National 12 Open Meeting – Ripon Sailing Club 7th October
Following 3 years of low to zero winds, this year’s open proved to be somewhat different. The wind was strong with gusts doubling the speed and either giving lift or heading without warning. Brian and Ros left their vintage 12 on its trailer and decided to sit out the first race and see if things calmed. A mixed fleet of one foiler, 3 double bottoms, 3 ACs and 3 vintage headed for the first start but only 6 of the 10 made the finish. Ian & Alex stayed upright and dominated the race taking a convincing win ahead of John & Alison and Patrick & Gail. The rescue boat team were kept busy.
Race two had a depleted field of 7 and the calmer wind held throughout the race to give some competitive racing, behind Ian & Alex, who again disappeared into the distance, with the following 4 places not decided until the last beat. Philip & Emma having held 2nd for most of the race dropped to 5th in the last lap but managed to sail over the top of the fleet to regain 2nd at the line with Patrick & Gail at their heels.
The last race had stronger winds but had lost the violence of the gusts that had made the mornings race so punishing. Ian & Alex had to head back to the start line as they were OCS but still worked their way through the fleet to take another win, pushing Philip & Emma into second. As in race two, the mid field had the closest racing although fatigue had definitely started to set in for some.
The attrition rate from the day was significant. Brian and Ros never made it to the water, saving themselves for the Yeadon Open on Sunday and enjoying spectating from the shelter of the club house. Neil McInnes & Oscar Ward Laskey headed for the showers after race one due to a very long swim. Tim & Christopher Hampshire being the lightest crew of the day retired from race one and eventually only recorded one finish for the day. Steve Jackson, a Ripon member who has recently acquired a China Doll and is enthusiastic about 12 sailing, if not yet very experienced, had persuaded Alan Cage into crewing for him but following a hard first lap followed by a capsize, Alan found that wading to shore was easier than trying to climb back into the swamped vintage 12. Gavin, having persuaded local Streaker sailor Chris to crew for him, meanwhile battled through with several near capsizes, a split and leaking hull and a bow tank slowly filling with water, to finish two races and record their first National 12 open results together.
Following the prize giving most of the fleet stayed for a very sociable meal and chat.
1st Ian & Alex Gore (3525) from Up River Yacht Club
2nd Philip David & Emma Hampshire (3499) from Yorkshire Ouse and Ripon Sailing Clubs
3rd John & Alison Cheetham (3209) from Yeadon Sailing Club – 1st Admirals Cup
4th Patrick Hamilton & Gail Kaye (3502) from Burwain Sailing Club
5th David Peacock & Tina Beresford (2620) from Arden Sailing Club – 1st Vintage
6th Bernard & Ellie Clark (2266) from Ripon Sailing Club
7th Gavin Goodall & Chris Wright (2966) from Chelmarsh and Ripon Sailing Clubs
Tim & Ali Hampshire
Photos Gail Jackson