The Sprint 15 winter traveller series was concluded at Grafham on Sunday 22 March in glorious conditions and a 26 boat entry. Four events of the planned five were completed in the series – sadly we got no wind at Queen Mary, so that event was cancelled but all the other events were held with a variety of sailing conditions.
At Stewartby on an overcast day in November we got strong winds with good racing and a number of capsizes but a disappointing attendance of just 11 boats. Stuart Snell won the day from Steve Sawford and Ed Tuite Dalton taking third. We moved on to Carsington in December and 15 boats took part on a bright day with just 10 knots of wind but the competition was hot. The increasing rivalry between Carsington and Draycote was apparent with Draycote boasting a strong team of 4 travellers. It was Charles Watson of Halifax who won from an improving Tuite-Dalton with Chris Black and Peter Slater in third and forth so Draycote had 2 in the top 4 places! Watch out Carsington!
At the third event it was bitterly cold in a light breeze and the sailors had to contend with sliding on the ice on the trampolines and the sheets freezing making sheeting out difficult. An impressive 19 boats took part and Snell took the event with Robin Newbold very close behind in second place. When the fleet came in all of the talk was of how cold it was. One claimed that his banana he had taken to eat between races (I think) had frozen solid. Another claimed that a melon would have been a better bet as it is more resistant to freezing. The grubguru (from Scotland originally) claimed that they were a load of pansies and that he would have gone sailing in his kilt. Queen Mary got a beautiful sunny St Valentines day in February for their open but sadly there was not a breath of wind so that they had to cancel.
Finally, Grafham had a glorious bright day with force 4-5 winds with gusts to F6. A new record of 26 boats took part in superb sailing conditions – some of the fleet had complained that they could not come as it was Mothers Day so we could have got more (This may be addressed in future as the new Events Secretary is more of a romantic than the retiring events secretary who thinks a mans gotta do what a mans gotta do (i.e go sailing)). The grubguru did not sail in his kilt but he showed us that he is made of sterner stuff by sailing on his wedding anniversary. Grafham sailer Mark Aldridge, dominated the event from Snell and Sawford making him kick himself he had not done enough events to qualify in the series.
Thus Snell wrapped up a successful series to take the Winter Series Trophy Trophy (affectionately called “The Urn” ) with two firsts and a second and Tuite-Dalton (4,2,3) took second place. Carsington and Draycote went into a huddle to decide who should buy the beers after their unofficial inter club contest. Sadly no one had documented the rules so it all depends on interpretation.
The fleet rest for a few weeks now before the summer series kicks off at Seasalter on 25/26 April
Final Results Summary:
Overall TT Series Top 5 Places: 1st Stuart Snell (Grafham Water Sailing Club) 4 Pts , 2nd Ed Tuite Dalton (Draycote Water Sailing Club) 9 Pts, 3rd Steve Sawford (Rutland Water Sailing Club) 10 Pts, 4th Chris Black (Grafham Water Sailing Club) 13 Pts, 5th Erling Holmberg (Shanklin Sailing Club) 18 Pts
Una and Two-Up Fleet Top 3 Places: 1st Stuart Snell (Grafham Water Sailing Club) 4 Pts, 2nd Ed Tuite Dalton (Draycote Water Sailing Club) 9 Pts, 3rd Steve Sawford (Rutland Water Sailing Club) 12 Pts
Sport Fleet Top 3 Places: 1st Robert England (RYA) 5 Pts, 2nd Derek James (Draycote Water Sailing Club) 8 Pts, 3rd Ray Gall (Carsington Sailing Club) 11 Pts
Full Series Results are available here
Total Number of Individual Competitors who attended at least one event: 38