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Wednesday, 6 October 2010

National 12 Open Meeting

Heavy rain did not deter a good fleet of National Twelves from launching for the National 12 Open Meeting this weekend despite some crews talking about garden centres and other less wet distractions.

Race one got underway in a North Easterly shifty breeze, two boats were recalled but local crew Neil and Katie McInnes made a clean break in N3216 to reach the first mark in the lead hotly pursued by John and Allison Cheetham (N3468) also drawing on their local knowledge then, Brian Kitching and Gale Kaye sailing N3356. Philip and Helen David in N2545 having recovered from being over the line powered their way up to the leaders and as the breeze died and returned the fleet positions were constantly changing, John and Alison were the winners with Philip and Helen close behind followed by Brian and Gale.

With the bad weather race 2 was due to run back to back with race one however the bad weather turned into horrendous weather with heavy squalls, bouncing rain and the wind doing circuits and bumps! A start was made as soon as the weather settled slightly and Brian and Gail were first to the first mark but after more major wind shifts and some confusion about the course the race was abandoned in favour of lunch.

Race 2 restarted after lunch with the wind still very light and constantly shifting direction so race officer Bill Wilson and his team opted for a shorter course and the hope that at least one leg would be a beat. Howard Chadwick made a good start on port with John and Philip further down the line but in more wind a strategy that paid off well as John took the lead. At the second mark however John stumbled during the gybe and capsized creating a hazard against the mark and allowing Howard to re take the lead closely followed by Brian and Philip. Philip took the lead for a while but John was soon back in the hunt and as Philip chose a backing shift John pulled through to lead with Howard in second, positions which they held to the end.

In race 3 John headed for an early shower with two wins in the bag and the rest of the fleet, now down to five boats went out again to yet another wind direction and another course. Neil got another excellent start and was first at the first mark with Philip second and Howard third. Philip however managed to break through and pull away leaving Neil and Howard to fight it out, seldom more than two boat lengths apart. On the last lap Howard and Vanessa managed to get an overlap on Neil and Katie at the start of the last beat and they held this position to the end.

A great days racing in atrocious conditions! Thanks are due to the race team for making the best of the constant wind changes, David Hinks for his notes for this report and especially to the catering team who kept us going with hot food and didn’t complain when we dripped water all over the clubhouse floor!

Overall Results

1st N3468 Pillow Fight John and Allison Cheetham
2nd N2545 Little Meg Philip and Helen David (Also 1st Vintage)
3rd N2266 Triarda Howard Chadwick and Vanessa Kennedy
4th N3356 Squidgy Bits Brian Kitching and Gale Kaye
5th N3216 Twice Shy Neil and Katie McInnes
6th N2359 Shotgun Angus Beyts and Patrick Gaunt
Locals Denis and Jo Beard finished a creditable seventh place in their first ever National Twelve Open Meeting having borrowed an ageing Paper Dart N2769 Barrow Boy.

Furthest travelled prize went to Angus Beyts who had come down from Scotland picking up his borrowed boat in Derbyshire and returning it before going home to Scotland, runner up was Brian Kitching who only came from Bristol.

Photo by Brian Herring “John Cheetham giving the fleet a chance”

Howard Chadwick 4-10-2010

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