The Sprint 15 Southern Championships were held at Thorpe Bay Yacht Club on the weekend of 26-27 June. The weather throughout the weekend was spectacular, with plenty of sunshine and enough wind to suit most tastes. The first day was the breezier of the two. A good easterly plus an added sea breeze made for scintillating conditions.
A feature of the weekend was how the local cadets leapt at the opportunity to race a catamaran, if one was available. The result was that five of the twenty four entries were under the age of eighteen. And for four of them, it was their first experience in a catamaran.
The first day of racing was dominated by Kyle Stoneham who won all three back-to-back races. Kyle is the reigning national champion of the Sprints and Tornados and others as crew. It is hard to believe he is only twenty three. Second was Dan Henderson who sailed a borrowed boat. Last weekend, Henderson was 5th in the Musto Skiff championships (74 entries) and the junior champion. Erling Holmberg, David Ball, Nick Dewhirst and Jenny Ball were in the positions that followed.
The following day was lighter. There were three national race officers on the committee boat, led by Phil Crawford. They delayed the Sunday race to allow the sea breeze to fill, which it quickly did. This time, Stoneham had to work harder. He was beaten into sixth place which he discarded. And in the last race, he was second to Dan Henderson who had a well deserved win. Theresa Ryall surprised everyone, not least herself, with a third in that race!
The overnight leaders held onto their positions at the final count.