Northern Championship Rutland Water Sailing Club TT : Summer Series
Saturday 16th - Sunday 17th May 2015

11 Sprints entered the second TT and Northern Championship at Rutland to be held as part of their cat open event on 16/17 May.. Due to a 24knot gust the race officer decided to postpone the start for an hour and wait for the wind to drop since this was considered too much wind for the other catamaran classes. After an hour spent watching children learn to sail in Picos, the wind hadn’t noticeably dropped but fortunately we were still allowed to go out and start the first race.

The “Rutland Belle”, a pleasure cruise boat which has right of way over all sailing boats made an interesting obstacle on the first beat with Paul Grattage opting to tack early to avoid it. Stuart Snell continued but was blocked from tacking and had so slow down and go behind which resulted in him losing out to Paul Craft by the windward mark. Grattage managed to lead the fleet around the slightly unusual “P” course and by the leeward mark had a small lead over Craft. On the second beat the Sprints had to go to a different windward mark. Grattage led from Craft but then Snell made an unusual mistake of heading for the fast cat’s spreader instead, adding a great deal of distance to the course. He was followed by Gordon Goldstone and Steve Roberts. Chris Tillyer and Simon Hare didn’t make this mistake so ended up in comfortable 3rd and 4th positions by this point. At the end of the penultimate lap Gordon Goldstone could see most of the fast catamarans had finished so assumed there had been a shortened course and sailed across the finish line. The race officer didn’t notice he hadn’t completed enough laps so awarded him the race win. He was followed by Grattage and Craft who had completed enough laps. Seeing 3 Sprints finished Steve Roberts also crossed the line 1 lap early. Later realising their mistakes, Roberts and Goldstone retired from the race giving the win to Grattage, Craft 2nd, Chris Tillyer 3rd and Simon Hare in 4th.

The 2nd race started with a bit less wind on a slightly port biased line. Grattage got the pin from Snell and pulled away before sailing into a hole allowing Snell to catch back up by the windward mark. Craft was in 3rd with Chris Tillyer in 4th. On the 2nd lap Grattage took advantage of a slight veer in the wind when he was on the port layline. The rest of the fleet weren’t quite on the layline yet and this allowed him to extend his lead. The fleet all seemed to know the course by now and everyone completed the correct number of laps. The top 4 remained the same with Erling Holmberg in 5th and Steve Roberts 6th.

The wind increased slightly for the 3rd race. Grattage almost left the start too late but managed to power through Snell’s bad air with seconds to go before the gun. The positions stayed similar to race 2 but on the 2nd lap Chris Tillyer managed to capsize. This was his first time to fully invert a Sprint. After asking for advice from the boats overtaking him managed to right the boat but was a long way back by this point so retired. The final result was Grattage from Snell followed by Craft, Holmberg and Simon Hare in a solid 5th proving the result in race 1 was no fluke.

The 2nd day saw less wind so there were many more boats on the water from the other fleets. This time a starboard biased line but there were no recalls and the fleet got away with Grattage and Snell in front followed by Tillyer and Craft. Snell Rounded the windward mark first with Grattage, Tillyer and Craft close behind. Unfortunately he then missed the second windward mark out. Realising his mistake he went back giving the lead to Grattage. Part way down the run the Sprints crossed the Aclass’s course and Grattage was forced to slow down allowing Craft and Tillyer to overtake with Holmberg closely following. Grattage went round the leeward mark in 3rd and was forced to tack to get out of the bad air and go left. This paid off and by the windward mark he was back in the lead. Grattage won and Snell recovered to 5th. Andy Bunyan needed to make up for not finishing a race on day 1 and managed to finish in 8th.

Race 5 saw another close battle between Grattage and Snell. This time Grattage got round the windward mark first with Snell close behind. Snell overtook on the reach before Grattage retook the lead on the run. Grattage heavily covered Snell up the second beat allowing Tillyer and Holmberg to close in. On the 3rd beat Tillyer and Snell went right. In bad air Holmberg decided to tack and go to the far left corner. Snell was then unfortunately hit by an Aclass which put him out of the event. Grattage continued right covering Tillyer but when on the port layline the wind backed and Holmberg was able to take the lead. Grattage chased Holmberg down the final run but was unable to get close enough to challenge before the finish. Tillyer followed in 3rd with Mark Bunyan making up for not racing on day 1 in 4th.

Race 6 saw Grattage get away at the committee boat end of the line. The wind had freshened again and Tillyer followed in 2nd. There was a close race for 3rd and 4th between Holmberg and Roberts. Stuart Pegum was going better and was up to 5th. In the end Holmberg and Roberts were declared level on the finish and were given 3.5 points each. Goldstone this time did an extra lap as he hadn’t noticed the Sprints had been set one less than the fast cats and was followed by Mark and Andy Bunyan but after waiting for them to complete the extra lap the race officer correctly counted them 7th, 8th and 9th.

The fleet were pleased with the quick turn around between races and were ashore in good time. Getting an extra 2 races in was also a bonus as was the relatively stable wind for an inland location.

Report by Paul Grattage

Overall Results:

Pos Sail No Club Helm R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Pts
1st 2018 Shanklin Paul Grattage 1 1 1 1 ‑2 1 5
2nd 1953 Thorpe Bay YC Chris Tillyer 3 4 (DNC) 3 3 2 15
3rd 2007 Shanklin Erling Holmberg ‑5 5 4 4 1 3.5 17.5
4th 1928 Worthing SC Paul Craft 2 3 3 2 (DNC) DNC 22
5th 2016 Grafham Stuart Snell 6 2 2 5 (DNC) DNC 27
6th 1910   Stephen Robert ‑8.5 6 7 7 6 3.5 29.5
7th 1970 Oxford Simon Hare 4 8 5 ‑10 7 6 30
8th 2004 Queen Mary SC Gordon Goldstone 8.5 7 6 ‑9 5 7 33.5
9th 1918 Oxford Stewart Pegum 7 (RET) DNC 6 9 5 39
10th 1343 SWSC Mark Bunyan (DNC) DNC DNC 11 4 8 47
11th 1289 Stewartsby Andy Bunyan (RET) DNC DNC 8 8 9 49

Paul Grattage
Paul Grattage


Full Series Results available here

Una Fleet
CompetitorsEvent Placings
NameSailClubFormatHandicap PlaceFleet Place
Paul Grattage2018East Down Yacht ClubUna Rig11
Chris Tillyer1953Thorpe Bay Yacht ClubUna Rig22
Erling Holmberg2007Shanklin Sailing ClubUna Rig33
Paul Craft1928Worthing Sailing ClubUna Rig44
Stuart Snell2016Grafham Water Sailing ClubUna Rig55
Stephen Robert1910RYAUna Rig66
Simon Hare1970Oxford Sailing ClubUna Rig77
Gordon Goldstone2004Queen Mary Sailing ClubUna Rig88
Stewart Pegum1918Oxford Sailing ClubUna Rig99
Mark Bunyan1343Stewartby Water Sports ClubUna Rig1010
Andy Bunyan1289Stewartby Water Sports ClubUna Rig1111