A total of 40 boats turned up for the first event in the Gill series at Bristol Corinthian Yacht Club

The long awaited first event of the Gill N12 Series 2004 was held this weekend by Bristol Corinthian Yacht Club at Axbridge in association with the National 12 Owners’ Association. The Series is being held again this year after the considerable success of last year’s event. Gill now entered the second year of their three-year sponsorship.

A total of 40 boats travelled from across the country, from a far afield as Scaling Dam and Yeadon Tarn, giving the highest turnout of N12s that Bristol has ever achieved. The weather however, proved to be testing for the race team and competitors alike with an extremely light and patchy wind for both days. In total only three out of the five races scheduled were sailed.

In the first race, Chris Bishop and Pip Jeffries led from start to finish, but with much place changing going on behind them as people fought to find the patches of best breeze. Up the final beat Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne and Caroline Martin sailing with Andrew Douglas managed to pass Tom Stewart and Liz Ross to finish 2nd and 3rd respectively. The leading Admirals Cup boat in this race was Mark Phillips crewed by Megan Baker, finishing 8th.

The second race finally got away after two general recalls. The breeze dropped to virtually nothing and those boats that went up the shore on the right-hand side of the course gained from a big wind shift. Newcomer to the fleet, Tina Mackie sailing 3247 with her Father, was first to the windward mark and managed to maintain her huge lead to the finish. Second was Jimmy Miller sailing 3315 with his son Iain. Chris and Pip scored a solid third putting them in the lead overnight.

Saturday evening saw much entertainment and catching with old friends, complete with rugby and thoroughly excellent, if not topical, seminar on ‘Heavy weather sailing with light crews’ given by Gavin Willis.

Sunday dawned just as patchy as Saturday, and only at 1.30pm was a race started. Again this was led from start to finish by Jimmy Miller and Iain. As no other races were able to be sailed this gave them the weekend, and the overall Admirals Cup prizes.

Of particularly note were the seven boats from the active Starcross fleet and the seven home boats from Bristol. There were also many new faces, including locals John Stone and Adele Cameron sailing N3419 who finished 8th Overall and Mark Phillips and Megan Baker, sailing 3281.

After the first Gill event the leaders in the Family Cup are Jimmy and Iain Miller closely followed by John and Alison Cheetham. The Juniors are lead by Jimmy Whitehead and Lydia Wood who look like a team to contend with.

The next event in the Gill N12 Series is Draycote Water on the 24-25 April.

Overall Results

1st Jimmy Millar and Iain Miller (N3315)

2nd Chris Bishop and Pip Jeffris (N3474)

3rd Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne (N3469)

4th Phil and Jo Bush (N3467)

5th Caroline Martin and Andrew Douglas (N3455)