The first event in the Sprint 15 Winter TT series is something of a highlight of the class racing calendar and following a record breaking turn-out in 2011, this year’s event was expected to be another ‘big-one’.
While there were a few club fleet members unable to attend, Stewartby still managed to field an impressive 12 boats who were joined by an enthusiastic 18 visitors. Principle Race Officer, Andrew Gregory, set a standard rectangular course and, once briefed, the fleet headed out in a stiff breeze.
There was a clean start for race one, however many in the fleet misjudged the start leading to a somewhat spread-out first beat. The first reach saw the leading boats begin to pull away. Conditions were gusty and with big shifts and, for some, would give an early indication of capsizes to come.
The racing was fast and competitive throughout the fleet with home boats putting in strong performances throughout. Race 1 was won by Stuart Snell (Grafham), with Paul Craft (ODC)and Mark Aldridge making 2nd & 3rd Place.
The start for race 2 was a much tighter affair in slightly calmer conditions. By the end of the first beat, the stiff breeze was back along with its gusts, leading to a couple of capsizes and a few retirements. However, after a few laps, things calmed down leading to much less exciting finish.
Race 2’s finishing order was Mark Aldridge, Stuart Snell and Simon Farthing (Grafham).
Overall, the event was won by Stuart Snell, 2nd & 3rd Places went to Mark Aldridge and Paul Craft. As per usual everyone took home a case of beer or tin of sweets. Notable home performances came from Simon Miles and Jonathan Finch, with Simon picking-up the title of club class captain for his efforts, as is the tradition. Top Junior racer was Liam Howcroft, a home sailor, clearly demonstrating that the class has a lot to offer youth sailors looking for a fast sailing experience.
Full Series Results available here