Grafham Cat Open and Inland Championship Grafham Water Sailing Club TT : Summer Series
Saturday 24th - Sunday 25th October 2009

Windsport Catparts Sprint 15 Traveller at Grafham

The last regatta of the Windsport Catparts Sprint 15 Summer traveller series was held at Grafham Water Sailing Club on the weekend of 24/25 October which was also the Inland Championships. There were 38 entries with 30 travellers and a rather disappointing 8 locals which made the Sprint 15 fleet more than twice the size of any other fleet at the Grafham Cat Open.

Saturday was forecast for heavy rain and a strong Southerly wind but it started as misty/murky with a 12 mph light shifty South wind and was like that at the start of proceedings. Race officer, Peter Saxton, set the preferred trapezoidal course with tight reaches and a port biased start line. Race one got underway with Brian Phipps taking the lead on the pin end from Tom Sandal and David Casale while Mark Aldridge and Steve Sawford took a dodgey port flyer. Meanwhile Nick Dewhirst was just launching his boat at the start so was treating race 1 as a practice race. Sportster George Love worked his way into the lead for the second lap chased by Sandal, John Postlethwaite, Phipps and Kevin Kirby. It was tight between the top 4 boats for the next 2 rounds but the corrected sequence at the gun was Sandal, Phipps, Postlethwaite and Love.

The murky shifty conditions continued into the second race. Once again Phipps lead off the line and at the windward mark it was Phipps from Love, Sandal, Steve Sawford and Richard Philpott. As the race developed Phipps stretched out a huge lead by working the shifts upwind and Charles Watson and Neil Parkhurst also progressed through the ranks. Phipps won the race from a distant Watson, Postlethwaite, Parkhurst and Love.

By the time of the third race the weather was clearing and wind was building and had swung 20 degrees to the West necessitating the course to be relaid. This caused an unfamiliar sequence at the start of the third race as many failed to spot that the windward mark had moved. So Postlethwaite led from Gordon Goldstone and Mark Aldridge after the first beat. These 3 led the charge whilst the likes of Phipps, Sandal and Erling Holmberg played catch-up. There was no catching Postlethwate who extended his lead to the gun but Phipps worked his way into second from Aldridge and Goldstone.

By contast Sunday was bright and sunny with a warm(ish) gusting force 3-4 SW wind. It was a superb sailing day and the forth race was the most closely contended. With big wind swings the beat became very tactical and each lap had a new leader. Phipps, Watson, Sandal and Sawford (by now he had remembered how to sail) all took their turn but at the line it was Sawford from Phipps as Watson had to take a turn before finishing third. Stuart Pierce had his race and weekend spoilt when a Grafham Laser 2000 sailed though his boat leaving a large hole.

The wind continued to build to force 4 gusting 5 for race 5. Sawford made no mistakes and led from start to finish. Postlethwaite Aldridge and Watson followed respectively but further down the fleet quite a few swimmers were noted. These included David Ball, Jacob Aldridge, Neil Parkhurst, Rob Bowen, Robin Newbold and many more. Some even claimed they needed to wash the salt off their boats.

Thus after an exciting weekends sailing Brian Phipps was crowned the new Inland Champion after a display of consistent performance throughout the weekend.

Overall Results: 1st B Phipps (Restronget) 7pts, 2nd J Postlethwaite (Beaver) 9pts, 3rd S Sawford (Rutland) 16pts , 4th C Watson (Halifax) 18pts 5th T Sandal (Grafham) 19pts, 6th M Aldridge (Grafham) 22pts, 7th K Kirby (Marconi) 29pts, 8th E Holmberg (Shanklin) 35pts, 9th D Ball (Marconi) 37pts, 10th G Love (Carsington) 42pts

Sport Format: 1st G Love (Carsington), 2nd D James (Draycote) 3rd R Gall (Carsington).

Top Grafham Boat: T Sandal

Full sailwave results from Grafham

• The results were ready and we announced and the prizegiving for 1.45 on the Sunday. This was a full 30 minutes before the sailors were ready. We did one less race than the other classes so our prizegiving was over and our sailors had left Grafham before the other classes were ready for their prizegiving. I just love it when a plan comes together………….( Dukes of Hazzard?)

• Grafham Fleet Captain, Frank Sandells (who was sailing a Hurricane and should have been sailing his Sprint 15) was protested by Anglian Water. He tried to sail his Hurricane between a Anglian Water motorboat and a fishing boat it was towing!!!

• Pot hunter and Sprint15 National Champion, Kyle Stoneham, fell off the F18 he was crewing for Hugh Styles when he hooked onto the elastic shock chord by mistake.

• Every where you looked around Grafham Sprint 15 Sailors past and present were on all sorts of boats (from F18s to Hurricanes to Shadows to Catapults plus 38 on Sprint 15s). It makes you realize how much the Catamaran Scene owe to the Sprint 15 class.

• The pre-entry enabled the efficient running of the event. It meant that we could enter the entries into Sailwave properly before the race weekend. We could also identify duplicate sail numbers and allocate sail letters to differentiate between them (On Course B we had three 2006s, and two 2004 and two 2007). This meant that the race teams could write down the results correctly and that the results could be quickly entered and produced. So it is worth the pain on a big event like this.

Charles Watson
Charles Watson
General racing
General racing
Steve Sawford
Steve Sawford


Full Series Results available here

Una Fleet
CompetitorsEvent Placings
NameSailClubFormatHandicap PlaceFleet Place
Brian Phipps6Restronguet Sailing ClubUna Rig11
John Postlethwaite1405Beaver Sailing ClubUna Rig22
Steve Sawford1733Rutland Water Sailing ClubUna Rig33
Charles Watson1237Halifax Sailing ClubUna Rig44
Thomas Sandal1957Grafham Water Sailing ClubUna Rig55
Mark Aldridge1522Grafham Water Sailing ClubUna Rig66
Kevin Kirby1966Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig77
Erling Holmberg2007Shanklin Sailing ClubUna Rig88
David Ball1488Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig99
Richard Philpott1988Colne Yacht ClubUna Rig1110
Peter Slater1627Draycote Water Sailing ClubUna Rig1211
Ed Tuite Dalton1940Draycote Water Sailing ClubUna Rig1312
Gordon Goldstone2004Queen Mary Sailing ClubUna Rig1413
Robin Newbold991Carsington Sailing ClubUna Rig1514
Chris Black2005Grafham Water Sailing ClubUna Rig1615
Howard Hawkes1643Snettisham Beach SCUna Rig1716
Nick Dewhirst2006Whitstable Yacht ClubUna Rig1817
Neil Parkhurst1761Beaver Sailing ClubUna Rig1918
Dave Casale1963Queen Mary Sailing ClubUna Rig2019
Peter Richardson1983Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig2120
Jacob Aldridge1736Grafham Water Sailing ClubUna Rig2221
John Manning1955Beaver Sailing ClubUna Rig2322
Matthew Brown1977Beaver Sailing ClubUna Rig2523
Stuart Pierce1813Shanklin Sailing ClubUna Rig2624
Robin Gill753Beaver Sailing ClubUna Rig2725
Micheal Robertshaw1758Beaver Sailing ClubUna Rig2826
Eamonn Quigley1715Grafham Water Sailing ClubUna Rig2927
Rob Bowen1348Netley Sailing ClubUna Rig3128
Steve Davison1567Halifax Sailing ClubUna Rig3229
James Hurst565Grafham Water Sailing ClubUna Rig3330
Gary Marshall1876Island Yacht ClubUna Rig3431
Ian Collyer1945Hollowell Sailing ClubUna Rig3532
Daren Fitchew1642Thorpe Bay Yacht ClubUna Rig3633
Fenella Miller1579Marconi Sailing ClubUna Rig3734
Keith Ball1937Grafham Water Sailing ClubUna Rig3835
Sport Fleet
CompetitorsEvent Placings
NameSailClubFormatHandicap PlaceFleet Place
George Love1825Carsington Sailing ClubSport101
Derek James1744Draycote Water Sailing ClubSport242
Ray Gall1914Carsington Sailing ClubSport303