Queen Mary Sailing Club TT : Winter Series
Saturday 20th February 2010

On Saturday February 20th the Sprint 15 fleet visited Queen Mary for the fourth event of their Winter Series. Once again for this winter series, the forecast was for a cold day with light wind. Even so, there was a terrific 19 boat entry, coming from IOW in the south to Carsington in the north.

Race officer Andrew Craig and his team performed wonders to set a course in the light, constantly changing wind.

Immediate drama at the start of the first race, with the 2 boats of Robin Newbold and Pete Slater over the line, and with the light wind, neither made it back to the start line.
The first leg was very difficult, sailing in hardly a breath of wind required utmost concentration. The leading pack of Steve Sawford, Stuart Snell, Chris Black and Erling Holmberg were coping best, but on a day like this, a change in the wind is always likely. So it was, leaving the lead pack in a no wind zone and the result was that almost the whole fleet arrived at the 2nd mark virtually together.

From this point, it was almost any one’s race, but Stuart Snell skilfully pulled out a lead on the last leg, only to suffer the disappointment of seeing the wind fill in behind, allowing the fleet to catch him yards from the line. 1st place went to Grafham’s Chris Black with a welcome return to form, 2nd was the unlucky Stuart Snell, closely followed by Steve Sawford, Tom Gall, Erling Holmberg, Robert England and Stewartby’s Mark Norman. Queen Mary sailor, George Stephen managed to squeeze past Simon Giles to take 8th.

By the time of the 2nd race, the wind had swung round nearly 180 degrees, causing more problems for the Race Officer.

At the start, half the fleet had sailed to the port end of the line to take advantage of the heavily biased line. With seconds before the gun, the wind swung back the other way giving the advantage to the starboard tack boats. It was that sort of day.

Steve Sawford and Derek James took full advantage of the situation to get away and build a lead, followed by Pete Slater, Robin Newbold, George Love and Simon Giles.

The wind never stopped swinging around all day. By the time the leaders reached the last leg, this had now become another beat. Sawford sailed well to hold off Derek James to the line. They were clear ahead.

The following pack were struggling to get to the finish in the difficult conditions. As most of the fleet went to the right of the course, several including Chris Black and Gordon Goldstone noticed a band of wind on the other side and tacked off to try and gain advantage. It helped, but wasn’t enough.

In a close finish for the places, Robin Newbold took 3rd, followed by Pete Slater, Tom Gall, Stuart Snell and Gordon Goldstone, Chris Black came in 8th.

After 2 races in very difficult conditions, the overall winner was Rutland’s Steve Sawford, from Grafham sailors, Stuart Snell and Chris Black.

This means that Sawford and Snell are now equal on points with the last race in the series at Grafham Water on March 21st.

Winner: Steve Sawford
Winner: Steve Sawford
Looks a bit close!
Looks a bit close!
Running in Light Wind at QM
Running in Light Wind at QM


Full Series Results available here

Una Fleet
CompetitorsEvent Placings
NameSailClubFormatHandicap PlaceFleet Place
Steve Sawford1733Rutland Water Sailing ClubUna Rig11
Stuart Snell1982Grafham Water Sailing ClubUna Rig22
Chris Black2005Grafham Water Sailing ClubUna Rig33
Tom Gall1226Carsington Sailing ClubUna Rig44
Robert England1351RYAUna Rig55
Gordon Goldstone2004Queen Mary Sailing ClubUna Rig76
Mark Norman1431Stewartby Water Sports ClubUna Rig87
Simon Giles1944Shanklin Sailing ClubUna Rig98
Erling Holmberg2007Shanklin Sailing ClubUna Rig109
George Stephen1594Queen Mary Sailing ClubUna Rig1110
Robin Newbold991Carsington Sailing ClubUna Rig1211
Peter Slater1627Draycote Water Sailing ClubUna Rig1312
Ed Tuite Dalton1940Draycote Water Sailing ClubUna Rig1413
Jan Elfring1913Draycote Water Sailing ClubUna Rig1614
Mike Loxley1683Calshot Sailing ClubUna Rig1815
Dave Casale1963Queen Mary Sailing ClubUna Rig1916
Sport Fleet
CompetitorsEvent Placings
NameSailClubFormatHandicap PlaceFleet Place
Derek James1744Draycote Water Sailing ClubSport61
George Love1825Carsington Sailing ClubSport152
Ray Gall1914Carsington Sailing ClubSport173