14 competitors took to the water at our first TT of 2019 at Draycote Water. We had 7 home boats and 7 visitors, with 3 sailing Sport mode and the rest sailing Standard mode. The forecast had been predicting 12+ knots, gusting up to 25 knots, but in the end the winds were somewhat lighter at 8-10 knots from the West. This didn’t stop some exciting and close racing in each of the 3 races. Race Officer Tim Case and his able assistant Richard Colwell set us a trapezoidal course and racing soon got under way.
In race 1 we all got off to a clean start with Paul Grattage taking the lead in Sport mode, closely followed by Ed Tuite Dalton, Stuart Snell, Liam Thom and Pete Slater. On the second lap Ed went for left hand side of the lake and nearly managed to overtake Paul on the windward leg, but Paul stayed ahead for the next two laps, but it wasn’t enough on corrected times and Ed was 1st, Stuart 2nd and Paul 3rd.
In race 2 another clean start, but this time 3 Draycote boats were first to the windward mark, with Ant Clay in the lead, followed by Dave Rowe and Pete Slater. Ant Clay sailed a brilliant race, maintaining pole position and was first over the finishing line, followed by Paul Grattage (corrected time 6th), with Stuart Snell 2nd and Ed Tuite Dalton 3rd. Paul did comment afterwards that he had never been beaten before whilst sailing Sport mode on the water by a Unarig Sprint, so well done to Ant for this first!
With all to play for in the last race, everyone was vying for position on the start line and fortunately we all got away without incident, with Paul taking an early lead, followed by Stuart and Ed. Whilst Paul accelerated away in Sport mode, the rest of the fleet started to battle it out together, with Steve Pell taking a bath as he capsized rounding the windward mark in all the excitement. Stuart managed to get clear of the pack, but Ed allowed himself to lose several places on the downwind leg, letting Ant and Liam through. On the downwind leg of the second lap, Derek James, sailing Sport mode, decided to create some mischief by coming across on starboard, causing a number of boats to have to gybe on to starboard. The final positions for the last race were Paul 1st, Stuart 2nd and Ant 3rd.
When it came to the final results, the top four boats each had 4 points and with the top three each having a 1st and a 3rd, the winner was decided by their position in the last race. This meant that Paul Grattage was the overall winner, with Ant Clay 2nd and Ed Tuite Dalton 3rd and Stuart Snell 4th.
Full Series Results available here