No Snow this year. Last year Graham had to cancel the Sprint 15 Winter Traveller as the Country had a thick layer of snow and travelling was not advised. This year we got a glorious sunny day. The temperature rose to 17 degrees Centigrade and a steady Westerly wind blew at 15 knots gusting to 20 knots. 13 visitors joined 10 locals for some superb sailing but the organisers we surprised that we had not got 30 as the good weather was forecast and it came after such a dire wet and windy 2 months.
The racing comprised of 2 races back-to-back ran as the first start with club racing. The Race officer, Dave Philpott, and his team set a large rectangular course along the lake which gave the sailors the tight reaches they like as well as a long beat and run.
In the first race local fleet captain, Thomas Sandal, made no mistakes and led from start to finish. Behind Sandal the competition was hot with tight racing between Simon Farthing, Paul Craft, Steve Sawford, Paul Grattage and Simon Miles battling away. National Champion, Stuart Snell, made an uncharacteristic poor start and was only in 12th place at the first mark but he progressively caught back particularly by sailing wide in free air on the run. The race was extended somewhat when the leeward mark became detached from the anchor towards the end of the race and extended the length of the course as it drifted downwind. At the final gun Sandal won from Grattage, Craft, Snell, Farthing and Liam Thom respectively.
The second race followed after the race team had recovered and relayed the leeward mark and by now the wind was a force or so more than it had been in the first race but the direction was pretty steady. Steve Sawford made a charge and led at the windward mark from Farthing, Grattage, Craft and Snell. This time Sandal made a poor start but just as he was catching back suffered a collision with a club Phantom which tacked into Sandal and capsized in front of him in the ensuing tangle. Craft made big gains on the second beat and claimed the lead from Grattage and Farthing. Also going well were Jon Finch, Thom, Frank Sandells and Robin Boardman who has (shock, horror) kept the same boat for long enough to do 2 of our opens 6 months apart in the same boat. Well I guess it had to happen sometime! The final lap was very tight between the front 4 boats but it was Craft who took the honours at the gun from Grattage, Snell, Sawford, Farthing and Finch.
Thus at the end of the day Craft won the regatta on count-back from Grattage and Snell and Farthing made it a family affair by taking third and fourth respectively. The fleet left happy after a superb days sailing with good courses and good race management.
That concludes the Winter Traveller series but the Summer Traveller Series gets under way at Marconi on 12/13 April.
Full event results available here
Full Series Results available here