Sub zero temperatures and a covering of snow threatened to disrupt the 20th Grafham Grand Prix on New Year’s Eve, but once the diesel powered committee boat was eventually started, the 200 entries enjoyed some close racing in a Force 2-3 south-easterly.
Catamarans and Fast Asymmetrics The catamarans and fast asymmetrics contained a mix of 49ers, RS800s, B14s, a Norfolk Punt, a Hurricane 5.9, Formula 18 and a Hawk. Both races were sailed on a windward/leeward course and Will Sunnucks (Hurricane 5.9) crossed the line first in the first race. However, on corrected time Dave Hayes and Sean Dwyer in a B14, and Dave Hall and Paul Constable in a 49er took the top two places. Hayes and Dwyer continued their winning ways with a win in race two ahead of Sunnucks, and John and Ginny Evans in a 49er. There were only six finishers.
From the original entry of 69 there were only 45 boats in the fast handicap fleet. The 29ers stole the show with six in the top 10 with Ben McGrane and James Appleby taking the overall honours. Dave Wade Richard Wagstaff sailing a Fireball broke the 29er domination however’ and claimed second overall from Steve Wilson and John Garth also in a 29er.
A total of 18 different classes made up the slow handicap fleet with the Flying Fifteens the largest class represented. In race one however, the Flying Fifteens led the fleet round the wrong gybe mark so the race officer had to abandon and start again. Nick Heath (Flying Fifteen) just pipped Brett Dingwell (Flying Fifteen) by three seconds with Tom Stewart (Merlin Rocket) 30 seconds adrift. On corrected time however, Charlie Odell in a 420 took first place.
In the second race Stewart in the Merlin Rocket took the lead on the final round from Dingwell and Heath but with the leading 420 less than a minute adrift on the water Odell had a comfortable winning margin on corrected time.
Although the 420s took the top two places there were five different classes in the top 10 overall with the Laser Stratos keelboat squeezing into the prize list in 10th place.
Defending champion, Gerry Wales sailing an RS300 once again gave the 49-strong fleet a good run for its money in race one but was unable to hold off Tim Carver (Finn) on corrected time. Wales also took line honours in race two but it was Carver who once again took the race on corrected time and win overall.
1 B14 749, DAVID HAYES AND SEAN DWYER
2 HURRICANE 432, WILL SUNNUCKS AND MARK SELF
3 49ER 453, JOHN AND GINNY EVANS
4 49ER 597, DAVID HALL AND PAUL CONSTABLE
5 49ER 559, SIMON MARKS AND ALI SUTOR
6 49ER 253, PAUL TOWERS AND MARK BAILEY
7 HAWK 812, DUNCAN SIMMONDS AND STEWART SMITH
8 RS800 884, T AND W JONES
9 B14 739, SCOTT ALLEN AND DAVID STEAD
10 RS800 858, DAVID AND SUSANNE MACLAY
1 29ER 167, BEN McGRANE AND JAMES APPLEBY
2 FB 14750, DAVID WADE AND RICHARD WAGSTAFF
3 EQUAL 29ER 338, STEVE WILSON AND JOHN GARTH
3 EQUAL 29ER 75, ADAM CLARK AND MATT BENNETT
5 29ER 339, OLIVIER VIDAL AND MICHAEL LASKO
6 FB 14620, VINCE HOREY AND JON MILDRED
7 29ER 155, CHARLIE MORLAND AND DANIEL BROWN
8 29ER 371, JONNY AND JEMIMA MARSHALL
9 505 8381, TERRY SCUTCHER AND RICHARD TEW
10 FB 14655 MARK AND SIMON MASKELL
1 420 50188, CHARLIE ODELL AND KATHERINE HOPSON
2 420 49743, NICK CHERRY AND CHRIS EVANS
3 FF 3692, NICK HEATH AND GRAHAM WADELEY
4 FF 3679, BRETT DINGWALL AND STEPHEN CARSON
5 MR 3591, TOM STEWART AND CHARLOTTE IBBOTSON
6 FF 3485, JIM HIBBERT AND GEOFF PARKINSON
7 405 361, JOSH AND OLLY WILCE
8 MR 3478, RICHARD DEE AND PHIL SCOTT
9 405 362, EDD CLAYSON AND JOHN GIMSON
10 LSTK 1, JAMES TINKLER AND RICHARD GIBSO