Stewartby Winter Handicap Saturday 6 November 2004

On Saturday 6 November 17 Dart 15s took part in the first event of the Dart 15 winter traveller series at Stewartby. There were 14 travellers from as far a field as Halifax (Charles Watson and Steve Tunnacliffe), Isle of Wight, 3 from Angmering (near Littlehampton), the first ever traveller from Draycote (Jon Stone) plus the usuals from Grafham, Queen Mary and 3 locals.

Principal Race Officer, Neville Solerburg, set a complex "round the cans" course using 6 buoys in a determined attempt to "use all the lake" in a force 2 North Westery breeze which was straight along the lake.

Paul Smith was first to the windward mark in the first race, closely followed by Stuart Snell and George Stephen. Smith and Snell progressively drew away from the rest of the pack but we never more than a few yards apart. Someway back, a race for third place developed between Charles Watson, Stephen and Bob Carter. Smith managed to hold off Snell for the entire race and took the gun, with Snell in second place and Carter third from Watson, Stephens, and local Sprinter, Robin Hall.

After a lunch stop the second race got underway and Snell made no mistakes taking a huge lead on the first beat from Hall, Carter, Watson, Stephen and Tunnacliffe. On the second beat Smith took the shore side, got a big lift and caught back from sixth place to take up the challenge on Snell. Richard Whitelock and Erling Holmberg were also making big gains on the windward legs. Smith challenged Snell throughout the race but Snell hung on to take the gun with Smith a close second. Carter was third from Whitelock, Holmberg and Watson.

Thus with both Snell and Smith with a first and second the winner was decided on the shortest aggregate time, and Smith was the victor - by just 2 seconds! Close racing.

The next event in the winter TT Series is at Beaver on 4 December.

Overall Results
1st P. Smith Beaver 3pts
2nd S. Snell Grafham 3pts
3rd R. Carter Grafham 6pts
4th C. Watson Halifax 10pts
5th E. Holmberg Shanklin 11pts
6th R. Whitelock Grafham 12pts

1st Sprinter: Robin Hall - Stewartby

For the full results, see the series table here.