Queen Mary SC Traveller Event Saturday 22 June 2002

On Saturday June 22nd, the Dart 15 fleet visited Queen Mary SC for a special one day event consisting of 3 races. Fortunately the fleet had picked a good day to race, the wind blew a good force 3 all day, and some of the windshifts and gusts made every one work hard. An unusual aspect was that 6 of the 10 entries chose to sail in Sprint mode.

The race officer set a large trapezoid course around the western side of the reservoir which was unchanged all day. Race one duly started on time at 11am, but unfortunately due to congestion getting on the water, some of the competitors, notably Paul Craft, Gordon Goldstone and Bob Carter were still stuck on the pontoons.

The race turned into a close fought duel between Sandwich Bay's Tony Drake and Grafham's Phil Howden, with Queen Mary's George Stephen just behind. The conditions were sometimes variable and tricky, Ray Gall was unlucky to catch a big gust in the middle of a tack which tipped him right over and Paul Craft capsized on a high speed reach. At the finish, Tony Drake just managed to hold off Phil Howden, George Stephen came in 3rd with Alan Whelman an excellent 4th. The first sprint boat was Bob Carter, who managed to get up to 5th place.

In the 2nd race, Whelman made a cracking start but was soon overhauled by the chasing pack. Bob Carter and Gordon Goldstone, both sailing 'sprint' were soon at the front with Phil Howden. Howden was sailing unarig and making a mockery of the handicap by being just as fast as the supposedly faster sprint boats. These 3 led the way all race, but it was Howden who took the win, with Carter 2nd. Goldstone was pipped on handicap by Tony Drake and George Stephen was 5th. Further back, Paul Craft kept ahead of Phil Breeze, and local man Keith Chidwick got in front of Alan Whelman and Ray Gall.

With one race to go, Howden, Carter or Drake could each take overall victory. At the start, Drake was squeezed out of the line, from which he never recovered. Poor Ray Gall was even less fortunate, he actually hit the committee boat and was forced to retire. As the race settled down it was once again, Carter followed by Goldstone, but this time it was George Stephen who was close behind and Howden in 4th. For Carter to win the event, he not only needed to win the race, but needed Howden to finish 4th or worse. At the finish the handicap timing was extremely close. Bob Carter pulled out enough of a lead to win the race, Goldstone was 2nd over the line, but only managed 4th on handicap, that made Stephen 2nd and a delighted Phil Howden 3rd and overall winner of the event.

There followed a memorable prize-giving, with Phil Howden receiving the winner's trophy for a very well deserved, first ever open meeting victory.

Gordon Goldstone.

Overall Results
1st P. Howden Grafham
2nd R. Carter Grafham
3rd T. Drake Sandwich Bay
4th G. Stephen Queen Mary
5th G. Goldstone Queen Mary
6th P. Craft Open Dinghy
7th A. Whelman Open Dinghy
8th P. Breeze Calshot
9th K. Chidwick Queen Mary
10th R. Gall Carsington