Over 50 National 12 contested the class inland championship at Northampton SC on 14-15 July, 2001

At Northampton open meeting on the weekend of 14-15 July, 2001 the National 12 Owners’ Assocation held their inland championship, the National 12 vintage open and the National 12 Midland Area Junior Championship.

With over 50 entries for the inlands, four for the Vintage and seven for the juniors, racing was extremely competitive throughout the fleet. The start of the racing was very wet but this soon cleared to quickly brighten up with winds of Force 2-4 with stronger gusts mixed in just to make it interesting.

Shifting winds and a competitive line up lead to quite a few restarts, but once underway the racing was close and at the end of the first day nine boats were battling for first prize. With the remainder of the fleet only metres behind, the slightest error could mean the loss of several places and each boat having to fight to the finish.

Will Henderson and son Robert (N3418) won the first race comfortably in possibly the lightest winds of the weekend. The second two races of the day were both won by previous national champion Antony Gifford. Crewed by Nicky Bass in N3447, they won both races by a short margin on the last leg from (amongst others) sister Frances Gifford, crewed by Janes Jones – who showed incredible consistency throughout the weekend by finishing in fifth position in almost every race.

Sailing on the Sunday was every bit as good as the Saturday with plenty of action throughout the whole fleet. Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne (N3469) were notable throughout the day – second in the first race behind Jon and Charlotte Ibbotson (3445) and winning the second race. However, because they had not been able to attend on the Saturday they did not qualify for the overall results. Geoff Camm and Amelia Hall in their new Waller Chapter also showed great speed and are certainly people to watch in the future. The battle for first place continued with most people counting at least one poor result in the shifty conditions and with the final race won by Steve Sallis and Jenny James (3436) the results were close with only 11 points separating the first nine boats.

Vintage open

A small fleet of vintage National Twelves sailed three races as part of a six-event series for the Witchcraft Bailer trophy. The competition quickly became a very close struggle for first place between Lets Go, N1673, (Brian Herring and Ros Stevenson) and Lysistrata, N2304 (David Croft and seven-year old daughter Caroline).

Herring won the first race by a small margin but the second race was very tight and won by Croft by a matter of a few metres. In the third race with the wind rising to Force 4-5, Croft hung on in the beats, though over-powered, and planed ahead on the reaches and won by a small distance.

Midland Area Junior Championship

The Midland Area Junior Championship followed the inland championship on the Saturday with seven entries. Each competitor showed his or her determination to win and each race fought to the line. The eventual winners were James Whitehead and Guy Johnson, N3458, in second place was Chris Kilsby and Jenny Gammon, N3276, and in third place were Rebecca Johnson and Richard Williams.

Overall Results

Inland Championship

1st N3453, Stuart Hudson & Jane Stamp (Spinnaker Club)

2nd N3445, Jon & Charlotte Ibbotson (Royal Harwich Yacht Club)

3rd N3431, Frances Gifford & Jane Jones (Aldeburgh Yacht Club)

4th N3429, John & Katy Meadowcroft (Henley Sailing Club)

Vintage Open

1st N2304 (D. and C. Croft) Henley SC

2nd N1673 (B.Herring and R. Stevenson) Winsford Flash SC

3rd N2300 (K. Goddard and B. Gill) Trent Valley SC