17 visitors joined 7 home boats to contest the 3rd round of the ever popular Sprint 15 Winter TT series. This included 4 incredibly enthusiastic sailors from the Isle of Wight who had to get up at 4:30 am to make the race start!
Due to low water levels a square course was set around the Draycote shallows and this provided an interesting tactical option after the start – risk sailing a long starboard leg and damaged rudders on the shallows or tack off onto port and go up the right hand side of the beat. In the gusty and variable wind no option seemed to provide a consistent result and many places could be lost or gained.
However the usual suspects of Stuart Snell and Mark Aldridge proved most consistent and they took the first two places in the initial race.
The wind strengthened in the second race to the point where a capsize was a distinct possibility and the gusts on the downwind legs could easily catch helms unawares and lift both rudders out of the water.
The strengthening winds caused an increase in ‘incidents’ including Christine Roman scoring a direct hit on George Stephens port hull and capsizes from Andy Bunyan and Derek James. Despite the shallows Derek James’s boat was the only one to hit the reservoir bottom but this was with the top of the mast!
So at the end of the second race the top two places were again taken by Mark Aldridge and Stuart Snell but this time the positions were reversed causing a tie on points. After adding the times for the two races Stuart Snell was crowned the eventual TT winner with Mark Aldridge in second and Pete Slater in third.
After a confusing start to the second race Graham Collett managed to recover sufficient places to come fourth overall with Isle of Wight sailor Erling Holmberg coming fifth and Simon Miles in sixth.Link to full race results
Full Series Results available here