The Spitfire Inland Championships 2015 were held at the Grafham Catamaran Open on the 17th/18th October, was also marking the final event in the TT series. 14 boats attended, which lead to some very competitive racing. There was the largest amount of adult teams seen at any of the Spitfire TT series this year, showing the range and flexibly of the boat. Boats with a slower handicap were on a separate course which eased the pressure around marks. It wasn’t completely clear though, as the F18’s and the fast single handers joined the spitfires on the race course.
Saturday started with a moderate breeze that built up into strong winds. Race one started on time and a close battle ensued between Jack Butters and James King, and Alex Philpott and Jess D’Arcy. Jack and James won, kicking off what would be a fantastic weekend for them. Stewart Smith and Mark Sewell broke their ratchet, which forced them off the water, despite getting an impressive 9th place with such a handicap.
Race two saw the start of the capsizing as the increasing wind speed caught some newer teams unawares. Special mention goes to Matthew McRobbie and Molly Desorgher. Molly has only been on a spitfire for a few months and Matthew completed his first tack on a catamaran during the first beat of race one.
By the end of race three, two more boats had retired from racing, but a strong onshore wind made landing quite interesting. Overall, the boats were on the water for less than four hours – a credit to the race team who ensured that there was minimal waiting around between races.
Sunday’s wind speed was lower, but this only lead to some chaotic starts, as a more aggressive style of starting was seen from some of the newer teams. This caught some unawares with more than one boat having to tack to avoid a collision with the committee boat.
Gentle spots of pressure littered the course, favouring the lighter teams and large gains could be made from spotting the gusts down wind, with locals Jonathan Batey and Simon Plant and new team Charlotte Watson and Harry Pulford doing well to hang on with the smaller kite size.
The adult teams enjoyed sailing with the younger teams and the large one – design fleet really testing the skills of the sailors.
At the end of a good weekends racing, Jack and James lead the fleet with six perfect races. Olly and Ben Harris were tied on points with Alex and Jess, but snatched second on count back. The event marked the end of this year’s Travellers Trophy Series, with Helm Jack Butters tipping Olly and Ben Harris to the post. Third place went to locals Will and Megan Smith.
Thanks to Iain Philpott for the photos.
|Rank||Sail No||Helm’s Name||Crew’s Name||Sailing Club||R1||R2||R3||R4||R5||R6||Total||Net|
|1st||128||Jack Butters||James King||Parkstone/Brightlingsea||-1||1||1||1||1||1||6||5|
|2nd||89||Olly Harris||Ben Harris||Weston SC||4||-5||2||2||2||3||18||13|
|3rd||145||Alex Philpott||Jess D’Arcy||DWSC||2||3||-4||3||3||2||17||13|
|4th||131||Sophie Heritage||William Heritage||Gurnard||3||-9||5||4||4||4||29||20|
|5th||53||Will Smith||Megan Smith||Grafham Water Sailing Club||6||2||-7||5||5||6||31||24|
|6th||233||Sam Rowell||Nick Swain||Felixstowe Ferry Sailing Club||5||4||3||6||6||-10||34||24|
|7th||106||Matthew McRobbie||Molly Desorgher||Carsington/ Notts County||11||8||(15.0 DNC)||8||8||5||55||40|
|8th||124||Kevin Cummerson||Christian Mash||Grafham Water Sailing Club||-12||7||6||9||9||9||52||40|
|9th||82||Lotte Johnson||Becki Johnson||Weston Sailing Club||10||12||(15.0 DNC)||7||10||8||62||47|
|10th||57||Jack Collis||Nia Crockford||Marconi SC/Whitstable YC||8||11||10||-12||11||7||59||47|
|11th||136||Theo Williams||Ryan Gill||Restronguet Sailing Club||7||6||8||(15.0 DNC)||15.0 DNC||15.0 DNC||66||51|
|12th||55||Stewart Smith||Mark||Grafham Water Sailing Club||9||(15.0 DNC)||15.0 DNC||10||7||11||67||52|
|13th||28||Charlotte Watson||Harry Pulford||Llyn Brenig||-14||10||11||11||13||12||71||57|
|14th||21||Jonathan Batey||Simon Plant||Grafham Water Sailing Club||-13||13||9||13||12||13||73||60|