Inland Championships, Rutland, 18-19 May 2002

The Dart 15 Inland Championships were held at Rutland Water Sailing Club on the weekend of 18/19 May. On Saturday race one was round an inverse P course in a force 2-3 Westerly breeze and Paul Smith led from start to finish. Much of the race he was followed by Bob Carter but on the last beat Steve Hanby and Steve Sawford took 2nd and 3rd places respectively. After lunch, the race officer, Ralph Tingle, set a big figure of eight course as the "Round Rutland" race, which was sponsored by S.S. Marine Ltd. The wind had freshened over lunch and was up to force 4/5 at times. Steve Sawford led from the start but many of the competitors missed the gate after the first lap, which caused the form book to be stood on end. The final sequence was Sawford, Carter, Richard Hanby & Sam Jones, Austin Flather and then local Fleet Captain, Dave Stanbridge.

On Sunday the fleet returned to the inverse P course and the weather was sunny with a fresh westerly breeze. In Race 3, Carter was first to the windward mark followed by Philip Howden and Steve Sawford. Carter led for most of the race but was beaten to the line by Hanby in the dying seconds of the race. Smith was third from Flather and Howden. After lunch the wind had freshened to a force 4-5 and two races were sailed back-to-back. Steve Hanby demonstrated his authority on the event by leading both races from start to finish with Flather taking two second places. Further down the field the stronger wind had enlivened the competition and place changing was frequent between Ray Gall, Ian Smith, Tom Gall and Ron Sawford who were enjoying the conditions.

Thus after an exciting 5 race series sailed in ideal conditions Steve Hanby was the clear winner with 3 firsts and a second and become the new Dart 15 Inland Champion.

Overall Results
1st S. Hanby Beaver 5 pts
2nd P. Smith Beaver 11 pts
3rd A. Flather Beaver 12 pts
4th R. Carter Grafham 13 pts
5th S. Sawford Rutland 14 pts
6th R. Hanby & S. Jones Beaver 18 pts