This year the Sprint 15ís headed for Swanage Sailing Club for the first time for many years to hold their Sport Nationals over a long weekend from the 8th to 10th May hoping for Sun, wind and sand.
With most people arriving on the Saturday morning space on the beach was at a premium as 24 boats had to be assembled before the first race. This race started on a cold overcast day but in a steady force 4 wind and Kyle Stoneham gave everyone hope for the championship by coming fifth while at the front it was the Flying Dutchman (Kevin Dutch) hotly pursued by Peter Lytton, the ever present, Mike Cemm in third place and Sam Heaton (of Instow) in forth. Mike Cemm from the home club has won this event several times in the early 90s before retiring to Swanage.
The second race was sailed back-to-back with race one in much the same weather but with Stoneham and Steve Sawford mixing it with Dutch for first place. At the end of the race Stoneham made amends for his first race by finishing first with Sawford second and Dutch in third finishing off a good day for him counting a 1st and 3rd to be the leader after the first day. After sailing everyone retired to the club for a well earned BBQ and talk about how they nearly could have won the race.
On Sunday morning we were met by the same weather as Saturday that meant the winter sailing gear came out again. Due to club racing in the morning it was decided to run three races back-to-back in the afternoon. By the time we started racing the wind had dropped a bit and the heavy weights didnít have to trapeze (for some of us is a good thing) but at the front it was more of the same with Stoneham in first from Dutch and Cemm. Magazine editor,George Love , from Carsington had a good result coming home in forth place just ahead of Erling Holmberg.
In race 4 the wind was back to force 4 and though the Sun had still not appeared the fleet was in for a treat as we were joined by a group of Dolphins that stayed with us for most of the race matching the speed of the boats to play their games. In this race we had a new face trying to get in front of Stoneham in the form of Mark Aldridge in only his second attempt at a sports nationals, but at the finish it was first Stoneham followed by Aldridge, Sawford Love and then Steve Littlejohns of the home club.
Race 5 in a force 3 was a close race with places change all the way through the fleet some due to tiredness after being on the water for 4 hours without a break. The first two places were held by the main rivals for the championship with once again Stoneham winning his fourth race on the trot followed by Dutch and with Littlejohns taking third from Aldridge and Robert England. The fleet returned to the beach exhausted and then retired to the local Italian restaurant for a good meal and chat, mostly about the Dolphins.
The last day of racing was greeted by the same cold condition with a lot of waves due to the wind being at the top of force 4. With two races to go the championship was still to be decided as Dutch could still win the event if results went his way and not Stonehamís and Cemm could still be runner up. In race 6 Stoneham nailed the championship by winning once again with Cemm keeping his hopes alive for runners up by coming second with Sawford third and Dutch forth. It was good to see another local, Adrian Whaley take fifth and Robert Way from Instow improve to get sixth.
So for the last race the fight was on for runner up and with Dutch well back after the first lap it looked like Cemm could grap the runners up prize but on the second lap Aldridge followed by Dutch tacked early and went out to sea with the result that Aldridge lead round the windward mark followed by Stoneham and then Dutch in third. By the finish Stoneham had once again passed Aldridge who held on to second with Dutch coming third to confirm his runners up position. Thus Kyle Stoneham now becomes Sprint 15 Sport Champion as well as the champion of the regular format Sprint 15.
1st Robert Way (NDYC) + Mark Aldridge (Grafham) - 68 Pts (tie-break)
2nd George Love (Carsington) + Erling Holmberg (Shanklin) - 68 pts.
3rd Adrian Whaley (Swanage) + Robert England (Carsington) - 79 points
Click for: Full Results with all Sub-Competitions