World Championship qualifying event brings frenetic racing to Grafham Water
- Credit: PAUL SANWELL/OPP
Grafham Water Sailing Club played host to the Flying Fifteen Inland Championships - with boats from across the UK and Ireland.
In total 34 took to the line, including dome from Dublin and County Antrim, for what was a qualifying event for the World Championships next year in Freemantle, Australia.
The forecasted light, northerly breezes settled into gusts of around seven to 10 knots as the fleet set off.
Keen to lay down an early marker, Ian Pinnell and Ian Cadwallader led the fleet at the first windward mark of race one and despite some snakes and ladders managed to secure their first bullet from Draycote pair Simon Patterson and Simon Thompson.
Race two saw another Draycote pairing at the front of the fleet, this time Jeremy Davy and Martin Huett picking up the win.
A black flag in race three after the first recall sent four boats ashore early and it took four goes for the race to get under way, Pinnell and Cadwallader going on to get the second success.
Day two brought a slightly stronger wind at towards 20 knots as race four began.
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First out of the blocks were Richard Lovering and Matt Alvarado with Shane MacCarthy and Adam Froggart second and the ever consistent Pinnell and Cadwallader third.
Race five produced yet another different race winner, Burghfield Sailing Club’s Ian Linder and Kevin Sweetman, but a fifth place for Pinnell and Cadwallader was enough for them to secure the title with a race to spare.
They meant they didn't take to the line for race six, giving Lovering and Alvarado their second success and placing the Hayling Island duo second overall.
Jeremy Davy and Martin Huett came in third overall.
The classic boats had great racing on day one, but with the strong northerlies the two older boats decided not to launch, Mark Greer and Andrew Connellan from Middle Nene taking the overall win.
In the silvers, Jordan Aspin and Jason Benn in 3130 took the top spot.