Grafham Grand Prix - slow handicap and singlehander enjoy exciting day on the water 2/1/07

The 76 entries for the PY1001 and single hander fleets at the Grafham Grand Prix on Saturday were somewhat reduced out on the water by a combination of a blustery south-westerly causing some swimming before the start of Race 1, and a forecast of some really heavy weather to come.

Both fleets got away cleanly for race 1 after a start 1 general recall caused by the pin drifting, and were won respectively by Gillard/Brearey sailing superbly in the 420, and Val Millward in the Challenger.

Races two and three in the two-hander fleet were dominated by the Merlin Rockets of Bithel and Davis who finished first and second overall respectively after some very close competition, Bithel having recovered very well from a gooseneck failure at the start of race 1 and a spectacular resulting capsize.

Gillard/Brearey in the 420 and Tom Stewart in the N12 ended up third and fourth overall, with the 420 team not quite able to hold the Merlin Rockets as the breeze slackened during the day.

The slow fleet was dominated by Val Millward in the Challenger who finished first, with Jon Emmett and Craig Williamson second and third sailing Laser Radial and 4.7 respectively.

Racing was close all day, and although the wind went hard left early in race 3 there was still a lot of place changing despite the one sided beat. Competitors went home having sailed three races in varied conditions and without the threatened gales.