The first event in the Gill Series 2003 kicked off this weekend at Bristol Corinthian YC

The first event of the Gill N12 Series 2003 was held this weekend by Bristol Corinthian Yacht Club at Axbridge, in association with the National 12 Owners’ Association.

A total of 29 boats travelled from across the country and were greeted with glorious sunshine and excellent hospitality. Two races were held on the Saturday and three races on Sunday in light to medium breezes with the wind coming from over the Mendips giving extremely shifty conditions and testing everyone’s nerves.

The races were extremely close with a great deal of place changing and opportunity for great gains and loses. Every race had a different winner. Saturday saw Ian and Alex Gore showing great pace winning the first race by the biggest margin of the weekend. In the second race things were tighter with a number of people leading, eventually Geoff Camm and Amelia Hall managed to overtake Ian and Alex and Phil and Jo Bush to win.

Saturday evening saw much entertainment and a seminar on starting given by John Meadowcroft.

Race three on Sunday morning started in stronger breeze with John and Katy Meadowcroft finally taking the gun from Frances Gifford and Smilie Jon. The middle of the fleet were all still tightly bunched by the final reach and with the wind filling from behind, led to some 15 boats all converging on the gybe mark at the same time.

In the fourth race, after a general recall and the flying of the black flag, Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne combined their first good start of the weekend with a solid nerve to hold on to win.

The fifth race was all-important as five boats were potentially able to win overall. This race was taken by Frances and Smilie as their consistency through the weekend showed through allowing them to win the Bristol open meeting and the first event in the Gill N12 Series. Second, third and fourth places were tied – with all having won a race.

There were many new faces at the front including locals John Stone and Adele Cameron sailing N3419 who finished seventh overall with a second and fourth on Sunday; Rob and Emma Cannell N3344 secured a fourth in the final race and were awarded a special prize from Gill for the most improved performance over the weekend.

After the first Gill event, the leaders in the Family Cup are Gavin Willis and Chloe Willis, closely followed by Rob and Emma Cannell. The Juniors are led by Chris Bishop and Pippa Jeffries.

Overall Results

1st Frances Gifford and Smilie Jon (N3431)

2nd John and Katy Meadowcroft (N3473

3rd Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne (N3469)

4th Ian and Alex Gore (N3441)

5th Geoff Camm and Amelia Hall (N3464)

Admiral’s Cup

1st Kevin Iles and Liz Ross (N3373)

2nd Gavin Willis and Chloe Willis (N3389)

3rd Jimmy Miller