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Sprint 15 Windsport Catparts Winter Series

by Bob Carter on 5 Apr 2016 20 March 2016
Chris Black Sprint 15 Icicle Winter Event at Grafham © Bob Carter

The Sprint 15 Winter series was won by National Champion, Paul Grattage from Stuart Snell and Steve Sawford in a variety of conditions. David Groom took fourth place and Liam Thom fifth.

The 5 event series kicked off at Stewartby on 7 November in very wet windy conditions. A poll of the sailors was conducted to check if they wanted to race in the 20 knots of wind gusting to 30 knots. 13 of those present elected to go sailing and Steve Sawford won the event with 2 firsts from locals Jon Finch and Mark Norman with Mark Hollis taking fourth place. It turned out to be a matter of survival as gusts of over 40 knots were recorded in the second race before it was shortened. There were just 7 finishers of the second race.

The second event was scheduled to be at Oxford on 5 December but the event had to be cancelled due to Storm Desmond and 45 knots wind forecast.

The third event was at Draycote on 9 January and turned out to be the star event of the series. An excellent weather forecast (12-16 knot Southerly winds) resulted in 24 entrants and 12 locals (a new record for this venue). After a display of tactical sailing Paul Grattage won on tiebreak from Stuart Snell followed by David Groom and Ed Tuite-Dalton was top placed local in fourth.

The fourth event was Datchet on 13 February which turned out a wet and chilly affair. There being no local fleet there was just 14 travellers but it was nice to see 2 new boat owners (Andrew Sinclair and Daniel Drew) travelling all the way from Plymouth to take part. The event was won by Grattage with two first places from Snell and Sawford. Sinclair was a very credible fourth place in his first traveller event.

The final event for the series was at Grafham in the Chris Black Icicle event on 20 March. The wind was a Northerly force 2-4 on a clear but chilly day and 10 travellers took on 7 Grafham locals. George Love created interest by christening his new boat which he had picked up from the dinghy show just two weeks before. Grattage once again won with 2 first places from Snell, Thomas Sandal and Howard Hawkes.

This result meant that Grattage (1,1,1) also won the Winter Series from Snell (2,2,2) and Sawford was third. There was no disguising the look of delight on the face of David Groom when he heard he had taken fourth place ahead of webmaster, Liam Thom.

The Winter Traveller Series has now finished but the Summer TT Series starts on 23-24 April at Marconi.

Overall Series Results:

1st P Grattage (Shanklin) 3pts
2nd S Snell (Grafham) 6pts
3rd S Sawford (Rutland) 9pts
4th D Groom (Netley) 17pts
5th L Thom (Shanklin) 19pts
6th H Hawkes (Snettisham Beach) 22pts
7th M Hollis (Seasalter)
8th E Holmberg (Shanklin) 26pts
9th G Goldstone (Queen Mary) 29pts
10th A Bunyan (Stewartby) 35pts

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