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Grafham Water Sailing Club Restart Series Week 3

by Nigel Denchfield & Peter Gee 21 Apr 11:58 BST 17-18 April 2021
Light Winds ruled in Week 3 of the Grafham Water SC Restart Series © Paul Sanwell / OPP

Week 3 of Grafham Water SC's Restart series was quieter than normal. Saturday started with 11 Laser sailors joining the race training session, preparing for the forecast light winds on Sunday.

On Sunday, the wind was in short supply, which reduced the turnout. Many of the faster boats had elected to watch the action from home on the club's new live-stream panoramic webcams.

Race 1 featured a very long beat and an equally long reach/run back. The best wind was out on the right hand side. The boats that spotted this gradually slipped away into the distance, leaving those on the left well behind.

Leading the way in the slow double fleet were Jonathan and Trish Knight in their Flying Fifteen (FF15). But behind was the Lark of Nigel and Fiona Denchfield, gradually getting nearer on the run. The Lark split to the more favoured side in the last third of the run, finding good breeze which took them past the Knights by the leeward mark.

The Lasers initially kept together, but then route selection came in to play and spread them out. Michael Leaver took a comfortable win, with Pete Law and Steve James following him.

The Solo fleet was dominated by Al Fraser who won all three races.

Three cats, two Sprint 15 and a Prindle showed how to do it in light conditions with very smooth sailing and keeping the boats moving. They proved that cats can race effectively in light winds. Gerry Farthing's Prindle took race 1, but that crafty Sprint 15 master, Stuart Snell won the next 2.

Race 2 was on a shorter course with slightly more wind. A port biased line was missed by most of the FF15's, but Dave Philpott and the Lark made port tack starts and sailed out to the favoured right. After that it was deciding when to tack back in to the windward mark that was the key to success. The Lark got it right and led the fleet home. In the Lasers it was the turn of Pete Law to win, with Barrie Holden close behind.

Race 3 saw the FF15 fleet all decide that the port end was the place to be. The result was a tangle with 3 of them moored up at the pin, and another OCS. With great joy the Lark came in a touch late on port, eased round the stern of the FF15 fleet and once more headed right. It was only caught up in the café queue (socially distanced of course). Meanwhile the FF15 fleet was untangling itself, and one boat was indulging in penalty turns.

In the Lasers, Pete Windsor showed the gains that can be made from attending the Saturday Race Coaching sessions. He spotted that boats in the fleet ahead were doing well on the right and followed suit. This gave him the win, Pete Law 2nd and Barrie Holden 3rd.

For the FF15 fleet this was a special trophy day, for their Easter Salver. The 4 boats that came out fought a keenly contested tactical battle to find the wind and win the coveted Salver (and Easter egg prize). Overall, Dave Philpott (3794) won, followed closely by Geoff Floyd and Colin Gilbert (4042) with Jonathan and Trish Knight (4012) third.

Difficult conditions, but another rewarding day for those that took part.

Grafham Water SC offers some of the best inland sailing in the country and is open to all classes of boat with strong class racing for Lasers, Solos, RSs and Flying Fifteens. Memberships are still available for the 2021 season. For more information about the club please visit their website or call the club on 01480 810478. Follow the club on Facebook at Photographs of the sailing can be viewed and purchased at

Results after Week 3:

PosClassSail NoHelmCrewPYR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9Pts
Asymmetric Cat Fleet
1stFormula 181581Jon Sweet 665732111(DNC)DNCDNC45
2ndFormula 18524Tony StokesJeremy Bosch665245322(DNC)DNCDNC48
3rdSpirtfire S/H124Kevin Cummerson 7383.514534(DNC)DNCDNC50.5
Asymmetric Monohull Fleet
1stRS400971Simon KitchenAbbi Hooper953262131(DNC)DNCDNC37
3rd40004588John ReynoldsFran Howell91763124(DNC)DNCDNCDNC49
Slow Single Fleet
1stEurope394David Summerville 11411‑32221OODOODOOD12.8
2ndRS Aero 72362Claire Geoghegan 1073343(DNC)44DNCDNCDNC42
3rdEurope351R Major 1141(DNC)DNCDNC112DNCDNCDNC44
Fast Handicap Fleet
1stRS600866Brian Briggs 920(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC1DNCDNCDNC36
1stContender643Mark Rushton 969(DNC)DNCDNCDNC1DNCDNCDNCDNC36
Solo Fleet
1stSolo5586Ian Walters 1152215112(DNC)DNCDNC40
2ndSolo5918Chris Brown 11523113221(DNC)DNCDNC50
3rdSolo583Harry Lucas 115211310333(DNC)DNCDNC61
Cat Fleet
1stSprint 152022Stuart Snell 926111(DNC)DNCDNC21121
2ndSprint 151898Simon Farthing 926223(DNC)DNCDNC32DNC33
3rdSprint 151522Andrew Clarke 926432(DNC)2DNCDNCDNCDNC39
4thPrindle 15549Gerry Reeve 904(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC13DNC46
5thSprint 151986Frank Sandells 92634(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC49
6thSprint 151787Tristan Nichols 926(DNC)DNCDNCDNC1DNCDNCDNCDNC50
F15 and Slow Double Fleet
1stFlying Fifteen4042Geoff FloydColin Gilbert10212‑5221143217
2ndLark2459Nigel DenchfieldFiona Denchfield107333333(DNC)11118
3rdFlying Fifteen S/H3794Dave Philpott 105142(DNC)DNCDNCDNC22450
DZero Fleet
1stD‑Zero266David Papworth 1043211(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC34
2ndD‑Zero227Colin Glover 1043(DNC)DNCDNC11DNCDNCDNCDNC38
3rdD‑ZeroGBR71Neil Washington 104312(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC39
Laser Fleet
1stLaser215378Barrie Holden 1108554‑75742335
2ndLaser179806Pete Windsor 110814(DNC)121010555162
3rdLaser211405Daniel Wigmore 1108221321(DNC)DNCDNC71

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