Winter Series 2009 - 2010 Report

The Sprint 15 winter traveller series was concluded at Grafham on Sunday 21 March on a bright sunny day with a 22 boat entry. All 5 event of the winter series were completed mostly in light winds (we seemed to get an anticyclone for each event) and a record number of 15 entries qualified for the series with 3+ results.

At Stewartby in November there were 18 entrants (including 6 locals) battling it out in a force 2 wind. Stuart Snell narrowly won the day from Steve Sawford, Erling Holmberg, Peter Slater and Simon Giles. The competition was hot and several were lucky that a general recall in race 2 gave them a second chance.

We moved on to Carsington in December and 17 boats (inc 5 locals) took part on a bright day with a force 2-3 breeze but also with the odd tricky gust coming over the hills. Team Carsington were out in force to repel the challenge of Team Draycote who had 4 boats at the away match. After a general recall in the first race sportster, George Love flew away to win the first race from Steve Sawford and Stuart Snell but the second race was back to normal with Sawford and Snell from local hot-shot Robin Newbold.

It was impossible to sail at Draycote on 9 January as the pond was frozen but the event was moved to 23 January and we shared the pond with the Supernovas. It was a murky cold day with only a light breeze. 14 travellers joined 4 local sailors but the competition was hot. Erling Holmberg won a race as did Sawford but it was consistency that caused Snell to win the event from Sawford, Holmberg, Robert England and Sportster, Derek James.

At Queen Mary on 20 Feb it was icy cold, brilliant sun with hardly a breath of wind which greeted the 19 contestants. Undaunted, the QM race team ran two races and each consisted of just one lap! The first race took 90 minutes and each leg of a square course turned out to be a beat. The tension in the air was electric with concentration. To the spectators it was like watching grass grow.

Even so at the end of the day the same two names were at the fore. Sawford won from Snell but third and forth were taken by Chris Black and Tom Gall who was having a break from big boat sailing in warmer climes.

Thus after 4 events Sawford and Snell each had two firsts and two seconds with 3 results to count in the series. It could not have been closer. So it all had to be settled at Grafham on 21 March. It was sunny and mild for a change but once again the competitors found themselves waiting for wind. Fortunately the wind got up to a force 2/3 after a half hour wait, but not before a few impatient contestants had left. Never-the-less 22 sailors did battle in pleasant but tricky sailing conditions due to the variable wind swings and the close proximity to the Grafham Flying Fifteen fleet! The racing was tight with 8 different sailors in the front during the 2 races. Finally Snell won from Simon Farthing, Richard Philpott, Peter Slater and Frank Sandells sot it was Snell who retained the Winter Series Trophy with (1,1,1) after the closest winter series in the history of the class. Sawford (1,1,2) retired to a beer and to dream of what might have been.

The fleet rest for a few weeks now before the summer series kicks off at Herne Bay on 24/25 April

Final Results Summary:

Overall TT Series Top 5 Places: 1st Stuart Snell (Grafham Water Sailing Club) 3 Pts , 2nd Steve Sawford (Rutland Water Sailing Club) 4 Pts, 3rd Erling Holmberg (Shanklin Sailing Club) 12 Pts, 4th Peter Slater (Draycote Water Sailing Club) 12 Pts, 5th Robert England (RYA) 17 Pts

Una and Two-Up Fleet Top 3 Places: 1st Stuart Snell (Grafham Water Sailing Club) 3 Pts, 2nd Steve Sawford (Rutland Water Sailing Club) 4 Pts, 3rd Erling Holmberg (Shanklin Sailing Club) 11 Pts

Sport Fleet Top 3 Places: 1st Derek James (Draycote Water Sailing Club) 5 Pts, 2nd Ray Gall (Carsington Sailing Club) 5 Pts, 3rd George Love (Carsington Sailing Club) 11 Pts

Full Series Results are available here

Event Summaries:

Total Number of Individual Competitors who attended at least one event: 36

Event Attendance Summaries
TT EventNumber of Home CompetitorsNumber of TravellersNo. of Una or Two Up CompetitorsNo. of Sport Mode CompetitorsTotal Number of Competitors at Event
Stewartby Water Sports Club71118018
Carsington Sailing Club41011314
Draycote Water Sailing Club41214216
Queen Mary Sailing Club31616319
Grafham Water Sailing Club61620222

No. of Competitors From Each Club
Who Took Part In At Least 1 Event
ClubNumber of Competitors
Beaver Sailing Club1
Calshot Sailing Club1
Carsington Sailing Club5
Colne Yacht Club1
Draycote Water Sailing Club4
Grafham Water Sailing Club6
Queen Mary Sailing Club3
Rutland Water Sailing Club1
Seasalter Sailing Club1
Shanklin Sailing Club2
Snettisham Beach SC1
Stewartby Water Sports Club7
Thorpe Bay Yacht Club1
Stuart Snell Winter Series Winner

Steve Sawford leads Stuart Snell at Carsington

Stewartby Open