National 12 - find out more...
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National Twelve Owners' Association
In this issue:

Burton Week 2016 Report

What a fantastic 4 days we had in Brigtlingsea this year!


Despite the weather stopping sailing on the first day of Burton Week, we celebrated 80 Years of the 12 Class with an 80th Birthday Cake, followed by a 'Buddy Team' quiz organised by Richard Elston.


The race committee decided to postpone to 2016 Burton Cup and sail two series races instead. With the wind gusting in the high 20s, some of the vintage boats decided to stay ashore. The rest of the fleet flew round the course, with the Hijack design dominating as John & Ollie Meadowcroft won both races, followed in race one by Nick Copsey and Steve Carver in Nick's new Hijack. Jeremy and Luke Hartley placed second in Race 2. 

Kevin Iles trying out a new sailing technique!

Once ashore, preparations began for the 80th Dinner, where 120 individuals enjoyed a stunning 3 course meal with cheese, cooked by members of Brightlingsea Sailing Club. Michael Brockman noted all the previous Burton Week and Burton Cup winners in the room, with chairman Tom Stewart giving thanks to all those who keep the class running, especially Kevan, Janet and Michael.


The forecast was set to decrease overnight, but the breeze was up from the day before. A few more boats stayed ashore, with some returning before the start due to the conditions. For those that stayed out, Race 3 was further delayed with a general recall! Steve Sallis and Katy Meadowcroft dominated from the outset and went on to win race 3, with Nick Copsey and Steve Carver finishing 2nd. It is interesting to note behind Tom and Robbie Stewart in 3rd, John & Mandy Thornton sailed their foiling Final Chapter into 4th place.

The breeze was still up for the start of the Burton Cup. Tom & Robbie Stewart powered ahead with clear air, with John and Ollie Meadowcroft slotting in behind. They spent the rest of the race chasing each other, mile after mile around the triangle, but Tom & Robbie Stewart kept them behind until the end. The first two gybe marks resulted in a lot of swimming, causing a number of retirements during the race. Unfortunately Neal & Freya Lillywhite were OCS at the start but failed to return, so they sailed the whole 13 mile race without a final result. 

After the NTOA AGM, the sailors enjoyed a BBQ against the backdrop of a classic east coast sunset.


The wind had finally decreased overnight and Tuesday dawned with clear skies, flat seas and a lovely light breeze. John and Ollie Meadowcroft were leading with 4 points, but their first race didn't go to plan, meaning with one race left they were equal on points with Tom and Robbie Stewart. With the breeze down, Tom & Robbie Stewart sailed fast, only to be beaten by Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne. With John & Ollie Meadowcroft finishing 7th, Tom & Robbie had a four point margin over 2nd place, thus winning the 2016 Nationals! - Well done Tom and Robbie!

Champagne sailing on Tuesday!

Photos from the Monday are available here and the full Y&Y report with results is here

Gul Series Update

With 5 Gul events now complete for 2016, it is time for two more this month! 

The Scottish N12 Championships and Gul Series #6 at Solway Yacht Club.

17th & 18th September

Solway Yacht Club might just be the perfect National 12 venue. The beautiful setting of Kippford on the Solway Firth offers the best of open water sailing out near the mouth of the estuary and a challenge for the river specialists.

And if you're not sailing, it's a lovely area of the country to explore. Add to that the legendary warm welcome the 12s are always given at Solway and you have the perfect weekend on the coast.

There will be 3 races in the bay on Saturday and the "Craning Out" supper with the club on Saturday evening. On the Sunday there will be another race in the bay followed by the famous Palnackie race. The winners will take home a spectacular trophy and there will be prizes throughout the fleet courtesy of our generous series sponsors Gul.

If you've sailed at Solway before, you won't need any more persuading, but if not, don't miss out this year!

Gul Series #7 is at Stokes Bay Sailing Club, a new venue for the National 12s.
24th September

Come and join us for the Stokes Bay Gul Series Open! We have 3 12s at the club, (or 4 if we count both of Nick Copsey's boats) and Jeremy Hartley is working to drag some lapsed local 12 sailors back on the water for this event.  

Start time will be 12:00, up to 4 races back to back will be held. Stokes Bay is on the Eastern Solent near Gosport, easy access to a great race area, with excellent views of racing and the Isle of Wight from the clubhouse.  They have a very experienced and capable race team having run several class championships and major opens.  

Camping in the dinghy park is available, or plenty of local accommodation for those who need it.

In addition to the open, visitors are invited to stay to join club racing on the 25th September, dependent on numbers we may have a separate start and course.  For those race results we propose to award separate prize(s) based on NTOA handicaps for AC / DB / Foilers.  There is an additional day fee of 10 per boat for club racing, but for the first 5 visitors to confirm will be paid by a mystery sponsor!  

More details available here

Recent River Sailing!

Trent Valley Vintage N12 Open Meeting - 4th September

6 vintage National 12s took part in the 2nd N12 open of the year at Trent Valley Sailing Club. Brian Kitching, (crewed by Christine Preston) in N 1657 won the open - read the full report here

Henley Sailing Club N12 Open Meeting - 11th September

Just under 10 National 12s turned up to Henley on Sunday and enjoyed glorious sunshine. Thanks to Kevin Iles who provided these photos and live updates throughout the day on facebook!

John Thornton sailing with his daughter Bryony in N 3443 won all 3 races and a full report will follow shortly.

Light Winds Inland

With the Inland Championships in November, it is time to look back at John Thornton's words from the 'National 12 Technique Guide' 


The wind does tend to be more variable inland than on the open sea, but there are more ways of gauging what the wind is doing inland. We always watch the boats (and their burgees) around us to spot the shifts, but we also look at our burgee and any flags on the bank, and even the wind in the trees to get some idea of what is going on. Even with these indicators we find it hard to predict what the wind might do, so we always try to be prepared for anything which enables us to respond to the changes. For example we have practiced our boat handling so that a big header naturally transitions into a good tack, and we tend to sail with a slightly loosened outhaul to get more power from the lifts.

The winds variability inland means that there can be huge speed differentials between boats that are physically very close to one another, it is for this reason that we often `sail for the wind'. This can mean deviating from the shortest course to the next mark to get the maximum benefit from a patch of wind. Equally it means avoiding the wind shadow of other boats; one missed gust can make a big difference inland.

Several inland venues have strong tides and currents. These have a greater impact inland than those on the sea because they are not uniform over the race course. As everyone knows, the currents weaken as one gets closer to the shore, but conversely the wind often gets weaker too. Because of this the big gains and losses are made in areas where the current eddies. Water likes to flow in a straight line and eddies are formed when this laminar flow is broken up. Thus one tends to find eddies where a river bends or where a peninsula juts out.

However eddies are equally formed by underwater rocks and shoals so go watch those local sailors. There are often a lot of comments about what makes a fast inland boat, and there is no doubt that some competitive inland boats do not sail so well on the sea.

Light Wind N12 Sailing at Ripon Sailing Club in 2015.

Our experience is that the boat design does not have to make a huge difference to your potential inland. It seems to us that if you put a good inland sailor in a dog of a boat, then they will still sail well. However it is important to sail to a design's strengths: whilst we tack at the drop of a hat in our Tigress, in the Chapter we tend to use the whole width of the river. Regardless of what design you sail, there are a few ideas that may enable it to go faster inland.

We never sail without a burgee; it seems to me that the burgee tells you not just what the wind is doing but also what it is about to do. When the wind is light, which only happens very occasionally inland, we sail the boat heeled slightly to leeward and trimmed down by the bow. Heeling to leeward definitely helps sail shape, and can reduce the drag in some designs. Trimming the boat forward stops the transom dragging.

Despite the lighter winds sail shape is still very important inland. As mentioned previously we sail with fuller sails than most, both to make the most of the gusts but also because it is difficult to be certain where the wind is coming from - even when sailing up the beat. Similarly we often sail with the jib not quite hard in to make good progress and the most of the lifts. With modern sail designs this tends to mean sailing with more kicker than I would expect but it does result in a good looking sail shape.

Finally `never give up'. This may sound a little psychological, but if the crew remains calm and unruffled by the vagaries of inland sailing them opportunities will arrive. It has often been proved that is possible to make up long distances on the last leg of inland courses.

Upcoming Events

17th & 18th September - Solway YC - Gul Series #6 & Scottish Championships

24th September - Stokes Bay SC - GUL Series #7 

1st October - Ripon SC - N12 Open

2nd October - Yeadon SC - N12 Open

2nd October - Twickenham YC - N12 Open

22nd October - Olton Mere SC - N12 Open & Final HD Sails 4Plank Open

5th & 6th November - Northampton SC - Gul Series Finale & Inland Championships
MAY 2017 - CARNAC !


Welcome to New Members!

We welcome these new members to the National 12 Owners Association:

Rosie White of Gillingham, Dorset with N 3473 (A welcome return)
Garth Futter of Acle, Norwich with N 1434
David Copse of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire with N 3457
Tom Jefferies of Liskeard, Cornwall with N 3438 (A welcome return)
Andrew Eastwood of Kington, Herefordshire with N 3229
Richard Williams of Chelmodiston, Suffolk with N 3450 (A welcome return)