Grafham Water Sailing Club TT : Winter Series
Sunday 21st March 2010

On Sunday 21 March the final event of the Sprint 15 fleet winter series was held at Grafham. 16 visitors joined a (slightly disappointing) 6 sailors from the home club on a bright day which started off sunny with an absolute calm. The race officer, Phil Bevan, postponed for half an hour after which a slight and variable South wind kicked in and so he set a square course and got the proceedings under way.

At the start of race 1 both Steve Sawford and Simon Farthing were over the line and had to return and restart. The fleet split but those that tacked early to try the right side of the course sailed into a hole while those who held on the starboard tack sailed into freshening wind and were lifted. At the windward mark Robert England led the charge but was soon overhauled on the first reach by Stuart Snell. As the race progressed the wind improved to a force 2/3 but there were big swings in direction making it very tactical. Frank Sandells made good use of the conditions to grab the lead after a lap from Snell. Farthing had recovered to third from England, Ray Gall (sailing Sport mode) and Sawford. These 6 had opened out a huge gap from the rest of the fleet. Sandells hung onto the lead for a couple of laps only to surrender it back to Snell. On the final run after 4 laps Farthing passed Snell and took the gun at the finish from Snell, Sawford and Sandells. Leading Sportster, Ray Gall, sailing his sonís boat was next and Richard Philpott closely followed.

After lunch the course was swung to adjust to the wind direction, which was now more a South Westerly. The line was a well set with a slight port bias and the fleet filled the line cutting out any options for the single port tack chancer who had to duck the fleet.
Many of the fleet had not noticed the course change and headed for the wrong mark Ė the old windward mark was now mark 2 as a new windward mark had been laid. This left much of the fleet playing catch-up after reaching to mark 1 and also left the wily Farthing with a huge lead at the windward mark. The wind shifts and tactical sailing enabled Philpott to take the lead on the second lap from Farthing followed by Peter Slater, Sawford, Snell and England. In this race the Club Flying Fifteen fleet were sailing the same course as the Sprint 15s and were sailing slightly faster in these light airs. This caused the fleets to intermingle and impede one another with the differing boat characteristics. Slater took on the lead for lap 3 before being eclipsed by defending Winter Champion, Snell who led to the gun. Philpott was second from Slater, Farthing, David Casale and Ed Tuite-Dalton

Thus after what turned out, after a slow start, to be a nice days sailing in force 2/3 winds and brilliant sunshine Snell was the convincing winner from (son in-law) Farthing, Philpott and Slater. It was great to see many new faces and also that Stewartby had a team of 3 boats (Mark Norman, Robert Finch and Jon Finch) as well as Dracote (4 boats), Carsington (3 boats), etc.
The fleet now rest for a short period until the Summer Traveller Series gets under way at Herne Bay on 24/25 April.

The Chasing Pack
The Chasing Pack
Simon Farthing Leads Race 2
Simon Farthing Leads Race 2


Full Series Results available here

Una Fleet
CompetitorsEvent Placings
NameSailClubFormatHandicap PlaceFleet Place
Stuart Snell1982Grafham Water Sailing ClubUna Rig11
Simon Farthing1898Grafham Water Sailing ClubUna Rig22
Richard Philpott1988Colne Yacht ClubUna Rig33
Peter Slater1627Draycote Water Sailing ClubUna Rig44
Frank Sandells1986Grafham Water Sailing ClubUna Rig55
Steve Sawford1733Rutland Water Sailing ClubUna Rig66
Dave Casale1963Queen Mary Sailing ClubUna Rig77
Chris Black2005Grafham Water Sailing ClubUna Rig88
Steve Petts1934Grafham Water Sailing ClubUna Rig99
Gordon Goldstone2004Queen Mary Sailing ClubUna Rig1010
Ed Tuite Dalton1940Draycote Water Sailing ClubUna Rig1211
Mark Norman1431Stewartby Water Sports ClubUna Rig1312
Robert England1351RYAUna Rig1413
George Love1825Carsington Sailing ClubUna Rig1514
Jan Elfring1913Draycote Water Sailing ClubUna Rig1615
Howard Hawkes1643Snettisham Beach SCUna Rig1716
Gary Burrows1871Thorpe Bay Yacht ClubUna Rig1817
Robert Finch1838Stewartby Water Sports ClubUna Rig2018
Eamonn Quigley1715Grafham Water Sailing ClubUna Rig2119
Jon Finch1494Stewartby Water Sports ClubUna Rig2220
Sport Fleet
CompetitorsEvent Placings
NameSailClubFormatHandicap PlaceFleet Place
Ray Gall1914Carsington Sailing ClubSport111
Derek James1744Draycote Water Sailing ClubSport192