Sue Jones and Sue Wright were the overall winners of the National 12 Blaydon Race at Tynemouth SC on 17 February

A fleet of nine National 12s, comprising sailors from Grafham and as far North as Glasgow met at Newburn slipway, the winter quarters of Tynemouth Sailing Club on Sunday 17 February for the Blaydon Race.

For the first time in over five years, tides and conditions permitted a downstream race towards Newcastle upon Tyne city centre. Conditions were overcast with light winds and after a short delay, Race Officer Peter Middlemiss started the fleet on the ebbing tide. Thankfully the wind filled in slightly allowing the fleet to make a clean start and the boats duly made their way through the bends of the broad Tyne.

Graham Miatt, Sue Jones and Dave Davies had a slight lead over the pack during the initial stages of the race. However, places were continually being traded as the fleet rounded bends and the wind died as the fleet fell into the lee of the high banks. Dave and Kath Davies stretched out an impressive lead in their Pipedream and appeared unstoppable. As the fleet passed the Vickers building it was exposed to the strengthening wind and Sue Jones gradually caught the Davies just after the leeward mark, with Bernard Clark rounding third and Howard Chadwick in fourth.

Having taken approximately one hour to reach the leeward mark, the fleet embarked on the long beat back to the finish in the freshening wind.

As the fleet tacked its way upstream and up to the first pair of bend, there was just as much place changing as on the downstream leg. Brian Miatt caught Marcus Wheel, Peter Miatt and Howard Chadwick both overhauled the Davies and Bernard Clark. Peter Miatt lead this pack but despite reducing the lead of Sue Jones, was unable to pass her. Peter Miatt and Sue Jones extended their lead over the pack in the calmer stretches, only for Jones to lengthen her lead and go on to win, with Miatt in second and Howard Chadwick in third. Dave and Kath Davies pipped Bernard Clark into fifth place on the line.

Overall Results

1st Sue Jones and Sue Wright, N3263, Nottingham SC

2nd Peter Miatt and Matthew Aye , N3448, Tynemouth SC

3rd Howard Chadwick and Clare Flather, N3356, Yeadon SC

4th Dave and Kath Davies , N2951, South Windermere SC

5th Bernard Clark and James Shipley N3382, Yorkshire Ouse SC