Gurnard Sailing Club on the Isle of Wight hosted the 2003 Dart 15 Sprint National Championships on the 24th to 26th May. Sponsorship was kindly provided by the Laser Centre, Red Funnel Ferries and Shipmates Chandlers. The weather was better than forecast and all seven races were sailed in almost idyllic conditions.
Local man, Robin Leather threw down the gauntlet to defending champion George Carter from Grafham Water SC, with a pair of wins against Carterís 2nd and 4th. With three other sailors, locals Laurie Gustar and Carl Blenkinsop and George's dad Bob, also sailing consistently well, the scene was set for an exciting contest.
Another day, another story! Carter jnr had been stirred into action and responded with two first places in races 3 and 4 against Leatherís 2nd and 5th. With Carter also leading race 5, it looked as if he was beginning to stamp his authority, until he had an entertaining capsize when he omitted to 'hook on' properly, prior to stepping out on the trapeze and consequently stepped into the water instead! Blenkinsop seized the moment and gratefully accepted his first win, with Gustar and Leather 2nd and 3rd respectively.
With Leather one point ahead of Carter and Gustar and Blenkinsop just a few points behind, an exciting final dayís racing was on the agenda.
Carter won race 6 with Blenkinsop 2nd and Gustar 3rd. Leather had a lowly 6th. With discards taken into consideration it was down to the last race to decide the Championship between Carter and Leather and between Gustar and Blenkinsop for third.
Carter made no mistake, with another win and the championship. Leather, Blenkinsop and Gustar fought all the way to the line but finished in that order with Blenkinsop stealing 3rd from Gustar on the last gybe but he was not far enough ahead to take 3rd overall.
All competitors agreed that the championships had been a great success and much praise was given to the Race Officer and all of the Gurnard volunteers.
At the prize giving Roger Bone, the Gurnard Fleet Captain thanked the North Devon Yacht Club for their enthusiastic support for this and past championships and presented their fleet captain, Mike Rainer with the GSC club pennant. The much coveted Pro-Am prize went to the pairing of Colin Price form North Devon YC and Pete Lytton from Papercourt SC. All Prize winners also received stunning pieces of glass produced by local sailor Pete Riley.
|2nd||R. Leather||Gurnard||9 pts|
|3rd||L. Gustar||Gurnard||13 pts|
|4th||C. Blenkinsop||Gurnard||14 pts|
|5th||R. Carter||Grafham||26 pts|
Click here to view the full results table.