Graham Camm and Zoe Ballentyne win the week, Guy and Paul Pelling take Burton Cup 13/8/07
The National 12 championship 2007 was hosted by Brixham YC. The fleet was blessed with the first spell of sunshine all summer and much sunscreen was used by all.
There were a number of new faces and boats and some recently renovated older designs. Dare Barry brought his latest Pudding design, which has higher freeboard for more leg room and a modified buoyancy layout. Jo Richards sailed his original Bouncer design N2993 (designed and built in 1977) which he has modified to add a double floor, widen the decks at the stern and controversially removed the dagger board.
The first four races of the week were run in sea breeze conditions, with light winds at the start generally increasing throughout the race. Graham Camm and Zoë Ballantyne had a strong start to the week, winning three out of the four races, always closely followed by Tom Stewart and Liz Ross.
The Burton Cup, the premiere race of the week, was won by Paul Pelling sailing with son Guy. This race, which is four laps of a triangular course, with each leg at least a mile long, is always an endurance test for the fleet. This year it was as much a mental test and physical, with very shifty conditions and large swings. The Pellings fought their way into first place after overtaking Jon Ibbotson and Charlotte Stewart by playing the shifts skilfully up the second beat.
Several other crews had a shot at catching them by hitting the corners of the beats, including Jo Richards and Holly Scott, and guest stars John and Mandy Thornton. In the end it was Camm and Ballantyne who got closest, but despite several attempts the Pellings successfully defended their position to the finish. This was Paul’s first Burton Cup win since 1993.
The fifth race of the week was sailed in completely different conditions. An approaching cold front and ominous rain clouds kept the fleet guessing up the beats, with both corners often paying simultaneously. Fran Gifford and Sophie Mackley played it just right and took the lead. On the third lap, the wind died off in the wake of the front and the fleet compressed. The breeze eventually filled back in from the Torquay direction and the fleet finished within seconds of each other. Fran played it cool and kept her lead to the end.
By the final race, the wind had increased to a Force 4, giving the fleet an exhilarating race in beaming sunshine. The race officer set six laps, giving the fleet plenty of opportunity to enjoy the planing reaches. Bruce and Clare Johnson took a pin end start and came out first at the windward mark by hitting the left-hand side of the beat. Stewart and Ross sailed hard down the first reach to take the lead. They then pulled away from the rest of the fleet into an uncatchable position.
1st 3492, GRAHAM CAMM AND ZOE BALLENTYNE Numinous
2nd 3501 , TOM STEWART AND ELIZABETH ROSS Feeling Foolish
3rd 3484, ANTONY AND JOANNA GIFFORD Paradox
4th 3494, JON IBBOTSON AND CHARLOTTE STEWART Feeling Foolish
5th 3457, PAUL AND GUY PELLING Feeling Foolish
6th 2993, JO RICHARDS AND HOLLY SCOTT Bouncer