Tom Stewart and Liz Ross win tough battle at National 12 inlands at Scaling Dam 5/10/06
The outcome of the National 12 Inland Championship was decided in the final seconds of the final race at Scaling Dam last weekend. The racing was incredibly tight within the 25 boat fleet. The beats were set very short with long reaches and runs between them meaning that passing lanes were few and far between.
Tom Stewart and Liz Ross (N3501) opened the scoring winning race one with Graham Cam and Zoë Ballantyne (N3492) climbing through the fleet to finish second.
Race two saw Cam and Ballantyne win with Stewart and Ross overtaking past Inland champions Steve Sallis and Jenny James (N3436) to finish second.
Race three on Sunday morning went the way of race one the previous day with Stewart and Ross winners again. Antony and Jo Gifford held second place for most of the race but Cam and Ballantyne were always snapping at their heels and eventually broke through.
At the start of the fourth race a lot of the southerners were a bit keen to get things going and several boats were called over. Four boats went back including Stewart and Ross . This opened up a chance which Cam and Ballantyne took overtaking the consistent team of Sallis and Jamesto win their 2nd race of the series.
It was now all down to the last race. Cam and Ballantyne needed to prevent Stewart and Ross from winning, they had them doing turns pre-start but unfortunately their 720 was well executed and they were able to sail into the same gap and make a clean start with Cam and Ballantyne racked up on a leeward boat.
Sallis and James led followed closely by John Ibbotson and Charlotte Stewart (3494). After four laps Sallis and James still held the lead, Stewart and Ross had eventually got into second whilst Cam and Ballantyne recovered to fifth. With one lap left Stewart and Ross closed the gap on Sallis and James and on the final beat a tacking duel ensued.
After six tacks the leading pair were in danger of dropping into the pack, so they broke off. Sallis and James covered the favoured right hand side whilst Stewart and Ross prayed for a left shift. When they crossed just short of the line Stewart and Ross had a slim advantage, which they almost gave away as both boats tacked for the finish.
In the 10-boat Admiral’s Cup Division Phil and Helen David (N3217) held the advantage all weekend winning all the races including notching up a third in the whole fleet in race four. Second were John and James Brooks (N3162) who sailed a very consistent series. They are showing rapid improvement and will be an Admiral’s Cup team to watch out for.
John and Alison Cheetham (N3500) finished one place ahead of the Brooks to claim the family prize and the juniors was won by locals Dan Gaines-Burrill and Alex Oyston who were loving their first N12 experience.
1st Tom Stewart and Liz Ross N3501 Northampton SC
2nd Graham Camm and Zoë Ballantyne N3492 Burghfield SC
3rd Steve Sallis and Jenny James N3436 Hykeham SC