The first ever Carsington Winter TT took place on December 8th with grey skies, rain and freezing temperature greeting the 8 travellers who had made the journey to the peak district together with 5 local helms. The weather forecast ominously predicting strong gusting winds and with white water already on the lake several helms decided not to race. Race officer Ged Bellamy after discussing the weather conditions with the fleet at the briefing, requested that both races should be run back-to-back as windguru predictions estimated further wind strength increases of up to 40 mph by midday. This was unanimously agreed even though it meant a late lunch. Due to the tricky conditions a total of nine boats launched to contest the second round of the Winter TT series.
Race 1 Ged Bellamy set a trapezoid course but because of North / East wind direction made this a starboard rounding, the line being set slightly port biased. Several helms including Robin Newbold attempted to start on a port flyer, however, a line of starboard boats made them tuck in astern putting paid to a good start. Leading the fleet up the beat was Steve Sawford, Charles Watson, Howard Hawkes & Ray Gall, first to the windward mark was Sawford, by this time a snow shower had decided to blow though producing some tasty moments in the blustery conditions. Chris Black had made up ground on the leaders and was getting into contention but just as he tacked to go through the gate on the first lap was caught by a savage gust causing the first capsize of the day. Newbold reveling in the conditions made up ground after his poor start and was having a tremendous battle with Watson for 2nd / 3rd place, whilst in the middle of the pack Gordon Goldstone, Steve Tunnacliffe and Paul Craft were exchanging places and having a really good battle. Finishing positions 1st Steve Sawford 2nd Robin Newbold 3rd Charles Watson.
Race 2 and a quick turn around using the same trapezoid course saw several helms Watson, Sawford & Gall once again attempting port flyers and once again thwarted by a line of charging starboard boats led by Black. First to the windward mark was Watson closely followed by Hawkes and Black. Also going well in this race was Craft who was having an intense battle with Newbold. The wind by now had moved around to the North / West making it just possible to beat from the starting line to the windward mark, Sawford taking advantage of this wind shift made ground on the leaders after his poor start. Meanwhile at the rear of the fleet a three boat tussle between Goldstone, Tunnacliffe and Gall was under way for several laps which was ultimately decided in Goldstone’s favour. Finishing positions 1st Charles Watson, 2nd Steve Sawford, 3rd Howard Hawkes.
The third round of the Sprint 15 Winter TT will be held at Draycote Sailing Club January 12th 2008.
Full Series Results available here