The National 12 class championship at Weymouth last week was blessed with strong winds but only one race was lost

The National 12 class championship was held at Castle Cove Sailing Club in Weymouth from 15-20 August. The fleet was blessed with strong winds for the whole week and seven out of the eight races scheduled were sailed despite warnings of gales.

Last year’s winners Tom Stewart and Liz Ross had a strong start to the week winning the first three races but their run was broken on Tuesday by Richard Williams and Lindsey Iles (pictured left) who won the premier race of the week, the Burton Cup. The second half of the week was dominated by Steve Sallis and Jenny James who won the final three races. Points in the top ten were tight with only five points separating third place from ninth place going into the final day, which made for nail-biting racing.

Third and fourth places were taken by strong wind specialists Jon Brown and Rachel Williamson and John and Katy Meadowcroft. Both sailed consistently well during the week, finishing on equal points. Last year’s runners up Graham Camm and Zoë Ballantyne, usually light wind specialists, showed good speed in the windy stuff in their new boat to finish fifth. Will Henderson returned to Burton Week after a break of several years with son Arthur. With only 16 stone in the boat they showed incredible downwind speed and claimed sixth place overall.

Racing in the Admiral’s Cup fleet (for non-self draining boats) was again hotly contested. Tim Laws and Simon Hemingway had a fantastic result on day 1 claiming a 10th and the job of pathfinder on the Monday. Graham Iles and Emma Wilkins were first in the Burton Cup race and won the Beeston Goblet. Relative newcomers to the fleet Nick Charles and Juliet Kingsnorth put in some good results in the high 20s towards the end of the week to take second place.

Socials and nightly prize givings were sponsored by Gill, Pinnell and Bax and Aardvark Technologies sponsored a coaching session which was run by Mark Rushall early in the week.