage   Shanklin 927 1 1 1 3 2
2nd Unarig 1938 Kevin Dutch   Seasalter 927 2 2 6 10 4
3rd Unarig 1939 Christian Mash   Grafham 927 3 5 2 10 5
4th Unarig 2025 Jenny Ball   Marconi 927 4 3 4 11 7
5th Unarig 1988 Jon Pearse   Marconi 927 6 7 3 16 9
6th Unarig 2022 Stuart Snell   Grafham 927 5 4 11 20 9
7th Unarig 1582 Kevin Cummerson   Grafham 927 7 6 5 18 11
8th Sport 1744 Derek James   Draycote 894 9 8 11 28 17
9th Sport 2026 Simon Hare   Oxford 894 8 11 11 30 19
10th Two up 1742 John Bainbridge Karen Baker Seasalter 927 10 9 11 30 19


Full Series Results available here

Two Up Fleet
CompetitorsEvent Placings
NameSailClubFormatHandicap PlaceFleet Place
John Bainbridge and Karen Baker1742Seasalter Sailing ClubTwo Up101
Una Fleet
CompetitorsEvent Placings
NameSailClubFormatHandicap PlaceFleet Place
Paul Grattage2018Shanklin Sailing ClubUna Rig11
Kevin Dutch1938Seasalter Sailing ClubUna Rig22
Christian Mash1939Grafham Water Sailing ClubUna Rig33
Jenny Ball2025Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig44
Jon Pearse1988Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig55
Stuart Snell2022Grafham Water Sailing ClubUna Rig66
Kevin Cummerson1582Grafham Water Sailing ClubUna Rig77
Sport Fleet
CompetitorsEvent Placings
NameSailClubFormatHandicap PlaceFleet Place
Derek James1744Draycote Water Sailing ClubSport81
Simon Hare2026Oxford Sailing ClubSport92