UK Traveller series moves to Northampton

Report by Chris Dabbs
Hansa 303s in the Hansa Class TT at Northampton. Photo © Rob Jackson

Northampton Sailability hosted a Hansa TT round at Pitsford reservoir on June 27th which was blessed with great sailing conditions instead of the flat calm of recent years. The 15-boat fleet sailed two different courses over the course of the single-day event and Frensham crews took top spot in all the classes: 303 double-hander, 303 solo and Liberty. Andy and Ced Sheath took a clean-sweep in the 303 Double-Hander class. “When I saw Northampton Sailability’s Roy Child was entered, I thought ‘Oh dear’, but it went my way, although the third race was close.” Said Andy. Tessa Watkiss loved the great racing conditions with variable winds and a few gusts and dominated the 303 singles. Her only secret? “Moving around in the boat is tricky for me so I watch the telltales all the time with extra ones further back on the jib.” She said. Paul Phillips in the Libertys had three firsts and a second to head his class. “In the second race I tacked too soon on the line and got edged out. But if you lose a position because of one mistake that shows you that the racing is good.” Paul has got limited hand function so he switched from a 303 to his own Liberty after he fell out of a 303 twice and got tangled up. His condition means the self-tacking jib on the Liberty allows him to concentrate on getting the main sheet over two or three tacks coming up from the leeward mark. But it was the jib strut on his liberty that did for one of Paul’s closest rivals in the championship, Melvin Kinnear from Tideway who leads the Liberty class overall. “It all came down to the last race after two useless starts, then the jib strut came loose so I drifted out of contention,” explained Paul. However his fellow Tideway sailor in the single-handed 303s had more success. Les Phillips has been sailing since childhood in Grenada and did enough finishing third overall to keep his class lead in the series. Hansa 303-one person class results (top three): 1. Tessa Watkiss, Frensham 2. James Woosnam, Frensham 3. Leslie Phillip,Tideway-London Hansa 303-two person class results (top three): 1. Andy Sheath and Ced Sheath, Frensham 2. Roy Child and Priscilla Davies, Northampton 3. Meg Elliott and Christine Allen, Northampton Liberty class results (top three): 1. Paul Philips, Frensham 2. Melvin Kinnear, Tideway-London 3. Pat Crowley, Rutland Cumulative TT results