The Sprint 15 Northern Championship were held at Carsington Sailing Club on the weekend of 20th 21st September. The weather was bright, warm but disappointingly the wind was light 4–6 mph from the South West and very variable, despite this two local Sprint 15s opted to sail in Sprint Sport mode, whilst the remainder of the fleet took the sensible option of sailing Una-Rig.
Race 1 started at 12 noon with the race officer David Cattemole setting a trapezoid course to give the fleet maximum reaching conditions given the light and shifting wind, this course would be used for all three races on the Saturday. The fleet starting on starboard with the exception of Ed Dalton who timed his port flyer to perfection which paid handsome dividends as he rounded the windward mark in first position closely followed by Ray Gall and Charles Watson. A close battle ensued over the next few laps with Gall & Watson gaining advantage over Dalton. The chasing pack of Erling Holmberg, Steve Tunnacliffe & Richard Harrison took advantage of some serious wind shifts to make up ground on the front runners. Finishing positions were Watson, Gall sailing “sport” from S Tunnacliffe with the final finishing positions on corrected time being Watson 1st Tunnacliffe 2nd and Ed Dalton 3rd.
Race 3 with minutes to go before the start of the race the wind died and changed direction making it impossible to cross the line on starboard, several boats were caught out but Hawkes and Holmberg had positioned themselves in the middle of the line and made a superb start arriving at the windward mark unopposed, meanwhile Tunnacliffe, Goldstone, Watson & Dalton were picking there way up a very tricky wind shifting beat. At the front Hawkes and Holmberg were having a great tussle with the lead over the next three laps changing many times but at the final leeward mark Holmberg rounded first but Hawkes sailed leeward of him and at speed to take the lead and snatch the win. Finishing positions Hawkes 1st Holmberg 2nd and Goldstone 3rd.
Sunday start delayed due to no wind and the forecast for the rest of the day wasn’t good, RO set a small trapezoid course to make best use of the light and fickle wind which arrived mid day but wasn’t going to last.
Race 4 Started with all the fleet on starboard headed by Hawkes, Watson, Holmberg, Dalton and Gall all in close proximity but it was Hawkes who rounded the windward mark first, positions changed in the mid order pack with Goldstone fighting his way clear of Tunnacliffe Harrison, Pegum and Howarth towards the front runners, the beat on the second lap found the whole fleet sailing towards a massive hole and dying wind, with the fleet in irons for several minutes a wind shift came through and caught several helms out, Pegum being worst affected missing the gate and being disqualified. The run towards the leeward mark saw several more place changes and to relief of the fleet an end to the days racing. Finishing positions Hawkes 1st Holmberg 2nd and Watson 3rd.
Full Series Results available here