Inland Championship Grafham Water Sailing Club TT : Summer Series
Saturday 30th - Sunday 31st October 2021

Thirty eight Sprint 15s entered the final Sprint 15 Summer TT and Inland Championships which formed part of the wider Grafham Cat Open.  The Sprints were by far the largest fleet there but other fleets were also well represented, creating a great overall turnout.

The forecast was for strong winds, cold temperatures and rain.  A reassuring return to form for the Grafham Cat Open following the light wind drifter last year. 

Day one was the less windy of the two so the fleet rigged in the rain and then attended the briefing where Race Officers Nigel and Fiona Denchfield confirmed that three back to back races were the order of the day.

The fleet set off to the far side of the lake to the start area.  It was a decent breeze at 15 knots and gusting but not at the top end of the forecast.  The Dart 18 Single Handed fleet were the first start, followed by the Sprint 15s and then a Medium Handicap fleet.

The Committee boat was generally the favoured end of the start line and Jason Clarke did a great job of starting there on the front row, whilst many behind him found themselves parked up waiting to get through.  Liam Thom, Ed Tuite Dalton and Mark Aldridge were among those that fetched further down the line for a clear lane start.  Jason established his lead for the first lap, pursued by Mark and Chris Tillyer.  The need for Jason to duck a boat from another fleet gave Chris the opportunity to take the lead during lap two which he held on to for the rest of the race. Jason came in second, followed by Mark.  On the final lap Ed – our Association Chair - managed to head for the wrong leeward mark (the one set further away for the other two fleets) and took several of the fleet with him, allowing Liam, Steve Sawford and Jon Pearse to overtake him and take 4th,5th and 6th.  

Darker clouds rolled across in the run up to Race 2 bringing a stronger baseline breeze and some bigger gusts periodically across the course.  Picking the right way up the beat and even on the downwind leg became more interesting as different routes were favourable on different laps.

Race 2 was an interesting one from start to finish.   Bunching on the start line resulted in Liam brushing the back of the boat in front and having to do a turn when there was finally room to do so.  Those who tacked off to the right fared best and by the end of the first lap, Steve had taken the lead, followed by Stuart Snell, Mark and then Ed.  Slightly further back, Jason had to do a turn having clipped Chris’ boat rounding mark 3 whilst Liam was steadily making his way back into the top ten.   By lap 2, Stuart Snell had got in front of Steve and established a healthy lead by lap 3.    Previously, the port side of the run had generally paid but then our Vice Chair, George Love led the charge with Yvonne Pike and a few others down the starboard side overhauling a good number of boats in the process.   However, following the example set by the Chair, George then led the same group down to the wrong leeward mark, allowing those behind them to regain their places again.  Race 2 also proved to be bad luck if you were called Rob – both Rob Bard and Rob Bailey caught separate gusts and capsized but both managed to right themselves and get a race finish.   Whilst all kinds of things were happening in the pack, the front five were pretty consistent throughout the race, with Stuart taking the win, followed by Steve, Mark, Ed and Simon Farthing. 

The sun actually came out for race three which proved to be mostly about taking the right way up the beat – although it was not always the same each time, resulting in a number of position changes throughout the fleet.  From the start line, those who went to the left corner generally fared better than those who had gone right.  Stuart Snell led at the end of the first lap followed by Steve, Ed and Liam.  On the second beat, Liam picked the middle track and as a result, came out at the front of the pack followed by Steve, Ed, Simon and Geoff Tindale.  This time, those who went left on the second lap found they had lost ground to those who had tacked off much earlier.  Liam continued to lead for the final lap, closely pursued by Steve.  At the end of the final downwind leg, Liam was so focused on stopping Steve from overtaking him, that he nearly allowed Ed to slip through on the inside of the mark rounding. Unfortunately for Ed, Liam spotted the maneuver out of the corner of his eye and rapidly changed direction to cut Ed off.  On the final short leg from mark four, Steve tacked off and managed to cross the finish line seconds in front of Liam – followed by Ed, Simon and Geoff.

The fleet headed home in the uncharacteristic sunshine and packed things down ahead of the strong winds forecast for the next day. 

The rain had reappeared the following morning and the competitors watched from the shore as the race management team headed out to assess the conditions and lay some race marks.     Even stood in the lee of the clubhouse, the 25 to 30 knot plus gusts were perfectly visible across the water as were the waves on the far side that gave the RIB crews a good soaking.   At 10am, a very wet Race Officer came ashore to report that the conditions were not promising for racing, but that he would re-assess in an hour’s time before making a final call.   The wind showed no sign of abating, however, so a final call was made to abandon racing.

On the basis of the three races on Saturday – Steve Sawford had earned a comfortable Inland Championship win, with Mark Aldridge in second place, Ed Tuite Dalton in third and Liam Thom in fourth.  The youth trophy was won by Abbie Clarke from Stone who completed all three races, despite the breezy conditions.

Big thanks to Nigel and Fiona Denchfield and all at Grafham Water SC for another great event.

Grafham was the final TT in our Summer Series – so the event prizegiving was followed by prizegiving for the overall series which comprised TTs at Stone, Stokes Bay, Draycote, Carsington and Grafham.  


Report by Jenny Ball
Pictures by Nigel Denchfield.

Rank Fleet Class Sail Helm Crew Sailing Club SCHRS R1 R2 R3 Total Nett
1st Sprint 15 Sprint 15 1989 Steven Sawford   Rutland Sailing Club 1.417 5.0 2.0 1.0 8.0 8.0
2nd Sprint 15 Sprint 15 2027 Mark Aldridge   Grafham Water Sailing Club 1.417 3.0 3.0 6.0 12.0 12.0
3rd Sprint 15 Sprint 15 2023 Ed Tuite Dalton   Draycote Water Sailing Club 1.417 7.0 4.0 3.0 14.0 14.0
4th Sprint 15 Sprint 15 1957 Liam Thom   Shanklin Sailing Club 1.417 4.0 9.0 2.0 15.0 15.0
5th Sprint 15 Sprint 15 2020 Chris Tillyer   Thorpe Bay Yacht Club 1.417 1.0 6.0 10.0 17.0 17.0
6th Sprint 15 Sprint 15 2022 Stuart Snell   Grafham Water Sailing Club 1.417 9.0 1.0 7.0 17.0 17.0
7th Sprint 15 Sprint 15 1898 Simon Farthing   Grafham Water Sailing Club 1.417 10.0 5.0 4.0 19.0 19.0
8th Sprint 15 Sprint 15 1521 Jason Clarke   Marconi Sailing Club 1.417 2.0 16.0 9.0 27.0 27.0
9th Sprint 15 Sprint 15 2021 Jim Bowie   Thorpe Bay Yacht Club 1.417 13.0 7.0 8.0 28.0 28.0
10th Sprint 15 Sprint 15 2025 Jenny Ball   Marconi Sailing Club 1.417 11.0 8.0 11.0 30.0 30.0
11th Sprint 15 Sprint 15 1988 Jon Pearse   Marconi Sailing Club 1.417 6.0 11.0 14.0 31.0 31.0
12th Sprint 15 Sprint 15 2017 Geoff Tindale   Stone Sailing Club 1.417 15.0 18.0 5.0 38.0 38.0
13th Sprint 15 Sprint 15 1981 Keith Persin   Thorpe Bay Yacht Club 1.417 8.0 19.0 12.0 39.0 39.0
14th Sprint 15 Sprint 15 2019 George Love   Carsington Sailing Club 1.417 14.0 13.0 13.0 40.0 40.0
15th Sprint 15 Sprint 15 1821 Skip Atkins   Stone Sailing Club 1.417 20.0 10.0 15.0 45.0 45.0
16th Sprint 15 Sprint 15 1986 Frank Sandells   Grafham Water Sailing Club 1.417 16.0 15.0 17.0 48.0 48.0
17th Sprint 15 Sprint 15 1965 Yvonne Pike   Shanklin Sailing Club 1.417 17.0 12.0 22.0 51.0 51.0
18th Sprint 15 Sprint 15 2024 Gordon Deuce   Brightlinsea Sailing Club 1.417 19.0 22.0 16.0 57.0 57.0
19th Sprint 15 Sprint 15 1966 Robert Wilson   Stone Sailing Club 1.417 18.0 17.0 23.0 58.0 58.0
20th Sprint 15 Sprint 15 1755 Robert Bailey   Thorpe Bay Yacht Club 1.417 12.0 30.0 18.0 60.0 60.0
21st Sprint 15 Sprint 15 1913 Jan Elfring   Draycote Water Sailing Club 1.417 22.0 26.0 19.0 67.0 67.0
22nd Sprint 15 Sprint 15 2026 Andrew Berisford   Draycote Water Sailing Club 1.417 25.0 21.0 21.0 67.0 67.0
23rd Sprint 15 Sprint 15 1744 Derek James   Draycote Water Sailing Club 1.417 21.0 25.0 24.0 70.0 70.0
24th Sprint 15 Sprint 15 1955 John Manning   Beaver Sailing Club 1.417 27.0 20.0 25.0 72.0 72.0
25th Sprint 15 Sprint 15 1896 Donald Sloan   Felixstowe Ferry Sailing Club 1.417 39.0 DNC 14.0 20.0 73.0 73.0
26th Sprint 15 Sprint 15 2015 Nigel James   Marconi Sailing Club 1.417 24.0 23.0 26.0 73.0 73.0
27th Sprint 15 Sprint 15 1339 Jemma Clarke   Marconi Sailing Club 1.417 26.0 24.0 30.0 80.0 80.0
28th Sprint 15 Sprint 15 1879 Rob Bard   Marconi Sailing Club 1.417 23.0 31.0 27.0 81.0 81.0
29th Sprint 15 Sprint 15 1575 Mladen Wilder   Grafham Water Sailing Club 1.417 29.0 27.0 28.0 84.0 84.0
30th Sprint 15 Sprint 15 1683 Keith Murphy   Eastbourne Sovereign 1.417 28.0 29.0 29.0 86.0 86.0
31st Sprint 15 Sprint 15 1747 Daniel Bard   Marconi Sailing Club 1.417 31.0 28.0 31.0 90.0 90.0
32nd Sprint 15 Sprint 15 1790 Abbie Clarke   Stone Sailing Club 1.417 30.0 32.0 32.0 94.0 94.0
33rd Sprint 15 Sprint 15 1982 Paul Craft   Worthing Sailing Club 1.417 39.0 DNF 33.0 RTD 39.0 DNC 111.0 111.0
34th Sprint 15 Sprint 15 1776 Kevin Kirby   Marconi Sailing Club 1.417 39.0 DNC 39.0 DNC 39.0 DNC 117.0 117.0
34th Sprint 15 Sprint 15 1759 Lee Garton   Marconi Sailing Club 1.417 39.0 DNC 39.0 DNC 39.0 DNC 117.0 117.0
34th Sprint 15 Sprint 15 1983 Peter Richardson   Marconi Sailing Club 1.417 39.0 DNC 39.0 DNC 39.0 DNC 117.0 117.0
34th Sprint 15 Sprint 15 1939 James Carrier   Grafham Water Sailing Club 1.417 39.0 DNC 39.0 DNC 39.0 DNC 117.0 117.0
34th Sprint 15 Sprint 15 1787 Tristan Nichols   Grafham Water Sailing Club 1.417 39.0 DNC 39.0 DNC 39.0 DNC 117.0 117.0


Full Series Results available here

Una Fleet
CompetitorsEvent Placings
NameSailClubFormatHandicap PlaceFleet Place
Steve Sawford1989Rutland Water Sailing ClubUna Rig11
Mark Aldridge2027Grafham Water Sailing ClubUna Rig22
Ed Tuite Dalton2023Draycote Water Sailing ClubUna Rig33
Liam Thom1957Shanklin Sailing ClubUna Rig44
Chris Tillyer2020Thorpe Bay Yacht ClubUna Rig55
Stuart Snell2022Grafham Water Sailing ClubUna Rig66
Simon Farthing1898Grafham Water Sailing ClubUna Rig77
Jason Clarke1521Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig88
Jim Bowie2021Thorpe Bay Yacht ClubUna Rig99
Jenny Ball2025Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig1010
Jon Pearse1988Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig1111
Geoff Tindale2017Stone Sailing ClubUna Rig1212
Keith Persin1981Thorpe Bay Yacht ClubUna Rig1313
George Love2019Carsington Sailing ClubUna Rig1414
Skip Atkins1821Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig1515
Frank Sandells1986Grafham Water Sailing ClubUna Rig1616
Yvonne Pike1965Shanklin Sailing ClubUna Rig1717
Gordon Deuce2024Brightlingsea Sailing ClubUna Rig1818
Robert Wilson1966Stone Sailing ClubUna Rig1919
Rob Bailey1755Thorpe Bay Yacht ClubUna Rig2020
Jan Elfring1913Draycote Water Sailing ClubUna Rig2121
Andrew Berisford2026Brightlingsea Sailing ClubUna Rig2222
Derek James2015Draycote Water Sailing ClubUna Rig2323
John Manning1955Beaver Sailing ClubUna Rig2424
Donald Sloan1896Brightlingsea Sailing ClubUna Rig2525
Nigel James2015Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig2626
Jemma Clarke1339Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig2727
Rob Bard1879Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig2828
Mladen Wilder1575Grafham Water Sailing ClubUna Rig2929
Keith Murphy1683RYAUna Rig3030
Daniel Bard1747Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig3131
Abbie Clarke1790Stone Sailing ClubUna Rig3232
Paul Craft1982Worthing Sailing ClubUna Rig3333