Numinous design wins first event at Burghfield
Burghfield SC hosted the first ever National 12 open meeting on 17 March and the fleet was greeted with a stiff, shifty breeze.
After a pin-end start, the wind veered and late committee boat-end starters, Frances Gifford sailing with Katy Meadowcroft and Chris Mayhew sailing with Charlotte Ibbotson, took advantage of the shift to take the lead. Chris then consolidated his lead and proved to be unstoppable. The rest of the fleet fought for third place with constant battles on each beat. Antony and Jo Gifford looked promising for third but rudder trouble thwarted their efforts enabling Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne to sneak through.
The wind picked up for the second race with Force 5 gusts coming from unexpected directions to keep the fleet on their toes. Frances and Katy flew off the start line and rounded the windward mark first, with the pack closely on their heels. Racing remained close on the second round until Antony and Jo capsized at the windward mark resulting in a reshuffle of positions with Graham and Zoe taking second. Some vicious gusts whipped across the next beat resulting in early season gooseneck traumas for Fran and Katy, allowing Graham and Zoe to take the lead all the way to the finish. With a running finish the fight was on between Ian Gore and Chris Mayhew for second place, with Chris snatching second by a whisker.
Following two tough races the fleet was slightly reduced for the third race. As the gun went, the wind died and the fleet jostled in the even shiftier conditions. Graham and Zoe rounded the windward mark first with Ian and Alex in hot pursuit. Graham and Zoe’s lead looked safe until the final beat when Ian and Alex got into the swing of the shifts and squeezed past to finish first just a boat length ahead.
The open meeting also saw the launch of Mike Cooke’s home-built “Aardvark Issues”(see photo above)with a specially commissioned Alverbanks rig. Mike and Jimmy Whitehead showed some blistering speed especially in the strong stuff off wind and were also able to hold their own upwind. An impressive start to the season and one to watch (although they couldn’t count their results as the boat is still to be measured).
1st Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne, N3469 Numinous
2nd Chris Mayhew and Charlotte Ibbotson, N3443 Final Chapter
3rd Ian Gore and Alex Harris, N3441 Feeling Foolish
1st Admirals Cup (Non-double bottom boat)
Bim Daser and Richard Attoe, N3410 Feeling Foolish