The fourth event in the National 12 Thames area series took place at Desborough SC this weekend (18-19 May)
The fourth event in the National 12 Thames area series took place at Desborough SC this weekend (18-19 May) with a pleasant breeze filling the river and the sun shinning.
Dave and Frances Wilkins stormed across the start line to take an early lead in race one. The fleet behind battled closely up the first beat with John and Mandy Thornton coming out second round the windward mark. .Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne picked up a streak of stronger wind in the middle of the river on the run to sneak inside the Thorntons and followed the same gust to clinch an inside overlap on the Wilkins at the gybe mark to take first. The pack behind fought fiercely with John and Katy Meadowcroft popping up in “Eric” their Paperdart and Geoff Camm and Amelia Hall yo-yoing around the top spot (this included a capsize to windward at the gybe mark), they almost overhauled Camm and Ballantyne on the second beat but eventually dropped back to take third. Allowing Camm and Ballantyne to take the bullet and the Thorntons to take second.
Dave and Frances Wilkins repeated their tremendous starting routine in the second race to again dominate the first beat. But allowed Camm and Hall to sneak past in the light and fluky winds at the windward mark. An incident between the Meadowcrofts and Thorntons left the Thorntons spinning, allowing the Meadowcrofts to round the windward mark second with Camm and Ballantyne hot on their heels. Camm and Ballantyne headed for the middle of the river in search of stronger wind, they found enough to sail through the lee of the Meadowcrofts (who went on to take third) but not enough to catch Camm and Hall who had already built an impressive lead which they held for the next five rounds (despite breaking their kicker).
The third race started in a similar vane to the previous two with the Wilkins flying off the start line again and the usual suspects duelling up the first beat with a few motor cruisers thrown in for good measure. Camm and Hall again rounded the windward mark first making good use of the fluky conditions in the final 50 metres approach. Camm and Ballantyne looked good for second but the Wilkins took advantage of a bend in the wind to snatch second around the mark. Again Camm & Ballantyne searched for stronger wind in the middle of the river and captured a small overlap on the Wilkins at the gybe mark. The pressure was on now firmly on Camm and Hall for the next two laps with Camm and Ballantyne closely followed by the Thorntons storming up through the fleet. A puff on the second run enabled Camm and Ballantyne to gain an overlap at the gybe mark but Camm and Hall soon claimed this back by sailing the better gybe on the next leg. Sailing was close for the next three laps but it wasn’t until the fifth round that the places would change with Camm and Ballantyne again getting a lucky puff on the run to sail through the lee and into first which they managed to hold by the skin of their teeth to take the race and the meeting.
1st N3469, Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne (Numinous)
2nd N3464, Geoff Camm and Amelia Hall (Final Chapter)
3rd N3468, John and Mandy Thornton (Numinous)