The Sprint 15 Nationals were held over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Kevin Kirby, Pete Richardson, Jon Pearse, David Ball and myself – with support crew of Liz Jackson and Fenella Miler made the journey up to Pwllheli in North Wales – which is a beautiful sailing location with sandy beaches and the back drop of Snowdonia. And, defying all known precedent, we had dry and warm weather and plenty of sun across the three days! We found ourselves sharing the boat park (not as big as we are spoilt with at home!) with 120 RS Teras, their sailors, parents, RIBS etc So it was a bit cosy for the 40 Sprint 15s but we all fitted in somehow.
Racing format was a practice lap followed by two races on Sunday, three races on Monday and two races on Tuesday – all sailing back to back out in the bay.
Sunday was fairly breezy with a solid force 4 and some stronger gusts blowing through.
Monday dawned with no wind so the racing was postponed until the afternoon when a light but sailable wind filled in. The three races were mentally taxing as it required a lot of concentration to try and find the best air and get ahead of the other boats.
Tuesday had a lovely force 3 – 4 breeze with some larger waves that Pwllheli is famous for from previous events! A cracking two races saw strong placings from all Marconi boats.
With all 7 races sailed, there are two discards so the best 5 results counted.
The National Championships were won very convincingly by father and daughter team Sean and Sophie McKenna (aged 8) from Shanklin, IoW – the first time since 1987 that a two up boat has won the Nationals! Second place went to Stuart Snell from Grafham who also won the over 60 trophy. Third place went to Paul Grattage from Shanklin – one of our younger sailors who is exceptionally fast but suffered from a dismasting in race 6 and did not do so well in the light airs on day 2.
Behind the top 2 – less than 10 points separated positions 3 – 8 so it was very closely fought!
5th – Kevin
6th – David
7th – Jenny
14th – Pete
20th – Jon
2nd Place in the Team Trophy – behind Shanklin. And, we definitely had the best team shirts!!
Next up in the Sprint 15 Traveller Series – is Draycote one day traveller event on Saturday 10th September, followed by Grafham in late October, where we are planning on a large Marconi representation.
Oh – and a date for your diary – next year’s Sprint 15 Nationals are at Thorpe Bay from Saturday 22nd to Monday 24th July 2017.