Graduate Dinghy Association

Grad Nationals - Chipstead 2015

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

Day 2
Competitors arriving in the morning were greeted with sunshine and a westerly wind for the start of second day of the Graduate Nationals.  Three races were sailed on day two.
Race two, the first of the day, was started at the eastern end with the first beat being the full length of the lake.  From the congested start line, with a couple over, Liz Stockdale and Victoria Ingamells in the oldest boat on the water took the lead on the favoured right hand side.  However, she was headed letting Tony and Sam Cooper go into the “narrows” first; closely followed by John and Jamie Clementson.
By the end of the small reach at the end of the lake the Clementsons had taken the lead and in second were Bob and Maggie Murrell.  On the next beat Ben and Gabe Hill, and the Coopers managed at some stages to get ahead of the Murrells.  For the Hills this was short lived as Murrells returned the complement.  For the next couple of laps the top five positions remained the same.  On the final lap the Murrells got clear of the Coopers and got second place behind the Clementsons in first.
After a good lunch, race three was sailed using the same course.  The first beat up to the narrows was lead by the Murrells followed by the Clementsons.  This continued round the windward mark. By the next beat, the Clementsons had overhauled the Murrells.  While the positions remained more or less the same in the top five for the rest of the race this masks the close racing taking place.  Eventually the Clementsons claimed another bullet.
Race four, the last race of the day was sailed in lighter winds. The fleet started on starboard and those with the best starts benefited from the clear air. The Murrells were first round the windward mark.  In the following pack were youth sailors Bryn Abendenstern and Anabelle Coppinger, fellow youths the Hill brothers and not youths, the Clementsons. The shifting wind required close attention.  This suited the Clementsons who achieved their fourth first place of the event.  Following them were the Murrells and the Abendenstern Coppinger team.
Positions at the end of day 2 were as follows:

Pos Boat Club Helm Crew
1 2979 Chipstead John Clementson Jamie Clementson
2 3008 Chipstead Bob Murrell Maggie Murrell 
3 3018 West Lancs Ben Hill Gabe Hill
4 3001 Bolton Andy Flitcroft Sue Flitcroft
5 2873 King George Tony Cooper Sam Cooper


Final day - Day 3
It was an early start for the Graduates on the final day of the 2015 Nationals at Chipstead with the first race of the day being scheduled for 0930.  The wind was there; unfortunately, it was from the north which meant short beats and long reaches.
Race 5, the first of the day, started close the club house shore with little room to manoeuvre.  After the cramped start it was a search for clear air and pressure.  In the light airs Tony and Sam Cooper led at the windward mark closely followed by Roger Cherrill and Sarah-Jane Critchley.  The Coopers held to first for a further half lap before Cherrill and Critchley got past them.  The chasing pack was led by Andy and Sue Flitcroft.
By the second lap team Cherrill and Critchley continued to lead but with John and Jamie Clementson now up to second place and Chris Parker with Katie Ross in third.  These top three positions were held to the end of the race.  Lower down the fleet, positions were changing with every gust which passed over the lake.
Race 6 was the same course as race 5; however, the start line was further from the shore giving a bit more room to manoeuvre.  Taking best advantage of the extra room were Bob and Maggie Murrell who navigated clear of the fleet and were not to be caught.  Second round the windward mark were the youth team of Bryn Abendenstern and Annabelle Coppinger with the Clementsons third.
Later in the first lap the Coopers moved up to third with another youth team, Ben and Gabe Hill, moving up to fourth.  However, by the end of the lap the Clementsons had claimed second position.
The race was finished after three laps with the Murrells first, the Clementsons second and the Hills third.  All boats were ashore for noon where lunch and prizes waited.
With all six scheduled races completed the Championships had clear winners, with four bullets, of John and Jamie Clementson (Chipstead).  Second place went to Bob and Maggie Murrell (Chipstead) and third overall were Ben and Gabe Hill (West Lancs). The team trophy went to Chipstead, the Junior prizes were won by the Hill brothers, Liz Stockdale (Chipstead) was the lead female helm, David and Sandra Wilson (Broadwater) won the halfway up cup, Duff Burns with Tony Cooper (Chipstead) won the Ruislip Paddle, silver fleet winners were Chris Parker with Katie Ross (Crosby) and bronze fleet winners were Neil and Neil Beaton (Chipstead).
The next Graduate championship event will be the Northerns at Bassenthwaite on the first weekend of August.
Final positions:

Pos Boat Club Helm Crew Nett Pts
1 2979 Chipstead John Clementson Jamie Clementson 6
2 3008 Chipstead Bob Murrell Maggie Murrell 11
3 3018 West Lancs Ben Hill Gabe Hill 21
4 2873 King George Tony Cooper Sam Cooper 22
5 2962 Chipstead Roger Cherrill Sarah-Jane Critchley 24
6 3001 Bolton Andy Flitcroft Sue Flitcroft 28
7 2097  Crosby  Chris Parker  Katie Ross 29
8 3000  Chipstead  Andrew Hubble  Barnaby Marchant 41
9 3013  Toddbrook  Bryn Abendenstern  Anabelle Coppinger 47
10 1718  Chipstead  Liz Stockdale  Victoria Ingamells 47
11  3016  Chipstead  Rob Riddlesdel  Sally Riddlesdell 51
12  2931  Chipstead  Charlie Dutton Meg Crawley 55
13 3010 Broadwater David Wilson Sandra Wilson 57
14 2928 Thornbury Paul Craig Isabelle Craig 61
15 3004 Toddbrook Richard Thorpe Jane Thorpe 65
16 3009 Chipstead Neil Beaton Neil Beaton 74
17 3015 Chipstead  James Webber Helen Recardo 83
18 2901 Chipstead Hamilton Roaf Alistair Roaf 87
19 2987 Chipstead Douglas Horner Angela Flory 93
20 2859 Papercourt Jason Aldous Toby Aldous 103
21 2969  Chipstead Richard Salmons  Sarah Frankland 109
22  2711  Chipstead  David Lockwood  Christopher Lockwood 110
23  2923  Chipstead  Duff Burns  Tony Cowell 110
24  2776  Yorkshire Dales  Phil Hartley  James Hartley 113
25  2985  Chipstead  Jon Hunt  Verna Hunt 118
26  3006  Chipstead  Peter Flory  Jane Marshall 128