Please select your home edition
Sunsail 2018 January Leaderboard

Sprint 15 Winter TT at Stewartby Water Sailing Club

by Andy Bunyan 9 Nov 2016 06:08 GMT 5 November 2016

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.

After a short briefing from the race officer for the day Nigel Denchfield, proceedings got underway with the first of three back to back races.

After a clean start all boats were making the most of the 18-20kt wind to carry them quickly up the beat. But all too soon Andy Bunyan got caught out by a gust of wind and took an early bath as he capsized having sailed less than 100 meters. First to the windward mark was Paul Grattage, hotly followed by Steve Sawford, Stuart Snell and Rob Finch. Further back in the field a lot of tussling was going on as many boat descended on the mark at the same time but everybody got around without incident. Whilst going down the reach one of Derek James' rudders decided to self destruct leading to his early retirement for him from the days proceedings.

Paul Grattage steadily pulled out his lead eventually catching up with the tail enders as he crossed the finish line in first position. The following pack fought it out to the end with lots of tussling for positions throughout the fleet, Steve Sawford and Stuart Snell coming home in 2nd and 3rd position respectively.

Minor course adjustments were promptly carried out by the race team and the 2nd race was soon got underway. As the start gun went off the individual recall was signaled but unsure who was over the line several helms turned back to restart their race. The wind was starting to get more boisterous with unpredictable gusts crossing the lake testing the skills of all the helms. Rob Finch, Steve Sawford and Jon Finch were first to reach the top of the course but Paul Grattage was hot on their heels despite having turned back to cross the line at the start. On the approach to the leeward mark Steve Sawford succumbed to the wind with a violent pitchpole, snapping his tiller as he was thrown into the water and out of the race. The hard charging fleet carried on relentless reveling in the conditions with plenty of hull flying action going on around the course. Paul Grattage was first to cross the line again closely followed by Stewartby sailors Jon and Rob Finch in 2nd and 3rd positions.

Yet again the race officer got the proceedings started for the 3rd race in record time. The wind intensity had stepped up and was now gusting into the mid 20's. All through the fleet the helms were battling hard for positions. It all became too much for George Love who capsized on the last lap, shortly followed by Simon Miles (1st capsize in 5 years of Sprint 15 sailing) and Ed Tuite Dalton. Special mention must go to Stuart Snell who capsized, righted the boat which then proceeded to sail off on its own. Quick action by the rescue crew pulled him from the water and then made a quick dash to return him to the craft before it reached the rapidly approaching shore.

Paul Grattage continued his domination of the days racing with a third win. Rob Finch and Jon Finch following close behind to seal their positions in the top 3 of the overall results, a fine result for both of the brothers especially considering their absence from the racing circuit for most of the year.

After a great but very tiring day sailing all the helms returned to the club house to be fed by the galley team of Commodore Gerry Howcroft ably assisted by Pat Strange. Prize giving kept to the Stewartby tradition of everybody going home with a prize of several bottles of beer.

Thanks must be given to the race officer along with his support team who did a fantastic job with running the racing and coming to the rescue of the helms when required.

The next round of the winter series will be held at Rutland sailing club on the 4th December.

Overall Results:

PosHelmClubSail NoR1R2R3Pts
1Paul GrattageShanklin Sailing Club20181112
2Robert FinchSWSC18384325
3Jon FinchSWSC18907235
4Steve SawfordRutland173321746
5Stuart SnellGrafham201635178
6Ed DaltonDraycote Water194054179
7Liam ThomShanklin Sailing Club195766511
8Gordon GoldstoneQueen Mary Sailing Club2004107613
9George LoveCarsington2019981017
10Simon MilesSWSC1827891717
11Steve WakelamSWSC14791210818
12John NealeSWSC8791117920
13Andy BunyanSWSC15461517722
14Dave WarnockNone200813121123
15Tim BrowningSWSC116714111223
16Derek JamesDraycote174417171734

Related Articles

Free Prize Draw at the Sprint 15 stand
At the RYA Dinghy Show 2018 The Sprint 15 is the second largest catamaran class in the UK and by far the largest single handed one. It is a multi-purpose craft offering affordable very competitive one design racing. Posted on 31 Jan
Sprint 15 Winter TT at Draycote Water
A dull grey and cold January morning The Draycote Sprint 15 TT greeted us with a dull grey and cold January morning and the water looked anything but inviting. Posted on 21 Jan
Sprint 15 Winter TT at Stewartby Water
Torrential rain eases ahead of the first race On 4th November, eleven visitors from as far away as the Isle of Wight and Cheshire joined seven Stewartby helms for the first round of the Sprint 15 Winter TT Series. Posted on 9 Nov 2017
Sprint 15 Summer Series 2017
Final event held at Grafham Water on Sunday 22 October The Sprint 15 Summer Traveller series ended at Grafham Water on Sunday 22 October with all 5 events being completed but it was a near thing. Posted on 2 Nov 2017
Grafham Cat Open rescheduled
Storm Brian pushes event back to March The Grafham Cat Open that had to be postponed due to Storm Brian has been rescheduled to 17/18 March 2018. Posted on 29 Oct 2017
Sprint 15 Inlands at Grafham
Many regulars put off by Storm Brian Storm Brian caused the Grafham Cat Open to be cancelled but the Sprint 15 Inland Championship went ahead on Sunday 22 October by special arrangement with the Club. Posted on 25 Oct 2017
Sprint 15 TT at Draycote Water
Fabulous turnout of 19 boats There was a fabulous turnout of 19 boats for the Draycote TT on Saturday 9th September. Nine Draycote SC boats were joined by 10 boats that travelled from as far and wide as Shanklin and Marconi SC to attend the event. Posted on 13 Sep 2017
Sprint 15 Southern Championship
TT at Seasalter Sailing Club Under lightly overcast skies, and with F4/5 W/SW winds gusting F6, sixteen Sprint 15 travellers joined seven local boats for the 2017 Sprint 15 Southern Championship TT at Seasalter Sailing Club in north Kent. Posted on 27 Jun 2017
Sprint 15 Sport Nationals
Racing at the Isle of Wight The 2017 Sprint 15 Sports National Championships, sponsored by Wightlink Ferries and Spinlock were held at the Yaverland Sailing and Boating Club, under the organisation of Shanklin Sailing Club on the Isle of Wight on the 19th to 21st May. Posted on 27 May 2017
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 2017