Sallis and James on top form

Forty two National 12s travelled to Northampton SC for the N12 Inland Championship held over the weekend of 6-7 July 2002. With prizes sponsored by Alverbanks, Gill and Pinnell & Bax, there was much to compete for throughout the fleet.

Racing was initially postponed on Saturday to wait for the wind to fill in. A sensible decision by race officer John Wayling, who finally started the first race at 4.30pm in a Force 2. Geoff Camm and Amelia Hall (N3464) showed early speed, leading for the first lap, but were overhauled by brother Graham Camm (N3469), sailing with Zoe Ballantyne, who pulled through the fleet to take the lead during the second lap and hold on to this lead to the finish, followed by Geoff and Amelia, with Steve Sallis and Jenny James (N3436) in third.

The second race of the inland championship was postponed until Sunday morning, allowing time to fit in the Midland Area Junior Championship, sponsored by Gill, to be sailed in the early evening. This event is open to competitors aged under 19, allowing promising juniors the opportunity to beg, borrow or steal a boat to race. Three races were held, with the eventual winners being James Whitehead, crewed by Henry Johnson.

Sunday dawned with more wind, and rather too early for many people following the disco and barbeque held the evening before, with the first race scheduled to start at 10am in order to complete the five- race programme.

Ian and Alex Gore led race two from start to finish but, with the chasing pack never really allowing them to establish a good lead, they were never able to relax. They were followed home by Geoff and Amelia, managing to grab second on the last beat from Steve Sallis and Jenny James. Antony Gifford and Nicole McKenna pulled through the fleet to take fourth, narrowly beating Class Chairman John Meadowcroft, crewed by wife Katy in their new boat ‘Max Factor’.

The top three in the third race all benefited from the left-hand shift on the first beat – Bruce and Clare Johnson (N3423) went hardest left, took most risks – and it paid off as they won this race from ever consistent Sallis and James with Chris Mayhew and Charlotte Ibbotson (N3443) in third.

The fourth and fifth races were raced back to back after lunch, with the breeze freshening, Sallis and James took their first win of the weekend, after overhauling Jon Brown and Juliet Brawn (N3426), who had initially pulled out a lead by finding good shifts on the right-hand side of the first beat (the reverse of the previous race).

The final race was sailed in the most breeze of the weekend and was initially led by Antony Gifford and Nicole McKenna, however, Bruce and Clare Johnson gambled on a header to get to the left-hand side of the course and were lifted through into first place on the third beat which they held to take their second victory of the weekend. Steve Sallis and Jenny James pulled up from an indifferent start to finish (a discardable) fifth to win the event and the Pinnell & Bax-sponsored first prize, with the Gores in third to take second place overall.

The prize for the older boats, competed for by 15 boats, was a new jib donated by Alverbanks sails. Alan (of Pinnell & Bax sailmakers) crewed by son Alastair (N3414) came 11th overall to win this prize, well clear of the remaining non-double bottomed boats. Alan generously declined the new jib which, following a discussion between the winner and the sponsor, was raffled between the remaining Admirals Cuppers. Tom and Philippa Edom were the lucky winners.

Overall Results

1st Dilbert 3436, Steve Sallis and Jenny James, Hykeham SC

2nd Tabitha 3441 Ian and Alex Gore, Up River Y C

3rd Max Factor 3473 John and Katy Meadowcroft, Henley

4th Thanks for All The Fish 3469 Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne, Burghfield

5th Texas Flood 3423 Bruce and Clare Johnson, Royal Harwich

6th Transmogrifier 3464 Geoffrey Camm and Amelia Hall Shoreham S C