Marconi Sailing Club TT : Summer Series
Saturday 14th - Sunday 15th April 2018

27 competitors took part in the first 40th Anniversary Sprint 15 Summer TT at Marconi SC on 14th and 15th April including an impressive home turnout of 13 boats.  We were also pleased to welcome Nigel and Fiona Denchfield as guest Races Officers for the event.

In addition to the racing, we welcomed the winner of our competition at the RYA Dinghy Show for a cat coaching session with Brian Phipps from Windsport International. 

As forecast, there was no wind in the morning but with a light breeze forecast for later in the afternoon it was decided to postpone racing for an hour.  With the AP dropped ashore, the fleet headed out to the race area off picturesque Osea Island in a pleasantly mild afternoon with a light breeze.

With the ebb now running, a number of the fleet managed to get caught in the “coffin zone” behind the committee boat, but with the breeze strengthening, the fleet headed off to the windward mark.  Paul Grattage established his lead at the first mark which proved unassailable.  Meanwhile, Liam Thom, Chris Tillyer, Stuart Snell, Jenny Ball and David Ball battled it out for the “next” positions.  Chris only managed to knock into Jenny’s shiny new boat once and Liam only managed to slightly insult Jenny by comparing her to the age of the Thames Sailing Barge that sailed by during the race.  As a result of which, whilst Stuart came second, Jenny made sure that Liam and Chris came 4th and 5th respectively behind her.

Race 2 saw a number of boats get pushed over the line by the ebb tide.  All but one (Jenny) re-cleared the line to continue the race.  Uncharacteristically, Paul managed to knock the windward mark and had to do a turn.  Jenny, David, Liam and George battled round the course with David taking the win (due to Jenny’s OCS) followed by Liam, George and Stuart.   Meanwhile Jon Pearse had endeavoured to sail the race with a broken universal joint on his tiller extension which, even with the aid of some string from Chris, did not prove sustainable – but did earn him the GJW Direct Insurance spot prize – see below.

By Race 3 – a sea breeze was starting to build – unusual in April but reflective of the cold water and unusually warm air temperature which was, frankly, a welcome return after the cold and wet winter/spring we have all endured!  Any original planning thoughts of deferring race 3 to Sunday were re-evaluated and it was decided to stick with the original NOR plan.   Which proved to be the right call as a decent breeze accompanied the race.  Stuart and Paul broke away with Stuart building enough of a lead to take the win.  David. Jenny, Liam and Kevin Kirby battled out behind – who managed to hold off Ed, Jim Bowie and George snapping at their heels.

The fleet headed in for a well deserved dinner – accompanied by champagne and cake as the Events Assistant had managed to coincide the event (at her home club) with her birthday.

On Sunday morning, the forecast was for a decent breeze coming in at about 12 noon  As such, the plan was to fit in a “round the cans” race from about 11 – and then the legendary figure of eight round the islands race to follow.  The weather decided to continue its fickle record this winter/spring by providing lots of mist, although this had cleared by the time the fleet launched mid-morning.   Patiently expecting the forecasted 11 knot breeze, the fleet sailed about but the winds remained fickle and not possible to race in for a further hour.   Eventually, a light breeze came in and, with a slight tweak to the marks, the Race Officer set the fleet off.  In a fluctuating breeze of anywhere between 2 and 7 knots, the fleet set off round the course.  Some had been delayed getting to the course, having opted to park on the beach and some got delayed by the strong tide.  Andy Perks led round the first mark, pursued by Paul, Stuart and Nigel James – with a group of Jenny, David, Kevin, George, Jim Bowie, Will Harrison and Jon Pearse battling out behind.  The wind held out enough to complete a proper two lap race with Paul taking the win, followed by Stuart and Nigel and Andy putting in really impressive third and fourth place results given they both only recently joined the fleet.

As a result of the delay, but with the light breeze holding, the fleet decided to go ahead with race 5 but a shortened version of just Osea Island, (rather than the full course including Northey Island). given the state of the tide.  With an interesting downwind start (!), the fleet headed diagonally across to Osea Island.  By now punching an ebb tide – it was an interesting decision whether to hug the Osea shore out of the tide but risk an element of wind shadow by doing so.  Chris managed to do this successfully whilst Liam headed out into more breeze / more tide and the pair converged ahead of the rest of the fleet just before turning at the head of the island.  As the fleet reached the turning point, the wind filled in with good strength creating a fantastic beat behind Osea Island.  Those who stood on further to the Goldhanger shore benefitted those who had tacked earlier but it was a great beat to the turning mark at the end of the island.  At this stage, Liam had consolidated his lead to take the win, followed by Ed Dalton, Paul, George, Jenny, Jim, Stuart and David.

The fleet headed home after a great weekend of sailing!   Big thanks go to the Race Officers, Race Committee and Support boat crews who had to set up and deliver 5 races in some unpredictable conditions whilst we all waited for the wind.  


Congratulations to:

Jemma Clarke – Marconi new comer to the event – and it was only her second time on a Sprint 15!

Jason Clarke – second place youth entry

Will Harrison – Youth winner and 12th placed overall

Jon Pearse – winner of the GJW Insurance spot prize for sailing 1.5 races with a rope rigged broken tiller extension.

Report by Jenny Ball, Pictures by Oli Southgate and George Love.

Rank SailNo HelmName Club Fleet R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 Total Nett
1st 2018 Paul Grattage Shanklin SC Sprint 15 1 (7) 2 1 3 14 7
2nd 2022 Stuart Snell Grafham WSC Sprint 15 2 4 1 2 (7) 16 9
3rd 1957 Liam Thom Shanklin SC Sprint 15 4 2 5 (12) 1 24 12
4th 1923 David Ball Marconi SC Sprint 15 6 1 3 7 (8) 25 17
5th 2025 Jenny Ball Marconi SC Sprint 15 3 (OCS) 4 6 5 46 18
6th 2019 George Love Carsington Sprint 15 (12) 3 9 8 4 36 24
7th 2021 Jim Bowie Thorpe Bay YC Sprint 15 8 (15) 7 5 6 41 26
8th 2020 Kevin Kirby Marconi SC Sprint 15 7 8 6 (9) 9 39 30
9th 2023 Ed Tuite Dalton Draycote Water Sprint 15 17 6 8 (22) 2 55 33
10th 1953 Chris Tillyer Marconi SC Sprint 15 5 9 10 (17) 12 53 36
11th 2015 Nigel James Marconi SC Sprint 15 9 (16) 14 3 15 57 41
12th 1942 William Harrison Marconi SC Sprint 15 14 10 13 11 (20) 68 48
13th 2004 Gordon Goldstone Queen Mary SC Sprint 15 13 11 15 13 (16) 68 52
14th 1339 Jason Clarke Marconi SC Sprint 15 19 13 11 (23) 11 77 54
15th 1921 Steve Healy Thorpe Bay YC Sprint 15 10 5 12 (DNC) DNC 83 55
16th 1755 Rob Bailey Thorpe Bay YC Sprint 15 11 14 (OCS) 20 17 90 62
17th 1211 Erling Holmberg Shanklin SC Sprint 15 16 17 16 (18) 13 80 62
18th 1428 Andy Perks Marconi SC Sprint 15 (20) 20 20 4 19 83 63
19th 1988 Jon Pearse Marconi SC Sprint 15 18 (DNF) OCS 10 10 94 66
20th 1551 Keith Persin Thorpe Bay YC Sprint 15 15 (19) 19 16 18 87 68
21st 1579 David Clarke Marconi SC Sprint 15 21 18 17 14 (23) 93 70
22nd 1872 Antony Bailey Marconi SC Sprint 15 (24) 23 21 21 14 103 79
23rd 1983 Peter Richardson Marconi SC Sprint 15 25 12 18 (DNC) DNC 111 83
24th 1521 Jemma Clarke Marconi SC Sprint 15 (26) 21 22 19 21 109 83
25th 2026 Simon Hare Oxford SC Sprint 15 22 (25) 24 15 24 110 85
26th 1840 Keith Chidwick Queen Mary SC Sprint 15 23 (24) 23 24 22 116 92
27th 1966 Robert Wilson Stone SC Sprint 15 27 22 (DNS) DNC DNC 133 105


Full Series Results available here

Una Fleet
CompetitorsEvent Placings
NameSailClubFormatHandicap PlaceFleet Place
Paul Grattage2018East Down Yacht ClubUna Rig11
Stuart Snell2022Grafham Water Sailing ClubUna Rig22
Liam Thom1957Shanklin Sailing ClubUna Rig33
David Ball1923Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig44
Jenny Ball2025Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig55
George Love2019Carsington Sailing ClubUna Rig66
Jim Bowie2021Thorpe Bay Yacht ClubUna Rig77
Kevin Kirby2020Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig88
Ed Tuite Dalton2023Draycote Water Sailing ClubUna Rig99
Chris Tillyer1953Thorpe Bay Yacht ClubUna Rig1010
Nigel James2015Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig1111
William Harrison1942Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig1212
Gordon Goldstone2004Queen Mary Sailing ClubUna Rig1313
Jason Clarke1339Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig1414
Steve Healy1921Thorpe Bay Yacht ClubUna Rig1515
Erling Holmberg1211Shanklin Sailing ClubUna Rig1616
Rob Bailey1755Thorpe Bay Yacht ClubUna Rig1717
Andy Perks1428Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig1818
Jon Pearse1988Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig1919
Keith Persin1551Thorpe Bay Yacht ClubUna Rig2020
Dave Clarke1579Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig2121
Anthony Bailey1872Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig2222
Jemma Clarke1521Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig2323
Peter Richardson1983Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig2424
Simon Hare2026Oxford Sailing ClubUna Rig2525
Keith Chidwick1840Queen Mary Sailing ClubUna Rig2626
Robert Wilson1966Stone Sailing ClubUna Rig2727