The National 12 fleet descended onto Starcross YC for round six of the Gill-sponsored series last weekend 22/9/06

The National 12 fleet descended onto Starcross YC for round six of the Gill-sponsored series over the weekend 16-17 September.

Race 1 started in sunshine but with a patchy breeze with a hole in it on the first round at the wing mark of the P-shaped course, which allowed the fleet to bunch up and effectively restart the race. As the breeze returned it became a consistent Force 2 for the rest of the day, which was much to the liking of Fran Gifford and Sophie Mackley who took the winning gun after a tussle with Jon Ibbotson and Rachael Williamson. They were followed home by Mike Day and Anna Hickman in third place.

Race 2 saw Brian and George Kitching take an early lead which they held before being overhauled by the Ibbotson/Williamson and Gifford/Mackley who finished in that order. Race 3 started against the now ebbing tide and whilst most of the fleet started at the committee boat end favoured by the line bias, Kevin and Lesley Iles started at the pin in the middle of the estuary having worked out that the deep channel was near the shore by the committee boat. It soon became clear that it was avoiding the tide that mattered and team Iles rounded the first mark with a significant lead which appeared safe. However, Ibbotson/Williamson and Gifford/Mackley had other ideas and gradually hauled the Iles’ back to pass them on between the final mark and the line, finishing in that order.

After an excellent meal at the club on the Saturday night, the barrel of real ale being drunk dry well before the end of the evening and a table football competition, the fleet retired to bed with all to play for on the Sunday. Unfortunately this was not to be as the breeze was almost non-existent and at 2 O’clock the decision was taken to abandon the idea of racing and get an early start home.

Gill clothing and accessories were awarded to everyone attending their first Gill series event, to Will and Matt McGrath for donating their winnings of £26.00 from the Saturday evening table football competition to the RNLI, and to Andy Woolner as thanks for his efforts as race officer in trying conditions.

Overall Results
1st 3494 Jon Ibbotson/Rachael Williamson – Royal Harwich YC
2nd Fran Gifford/Sophie Mackley – Aldeburgh YC
3rd Kevin and Lesley Iles – Thorpe Bay YC
4th & 1st family – Brian and George Kitching – Frampton-on-Severn
1st Junior – Nathan Harding/Sophie White – No fixed abode YC
1st Admiral’s Cup – Felix and Lottie Newall-Smith – Spinnaker
1st local – Tina Mackie/Ben Fricker – Starcross YC