Traveller, Grafham Cat Open 15-16 October 2005

On the weekend of the 15th and 16th October the newly named Sprint 15s met at Grafham for the final event of the traveller trophy series, a total of 35 boats entered (including 17 Grafham boats). With 3 races projected for each day the race officer Charlie Stowe and his team set a trapezoid course which was also shared with Shearwaters Hobie 16s and medium handicap. With an easterly F 2-3 "The Sprints" looked an impressive sight indeed as they shaped up for the first start. The usual suspects found their way to the front while races within races developed all the way down the fleet. The beat proved to be the key for a good result. As the course was shared with other fleets, there was often heavy traffic at the marks most notably at the leeward mark where several educated exchanges debating the finer rules of racing were made between fleets, thankfully no great damage, only the odd scrape. Race 1 went to George Carter in sport mode, followed by Charles Watson and Steve Hanby. Lunch was taken and races 2 & 3 were sailed back to back R2 going to G. Carter followed by S. Hanby and Bob Carter in sport mode. Race 3, 1st G. Carter, 2nd Paul Smith and a very fine 3rd for Peter Richardson.

Bob Carter
Bob Carter, sailing the new Sprint 15

The sailing over for the day most of the fleet retired as they had the previous year to the Lion Hotel Buckden, an excellent meal and good fun was had by all. Happy birthday was sung to Sprint 15 old timer Bob Carter (60), while Gordon Goldstone performed a conjuring trick by making several glasses of white wine disappear!

Sunday's racing due to start at 10.30 was delayed by fog, resulting in the days racing being limited to 2 races, sailed back to back. When the fog cleared conditions were much the same as the day before. Race 4 won by G. Carter followed again by S. Hanby, Robin Leather posting his first top 3 finish of the weekend. The wind got up a bit for race 5, F3-4 with a few good gusts. The beat again was crucial as it had been all weekend, the quickest way up the beat was to sail close to the shore, those who went for the centre of the lake constantly lost ground. The final race was won by S. Hanby followed by G. Carter and R. Leather taking 3rd. There also has to be a mention for Keith Ball, who punched above his weight to finish a credible 7th.

Frank Sandells
Frank Sandells

It was great to see the newcomers to the fleet, Gary and Gerald Sverdloff, Richard Philpott, Thomas Sandal and Mark Stokes and also to rub shoulders with a few of the old D15 legends in Barrie Hoggard, George Wood and Andrew Hannah.

A big thank you goes out to Grafham Water Sailing Club who's organisation and attention to detail resulted in a fantastic weekends racing!

Frank Sandells 19 Oct 05.
(photos by Mark Aldridge)

Overall Results
1st George Carter (Sport mode) Grafham 4pts
2nd Steve Hanby Beaver 9pts
3rd Paul Smith Beaver 14pts
4th Robin Leather (Sport mode) Gurnard 15pts
5th Bob Carter (Sport mode) Grafham 20pts

For the full results, click here.