A National 12 coaching event and open meeting took place at Blithfield SC
The weekend of 7-8 June saw the next event of the 12 class coaching programme and the Midlands Area series at Blithfield Sailing Club.
Saturday provided perfect conditions for coaching with a Force 3 and sunshine all day, allowing those present to make big improvements in their boat handling and starting skills, a particular challenge in the shifty conditions.
In contrast Sunday morning dawned overcast and raining, though with a little more breeze. The first race saw Graham Camm/Zoe Ballantyne closely pursued by locals Rob and Emma Cannell, though Camm eventually pulled away to take the gun. In the Admirals cup fleet Mike Raine/Jane Mart won a tight battle with Mark and James Hoffman and Tim Laws/Dan Capehorn.
By the end of the race, the sky to west had turned decidedly black and those who prudently dropped mains to return to shore were able to avoid the chaos wrought by the gusts of 40kts that swept through a few minutes later.
After a short postponement to allow the wind to drop to a more comfortable 20kts, racing continued with Camm/Ballantyne posting another win and Terry Cooke/Charlotte Hardy managing to take second from Rob Cannell on the final lap, though with three gybes in the course most competitors had the opportunity to inspect their centreboards at some point.
For the final race, the breeze started to push up towards 30kts again and whilst some took the decision to spectate from the bar, Camm/Ballantyne again made it all look easy, depite a synchronised nosediving display with Cooke/Hardy, the latter failing to come out the other side in the upright position. Further down the fleet Laws/Capehorn didn’t make it to the start due to the disintegration of the jib whilst Eugene Travers-Jones’ mast didn’t survive a particularly hairy gybe due to a shroud failure.
Camm/Ballantyne took first overall, with Cooke/Hardy taking second, meanwhile Raine/Mart put in a good performance to take the Admirals Cup division.
1: N3469 Graham Camm & Zoe Ballantyne
2: N3479 Terry Cooke & Charlotte Hardy
3: N3344 Rob & Emma Cannell
4: N3306 Mike Raine & Jane Mart
5: N3385 Mark & James Hoffman