Grafham Water Sailing Club TT : Summer Series
Saturday 22nd - Sunday 23rd October 2016

There was a strong entry of 31 Sprint 15s at the Grafham Cat Open for the Class Inland Championships on 22/23 October where the Class was once again the biggest (by far) at the event. Team Marconi had an impressive 9 boat entry including 2 juniors after some encouragement by team organiser Jenny Ball. There were also strong attendances by the Thorpe Bay and Shanklin Clubs.  

Saturday was a bright sunny day with a Northerly F3 breeze and there were 3 races back to back down the centre of the lake.

In the first race Steve Sawford led the fleet for the first couple of laps hotly pursued by Chris Tillyer, Stuart Snell, Kevin Kirby and George Love. The wind was prone to large shifts which were catching out some on the beats and by the start of the third lap Snell had taken over the lead. Hurricane guru, Andy Webb, who was sailing his first Sprint 15 open with 12 year son Finley, found he was making progress on the beats only to fall back on the runs with the need to tack downwind. At the gun Snell had a clear lead from Tillyer, Sawford, Kirby and Love.

Race two followed quickly and Kirby was first to the windward mark from Erling Holmberg who was trying out a new boat with 7Kg of ballast as an experiment for the Class Association. Kirby had really got the bit between his teeth and by lap 3 was several hundred yards ahead of Stuart Snell who was a long way clear of Holmberg, Will Stefanou and David Ball. As the wind was holding Race Officer, Nigel Denchfield, sent the fleet around for a fourth lap and by the finish Snell had resumed ‘normal service’ by taking the gun from Kirby, Holmberg and Steve Healy, who was making up for missing the start of the first race due to a rudder problem.

The next race started quickly but with significantly less wind and a wayward Hobie Dragoon which straddled the fleet on the start line put the fleet to the test. The windward mark in the lighter wind was now in the shadow of the trees on the Northern shore and rounding it became a challenge. John Manning was first around followed by Holmberg and Healy. As they progressed along the reach the wind strength recovered but the Catapults who started 6 minutes after the Sprint 15s but had avoided the lull had already overtaken many of the Sprint 15s. With the wind restored Holmberg and then Kirby lead the race for periods but Holmberg who had prospered by taking the right side of the first beat found to his cost it did not pay on the following lap. The race was finished after 3 laps and Kirby took the gun from Snell, Jim Bowie and Liam Thom. The fleet retired to the bar talking of how shifty the wind had been and Sawford was kicking himself for missing the gate on one lap in race 3 taking him to the back of that race.

On Sunday with the addition of Club racing the course was moved to the dam end of the lake, but as luck would have it, the wind was a little stronger and was NNE which enabled a clear wind over the left end of the dam. With this wind direction a good length windward leg was possible and both reaches were square and much preferred to the fetch of the previous day. In race four Love tore off to an early lead with Tillyer, the Webbs and Thom chasing. Love held on for a couple of laps but Webb was finding the stronger wind and better reaches much to his liking and the two-up boat with a jib was no longer a disadvantage downwind. By lap 3 the Webbs were in the lead and they took the gun from Love but Love had no gun as he had been OCS so lost his best result of the weekend. Snell took second from Thom, Kirby and Bowie. Also worthy of note was that Catherin Farthing had her best race with a 7th and was first lady in this race.

The wind held and races 5&6 followed a very similar pattern with Snell taking 2 more guns and Jenny Ball taking 2 2nd places, the Webbs collecting 4th & 3rd, Love took a 3rd and Kirby a 4th.

At the end of the day Stuart Snell was the clear winner and thus retained the Inland Championships, from Kevin Kirby (second) and Andy and Finley Webb took third place in their first Sprint 15 traveller meeting. Jason Clarke of Marconi won the trophy for top Youth.  Other places are listed below. It was noticeable that the 5 new UK built boats that were taking part were all in the top 8 places.

The fleet went away satisfied after an excellent regatta. They thanked Grafham for the good organisation and Race Officer, Nigel Denchfield and team, for good courses and slick turnarounds between races.

This event concluded the Sprint 15 Summer Traveller series but the Winter Traveller series kicks off at Stewartby on 5 November.

Overall Results: 1st S Snell (Grafham)  6pts, 2nd K Kirby (Marconi) 15pts, 3rd A & F Webb (Harwich) 25pts, 4th J Ball (Marconi) 31pts  5th   E Holmberg (Shanklin) 31pts, 6th C Tillyer (Thorpe Bay) 32pts, 7th L Thom (Shanklin) 32pts,  8th J Bowie (Thorpe Bay) 34pts, 9th G Love (Carsington) 37pts, 10th  D Ball (Marconi) 37pts, 11th S Healy (Thorpe Bay), 12th S Sawford (Rutland)

Top Grafham Boat: S Snell

Top Youth: J Clark (Marconi)

Report by Bob Carter

Rank Sail No Helm Crew Sailing Club R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Total Nett
1st 2016 Stuart Snell Grafham Water Sailing Club 1 1 -2 2 1 1 8 6
2nd 2020 Kevin Kirby   Marconi Sailing Club 4 2 1 4 -9 4 24 15
3rd 1879 Andy Webb Finley Webb Harwich Town Sailing Club 6 -18 11 1 4 3 43 25
4th 1917 Jenny Ball   Marconi Sailing Club -13 6 12 9 2 2 44 31
5th 2018 Erling Holmberg Shanklin 8 3 6 -14 8 6 45 31
6th 1953 Chris Tillyer Thorpe Bay YC 2 9 5 6 10 (32.0 DNC) 64 32
7th 1957 Liam Thom   Shanklin Sailing Club 9 -11 4 3 7 9 43 32
8th 1981 Jim Bowie   Thorpe Bay YC -15 7 3 5 5 14 49 34
9th 2019 George Love Carsington SC 5 8 14 (32.0 BFD) 3 7 69 37
10th 1923 David Ball   Marconi Sailing Club 7 5 9 11 -13 5 50 37
11th 1921 Steve Healy Thorpe Bay (32.0 DNS) 4 13 15 11 10 85 53
12th 1733 Steve Sawford Rutland 3 29 -31 8 6 13 90 59
13th 1714 David Groom Netley 11 14 -16 12 16 8 77 61
14th 1898 Simon Farthing Grafham Water Sailing Club 12 -21 8 13 14 15 83 62
15th 1983 Peter Richardson Marconi Sailing Club 14 17 10 16 12 (32.0 DNC) 101 69
16th 1940 Ed Tuite Dalton Draycote Water -23 12 15 10 19 16 95 72
17th 1988 Jon Pearse   Marconi SC 17 10 18 -24 24 11 104 80
18th 1955 John Manning Beaver SC -24 13 7 22 22 20 108 84
19th 1521 David Clarke Marconi Sailing Club -26 19 19 23 15 17 119 93
20th 1428 Andrew Perks Marconi Sailing Club 21 -28 17 17 20 18 121 93
21st A1898 Cathrin Farthing Grafham Water Sailing Club 25 22 24 7 17 (32.0 DNF) 127 95
22nd 1976 Will Stefanou Stokes Bay 16 15 20 18 (32.0 DNC) 32.0 DNC 133 101
23rd 1916 Stuart Pierce Shanklin Sailing Club 19 25 -27 20 18 19 128 101
24th 1755 Rob Baily   Thorpe Bay YC 18 20 -29 26 26 12 131 102
25th 2004 Gordon Goldstone Queen Mary SC 10 16 25 (32.0 BFD) 32.0 RAF 21 136 104
26th 1947 Andrew Berisford Brightlingsea SC -28 27 22 19 21 22 139 111
27th 1546 Andy Bunyan Stewartby 20 24 23 21 -25 23 136 111
28th 1339 Jason Clarke Marconi Sailing Club 29 (32.0 DNC) 28 25 23 24 161 129
29th 1840 Keith Chidwick Queen Mary SC 27 26 -30 27 27 25 162 132
30th 1942 William Harrison Marconi SC 22 (32.0 DNC) 21 32.0 DNC 32.0 DNC 32.0 DNC 171 139
31st 2008 Dave Warnock   30 23 26 (32.0 DNC) 32.0 DNC 32.0 DNC 175 143

Pictures by Nigel Denchfield and Nick Champion.


Full Series Results available here

Una Fleet
CompetitorsEvent Placings
NameSailClubFormatHandicap PlaceFleet Place
Stuart Snell2016Grafham Water Sailing ClubUna Rig11
Kevin Kirby2020Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig22
Andy Webb1879Harwich Town Sailing ClubUna Rig33
Jenny Ball1917Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig44
Erling Holmberg2018Shanklin Sailing ClubUna Rig55
Chris Tillyer1953Thorpe Bay Yacht ClubUna Rig66
Liam Thom1957Shanklin Sailing ClubUna Rig77
Jim Bowie1981Thorpe Bay Yacht ClubUna Rig88
George Love2019Carsington Sailing ClubUna Rig99
David Ball1923Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig1010
Steve Healy1921Thorpe Bay Yacht ClubUna Rig1111
Steve Sawford1733Rutland Water Sailing ClubUna Rig1212
David Groom1714Christchurch Sailing ClubUna Rig1313
Simon Farthing1898Grafham Water Sailing ClubUna Rig1414
Peter Richardson1983Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig1515
Ed Tuite Dalton1940Draycote Water Sailing ClubUna Rig1616
Jon Pearse1988Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig1717
John Manning1955Beaver Sailing ClubUna Rig1818
Dave Clarke1521Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig1919
Andy Perks1428Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig2020
Catherine Farthing0Grafham Water Sailing ClubUna Rig2121
Will Stefanou1976Stokes Bay Sailing ClubUna Rig2222
Stuart Pierce1916Shanklin Sailing ClubUna Rig2323
Rob Bailey1755Thorpe Bay Yacht ClubUna Rig2424
Gordon Goldstone2004Queen Mary Sailing ClubUna Rig2525
Andrew Berisford1947Brightlingsea Sailing ClubUna Rig2626
Andy Bunyan1546Stewartby Water Sports ClubUna Rig2727
Jason Clarke1339Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig2828
Keith Chidwick1840Queen Mary Sailing ClubUna Rig2929
William Harrison1942Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig3030
David Warnock2008RYAUna Rig3131