From Toppers to Twelves'
I am 15 years old and started sailing a National Twelve about a year and a half ago at Rudyard Lake sailing club after three years of Topper sailing.
My first taste of National Twelve action was about two years ago, when Twelve sailor Tony Hart took me out for a race in his Pipedream N2987 "Pretty Vacant", after this I decided my next boat was going to be a Twelve, then once I had crewed for Tony a few times more he let me have a helm. I loved the responsive feel of the boat, so I decided I was going to get a Pipedream.
I told my parents about my plans to sail a Twelve . . . they were not as enthusiatic as me, claiming that a National Twelve would be too big for me, so I worked every night after school and on Saturdays for a half year until I could afford one.
I eventually found a Pipedream being stored for some one in a boat yard in Cheshire, once I bought the boat N3083 "Born Again", formerly "Fag Ash Lil", I renamed it " Mean Dream" and started to race it at my Sailing Club where Mike Raine and the rest of the Twelve fleet were very friendly and gave me plenty of advice as well as helping me out with my boat.
I sail my Twelve with my crew Rosemary Mycock who has taught me a lot over the past season and together we have sailed in a few open meetings and won the Rudyard Lake Sailing Clubs National 12 Spring and Autumn series.
The highlight of the last season for me has been winning the National 12 Midland Area Junior Championships at Redesmere SC with my crew Sam Firkins who also sailed with me at the Inland Championships held at Foremark Resevoir (and we completed all races!)
I like sailing a Twelve and find the class very friendly and helpful, there is also plenty of competition for all age groups.