Big fleet in the estuary

Joseph Bulmer

THIRTY five boats filled the Taw Torridge estuary when local sailors competed with boats from across the country at the Sprint 15 Sport National Championships.

The North Devon Yacht Club at Instow was delighted to host the prestigious event, with a large home fleet of these single-handed, fast catamarans.

Six races were held over three days and the variety of weather conditions gave everyone a chance.

The opening race saw Annette Maddison cross the line first, just ahead of Steve Sawford, but race two on the first day was cancelled due to a dramatic turn in the weather.

Three races took place on a busy day two.

Brian Phipps took victory in the first, followed by Paul Grattage (Shanklin) in second and Mark Aldridge in third.

Kevin Dutch claimed the next race, followed by Phipps and Sawford and Paul Grattage took the honours in the third, followed closely by Sawford, with Holmberg in third.

Day three and the final race saw Sam Heaton excel and when the race was shortened after the wind dropped he held on to a sizeable lead to take first place, followed by Kevin Dutch and Mark Aldridge.

There will be a further national catamaran competition on July 9 and 10, when the slightly larger Dart 18s will sail in the estuary.