Rutland Winter Handicap Sunday 19 January 2003

On Sunday 19 January the Dart 15 fleet visited Rutland for the third event of the Dart 15 winter traveller series. There were 14 travellers who joined 2 locals (the local fleet had been hit by sickness) to blow off the cobwebs after the Christmas break. The weather was initially wet with a moderate westerly breeze.

The first race got underway with the fleet splitting up the first beat. One group led by Gordon Goldstone, Jonathan Perkins and Steve Petts took the right hand side while the majority maintained the starboard tack up the left of the course. It was this latter group that made it to the windward mark first with George Carter, leading from Paul Smith, Mark Aldridge, Peter Richardson and Philip Howden. As the race proceeded Chris Black fought his way up to fourth place and on the third bead Smith powered in to the lead for a period. At the finish Carter had recovered the lead from Smith and Aldridge held off Black to take third place, with Goldstone fifth.

The second race was sailed back-to-back with the first and by now the weather had dried out and the breeze had freshened. The race officer had retained an inverse 'P' course but the start line was heavily port biased - in fact no boats managed to cross it on starboard tack, so the port tack starters (Carter, Black, Aldridge and Smith) made big gains. At the end of the first lap the sequence was Carter, Smith, Black and Stuart Pearce, who had found another gear after the trip from the Isle of Wight. Carter and Smith progressively extended their lead through the race but Aldridge, Goldstone and George Stephen made up ground on the unfortunate Pearce.

At the gun it was Carter who won from Smith, Black and Aldridge. Thus at the end of the day George Carter took the event with two firsts from Paul Smith (two seconds) and Mark Aldridge (3,4) who took the tiebreak with Chris Black (4,3) on time difference.

The next event in the series is 16 February at Queen Mary Sailing Club.

Bob Carter.

Overall Results
1st George Carter Grafham
2nd Paul Smith Beaver
3rd Mark Aldridge Grafham
4th Chris Black Grafham
5th Gordon Goldstone Queen Mary
6th Erling Holmberg Shanklin

For the full results click here for the series table