Please select your home edition
Edition
Henri Lloyd 2017 Marine 728x90

Sprint 15 Winter TT at Queen Mary Sailing Club

by Gordon Goldstone on 20 Feb 2012 18 February 2012
Sprint 15 Winter TT at Queen Mary © Gordon Goldstone

On Saturday February 18th the Sprint 15 fleet visited Queen Mary for the fourth event of their Winter Series.

With a weather forecast for the day of strong winds, this was always likely to be challenging test, and it certainly was. With winds of over 20 knots and gusting over 30 this threatened to be something more like from the series of "Total Wipeout" than a pure sailing event!

Never mind, once again over 20 Sprint 15 sailors turned up for the event ready to give it a go. But with launching proving very difficult in the extreme conditions, only 17 managed to get on the water, and not everyone made it to the start line without a swim. Quite an achievement in the daunting conditions.

For the event, race officers Charles and Jackie Wand-Tetley set the fleet a large square course on the western side of Queen Mary reservoir.

At the start of the first race, Grafham's Mark Aldridge charged away from the line and immediately started to open up a big lead. Behind him, Rutland's Steve Sawford and Howard Hawkes (Thorpe Bay) were in hot pursuit. Queen Mary sailor Gordon Goldstone was also there, but his racing came to an abrupt end on the 2nd lap when his rigging gave way.

Robert England was doing well in the tough conditions, but he was gradually overhauled by Liam Thom (Shanklin) and Paul Craft.

Further back, the Draycote pair of Jan Elfring and Peter Slater were battling with Queen Mary's Stewart Pegum and George Love (Carsington), who in turn were closely followed by Simon Hare and Darren Fichen.

At the finish line, Aldridge was well ahead of Sawford, Liam Thom made a great effort to take 3rd ahead of Howard Hawkes, Paul Craft was 5th and Robert England 6th.

With the wind gusts hammering across the water it was inevitable it would take a toll and there would be a number of capsizes and non-finishers. Derek James, Gary Burrows and Ian Hope all succumbed to the weather and didn't make it to the finish.

By the time of the 2nd race, the wind had ratcheted up yet another notch, and it was a slightly depleted number of starters who lined up to go.

At the start, it was again Mark Aldridge who was fastest off the line, with Steve Sawford and Howard Hawkes in hot pursuit. As the race progressed it was becoming a battle of who could handle the weather the best, even big Simon Hare was finding this a struggle.

This was a tough race in the toughest of conditions. Aldridge led every lap, with Sawford repeatedly tacking off to try a different route, but never really managing to close the gap. Howard Hawkes again did very well and Robert England produced his best sailing of the day to this time get ahead of Paul Craft and Liam Thom.

At the gun, it was again Aldridge from Sawford, Howard Hawkes was 3rd ahead of Robert England, the consistent Paul Craft 5th and Jan Elfring with his best result in 6th.

Particular credit to Derek James, who didn't finish the 1st race, but stayed out for the 2nd race and managed to grab a 9th place in even worse conditions.

In the final analysis, Mark Aldridge with 2 two firsts in the most difficult conditions showed that he's the man to beat when the wind is really blowing.

The final event in this hotly contested Sprint 15 Winter Series wraps up at Grafham on March 25th. It promises to be quite competitive.

Overall Results:

1st Mark Aldridge (Grafham)
2nd Steve Sawford Rutland)
3rd Howard Hawkes (Thorpe Bay)
4th Robert England
5th Liam Thom (Shanklin)
6th Paul Craft (Open Dinghy Club)
7th Jan Elfring (Draycote)
8th Stewart Pegum (Queen Mary)
9th Peter Slater (Draycote)
10th Simon Hare (Oxford)
11th George Love (Carsington)
12th Derek James (Draycote)
13th Darren Fitchen (Thorpe Bay)

Related Articles

Sprint 15 Summer TT at Marconi
An impressive home turnout of 14 boats 29 competitors took part in the first 2017 Sprint 15 Summer TT at Marconi SC on 8th and 9th April including an impressive home turnout of 14 boats. We were pleased to welcome a number of new faces who had participated in the Association Training Day. Posted on 10 Apr
Chris Black Sprint 15 Icicle at Grafham
Concluding event in the Winter Series The Grafham Sprint 15 Icicle traveller was run on 19 March and undoubtedly the strong winds forecast put off a number of travellers. In the event 13 travellers joined 4 locals for some good sailing in a South Westerly force 4/5 breeze gusting to force 6. Posted on 20 Mar
Sprint 15 Winter TT at Thorpe Bay
Hopefully a bit warmer for the nationals in July A somewhat fresh, grey Sunday greeted sailors at the first ever Winter TT at Thorpe Bay Yacht Club. Posted on 14 Feb
Sprint 15 Winter TT at Draycote Water
Forecast gets the temperature right! Saturday morning dawned without the blue sky and light to moderate breeze we were expecting, but with rain and a strong breeze, the only thing consistent to the forecast was the cold! Posted on 17 Jan
Sprint 15 Winter TT at Stewartby
A cool and windy day on the water The first of the 5 round Sprint 15 2016/2017 winter series got off to a flying start at Stewartby Sailing on the 5th November. 10 visitors and 6 local helms arrived early to a rather cool and windy morning. Posted on 9 Nov 2016
Sprint 15 Catparts Summer Series 2016
67 competitors take part in 5 event series A total of 67 competitors took part in the Sprint 15 Summer TT series of 5 events with events at Marconi, Seasalter, Thorpe Bay, Draycote and Grafham. Posted on 3 Nov 2016
The Grafham Catamaran Open
A total of 80 boats take part A total of 80 boats took part in the Grafham Cat Open on the fine weekend of 22/23 October. Three races were run back to back on both days - Saturday was sunny with a F2-3 Northerly wind and Sunday was overcast with a F3-4 NNE wind. Posted on 26 Oct 2016
Sprint 15 Inlands at Grafham
A strong entry of 31 boats There was a strong entry of 31 Sprint 15s at the Grafham Cat Open for the Class Inland Championships on 22/23 October where the Class was once again the biggest (by far) at the event. Posted on 25 Oct 2016
Sprint 15 TT at Draycote Water
Not great conditions but 23 boats signed on The first one day summer series at Draycote was held in light winds and rain on Saturday 10th September. Not great conditions but 23 boats signed on with a home contingent of 11 boats. Posted on 13 Sep 2016
Sprint 15 Nationals at Pwllheli
Won by an eight year old girl and her dad Forty-one Sprint 15's arrived at Clwb Hwylio on the Saturday of the August Bank holiday weekend from all over the UK including South Island (The Isle of Wight) Devon, Dorset, Essex and Ooop North. Racing took place Sunday to Tuesday. Posted on 3 Sep 2016