Thorpe Bay Yacht Club: Nationals
22nd - 24th July 2017

Thorpe Bay, Essex hosted 60 entrants for the Sprint 15 National Championships sponsored by GJW Direct Insurance and Windsport.  Entrants came from far and wide including Isle of Wight, Wales, Devon, the North and the Essex area.  We were particularly pleased to welcome seventeen sailors competing in the Nationals for the first time and five youth entrants.

The event comprised seven races over three days, in increasingly breezy conditions!

Day 1 saw the lightest conditions with a reasonable Force 3.  Race 1 saw Paul Grattage lead for the first lap but was eventually overtaken by last year’s National Champions, father and daughter team Sean and Sophia McKenna who went on to win the race.  David Ball held on to third place, followed by Stuart Snell, Kevin Kirby, Liam Thom and Jack Tindale - putting in an impressive performance as a newcomer to the Sprint 15 fleet.  Andy & Finley Webb were also doing well until their mainsail split in half – but they managed to borrow another one and get out in time for the next race.

Race 2 saw a slight strengthening of the breeze and with the tide turning, there was a mass bundle at the windward mark where those coming in on port found themselves tacking inside the oncoming starboard fleet and being pushed the wrong side of the mark.  Paul Grattage established an early lead which he held on to win the race, followed by Sean and Sophia, Kevin Kirby, Stuart Snell and Kevin Dutch.  The fleet headed in after a great afternoon’s sailing.

This year, Chairman Awards were introduced to commend individual competitors who had achieved something notable – sponsored by Elmore Homes and supplied by TCS Chandlery.  Saturday’s winners were Yvonne Pike for capsizing on the finish line and Tom Gurney for putting in a great performance despite being half the size and a third of the age of an average Sprint 15 sailor.

Day 2 dawned with more sunshine and a decent Force 3 - 4 which was due to fall away during the afternoon so the fleet were keen to get the three races in.  Kevin Dutch led the first lap – was overtaken by Sean and Sophia on lap 2 but got back in front to win the race – followed by Kevin Kirby, Sean and Sophia, Liam Thom and Jim Bowie.  The wind had strengthened for the start of Race 4 and those who held the line out to the left hand side of the beat got to the windward mark first.  David Ball developed an impressive lead by the end of the first lap – followed by Jack Tindale, Paul Grattage and Gary Sverdloff.  But Sean and Sophia were chasing hard and by the end of the fourth lap, had managed to pull through to take the lead – followed by David, Paul Grattage, Liam Thom and Kevin Dutch. 

Race 5 started in normal wind conditions – but was swiftly overtaken by squally conditions that had somehow been omitted from the forecast!  Sprint 15s cope pretty well in such breezes but that did not prevent Sean and Sophia from capsizing and a number of others calling time and heading home.  The Race Officer shortened the course after one lap – seeing another win for Kevin Dutch, followed by Paul Grattage, David Lloyd, Andy and Finley Webb and Chris Tillyer. 

With a full on onshore breeze, landing sixty boats on the beach proved tricky or entertaining depending on your point of view.  Sunday’s Chairman’s Awards went to Gary Burrows for his boat sailing off the beach by itself when he went to help someone else land – and had to be chased hard by a support boat to bring it back.  Gary Sverdloff won an award for sailing over the concrete groin before being thrown off his boat – which then needed to be sailed back by a safety boat crew.  The final award went to Sophia McKenna for enjoying her capsize despite being thrown well clear of the boat (and rescuing the burgee).     

The fleet enjoyed a three course Class Association Annual Dinner in the evening and compared notes on aching muscles and bruises!  Entertainment was provided by local band The Runaways who covered an excellent range of music – a must when fleet members are aged between 13 and 74.

Day three was breezier from the get go and two races were completed in strong wind conditions which resulted in some retirements during the course of the day and, unfortunately, some damage.  Sean and Sophia sailed a text book race to win race 6 with David Ball taking second place from Chris Tillyer when his toestrap broke.  Race 7 saw Robert Finch take the lead for the first two laps chased hard by Paul Grattage, Kevin Dutch and Andy and Finley Webb.   Kevin Kirby capsized at the end of lap 1 and Aaron Kirby (no relation!) capsized on top of Kevin whilst trying to avoid him – but no harm or damage done.  Kevin Dutch pulled through to take his third race win, followed by Paul Grattage, Robert Finch and Andy and Finley Webb. 

The fleet headed ashore after a great weekend of racing.  Chairman’s Awards went to Aaron Kirby for capsizing on top of his namesake and to Jack Tindale for sailing a superb first time Nationals until his boat was unfortunately damaged.

Prizegiving was led by Sissy Dewhirst – and massive congratulations to Sean and Sophia McKenna, from Shanklin – National Champions for the second year in a row.  Congratulations also to Paul Grattage, Shanklin in 2nd place, Kevin Dutch, Seasalter in 3rd, David Ball, Marconi in 4th and Kevin Kirby, Marconi in 5th.

Other notable achievements include:

  • Joe Spencer for winning the youth cup and to Hector Bunclark, Aaron Kirby, Sam Madar and Tom Gurney who came 2nd to 5th.
  • Andrew Sinclair and the Royal Western Yacht Club for bringing 4 under 18 and 2 not much older than 18 competitors who all put in impressive performances.   Stone Sailing Club were also a welcome first time fleet to the Sprint 15 Nationals and we hope to see both fleets out on the circuit.
  • Erling Holmberg for winning the newly introduced 70 plus cup, Kevin Kirby and Chris Tillyer for winning the 60 plus and 50 plus cups respectively.  Erling also had the foresight to tank his results at last year’s Nationals – thereby securing the Most Improved trophy this year!
  • Yvonne Pike only started sailing a couple of years ago and put in a great performance for her first Nationals – for which Sophia McKenna and Jenny Ball duly awarded her the Ladies Trophy.
  • Robert Finch for winning the Heavyweight Trophy and managing not to be offended in doing so!
  • Dave Warnock for winning the Paul Smith trophy for the Most Persistent competitor – particularly well deserved by such an enthusiastic newcomer to the fleet.

A big thank you to Thorpe Bay for hosting a fantastic event both on and off the water – and thank you to our sponsors GJW Direct Insurance, Windsport and support from Elmore Homes and TCS Chandlery.

2018 is the 40th Anniversary of the Sprint 15 and we look forward to our National Championships taking place from 22nd to 24th June 2018 at Weymouth.




Results:

Click for: Full Results with all Sub-Competitions

OVERALL RESULTS
Competitors Races - 7 of 7 Sailed (No. of Discards: 2) Event Placings
Name Sail ClubRace 1Race 2Race 3Race 4Race 5Race 6Race 7Points Place
Sean McKenna & Sophia McKenna2018Shanklin Sailing Club1 2 3 1 53 DNF1 61 DNC81
Paul Grattage1944Shanklin Sailing Club2 1 7 3 2 55 OCS2 102
Kevin Dutch1938Seasalter Sailing Club9 5 1 5 1 5 1 133
David Ball1923Marconi Sailing Club3 6 10 2 8 2 5 184
Kevin Kirby2020Marconi Sailing Club5 3 2 17 11 4 47 DNF255
Andy Webb & Finley Webb1879Harwich Town Sailing Club59 DNF8 8 7 4 7 4 306
Jim Bowie2021Thorpe Bay Yacht Club7 7 5 13 7 5 10 317
Liam Thom1957Shanklin Sailing Club6 10 4 4 10 12 8 328
Andrew Sinclair1540Royal Western Yacht Club21 22 6 8 9 8 9 409
Chris Tillyer1953Marconi Sailing Club17 14 20 24 5 3 6 4510
Robert Finch1990Stewartby Water Sports Club20 9 14 11 12 11 3 4611
Jenny Ball1917Marconi Sailing Club12 20 9 6 18 19 14 5912
Daren Fitchew1642Thorpe Bay Yacht Club35 16 13 15 13 13 11 6513
David Groom1714Christchurch Sailing Club13 19 36 16 15 10 13 6714
Jon Pearse1988Marconi Sailing Club15 21 18 23 6 14 22 7415 ¹
Jon Finch1890Stewartby Water Sports Club33 27 21 14 24 8 7 7416 ¹
Gary Burrows2011Thorpe Bay Yacht Club14 15 26 35 16 17 15 7717
David Lloyd1981Stokes Bay Sailing Club11 23 34 9 3 61 DNC61 DNC8018
Gary Sverdloff1963Thorpe Bay Yacht Club18 11 27 10 53 DNF16 29 8219 ¹
David King1479Thorpe Bay Yacht Club38 13 17 32 19 21 12 8220 ¹
Stuart Snell2016Grafham Water Sailing Club4 4 11 12 53 DNF61 DNC61 DNC8421
Richard Chidwick1545North Devon Yacht Club61 DNC50 16 19 22 14 16 8722
Rob Bailey1755Thorpe Bay Yacht Club27 26 41 20 17 25 17 10523
Kevin Parvin1615Llandudno Sailing Club25 60 DNF22 39 20 22 20 10924
Gerald Sverdloff & Nathan Sverdloff2017Thorpe Bay Yacht Club19 31 24 27 29 26 18 11425
Jack Tindale1410Stone Sailing Club7 12 19 22 61 DNC55 DNF61 DNC11526 ¹
Steve Healy1921Marconi Sailing Club10 17 12 21 61 DNC55 DNF61 DNC11527 ¹
Sam Heaton1972North Devon Yacht Club16 18 50 18 14 55 DNF61 DNC11628
Erling Holmberg1211Shanklin Sailing Club37 29 15 36 61 DNC18 19 11729
David Hopper1977Thorpe Bay Yacht Club23 28 25 25 53 DNF27 25 12530
John Manning1955Beaver Sailing Club31 34 43 30 21 28 21 13131
Keith Persin1551Thorpe Bay Yacht Club28 25 35 43 25 20 39 13332
Donald Sloan1240Felixstowe Ferry Sailing Club30 24 39 26 39 30 24 13433
George Love2019Carsington Sailing Club22 30 23 34 61 DNC33 30 13834
Gordon Goldstone2004Queen Mary Sailing Club26 35 33 31 32 23 27 13935
Geoff Tindale1933Stone Sailing Club34 33 32 28 23 24 61 DNC14036 ¹
Eamonn Browne1861Creeksea Sailing Club24 37 31 37 30 32 23 14037 ¹
Joe Spencer714Royal Western Yacht Club36 39 48 48 27 29 26 15738
George Warrington127Thorpe Bay Yacht Club43 53 28 33 26 47 34 16439
Hector Bunclark1906North Devon Yacht Club49 46 29 38 35 31 37 17040
Gordon Deuce1461Brightlingsea Sailing Club29 41 46 29 28 61 DNC61 DNC17341
Andy Perks1428Marconi Sailing Club42 38 30 45 40 35 31 17442
Nigel James1759Marconi Sailing Club39 43 40 40 33 37 28 17743
Alan Grant1825Thorpe Bay Yacht Club40 42 44 42 31 34 33 18044 ¹
Steve Roberts1910Dee Sailing Club59 DNF32 37 44 38 41 32 18045 ¹
Colin Rigg2012Thorpe Bay Yacht Club32 44 45 41 53 DNF36 40 19346
John Shenton1956Shanklin Sailing Club41 36 38 54 53 DNF44 38 19747
Andrew Berisford1947Brightlingsea Sailing Club44 48 54 50 34 42 61 DNC21848
Graham Dare2002Thorpe Bay Yacht Club46 40 52 46 53 DNF61 DNC35 21949 ¹
Daniel Drew1871Royal Western Yacht Club47 51 49 53 36 40 47 DNF21950 ¹
Robert Wilson1966Stone Sailing Club51 47 51 47 61 DNC39 36 22051
Aaron Kirby1547Royal Western Yacht Club45 45 42 49 42 48 47 DNF22152
Duncan Ford1814Thorpe Bay Yacht Club48 49 47 55 53 DNF43 47 DNF23453
David Warnock2008RYA52 52 56 52 37 49 50 24054
John Laliberte1548Thorpe Bay Yacht Club53 54 57 57 53 DNF46 41 24755
Liam Bunclark1951North Devon Yacht Club61 DNC61 DNC59 51 41 38 61 DNC25056
Yvonne Pike1220Shanklin Sailing Club50 60 DNF53 56 53 DNF45 61 DNC25757
Sam Madar638Royal Western Yacht Club58 58 55 60 DNF61 DNC55 DNS61 DNC28658
Tom Gurney1396Royal Western Yacht Club59 DNF55 60 60 DNF61 DNC61 DNC61 DNC29559
Paul Morgan1954Thorpe Bay Yacht Club59 DNF60 DNF61 DNC61 DNC61 DNC61 DNC61 DNC30260