Report by: Bob Carter, Photos by: Thom Flaxman, David McNamee, Linzi Swintom
The Sprint 15 Summer TT Series kicked off at Marconi Sailing Club on a fine breezy weekend in April where 17 visitors joined 6 locals for some exciting sailing. On Saturday there were 3 races around the cans sailed back to back and each was won by a different competitor. Paul Craft won the first, Kevin Kirby the second and Kevin Dutch who had elected to sail Sport mode took the third. On Sunday the traditional long distance race round Northey and Osea Island was held. The race started off in a fresh breeze and the local hot shots of Jenny Ball, David Ball and Peter Richardson led the way but the wind became more fickle for a period and Stuart Snell worked his to the front. When the wind freshened once more the other Sport mode of Paul Grattage took the lead but he was unable to stretch the lead far enough to prevent Snell from lifting the long distance cup. Thus there were 4 different winners in 4 races but it was consistency which won J Ball (2,2,3,4) the event from Grattage ( 4,4,2,2).
By way of a complete departure from the norm the second traveller event was held in France at Carnac Eurocat on 1-4 May. 18 boats from the UK made the trip for the classes first ever trip abroad and totally dominated proceedings in the Group 4. Seven races were held over 3 days and there was an additional day for a long distance race (Raid) on day 3 where all the Eurocat competitors (150+) took part. The first day (one race) was very windy (F5/6) but after that much of the rest of the racing was held in force 2-3 winds. Brian Phipps was the event winner with 12 points which included 3 first places and a second and Stuart Snell was runner up with 15 points which also included 3 first places and a second. Also worthy of mention are Thomas Sandal who was 3rd and Paul Craft was 4th and race 4 winner. In the overall group 4 results UK Sprint 15s took the first 10 places out of 27 competitors.
The third traveller was also the Southern Championships and was held at Seasalter in mid August just as the remnants of Hurricane Bertha was passing through. 18 boats contested 2 races held in brisk force 4-6 winds on the Saturday but strong winds and torrential rain on the Sunday caused further racing to be abandoned. Grattage (1,2) sailing Sport mode won the event from Snell (4,1) and Chris Tillyer (3,4). Robert & Jon Finch took 4th and 5th.
The clash with Bartís Bash of our Northern Championships at Carsington on the weekend of 20-21 September was unfortunate as most sailors preferred to take part in Bartís Bash at their home club. This resulted in a poor attendance at Carsington. No matter, some good racing was to be had in some light breezes. 5 races were held across the 2 days and Paul Craft (1,2,1,1)was the winner from Robert England (1,2,1,2) and Andy McLeish was third.
The final traveller and Inland Championships was held at Grafham on 25-26 October where 23 travellers joined 6 locals on a fine and windy weekend. On the Saturday 3 races were held back to back in gusty f3-4 SW winds. Sportster, Grattage, chalked up 2 wins in races 1 and 3 but Snell won race 2 keeping the contest tight. On the Sunday the gusts became much stronger and the A Class went home. Just 2 of the 3 planned races were held and heavy weather sailors Farthing and Kevin Dutch took one race each. The overall event was won by Grattage from Snell, Farthing and Craft.
In the conclusion of another well supported series Grattage won the Traveller series from Snell and Craft. Snell won the standard mode traveller cup while Grattage won the Sport traveller trophy.
Final Results Summary:
Overall TT Series Top 5 Places: 1st Paul Grattage (Shanklin Sailing Club) 4 Pts , 2nd Stuart Snell (Grafham Water Sailing Club) 6 Pts, 3rd Paul Craft (Worthing Sailing Club) 8 Pts, 4th Kevin Dutch (Seasalter Sailing Club) 17 Pts, 5th Chris Tillyer (Thorpe Bay Yacht Club) 19 Pts
Una and Two-Up Fleet Top 3 Places: 1st Stuart Snell (Grafham Water Sailing Club) 4 Pts, 2nd Paul Craft (Worthing Sailing Club) 7 Pts, 3rd Chris Tillyer (Thorpe Bay Yacht Club) 15 Pts
Sport Fleet Top 3 Places: 1st Paul Grattage (Shanklin Sailing Club) 3 Pts, 2nd Kevin Dutch (Seasalter Sailing Club) 6 Pts
Southern Champion: Paul Grattage (Shanklin Sailing Club)
Northern Champion: Paul Craft (Worthing Sailing Club)
Inland Champion: Paul Grattage (Shanklin Sailing Club)
Full Series Results are available here
Total Number of Individual Competitors who attended at least one event: 54