Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne win a light wind National 12 championship at Abersoch
The National 12 fleet enjoyed a fantastic week at Abersoch with sunshine every day. Racing was tight at all levels of the fleet. At the top of the fleet, there was only one point between the top two boats of Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne and Tom Stewart and Liz Ross going into the last race, with the winner of the week undecided until the last few seconds. Tom and Liz achieved third place in the final race to equalise points with Graham and Zoe, but the tie break was broken in favour of Graham and Zoe who had more wins, including the prestigious Burton Cup.
In the subsidiary trophies, Rebecca Johnson and Laurence Walker showed fantastic speed to win the Corrigan trophy for under 21 helms. Richard Tricker and Lindsey Iles were first in the Arrows trophy for new helms to Burton Week. Tim Laws and Sam Game won the Joe Yorke trophy and Caroline Martin, sailing with Andy Douglas, won the Money Cup for first lady helm. Gavin Willis won the Clinker Trophy for his home-designed and home-built “F’in Boat”. The Admirals Cup for single-bottomed boats was won by John and Alison Cheetham in their Crusader.
In Race 1 Steve Adshead was pathfinder which proved helpful for positioning on the beat helping him get to the windward mark 2nd just behind John Meadowcroft and Rosie White. The Giffords soon overtook and held the leading position to the finish.
In Race 2 Steve Sallis and Jenny James led to the windward mark, with Tom Stewart and Liz Ross hot on their heels. The wind started to go light on the final run causing some tricky conditions. The OOD wisely decided to shorten and Sallis-James took the gun.
In race 3, Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne were first to the windward mark with Tom Stewart and Liz Ross close behind. Camm-Ballantyne stayed ahead up to the final beat but were just pipped to the line after a fierce tacking duel.
In the Burton Cup Meadowcroft-White rounded the windward mark first. The Gores and Giffords made progress through the fleet on the next beat to take second and third. On the third beat the wind was shifty and Camm-Ballantyne made use of these to climb into fourth place. The penultimate beat proved decisive as Camm-Ballantyne pulled through, tussling with Cooke-Wilkins for the lead. On the final reach the Gores sailed over Cooke-Wilkins and challenged the leaders. With the shifty winds Camm-Ballantyne took no chances and covered the Gores well to take the gun.
In race 5 Stewart and Ross just pipped Meadowcroft-White to the windward mark, closely followed by Chris Bishop and Pip Jefferies, who subsequently took the lead. The wind started to die on the run and the race officer decided to shorten. Camm-Ballantyne and Stewart-Ross just held the wind long enough for them both to pass team Bishop.
In race 6 Jon Ibbotson and Lydia Wood took some fantastic shifts up the middle of the beat to have a huge lead by the windward mark, which they maintained to take the gun.
In race 7 Camm-Ballantyne tacked under Geoff Camm and Amelia Hall to scrape round the windward mark first. Places changed little over the next two laps and Camm-Ballantyne kept the lead.
In the final race, Stewart-Ross needed to get 1st or 2nd to win the week. Meadowcroft-White yet again were first round the windward mark closely followed by Stewart-Ross. They kept their lead down the reach and for the next beat. Stewart-Ross hit the fourth windward mark and the Giffords overhauled them to take second and then the lead at the leeward mark. Stewart-Ross took a left hand flyer in the final 400m which looked good for them briefly but the wind came back from the right hand side and the Giffords sped through to the line to take first closely followed by team Meadowcroft-White, leaving Stewart-Ross in third, one point off claiming the championship.