National 12 - find out more...

Royal Harwich Gul Seriesmeeting

The National 12 Gul Series Weekend on 14/15th July started when I received a phone call at 0800 from Alex Gore, on behalf of Angus Beyts, informing me Angus had left his rudder in Scotland and he wondered if I knew anyone who had a spare vintage N12 rudder.

A fleet of 23 boats arrived, and after the briefing on the RHYC’s lawn, 22 set sail. It was good news for Angus, sailing N 2153 (crewed by Peter Russel) as they had found a RS Feva rudder that seemed to fit Angus’ National 12 from 1963. It was however NTOA Class Chairman, Gerald Copsey, who had turned up with his Feeling Foolish N 3538 who hadn’t made it out the car park, which is where the boat would stay until home time on Sunday evening. In true Copsey fashion, Gerald had turned up to RHYC to ensure his boat was ready and put back together for North West Norfolk Week, starting 28th July.

A tight Windward mark rounding

Race 1 – The sun was shining and there was a gentle sea breeze as the first 5-minute gun for the National 12s sounded. A simple windward/leeward course has been set by PRO (and RHYC Commodore) Gordon Sutton. A few boats were over the line. John Meadowcroft in N 3543 (crewed by Dan Meadowcroft) assumed there was a general recall and headed back to the line, only to then be involved in a slow-motion pile-up on the pin end. As the majority of the fleet headed towards the left side of the course to escape the tide, George Finch in N 3513 (crewed by Saskia Miatt) decided to take the right side with more tide. By doing this, David Copse in N 3547 (crewed by Rowan Copse) followed, on the (incorrect) assumption that George, being local, knew what he was doing! At the sharp end of the fleet, Graham Camm in N 3530 (crewed by Zoe Ballayntine) led with Ian Gore in N 3525 (crewed by Alex Gore) following close behind. Jon Ibbotson in N3540 (crewed by Rachel Smith) improve on his 4th place finish in Merlin Week the day before and finished the race in 3rd, with Jon Brown in N 3483 (crewed by Maya Brown) finishing 4th, showing that in the lighter airs you don’t need a T-Foil to be at the front of the fleet.

Race 2 – Gordon set a trapezoid course for the second race, and once again Graham Camm and Zoe Ballayntine lead, although Tom Stewart in N3544 (crewed by Robbie Stewart) were following behind and Steve Sallis in N3531 (crewed by Jo Sallis) had got their ducks in a row after not having sailed the N12 for a little while and finished 3rd. There is no doubt Steve had flashbacks of the 2017 Burton Cup when he turned around to see Ian and Alex Gore behind him, although this time Ian resisted the temptation to put his bow on Steve’s T-foil rudder. Nigel and Chris White in N 3445 finished in 5th and were the first non-foiler.

Race 3 – Gordon set a triangle then sausage course for the final race of the day. The wind was holding and the tide was turning, so the fleet split heading upwind, but once again Graham Camm and Zoe Ballayntine dominated the race, with the top 3 boats finishing in the same order as Race 2. Jon and Maya Brown finished in 4th and Jon Ibbotson and Rachel Smith finished 5th. The race was without incident, apart Chris Mayhew in N 3437 (crewed by Elouise Mayhew) who abandoned his post as helm during one of the downwind legs and went for a swim. Luckily, Elouise had helmed their N12 in club racing the week before, so she was able to gybe round, beat upwind and retrieve her helm. After a superb day racing in wall to wall sunshine with a gentle sea breeze, where a non T foil National 12 had finished in the top 5 in every race, the fleet headed to the shore to enjoy an afternoon and evening on the RHYC’s lawn.

Race 4 – ‘Smugglers’ Pursuit Race’ As has been tradition for the last four years at the RHYC Smugglers Trophy, on Sunday morning as the tide is rising a pursuit race takes place and all the entrants can take part. The start times were set the night before and this year the National 12s withdrew the usual ‘ABCSM’ rules (Anyone but Camm, Stewart, Meads).

Just after the RS Feva at 10:00, the first of the National 12s to start should have been Angus Beyts (crewed by Peter Russel) in N 2153, although given the fact Angus was still changing at 0945 and still had to rig and launch the boat, it isn’t clear when he actually started. Ollie Meadowcroft (crewed by Isobel Stewart) in N3320 started next with the Lasers. The double-floored boats started a minute afterwards, with the DCBs and Hijack starting a minute after that. Graham Ireland who set the race times had failed to notice Jon Thornton’s (crewed by Bryony Thornton) in N3443 T-foiling rudder, so they had an advantage against the other T-foiled N12s! Jon Brown (crewed by Sam Brown) in N3483 got a cracking start followed by George Finch (crewed by Lucy Homer) in N3513. Jon and Sam were short tacking up the far side of the river with George and Lucy following, although by trying to get out of the tide they kept going aground (It isn’t like George and Lucy’s home club in RHYC…..). This (repeated) navigational error allowed Chris Mayhew (crewed by Elouise Mayhew) in N3437 and Jon Thornton (crewed by Bryony Thornton) in N3443 to get well ahead, following Jon and Sam. Nigel White (crewed by Chris White) in N3445 had opted to tack up the club side of the river and cross through the ‘gate’ of the two channel marks – No.6 and Park Bight. Their tactics probably paid off equally. The DCBs and Hijack were hunting down the older N12s whilst trying to keep the large phantom fleet behind them.

A packed start line

As the fleet got to the top mark, (channel mark Grog), the N12 fleet began to converge and then enter a procession downwind with the tide to channel mark No.7. People may have thought that George and Lucy in N3513 were sailing some funny angles to Grog. George was heading to channel mark No.5 as the upwind mark, instead of Grog. So much for local knowledge of the marks and river! Tactics on the downwind leg split the fleet, heading onto both sides of the river, but remaining in the channel. There was slightly more wind on the club’s side, but this route also meant further to sail. The top pack of Jon and Sam Brown, Chris and Elouise Mayhew, Tom and Robbie Stewart and John and Bryony Thornton set about chasing the leading firefly and letting Graham Ireland (in his Laser) sail his own course back to Grog. With 20 minutes left of the race, Graham Camm (crewed by Felix Camm) and Jon Ibbotson (crewed by Rachel Smith) were keeping George and Lucy in N3513 and Tom Lee and Jennifer Bugge (N3545) on their toes with a number of short tacks on the club shore. Graham and Jon both headed to the far shore after the No.6 / Park Bight gate and George and Tom stayed on the club side, but the former proved to be more efficient. On the final downwind, with the finish time of 11:00 getting ever closer, everyone was trying hard to keep their positions. The Phantom fleet were slowing but surely creeping up on the majority of the N12 fleet, but unfortunately ran out of time before they could catch the majority.

Overall, Jon and Sam Brown won the pursuit race, ahead of Tom and Robbie Stewart (N 3544) in 2nd, with Chris Mayhew and Elouise Mayhew (N 3474) in 3rd. There were 8 N12s in the top 10 and 15 overall in the race of 29 boats.

Race 5 – The wind had continued to build during a short break for lunch after the pursuit race. There were a few crew swaps in the fleet, most noticeably Graham Camm had opted for his third crew – daughter Anya (or had the other two crews gone on strike??). It was a risky move as Graham was leading the open. John Thornton also swapped his daughter for his wife for the afternoon’s two races.

The race got underway with no issues on the start line and the fleet were ready for a windward / leeward course. With the boats who took the left side of the beat coming out first, there were a few places to be made downwind. As the fleet headed to the first leeward mark, it was obvious there would be a slow-motion pile up, great for those who hadn’t got the beat quite right as it slowed at least half the fleet down! Chris Mayhew (now crewed by Nicole Mayhew) and George Finch (now crewed by Lucy Homer) had a great second beat which saw them pop into the top 10 as the fleet rounded the windwark mark again. However, George thought it would be a good plan to follow Chris up the third beat, but in doing so pushed himself and Chris right to the left of the course, in less breeze and therefore lost a few places. Amusingly, George later asked Chris why he decided to go so far to the left. Chris’ response was, ‘because you wouldn’t let me tack and go up the right side of the course!!’. We live and learn!

Tom Stewart (crewed by Robbie Stewart) were able to break ahead and win, followed by John and Mandy Thornton in 2nd in their Final Chapter and Steve and Jo Sallis finishing in their favourite position of the weekend, 3rd. Graham and Anya Camm were fourth, making the open extremely close between Graham and Tom. The Gores had dropped back to 7th for Race 5, but that can be blamed on the rhubarb gin consumed the night before!!

Race 6 – The Phantoms who were starting before the N12s on the same course had got quite excited on their final start which led the RO to use the black flag for the final N12 start. Everyone hung back from the line and sailed away cleanly. Jon Meadowcroft (crewed by Dan Meadowcroft) found their form in the final race of the weekend and finished 4th, with Graham and Anya Camm following in 5th. John and Mandy Thornton took 3rd, with Steve and Jo Salis in 2nd and Tom and Robbie Stewart taking the bullet. With this result, it meant Tom and Robbie had won the open meeting.

Thanks to: The event organiser Amanda Portway. Race Officers Gordon Sutton and Tim Archer. The recorders and time keepers on board the committee boats. Tim Hunt for producing the results. Safety Boat drivers and crews John Williams/Hugh Williams, David Pearce/Lyn Pearce, Phil Mayhew, Paul Wright/Peter Double. Saturday morning registration Sheila Paterson and Hazel Mayhew. Getting the support boats and equipment ready Bosun Hugh Williams. Bob Portway, Matthew House and Derek Mayhew for car park direction and the bar and galley staff. Also Kathryn and Carly who produced publicity material and arranged the online booking system.

Next, the N12 fleet is dividing into two weeks of practice, either at North West Norfolk Week or Salcombe Gin SYC Regatta before heading to Burton Week in Brixham on 18-21st August 2018.

 

 

Overall results

Rank

SailNo

Club

HelmName

CrewName

R1

R2

R3

R4

R5

Total

Nett

1st

3544

RHYC

Tom Stewart

Robert Stewart

(5.0)

2.0

2.0

1.0

1.0

11.0

6.0

2nd

3530

Burghfield SC

Graham Camm

Zoe Ballantyne/Anya Camm/Felix Camm

1.0

1.0

1.0

4.0

(5.0)

12.0

7.0

3rd

3531

Hykeham SC

Steve Sallis

Joanne Sallis

(6.0)

3.0

3.0

3.0

2.0

17.0

11.0

4th

3443

Burghfield SC

John Thornton

Bryony Thornton

7.0

6.0

(9.0)

2.0

3.0

27.0

18.0

5th

3540

Burghfield SC

Jon Ibbotson

Rachel Smith

3.0

(8.0)

5.0

5.0

7.0

28.0

20.0

6th

3525

Up River YC

Ian Gore

Alex Gore

2.0

4.0

8.0

7.0

(9.0)

30.0

21.0

7th

3483

Burghfield SC

Jon Brown

Maia Brown

4.0

9.0

4.0

(14.0)

11.0

42.0

28.0

8th

3528

Stokes Bay SC

Nick Copsey

Katy Meadowcroft

10.0

7.0

(11.0)

6.0

6.0

40.0

29.0

9th

3445

Burghfield SC

Nigel White

Chris White

9.0

5.0

7.0

(10.0)

10.0

41.0

31.0

10th

3527

RYA

Kevin Iles

Charlotte Stewart

(12.0)

12.0

6.0

8.0

8.0

46.0

34.0

11th

3543

Upper Thames SC

John Meadowcroft

Dan Meadowcroft

(16.0)

13.0

10.0

11.0

4.0

54.0

38.0

12th

3437

RHYC

Chris Mayhew

Elouise Mayhew

8.0

11.0

(12.0)

9.0

12.0

52.0

40.0

13th

3545

Burghfield SC

Tom Lee

Jenefer Bugge

14.0

10.0

(15.0)

12.0

14.0

65.0

50.0

14th

3513

RHYC

George Finch

Lucy Homer/Saskia Miatt

13.0

(14.0)

13.0

13.0

13.0

66.0

52.0

15th

3320

Upper Thames SC

Oliver Meadowcroft

Isobel Stewart

11.0

17.0

(18.0)

16.0

15.0

77.0

59.0

16th

3501

Burghfield SC

Neal Lillywhite

Freya Lillywhite

(19.0)

18.0

16.0

15.0

16.0

84.0

65.0

17th

3457

Burghfield SC

David Copse

Rowan Copse

15.0

16.0

14.0

(23.0 DNC)

23.0 DNC

91.0

68.0

18th

3546

Ardleigh SC

Stuart Walsh

Theo Covi-Walsh

17.0

(23.0 DNF)

20.0

17.0

17.0

94.0

71.0

19th

3465

RHYC

Susie Martin

Derek Mayhew

(20.0)

19.0

17.0

19.0

18.0

93.0

73.0

20th

3521

Burghfield SC

Alan Beeton

Ella Ford

18.0

20.0

(21.0)

18.0

19.0

96.0

75.0

21st

3448

Carsington SC

Peter Miatt

Olivia Miatt

(23.0 DNF)

15.0

19.0

23.0 DNC

23.0 DNC

103.0

80.0

22nd

2153

Newburgh SC

Angus Beyts

Peter Russell

21.0

21.0

(22.0)

20.0

20.0

104.0

82.0