Shifty, light airs greeted the 46-strong National 12 fleet last weekend for the fifth event in the Gill Series
Pitsford Reservoir was the venue for the fifth event in the Gill National 12 Series and attracted 46 boats travelling from across the country, including six vintage boats. The fleet arrived on Saturday to a becalmed water and lots of beer in the bar. After a short postponement, race one got underway but was abandoned very quickly as the shifty and patchy wind dropped completely. Saturday highlights instead focused around an inspiring talk on “making your Old boat go fast” by Gavin Willis and excellent entertainment, food and beer. Sunday dawned with similar conditions with the wind coming and going as the sun came out. However, a race was managed in the morning with Tom Stewart and Graham Camm proving they still have what it takes by first and second, both unphased by the wind swinging over 180 degrees and coming and going like a jack in the box. Race two and three were held after lunch and provided equally taxing sailing. The wind was a little more steady and Mike Hoyle and Henry Johnson washed off the cobwebs and comfortably took first, Ian and Alex Gore held second. The rest of the fleet were not so fortunate with large rafts of boats meeting at marks on almost every corner. A win in the final race allowed Mike Hoyle to win the event, however, he had a tough fight to get past Patrick Elcombe who lead for most of the race. The other contender Graham Camm fell foul to the black flag, but Tom Stewart with a very consistent set of results bagged second overall. Excitement in the Admirals cup fleet was fuelled by some serious bursts of speed from Tim Laws and Phillip David. Tim Laws, the more consistent of the two, never dropped out of the top ten, but Phillip David had a much better afternoon giving him two sixth places to count.
The highest placed junior was Nathan Harding and Jinni King. John Sears and Lydia Wood were highest placed in the Family Cup. The leaders of the Gill N12 Series after five events are Ian and Alex Gore hanging on in there, closely contended by John and Katy Meadowcroft. Many new challengers were seen at event five including Patrick Elcombe and Mike Hoyle. Action in the Admirals fleet is becoming even more fierce with Tim Laws and Emma Wilkins taking the lead in the series on tie break from Kevin Iles and Jane Jones, whilst Phillip David’s recent form puts him in contention.
There is now a break in the series over the holiday period and for the National Championship.The penultimate Gill event is combined with the National Twelve Inland Championship and will be held at Datchet Water SC on 6-7 September.
1st N3438 Lola, Mike Hoyle and Henry Johnson
2nd N3476 Slyther Musto, Tom Stewart and Liz Ross
3rd N3442 Physalia, Patrick Elcombe and Laura Brown
4th N3469 Thanks for all the fish, Graham Camm and Tim Goodhew
5th N3468 Pillow Fight, John and Mandy Thornton
1st N3217 Wendy Windblows, Phillip David and Yvonne McInnes
2nd N3295 Battle Tactics, Tim Laws and Emma Wilkins
3rd N3209 Rebel, John Cheetham and Alison Cheetham
4th N3373 Sixth Element, Kevin Iles and Jane Jones
5th N3385 Wild Front Ear, Mark Hoffman and James Hoffman