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Dinghy Shack National Series Final and Inland Championships at Northampton

4th & 5th Nov

This event was the last in the Dinghy Shack 2023 series; the Saturday counted for the Dinghy Shack series, and the whole weekend counted for the inland championships. The event was shared with the Solos, making it busy on the water and around the club.

Saturday was true to the weather forecast with plenty of rain, the wind chill bolstered by lots of wind in the first race which dropped off to a drifter in the afternoon. The 12s got in two races but the Solos only one. The shifty conditions were challenging with plenty of snakes and ladders on the course.

The fleet heading downwind

The club ran a very popular bonfire and fireworks event in the evening and the 12 sailors warmed themselves up from the heat of a burning wooden dinghy (fortunately not a National 12).

The race officer set a P course for race one with the 12s starting first. The 12s completed their first lap pretty quickly, and caught up with the Solos on their first run. This resulted in a very busy leeward mark. Graham & Anya Camm sailing Very Hungry Caterpillar just managed to inch past Steve & Joanne Sallis in Catbert at the leeward mark. Catbert soon got them back, though, finding a clear-ish path through the mass of Solos and they held their lead to the finish.

The wind dropped for the second race.  Ian & Alex Gore in Mog and Kevin Iles & Katy Meadowcroft in Snagglepuss were fast off the start line. The Very Hungry Caterpillar joined these two by the windward mark. The wind steadily dropped on the run and became light for the last leg. The Very Hungry Caterpillar inched ahead and drifted over the line in first place.

Leaders heading up wind just after the leeward mark

The fleet hung around waiting to see if the wind would fill in, but with no sign after 40 minutes and feeling chilly, they headed ashore to warm up.

Sunday dawned bright, with a gusty and shifty force 3 to 5. The Race Officer set a large course to try and keep the 12s and Solos separated.

Race three saw some big shifts. The Very Hungry Caterpillar looked good off the pin end of the line, but then the large Solo fleet descended on the run, forcing the 12 sailors to make a call on which side of them to go – going through the middle wasn’t an option. Snagglepuss choose to go to left and were rewarded handsomely popping out well ahead of the rest of the fleet at the windward mark.  The Very Hungry Caterpillar took the lead by the leeward mark with Mog snapping at their heels. Mog powered past on them final beat to take the gun.

The pin end of the line was favoured again in race four. Tom Stewart & Dylan Mcardle in Whitebait dominated the first part of the race. The wind brought the fleet together on the run and it got pretty crowded at the leeward mark. There was some general chaos and Whitebait unfortunately took a swim. The Very Hungry Caterpillar took the lead briefly, but John Meadowcroft & Sophie Edwards in DB Copper powered past them on the final beat to victory! The Very Hungry Caterpillar was second followed by Mark Addison sailing with son Jonathan in Fatal Abstraction, who sailed a fantastic race to take third place.

The wind picked up further for the start of the final race. DB Cooper and Jon Brown & Hayden Sellers in Tonto flew off the line with commanding positions but were informed by the rescue boat at the windward mark that they were OCS along with Tim & Chris Hampshire in Carbonara. This handed Catbert the lead which they guarded to the finish.

Two new local boats took part, with Dave & Matt in a Final Chapter having a few swims in the challenging conditions. Thomas Evans was sailing with son Feddie, who was the youngest person in the fleet.

Overall results

Rank Sail No Helm Crew Club Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Race 5 Nett
1st 3530 Graham Camm Anya Camm Burghfield SC 2.0 1.0 2.0 2.0 (18.0 RET) 7.0
2nd 3525 Ian Gore Alex Gore Up River YC 3.0 2.0 1.0 (8.0) 3.0 9.0
3rd 3531 Steve Sallis Joanne Sallis Hykeham SC 1.0 (8.0) 3.0 7.0 1.0 12.0
4th 3544 Thomas Stewart Dylan Mcardle Royal Harwich YC 4.0 4.0 5.0 (12.0) 2.0 15.0
5th 3527 Kevin Iles Katy Meadowcroft West Oxfordshire SC
/Upper Thames SC
(7.0) 3.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 15.0
6th 3483 Jon Brown Hayden Sellers Burghfield 5.0 5.0 6.0 6.0 (18.0 OCS) 22.0
7th 3540 Jon Ibbotson Henry Adamson Burghfield SC 6.0 6.0 (9.0) 5.0 8.0 25.0
8th 3543 John Meadowcroft Sophie Edwards Upper Thames SC 8.0 11.0 8.0 1.0 (18.0 OCS) 28.0
9th 3551 George Finch Luke Lazell Royal Harwich YC (13.0) 9.0 7.0 9.0 6.0 31.0
10th 3449 Mark Addison Jonathan Addison Upper Thames SC (18.0 DNC) 18.0 DNC 10.0 3.0 5.0 36.0
11th 3471 Zoe Meadowcroft Zoe Ballantyne Upper Thames SC 9.0 10.0 (11.0) 11.0 9.0 39.0
12th 3501 Robert Stewart Charlotte Stewart Weymouth SC
/Royal Harwich YC
11.0 (13.0) 12.0 10.0 7.0 40.0
13th 3514 Sam Brown Jude Armstrong Burghfield SC (18.0 DNC) 7.0 14.0 13.0 10.0 44.0
14th 3502 Tim Hampshire Chris Hampshire Ripon SC 12.0 12.0 13.0 14.0 (18.0 OCS) 51.0
15th 3545 Tom Lee Jen Bugge Burghfield SC 10.0 14.0 (18.0 DNC) 18.0 DNC 18.0 DNC 60.0
16th 3393 David Simpson Mathew Gregory Northampton SC 14.0 15.0 (18.0 DSQ) 18.0 DSQ 18.0 DNC 65.0
17th 3482 Thomas Evans Freddie Evans Northampton SC (18.0 DNC) 18.0 DNC 18.0 DNC 18.0 DNC 18.0 DNC 72.0

First junior: Zoe Meadowcroft & Zoe Ballantyne

First non-foiler: Tim & Chris Hampshire

Photos courtesy Kevan Bloor