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Sprint 15 Southern Championship at Swanage Sailing Club

by Adrian Whaley 18 Jun 2008 06:54 BST 14-15 June 2008
The Sprint 15s travel to Swanage © Bob Carter

Despite a mixed weather forecast for southern England the sun shone, as ever, in Swanage for the Sprint 15 Southern Travellers Championship. With 7 ‘travellers’ joining the 8 Swanage Sprint 15s all was set for a fine battle, with the breeze building to a lively 3 to 4 on the Saturday afternoon for the first of 3 back to back races.

A quick dash around a square course twice saw Kevin Dutch of Seasalter Sailing Club, live up to his boat name, the Flying Dutchman, and show a speedy pair of heels to secure the race by the narrowest of margins over local expert Mike Cemm. Henry Clark, Steve Littlejohn and Andrew Langley, all from Swanage SC followed closely behind and set the stage for a strong local showing over the weekend. Between the first and second races Richard Milller decided to cool off with a swim recovering just in time to get to the race 2 with seconds to spare.

In a keenly contested start, the second race set off in a building breeze with local family combination Adrian and son Sam Whaley, 2 up, jostling with Dutch, Cemm, Clark and Littlejohn. At the end of 3 hard fought laps Cemm came out ahead by just 3 seconds on corrected time from Whaley followed by Dutch and Clark.

The third race was equally as exciting with Clive Stracey on Tommy Tippee trying to see if he could go any faster by going upside down with his mast in the sand whilst there were a few impressions of how to turn a Sprint 15 into a submarine. By the end of day 1 tired and aching bodies retired to the BBQ and the bar to retell their stories.

The second day dawned with contrasting conditions – light, variable winds. After a 45 minute delay to let what breeze there was settle in direction, the fourth race started with half the fleet electing to start on port at the port end of the line whilst the other half elected to sail along the line on starboard. After some vocal jousting the fleet set off to the windward mark where Clark led round followed by Cemm, who put the accelerator down and pulled out a commanding lead to wrap up the fourth race, followed by Whaley (now with younger son Ben), Dutch and then Clark. Littlejohn fought off the attentions of Eamonn Quigley (GWSC) and Peter Lytton (Papercourt SC) to secure 5th place.

Race 5 saw the most keenly contested start with Dutch being judged to being within millimetres of the right side of the line followed closely by Whaley and Clark. By the leeward mark Clark, Cemm, Littlejohn and Whaley were contesting for the lead. Taking advantage of a lift on starboard tack Whaley took the lead by the windward mark, holding on to this to win the fifth race with Dutch’s race being foiled by a broken mainsheet fitting.

The final race saw Richard Harrison (Netley SC) storm off the line and maintain his speed to win. Mike Cemm’s second secured him the overall Southern Travellers Championship and a one, two, three for Swanage Sailing Club.

A big thanks to all the volunteers who made it a very enjoyable championship and the weather for playing its part too!

Overall Results:

1st Mike Cemm (Swanage SC)
2nd Adrian Whaley (Swanage SC)
3rd Henry Clark (Swanage SC)
4th Kevin Dutch (Seasalter SC)
5th Steve Littlejohn (Swanage SC)

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