Sprint 15 Summer Series 2018
The Sprint 15 Summer Traveller series has a new name on the trophy this year as Liam Thom of Shanklin Sailing Club sailed a very strong series to take a well-deserved win.
The series comprised of 5 events around the Country and was well supported as usual. The events were at Marconi (Essex), Rutland, Draycote, Royal Western (Plymouth) and Grafham and mostly took part in light winds.
The Series kicked off at Marconi on a weekend in April and 14 visitors joined an impressive 13 locals. After some waiting around for the wind to materialise racing was possible on both days in a light breeze and 5 races were completed. Paul Grattage won the event from Stuart Snell and Liam Thom. Top locals were David Ball, and Jenny Ball who were 4th and 5th respectively. The popular long distance race had to be shortened to a circumnavigation of Osea Island and was won by Thom from Ed Tuite Dalton
Next in May came Rutland and the forecast for a sunny weekend with virtually no wind clearly depleted the numbers. Never-the-less 12 sailors took part in racing which was just possible both days. On the Saturday just 2 races were run and it took dedication to paddle to and from the race area to achieve this. On the Sunday a little more wind, but still only around 5 knots, enabled a further 4 races to be run aided by slick race management. Light wind expert Snell won from J Ball and Chris Tillyer. Next came George Love, Gordon Deuce and Kevin Kirby who took 4th, 5th and 6threspectively.
A one day Northern Championship event at Draycote was next up in July and 14 visitors joined 9 sailors from the home club. After a delay to await some wind the club managed to run 4 races in conditions which remained light and fluky all day. Thom (4,1,1) won from Snell (2,2,3), J Ball (1,5,5) and Grattage ( 9,1,3). Top local was Peter Slater in 5th much to the annoyance of Tuite Dalton who was beaten by his old boat. New Class Treasurer, Nigel James, was sixth.
In August the fleet visited a new venue at Royal Western Yacht Club, Plymouth encouraged by the emergence of a new fleet of young Sprint 15 sailors who mostly sail the more exciting Sport mode. We were rewarded with the best winds on the series with a SW force 3-4 and choppy seas on the Saturday and force 4-5 on the Sunday. 4 races were completed on the Saturday and a further 2 on the Sunday. The racing was exciting and Thom, who was testing a fast borrowed boat, made no mistakes winning the event by taking 5 successive guns. Tuite Dalton was second which made up for his disappointment in his performance at Draycote and Jon Pearse who was revelling in the strong conditions, took third. Yvonne Pike was top lady in an impressive 5th place and top local was Jamie Ward who was 6th even though it was his first sail in a Sprint 15. The local fleet had been talked into sailing una-rig mode in the interests of better competition, but in retrospect this had not favoured them as they were relatively unfamiliar with sailing this format. In future years it would possibly be smarter to encourage the travellers to sail Sport mode when visiting this Club.
The finale was at the Grafham Cat Open in October and 28 sailors took part in the Inland Championships and once again dwarfed all other classes at the Cat Open. Racing took place over 2 days on warm sunny days in a light force 2-3 breeze. Thom wanted to leave nothing to chance so had smooth talked his friends in lending him the fast boat he used at Plymouth. Racing was tight throughout the weekend and the result depended on the final race. In the end Thom won the event (4,1,1,6,1) and became new Inland Champion by a clear margin. Marconi sailors, D Ball and J Ball, were second and third respectively and Snell was fourth from Jim Bowie in fifth place.
Thus Thom became the new Traveller Champion from Snell (2nd) and J Ball (3rd). In total 51 sailors took part in the series and 16 sailors qualified by sailing 3 or more events. The Sprint 15 fleet have now moved on to the Winter Traveller Series which kicked off at Stewartby on 3 November.
Final Results Summary:
Overall TT Series Top Places: 1st Liam Thom (Shanklin) 3 pts, 2nd Stuart Snell (Grafham) 5 pts, 3rd Jenny Ball (Marconi) 8 pts, 4th George Love (Carsington) 14 pts, 5th Paul Grattage (Shanklin) 19 pts, 6th Ed Tuite Dalton (Draycote) 19pts, 7th Kevin Kirby (Marconi) 24 pts, 8th Nigel James (Marconi) 26pts, 9th Jason Clarke (Marconi) 33pts, 10th Jon Pearse (Marconi) 35 pts
Traveller Champion & Standard Mode Champion: Liam Thom (Shanklin)
Report by Bob Carter
Final Results Summary:
Overall TT Series Top 5 Places: 1st Liam Thom (Shanklin Sailing Club) 3 Pts , 2nd Stuart Snell (Grafham Water Sailing Club) 5 Pts, 3rd Jenny Ball (Marconi Sailing Club) 8 Pts, 4th George Love (Carsington Sailing Club) 14 Pts, 5th Paul Grattage (Shanklin Sailing Club) 19 Pts
Una and Two-Up Fleet Top 3 Places: 1st Liam Thom (Shanklin Sailing Club) 3 Pts, 2nd Stuart Snell (Grafham Water Sailing Club) 5 Pts, 3rd Jenny Ball (Marconi Sailing Club) 8 Pts
Southern Champion: Not Sailed
Northern Champion: Liam Thom (Shanklin Sailing Club)
Inland Champion: Liam Thom (Shanklin Sailing Club)
Full Series Results are available here
Total Number of Individual Competitors who attended at least one event: 51