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Sprint 15 Winter Series TT at Stewartby Water Sailing Club

by Robert Finch 25 Nov 2019 16:19 GMT 23 November 2019
Paul Grattage wins the Sprint 15 Winter Series TT event at Stewartby Water in the oldest cat racing © Liam Thom

Saturday 23rd of November was the rescheduled date for the first winter TT of 2019, due to the previous date of 2nd of November being cancelled due to the forecast of gales. 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.

After cups of tea and bacon rolls race officer Pete Ellis held a quick briefing welcoming visitors and explaining the course and the forecast of the light conditions.

Race 1 was off on time at llam. As the fleet were all pushing the line for the best possible position in the light conditions George Love ended up tapping Paul Grattage on the line resulting in Love having to do a penalty turn. Liam Thom attempted a port tack "flyer'' which resulted with him ducking and diving through the rest of the fleet, even so Thom was first to the windward mark followed by Simon Farthing and Paul Grattage. This order didn't change until the last lap when at the gun it was Thom, Grattage and Love who had pushed himself up to 3rd from 5th, Stuart Snell was 4th and Farthing was pushed back to 5th.

Race 2 was away after a quick turn around by race officer Ellis. All were off cleanly this time with Snell first to the windward mark, Grattage misjudged the mark and tacked too early having to tack again then whilst trying to avoid the oncoming starboard boats got into irons at the mark allowing Love and Thom through. By the end of the first lap Thom had passed Love and these positions remained the same throughout the race. At the gun it was Snell, Thom then Love.

Race 3 was to be the deciding race for the event winner, Grattage, Thom and Snell have it all to play for. As the fleet pushed the line for the final start Thom was being pushed up by girlfriend Yvonne Pike resulting in them touching and Thom having to do a penalty turn (has Pike taken the race win and the event from Thom!? Only time will tell).

First to the windward mark was Grattage followed by Love then Snell. Thom had to do a penalty turn for obstructing Love at the mark. Grattage and Love have a coming together with Grattage having to do a penalty turn. At the end of the first lap it was Snell, Love, Grattage and Thom, this order changed by the end of lap 2 to Grattage, Snell, Thom and Love.

As Lap 3 started the wind increased and it was all change again, at the end of the lap it was Snell, Grattage, Love then Thom. It was all to play for in the final lap, the race win would be the decider and it could be any one's race. At the gun it was to change again to Grattage, Love, Snell then Thom (so Pike probably had cost Thom the event).

After boats packed away it was into the clubhouse for hot soup and crusty bread and the usual prize-giving where everyone leaves with a prize of a couple of bottles of cider apart from Liam who had "special beer!".

Overall Results:

PosHelmSail NoR1R2R3Pts
1Paul Grattage4582513
2Liam Thom20181243
3Stuart Snell20224134
4George Love20193325
5Simon Farthing18985469
6Robert Finch199066511
7Mark Pattern52797714
8John Neal879710815
9Yvonne Pike196588916
10Richard Page13431091019

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