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News - Latest News
1 Mar 2017

Grahame Newton blasts through 40 knot gusts to win!

Staunton Blaster - Grahame Newton 1

Well if the ‘County Cooler’ lived up to its name with temperatures struggling to go much above freezing, then the ‘Staunton Blaster’ certainly did too!! The remnants of storm Doris left a weekend forecast of winds between 25-40 knots and the occasional gusts in excess of this. It was clearly not going to be a weekend for the faint hearted.

26 boats braved the conditions, some travelling as far up from the south coast to experience Staunton’s 140 acre picturesque Derbyshire reservoir.

The schedule was for three handicap races on the Saturday followed by a pursuit race and then a final handicap race on the Sunday but it was clear form the ‘off’ that this was going to be challenging even for the most experienced of PRO’s that SHSC had provided.

Race 1 got underway with the Fast Handicap, unfortunately, all of whom were a little too eager, resulting in a general recall. The Slow Handicap fleet started next, including all the Lasers, many regretting the full rig choice used in the first part of the mini-series at NCSC which resulted in them having to sail with the same rig for the 10 race, two regatta series. 

It was ‘Brothers Foskett’ Matt and Simon ( SHSC) who showed you can still sail a Fireball up to its PY, ‘blasting’ around the course to take an early lead, only to take a bath after an optimistic kite hoist in a 40+ knot gust. This left the ‘Veteran’ pairing of the ‘ever young’ ‘Dad’ Andy Foskett and the legend that is Mark Stevens (SHSC) in the other Fireball to take the victory on handicap. I’m not saying how old Mark is, but he does qualify for a ‘bus pass’ and his OAP!! The flying Scorpion pairing of birthday boy Pete Gray and Rich Pepperdine (SHSC) were 2nd whilst the visiting Scorpion of Steve Walker & Jerry Hannabuss took 3rd.

Blaster - Fireball 1

Race two saw a similar pattern only this time the ‘Fozzie’ lads made no similar slips and blasted round to an easy win, the ‘vets’ took  2nd giving a Fireball one, two and the super quick supernova of Corey Newton (SHSC) came 3rd.

As conditions deteriorated and the wind continued to build the sailors were very relieved to learn the PRO had decided enough was enough for day 1. The overall two event mini winter series was starting to really hot up with a father and son battle at the top with Grahame Newton (SHSC) in his full rig Laser and son Corey in his Supernova tied at the top and Sam Jones also in a full rig Laser a very close 3rd going into the final day.

Saturday night’s joint 30th party for Pete Gray & Simon Forbes saw far too much alcohol consumed resulting in some very ‘sorry states’ and a few missing folk on Sunday morning.

From the sheltered warmth of the on board cabin of the impressive SHSC committee boat the PRO decided upon a 75min pursuit race much to the surprise of many. As the wind started to build a few more hardy souls joined the fleets including local heavyweight master Richard Barnet who studied the conditions long and hard and opted for the Laser 4.7 ‘handkerchief’ rig the same as local youngster Nathan Smith. Graham Watts and Helen Jacks in their Miracle were first away followed by the 4.7’s. Richard may have studied the conditions but not the course and promptly led a few of the fleet the wrong way resulting in a DSQ!

Scorpions/ Nathan

The gun sounded after an exhausting 75min race and again the Fireball lads won easily, with Steve & Jerry’s Scorp 2nd and a local Laser radial 3rd neck and neck with Grahame in his full rig and Corey in his Supernova. Blasted, battered and broken the fleets headed home for the welcome warmth of a meal served form the galley.

One final short handicap race was decided upon with a depleted fleet. Yet again the Fozzies showed a masterclass of Fireball sailing in heavy weather winning easily to take 3 bullets, but it was the turn of Sam Jones, who is barely 10 st wet through (and he was wet through most of the time) in his Laser full rig, to claim 2nd proving it’s not all about body weight, if you’ve the skill, ability and fitness and youth on your side. Grahame’s Laser came in 3rd which was just enough to take first overall in the nine race 2 regatta series, just edging out his son Corey and with Sam 3rd.

Staunton Blaster - winners

Prize giving took place in the bar lounge area with ‘Tollgate Brewery’ event sponsors providing the beer prizes followed by the small matter of the 6 nations match, England v Italy to cap a fantastic event and series.

Over the 9 race series we had seven different winners, all from SHSC, showing strength across fleets. Worth noting - none of these included overall event winner Grahame, proving consistency wins events.

Final results overall of the County cooler & Staunton Blaster:

1st Grahame Newton – SHSC – Laser

2nd Corey Newton – SHSC – Supernova

3rd Sam Jones – SHSC – Laser

4th Ian Firth – NCSC – Solo

5th Nick Kindon & Paul Munro – SHSC – RS400 

Staunton Blaster event:

1st Matt & Si Foskett – SHSC – Fireball

2nd Andy Foskett & Mark Stevens – SHSC – Fireball

3rd Steve Walker & Jerry Hannabuss – Scorpion

4th Grahame Newton – SHSC – Laser

5th Corey Newton – SHSC – Supernova

For a full list of results go to: 


A massive thanks must go to all those that made these events possible and cheers to our event sponsor Tollgate Brewery!

Roll on summer!