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Gul Series - Burton Week 2017

The Gul sponsored National 12 championship ended with only 3 points separating the first three boats in the most competitive event for some years.

Day 1

The sail to the start area was quick and relatively easy, but a number of the older boats decided to stay in the dinghy park. The first race was sailed in 20 knots with strong gusts but relatively flat water. It was in this race that the fleet suffered the two broken masts, but 22 boats did have a fantastic sail.

The race was dominated by John and Ollie Meadowcroft who led at the first mark and sailed away. Place changes behind were few with Kevin Iles and Jo Gifford a clear second ahead of Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne.

Race two was sailed in very similar conditions, but with over half the fleet over the line on the first start, the OOD decided in was time to bring out the black flag to make the fleet behave. Unfortunately six boats were caught out on the second start and were sent for an early shower.

At the third attempt the fleet were cleanly away and it was Nick Copsey and Emma Pearson who led at the first mark followed by Tom and Robert Stewart with John and Ollie and Graham and Zoe close behind. Nick and Emma held the lead for the next lap but on the dead run were overtaken by Tom and Robert. At the start of the last lap it was Tom/Robert leading, Nick/Emma second and Graham/Zoe third. Just behind these three were John and Ollie but a capsize ended their challenge.

Graham/Zoe got passed Nick/Emma at the start of the beat but the positions were reversed back by the end of the beat. Tom/Robert were confident enough in their lead to wear round the gybe mark allowing Nick/Emma to close the gap but not overtake.

Day 2
On day two of the championship we had the iconic Burton Cup race. This 13 mile race is a test of fitness as well as ability though the light to moderate conditions made it easier than many years and 27 boats recorded a finish.

The race was initially led by John and Ollie Meadowcroft closely followed by Ian and Alex Gore with Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne in third. As the wind dropped Graham and Zoe took advantage of their superior speed in those conditions to take the lead and open up a gap which looked comfortable. This turned out not to be the case as a determined effort from John and Ollie closed down the leaders and had the spectators on the edge of their seats as the last beat began.

With Graham and Zoe choosing not to cover it was difficult to see which boat was ahead but Graham and Zoe had done enough to cross just ahead and put in a covering tack to the line in one of the closest Burton race finishes.


Day 3
Day three was another light wind day and it was the 2016 champions Tom and Robert Stewart who led for most of the race with Graham and Zoe and Jon Ibbotson sailing with Jack Gore in hot pursuit.

On the run to the final mark it was Jon and Jack who managed to take the lead and held on for the short leg to the finish, ahead of Tom and Robert and Graham and Zoe.

Jack is the youngest crew to win a championship race. It was also his first championship race! - He'll expect the same when he starts crewing for his Dad - no pressure Ian!

The second race of the day saw return to form for John and Ollie after a 17th in race one and they were the nearest challengers to Graham and Zoe who won with Tom and Robert in third.

Going into the final day Graham and Zoe led with 8 points with Tom and Robert on 9 and John and Ollie on 12.

Day 4
With a much windier day in the offering would Graham and Zoe be able to hold onto their lead. The first race of the day saw Nick Copsey and Emma Pearson lead at the first mark but it was Steve Sallis and Katy Meadowcroft who led at the start of lap two and sailed away for a comfortable win with Graham and Zoe winning the battle of the title contenders to finish second and with it secure the championships.

The last race saw John and Ollie arrive first at the windward mark and although they did lose the lead to Nick and Emma on the first reach it was not long before they regained the lead and were not headed again. Steve and Katie came in second ahead of Tom and Robert with Graham and Zoe discarding their 4th place finish.

Graham and Zoe are once again national champions with John and Ollie claiming second ahead of Tom and Robert as a result of their last race win.

Nigel and Chris White were first non-foiling boat.
Dave Peacock and Lesley Iles were first Admirals cup and vintage boat.


Any idea what is going on here?


North West Norfolk Week 2017

The 68th edition of North West Norfolk Week once again welcomed the National 12s to take part in their quirky but fantastic week of sailing. A total of 12 National 12s took part during the week. For me, it was the first time I've done the week and a full report will be in the newsletter. Here are some photos from the week!

Hunstanton - 5th August

Overall at Hunstanton -
Nick Copsey and Steve Carver - 1st N3548
Ian and Alex Gore - 2nd - N3526
Paul and Freya Pelling - 3rd - N3251

Kings Lynn - 7th August

Overall at Kings Lynn -
Pete and Saskia Miatt - 1st - N3448
Ian and Alex Gore - 2nd - N3526
George Finch and Lucy Homer - 3rd - N3513

Brancaster Staithe - 8th August - 0700
Overall at Brancaster Staithe -
Nick Copsey and Stephen Carver - 1st - N3548
Ian and Alex Gore - 2nd - N3526
George Finch and Lucy Homer - 3rd - N3513

Burnham Overey Staithe - 8th August - 1900
Arrived, Gerald Copsey told everyone to rig, the wind didn't fill in, Gerald told everyone to de-rig.

Wells Next The Sea - 9th August
Woke up at 0530 to torrential rain and a howling wind, went back to bed. Race was cancelled anyway. The sailing club still did bacon rolls though!

Blakeney - 10th August

Overall at Blakeney -
Ian and Alex Gore - 1st - N3526
George Finch and Lucy Homer - 2nd - N3513
Pete and Olivia Miatt - 3rd - N3448

Snettisham Beach - 11th & 12th August

Overall at Snettisham Beach -
Ian and Alex Gore - 1st - N3526
Nick Copsey and Stephen Carver - 2nd - N3548
Pete and Olivia/Saskia Miatt - 3rd - N3448

Norfolk Week Overall 

Well done to Nick Copsey who won the week, with Ian and Alex Gore in 2nd and Pete and Olivia / Saskia Miatt in 3rd. Full results are available here

Ken Goddard & George Finch at Kings Lynn


Salcombe Gin SYC Regatta 2017

"Sunday 13th August 2017 and I am sailing the National 12 with Daddy at the helm.
And so, we sped across the start line and were in third place. But we knew that in Salcombe anything could happen! After HOURS – okay maybe I’m exaggerating – so, after MINUTES we finally saw the first buoy. But our relief was not to be - dun dun dunnn - as there were short sharp jagged, black rocks in the shallows.  I only hope that I can finish writing this before we hit the ro… agghhh! Just kidding – we gave the rocks a wide berth.
Soon, we found ourselves overtaking a dozen boats as there was hardly a breath of breeze and we were light. We sailed to the second buoy with the wind singing in our sails – but as we rounded the mark we hit lots of wind so everyone shot past and our hopes fluttered and failed like a burgee.
On our way to the third mark – I got BORED…. and started singing, it made Daddy go off the hook! Round the buoy and we were catching up the other boats fast but we had to be careful of rocks again and I was worried! Back down the other side – will this race ever end? Last mark and finish, the hooter makes me jump.
In the race we came fifth place. That’s a rhyme – now I’m out of time."

Windy Salcombe, written by Anya Camm.

Slightly busy at the Salcombe Gin SYC Regatta! 


The National 12s were well represented at this year's SYC Regatta with an entry of 15 and many of the competitors used the week as a warm up for Burton Week in Weymouth. Tom Stewart dominated, winning 3 of the 5 races sailed. Graham Camm was 2nd with one race win in Race 3. In 3rd place, with one race win in Race 5 was John Meadowcroft. John and Mandy Thornton continued to prove how fast their Final Chapter is, finishing 4th overall.

A special mention must be given to Ollie Meadowcroft who was 8th in Race 1 in his Design 8 - just behind is Dad who was 7th. We look forward to seeing more young helms like Ollie in the class over the next year!

The full results can be found here


Henley Sailing Club National 12 Open

A fine fleet of nine Twelves took to the river for the Henley open meeting, making the river look pretty busy. In race number one there was a beating start and Meds & Dan Meadowcroft led off the start line.

We were sailing in light conditions so it was more of a drift than a race. There was lots of place shifting round the bottom mark and again on the run. Graham Camm & Zoe Ballantyne pulled into the lead by sailing on the outside of the bend, travelling further but in more breeze.  They went on to win.
Race number two got off to a busy start with one general recall and a postponement for a paddle streamer to pass through the fleet. On the third try the fleet got it right – finally! I would like to tell you that we set of with the wind in our sails – but I can’t.  What little wind we had was behind us so the fleet started on a run. The Meadowcrofts led the start but then Jon Ibbotson & Rachel Smith got breeze on the far shore and pulled into the lead.

Then obviously they had to be overtaken by the boats in the middle of the fleet. Graham Camm, sailing with daughter Anya, got wind on the port shore and rocketed into the lead closely followed by John & Bryony Thornton. But on the way back down the river the breeze went onto a run again. Then the wind filled in from behind so the fleet caught up with both the Camms and Thorntons.

The wind carried the attacking boats forwards and they were carried by their momentum so the fleet was inverted with the Meadowcrofts taking the lead. The Thorntons continued to sail well and caught up with the Meadowcrofts again for a photo finish with the Thorntons clinching the win.
It bucketed down with rain at the start of the final race. The paddle steamer came back up the river but the race wasn’t postponed again luckily. The wind died down again for the start. The Meadowcrofts led off the line again with the Camms hot on their heels. Steve Gent and Viv Roberts  got a gust of wind and headed for the front, stopping the leaders from tacking for the buoy. But the Meadowcrofts did just squeeze around the windward mark which was very close to the start line.

Graham & Anya Camm sailed into the lead but as they headed up wind on the second lap disaster struck in the form of weed. They freed their rudder quickly but had lost valuable ground to the Thorntons now in second place. There were two horn blasts and a lot of confusion. A dog had fallen overboard from a motor boat – luckily he had a doggy life jacket on.

There was a great kerfuffle with the motor boat drifting sideways down the river blocking many of the racers. There was also a lot of barking but the dog was finally reunited with his owners back on-board again. The Camms went on to win the race and the Henley Rose Bowl.

Overall results
1st Graham & Anya Camm + Zoe Ballantyne
2nd John & Bryony Thornton
3rd John & Dan Meadowcroft
1st Foiler Steve Gent

Drifting Henley, written by Anya Camm.


Welcome to New Members!

  • Owen O'Donnell of Lowca, Cumbria with N 3454
  • Alice Crick of Brighton, East Sussex - Associate Member

Upcoming Events 

7th October - Ripon SC - National 12 Open
8th October - Yeadon SC - National 12 Open
7th October - Twickenham YC - National 12 Open
21st October - Olton Mere SC - N12 Open & HD Sails 4-Plank Series Finale

4th-5th November - Northampton SC - Gul Series #8 & Inland Championships

3rd December - Tynemouth SC (Newburn) - Tate Winter Trophy
26th December- Royal Harwich Yacht Club - Boxing Day Open Meeting