Please select your home edition
Edition
MS Amlin 2019 - 728x90

Sprint 15 Winter TT at Rutland Sailing Club

by Jenny Ball 27 Feb 2019 06:15 GMT 24 February 2019
Sprint 15 Winter TT at Rutland © RSC

Sunday 24th February saw the third Sprint 15 Winter 2018/19 TT take place at Rutland. The previous TT took place in freezing conditions, under the threat of heavy snow fall and with strong gusty winds. Three weeks later, the sun was out, the temperatures were well into double digits and the wind forecast was very light so at least we still had one aspect of the weather to complain about.

Nine competitors arrived and rigged up in fog, waiting patiently to check that the lake was still there once the fog lifted. Fortunately, it was - and the fleet set off for a slightly delayed start.

The Race Officer laid temporary buoys for marks 1 and 2 and used two of the gazillion fixed buoys on the lake for marks 3 and 4. This meant that the Sprints could have their preferred trapezoid course, stood a fighting chance of picking out at least the first two marks and gave the safety boats something to do, other than sunbathing.

Once the wind direction had settled enough to lay a course, the blackboard with the course was displayed on the committee boat and the countdown was on. The entire sequence was spent by local sailor Steve Sawford patiently explaining the course to his fellow competitors who were not sure what or where Y5 and 20 were.

Undaunted, the fleet got under way with George Love taking an early lead, followed by Stuart Snell, Simon Hare, racing in Sport Mode and with Pete Richardson and Steve Sawford not far behind. George rounded the windward mark first with a clear lead, then Simon and Stuart and then the rest of the pack. Having rounded the fourth mark, the front runners overstood the lay line for the start/finish gate whilst the tail enders tacked early for the line. At one point, it looked as though the fleet positions would be wholly reversed, but a hole in the wind at the pin end put paid to that and kept the natural order of things. However, it did allow Stuart and Simon to get in front of George.

The wind was full of holes up the second beat and only Stuart managed to sail a clear course to the windward mark, clearing it with a seriously impressive lead. Simon also sailed a blinder and followed round in second, leaving the rest of the fleet a very long way back. It was enough on handicap to give Simon second place on handicap behind Stuart with Pete in third, Steve in fourth and George in fifth.

The wind direction had by now shifted considerably so the Race Officer was obliged to relay the course and the fleet were obliged to get their heads round two different fixed race marks. The fleet set off with the wind getting ever lighter. George had made another great start and had stayed left on the course whilst most of the fleet went up the middle. George looked to be making great progress over the fleet, only to be parked by a wind shift/drop a few boat lengths from the mark. After an unpromising start, Jenny Ball had tacked off onto port and held on to what little breeze there was to just reach the windward mark first. On slowly rounding the mark and bearing away, Jenny was surprised to find that she was in fact now pinching to mark 2, due to a wind shift which was a great hindrance to the rest of the fleet having to put in extra tacks to get round the mark.

Having rounded mark 2, Jenny set off to find Y3 followed by Y9, very grateful for having invested 50p in a laminated course card (which apparently comes with a ten year guarantee) whilst trying to pick a way through the club racers who had caught up with the 15s with Stuart, George, Ed, Pete and Steve not far behind. Stuart and Jenny rounded Y9 and headed through the line in close proximity but Stuart had very uncharacteristically missed out a mark of the course and retired which gave Jenny the win, followed by George, Ed Dalton and Pete.

The wind had shifted again and died away whilst the rest of the fleet and club racers finished. The 15s hung on hoping for enough wind to re-appear in order to enable a third race. Just as the Race Officer was about to call it a day Simon was seen flying across the far side of the lake at a good pace (everything being relative and he did have a jib up) showing that enough breeze had re-appeared to make Race 3 feasible. The Race Officer opted for a windward leeward course to get the fleet away quickly, and the 15s were so grateful to get a third race in that they did not complain once. The wind had shifted again so Steve opted for and executed a sound port hand start. However, it was Stuart who rounded the windward mark first, followed by Ray Gall in Sport mode, George and Steve. Following the run, the fleet turned upwind again. Stuart continued to extend his lead, but a header slowed up some of the fleet, allowing Jenny the opportunity to catch up to follow George and Ray round the windward mark. Turning onto the final full windward leg, Jenny and George were neck and neck allowing Steve the opportunity to take a free and fast course and make gains beneath them. At risk of being luffed all the way to the windward mark, Jenny tacked off and tacked back again to get inside the distance mark. A more favourable breeze up the middle of the course enabled Jenny to get to the windward mark with Ray and ahead of George and Steve. Stuart went on to take an impressive win followed by Jenny, George and Steve.

Congratulation to Stuart for a consistent and convincing win despite the highly variable conditions. Congratulations also to Simon who was awarded the Chairman's Award for his stellar performance in Race 1.

Big thanks to Matt Lee and the Rutland team for hosting the event and a special thanks to Jon Williams, Race Officer, who managed to get three proper races in, despite the best efforts of the wind.

Overall Results:

PosClassSail NoHelmClubPYR1R2R3Pts
1stSprint 152022Stuart SnellGrafham Water SC9271(RET)12
2ndSprint 152025Jenny BallMarconi927‑7123
3rdSprint 152019George LoveCarsington927‑5235
4thSprint 151983Peter RichardsonMarconi92734‑57
5thSprint 151989Steve SawfordRutland Sailing Club9274‑548
6thSprint 15 Sport2026Simon HareOxford SC89427‑89
7thSprint 152023Ed Tuite‑DaltonDraycote Water927‑83710
8thSprint 15 Sport1914Ray GallCarsington SC894‑66612
9thSprint 15 Sport1744Derek JamesDraycote8949(DNC)DNC1

Related Articles

Shanklin Sailing Club Time Trial Series race 1
Using the club buoys with individual sailors taking their own times With no official racing allowed, Shanklin set up a time trial competition using the club buoys with individual sailors taking their own times. A course was set to hopefully give a beat in any wind direction. Posted on 21 Jun
Sprint 15 TT at Draycote
A lower than usual turnout We had a lower than usual turnout for our first TT of 2020 at Draycote Water, with only 10 boats entered. This may have been down to the forecasted strong winds. In any event we had 6 home boats and 4 visitors. Posted on 13 Jan
Sprint 15 Winter TT at Rutland
Most definitely winter temperatures Sunday 1st December saw the second Sprint 15 Winter 2019/20 TT take place at Rutland. And it was most definitely winter temperatures as the nine competitors rigged up. Posted on 5 Dec 2019
Sprint 15 Winter Series TT at Stewartby Water
Six visitors joined four club boats on a mild dry morning Six visitors joined four club boats on a mild dry November morning, the conditions were to be vastly different to that of the earlier cancelled date in November with only a very light breeze forecast. Posted on 25 Nov 2019
Sprint 15 Inlands at Grafham
Held during the Grafham Cat Open over the weekend The Sprint 15 Inland Championship took place at the Grafham Cat Open on 19-20 October. 25 boats took part with strong teams from Marconi (8 boats), Stone (4) Thorpe Bay (3), Grafham (3) and Carsington (2). Posted on 23 Oct 2019
Sprint 15 Sport Nationals at Yaverland
Not the usual balmy, calm Isle of Wight conditions The weather leading up to the Nationals at Yaverland was not the usual balmy, calm conditions that we are used to on the Isle of Wight and 36 hours of strong easterlies had built the waves up into the "unpleasant" category. Posted on 24 Sep 2019
Sprint 15 National Championships
Harwich Town hosts nearly 50 cats Forty-eight competitors and their supporters descended on a small seaside town on the East Coast for the Sprint 15 National Championships. Posted on 22 Aug 2019
Sprint 15 Summer TT at Marconi
22 competitors for the first event in the series Twenty-two competitors took part in the first 2019 Sprint 15 Summer TT at Marconi SC on 6th and 7th April. We were also pleased to welcome back Nigel and Fiona Denchfield as guest Races Officers for the event. Posted on 11 Apr 2019
Chris Black Sprint 15 Icicle at Grafham
Thrills and spills in the residue of Storm Gareth The Grafham Sprint 15 Icicle traveller event took place on 17 March in a force 4-6 Westerly wind which was the residue of Storm Gareth. Seven travellers joined 3 locals for an exciting day's racing in which many practised their capsize drill. Posted on 20 Mar 2019
Sprint 15 TT at Thorpe Bay
Where was the mysterious mark 13? Snowy road conditions meant some travellers did not risk the journey to TBYC. So four travellers joined seven TBYC sailors on a cold but breezy (snow-free) day to complete three brisk races, back to back. Posted on 5 Feb 2019