Grad Nationals Day 1
On Saturday 23rd May, 26 Graduates from ten different clubs congregated at Chipstead Sailing Club, in Kent, for their 2015 National Championships. Day one was to be a gentle introduction to the event with a short practice race and the first main points race. Most people took part in the practice to familiarise themselves with the lake and the force two to four east-northeast wind.
The start of the first scoring race was unusual in that the initial start sequence had to be abandoned due to a dog swimming along the start line, once the doggy paddle was clear the Grads were too keen and a general recall was required. The subsequent black flag start lost a minute in the starting sequence which resulted in that start also being abandoned.
Eventually, the main event got underway with the wind favouring the boats which started at the starboard end of the line. Lots of short tacking followed as the fleet searched for clear air and areas of pressure. After beating three quarters the length of the lake, Andy and Sue Flitcroft, Bolton S.C., were first round the windward mark. Following them were the Chipstead pack of John and Jamie Clementson, Bob and Maggie Murrell, and Liz Stockdale with crew Victoria Ingamells.
At Lap two the Flitcrofts were still leading followed by the Clementsons but with last year’s champions Tony and Sam Cooper now in third and brothers Ben and Gabe Hill sailing their brand new Grad in fourth.
Racing continued for another hour with positions changing all the time in the snakes and ladders wind shifts. Final top section positions at the end of race No. 1 were:
1.2979 John and Jamie Clementson (Chipstead)
2. 3001 Andy and Sue Flitcroft (Bolton)
3. 2873 Tony and Sam Cooper (King George)
4. 3008 Bob and Maggie Murrell (Chipstead)
5. 3018 Ben and Gabe Hill (West Lancashire)
Emberton Park Open Meeting
Four boats entered the Emberton Park Open Meeting on 12 April. Competitors were greeted by bright sunshine and a rising gusty wind.
In the first race, Tony and Sam Cooper were away first, followed by locals Rob and Karen Bell, and Daid Wilson crewed by Stewart Eaton. Survival was the key to success, and everyone took a swim at some point. Following a capsize and some man overboard practice, Wilson and Eaton went ashore, to hand third place to Hamilton and Alastair Roaf.
The second race was sailed back-to-back, with only the Coopers and Roafs giving it a go. After a fantastic start, Hamilton capsized just after the windward mark. The force of the capsize was such that the mast snapped clean in two, and this left Tony to sail on unopposed. Kindly, the OOD shortened after one lap.
So it was all over by lunchtime, and everyone went home early.
Thanks again to EPSC for their warm hospitality once again.
- 2873 Tony and Sam Cooper, KIng George SC
- 2901 Hamilton and Alastair Roaf, Chipstead SC
- 2900 Rob and Karen Bell, Emberton Park SC
- 3010 David Wilson and Stewart Eaton, Broadwater SC/West Oxfordshire SC
It is with great sadness that I learn of the death of Tom Sims. Tom had been a keen supporter of the Graduate class for many years, and sailed in many Nationals and other events with his wife Barbara. Latterly, he had spent time on rules and technical support for the developments that have made the boat what it is today. Tom was also a prominent member of Medway Yacht Club and on various RYA committees. He was also a good friend and we had many enjoyable socials at events over the years.
He will be sadly missed
Please note the published class rules do not reflect the change in rules in 2013 removing the minimum ply weight. Please bear this in mind if buying new sails; most modern materials are lighter than the stated minimum, but this no longer applies. We will update asap.