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Cyclops Marine 2023 November - LEADERBOARD

Dart 15 Winter TT at Grafham Water Sailing Club

by Jenny Ball 8 Mar 07:43 GMT 3 March 2024
Dart 15 Winter TT at Grafham © Dave Clarke

The fifth and final TT of the Dart 15 Winter Series for 2023/4 was held at Grafham Water on Sunday 3rd March.

The day saw near perfect non-sailing conditions with a frosty start and next to no breeze at all for the 2024 Chris Black Icicle. However a bunch of enthusiastic & optimistic travellers arrived in good time to prepare themselves for a day afloat with a somewhat diminished local Grafham Water Dart 15 fleet, making on the day attendance 11 boats from 16 entries. Nigel & Fiona Denchfield along with Grafham Laser sailor Pete Windsor were our race officers for the day ably assisted by the efficient mark laying team supplied by GWSC. A trapezoidal course was set that also enabled club racing to have a windward/leeward course where all boats converged on mark 4, making for interesting mark rounding.

Race 1 was under way on time @ 11:00 and the Dart 15s enjoyed pole position in the club racing fleet being first off the line. 30 seconds before the actual start M.Aldridge (Grafham) was OCS due to poor race management on his behalf & then sailed around the pin end as the rest of the fleet got away correctly. With the fleet heading to the windward mark the variable & extremely light breeze was generally heading boats to starboard, so early adopters of a port tack seemed to progress slightly less slowly than the others. First around the windward mark was J.Ball (Marconi) followed by M.Aldridge, R.Gall (Carsington), N.James (Marconi), G.Love (Carsington) & S.Sawford (Rutland). There were some significant 'holes' in the first beat which caused extended moments of stationary sailing for some which was portrayed in the results. The first reach to mark 2 and run down to the bottom reach saw some jostling of places between M.Aldridge, R.Gall & G.Love as the rest of the fleet was interspersed with the club boats and battling the now even lighter pressure. The windward mark on lap 2 saw J.Ball continuing to keep a healthy lead over M.Aldridge, G.Love, R.Gall, N.James & S.Sawford which was the finishing order of race 1.

As the already super light breeze was still dropping some sailors called it a day & abandoned prior to race 2, however the race committee carried on with the start sequence in the hope something would build to help the boats around. The pressure never did really materialise so whilst start 2 got under way, there really was very little moment from the line for some time. The fleet was spread out and those that started nearest to the committee boat & waited patiently got their reward with race 2 being finished at the windward mark, seeing J.Pearse (Marconi) take the win & followed eventually by G.Love, R.Gall, M.Aldridge & J.Ball.

Paddling ashore or getting a tow was the quickest way in to then gather in the club house for the Chris Black Icicle prize-giving & the Dart 15 Winter Series results too. George Love was victorious receiving the Chris Black Icicle trophy from Judith Black & took away his first ever open meeting win with J.Ball in second place, M.Aldridge in third and R.Gall in fourth, meaning team Carsington took away 50% of the prizes!

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2Pts
1st2019George LoveCarsington Sailing Club325
2nd2025Jenny BallMarconi Sailing Club156
3rd66Mark AldridgeGrafham Water Sailiing Club246
4th2028Ray GallCarsington Sailing Club437
5th2035Jon PearseMarconi Sailing Club718
6th2015Nigel JamesMarconi Sailing Club5611
7th1940Derek JamesDraycote Water10717
8th2033Steve SawfordRutland Water Sailing Club6DNC23
9th2037Jason ClarkeMarconi Sailing Club8DNC25
10th1759Lee GartonMarconi Sailing Club9DNC26
11th1962Jacob AldridgeGrafham Water Sailiing Club11DNC28
12th1988Christophe ClarkeMarconi Sailing ClubDNCDNC34
12th1776David ClarkeMarconi Sailing ClubDNCDNC34
12th2022Stuart SnellGrafham Water Sailiing ClubDNCDNC34
12th1522Andrew ClarkeGrafham Water Sailiing ClubDNCDNC34
12th1898Simon FarthingGrafham Water Sailiing ClubDNCDNC34

The event confirmed the final overall positions for the full Winter Series and prizes were duly awarded as follows:

4th Place - George Love (Carsington) 3rd Place - Jenny Ball (Marconi) 2nd Place - Liam Thom (Shanklin) 1st Place - Jason Clarke (Marconi)

A big thank you to all our host clubs - Stewartby, Rutland, Draycote, Datchet and Grafham for a full Winter Series and many congratulations to Jason for taking his first Series Win.

Our Summer Series commences on 20th/21st April at Marconi on the River Blackwater in Essex.

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