2nd & 3rd November
Northampton Sailing Club hosted the finale of the 2019 Gul series and the Inland Championships over the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd November. The fleet arrived to pouring rain and 20 knots of breeze but that was ok because the club was providing coffee and bacon rolls and the Rugby was on, it looked like it was going to be a day for heavyweights all round! The final whistle was like the start gun for a rigging race, unfortunately by the time we were all ready to go, the wind began to howl and the race team quite rightly made the decision to postpone for a couple of hours. As per the forecast, the wind and rain eased during the afternoon and the race team went for two races before we lost the light.
Ollie Meadowcroft and Maya Brown sailing a Hijack shot off the line to lead Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantine at the top mark with Tom and Robert Stewart hot on their heels. The leading boats gybed on the run but the Stewarts gained on the right and led at mark two, Ollie and Maya having been taught at 420 school that the 1st, 2nd and 3rd rules of reaching are “Don’t get rolled”, luffed Graham and Zoe until both boats were in the lee of the shore, allowing the Stewarts an easy victory and the chasing boats through to leeward.
In Race 2, Graham and Zoe returned to the form that has seen them dominate National 12 sailing this year, they weren’t in front at the first mark but with great downwind speed they worked their way through. Jon Brown, crewed by son Sam, have retro fitted foils to their Paradox design and are beginning to make it work; they pushed the Camms hard until the last lap. Kevin Iles and Andrea Downham finished strongly to sneak third place on the line from the Stewarts.
After the traditional Bonfire night fireworks, dancing and beer, Sunday eventually dawned grey and autumnal with not a lot of breeze. The race team set a windward leeward course, Jon Ibbotson and Rachel Smith were fast out of the blocks and eased away on the run to secure the win with the Browns beginning to look like serious contenders with another second.
The second race of the day started as a windward leeward, the Stewarts won the pin and led at the top mark at which point the wind switched off and shifted right, making the run a reach and the second beat a fetch - at least to start with. With the with the wind coming and going, it was Jonno and Rachel who got it right and eased through on the final run to take the victory again.
For the third and fourth races, the race team realigned the beat and switched to a trapezeoid course. The wind was now blowing fitfully off the club shore and shifting twenty degrees with holes. After some tight racing, Graham and Zoe showed their class and took two wins to win the Inland Championships, the Browns stayed consistent with a second and a third to secure second overall and win the family prize.
Away from the front few, John and Katy Meadowcroft, having let the children loose in their best boats, sailed a 30 year old Design 8 to ninth, winning the Admiral’s cup and often embarrassing the newest designs, proving that a well sailed old boat can still be a weapon in the right conditions.
As this is the final event that the class will be sponsored by Gul Wetsuits, we would like to extend our thanks to all at Gul for their fantastic support and very generous sponsorship.
Gul series prizes of note were:
1st 3530/3284 Graham Camm crewed by Zoe Ballantyne & Anya Camm
2nd 3527 Kevin Iles crewed by Andrea Downham / Tanya Copsey / Tom Moss
3rd 3544 Tom & Robbie Stewart
1st 3543 Ollie Meadowcroft crewed by Katy Meadowcroft/Maya Brown
2nd 3320/3471 Dan Meadowcroft crewed by John Meadowcroft / Isobel Stewart / Libby Bush
3rd 3450 Max Shiel & Bella Scott
1st 3544 Tom & Robbie Stewart
2nd 3483 Jon & Sam
3rd 3472 Mark & Anna Simpson
1st 3513 George & Lucy Finch
2nd 3502 Patrick Hamilton crewed by Jenny Wilson/Gail Kaye
1st 3320 Dan Meadowcroft crewed by John Meadowcroft / Isobel Stewart / Libby Bush
2nd 3271 Neil & Freya Lillywhite
Overall inland championship results
1st 3530 Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne
2nd 3483 Jon and Sam Brown
3rd 3540 Jon Ibbotson and Rachel Smith
4th 3527 Kevin Iles and Andrea Downham
5th 3544 Tom and Robert Stewart
6th 3525 Ian and Alex Gore
7th Ebba David and Rowan Copse
8th A Wood and a Sheep Tom Lee and Jennifer Bugge
9th Quasimoso John and Katy Meadowcroft
10th Catch the Sun Christian Day and Charlotte Stewart
11th DB Cooper Oliver Meadowcroft and Maya Brown
12th Worth Its Weight Chris and Nicole Mayhew
13th Silver Lining George and Lucy Finch
14th Carbonara Tim and Emma Hampshire
15th Bouncer Chris Troth and Abi Seaton
16th Patrick Hamilton and Chris Hampshire
17th Lars Porsena of Clusenam Dan Meadowcroft and Libby Bush
18th The Cat in the Hat Isobel Stewart and Chloe Morgan
The club prize went to Burghfield SC who took the top three places.