Grafham Winter Handicap Sunday 12 March 2006

On Sunday 12 March the final event of the Sprint 15 fleet winter series was held at Grafham in a chilly force 3-4 South Easterly breeze. 12 travellers joined 12 from the home club making an entry of 24 the biggest attendance of the series.

Race officer, Sam Neal, set a large trapezoidal course and in race one Charles Watson from Halifax was straight off to lead from Bill Tusting, Tom Sandal and Frank Sandells at the windward mark. By the end of the first lap, locals Bob Carter and Stuart Snell had edged up to second and third but Watson was in control with a good lead. Paul Smith took the right hand side of the course on the second beat and made a huge gain closing up to 3rd place but lost much of the gain when he tried the same tactic on the 3rd beat. At the end of the race Watson took the gun from Carter, Sandal, Smith and George Stephen who made a strong charge towards the end of the race.

After a quick lunch stop, the line for the second race was starboard biased and Ed Tuite-Dalton managed to cross the fleet on port tack but it was Smith who charged into the lead from Watson, Philip Howden and Snell. This order was maintained for much of the race until right near the end when Smith sailed to the wrong mark letting Watson through to take his second gun of the weekend and Snell to take second from Smith, Howden and Chris Black.

Thus, after an exciting days sailing, Charles Watson won the day with 2 first from Paul Smith and Stuart Snell.

Charles Watson, winner at Grafham
Charles Watson, winner at Grafham

The fleet now rest for a short period until the Summer Traveller Series gets under way at Marconi on 29/30 April.

Overall Results
1st C Watson Halifax 2 pts
2nd P Smith Beaver 7 pts
3rd S Snell Grafham 8 pts
4th R Carter Grafham 11 pts
5th T Sandal Grafham 11 pts
6th P Howden Grafham 11 pts