A fleet of 33 turned out for the National 12 Gill series event at Grafham on Saturday

The final event in the 2004 National 12 Gill Series took place at Grafham Water on 23 October 2004. The wind forecast for the weekend had been gradually increasing all week, but the 33 boats which braved the conditions were initially greeted with sunshine and a fresh breeze.

The first race started in very gusty conditions with John & Katy Meadowcroft making a very speedy start. The wind filled in from the right however, allowing Jon Ibbotson & Charlotte Stewart to take the lead, only to be overtaken by Ian & Alex Gore on the first reach. Tom Stewart & Liz Ross motored through the fleet to take fourth place by the gybe mark. After much place changing in the top five, Tom & Liz took first place, followed by Jon & Charlotte in second and Ian & Alex in third.

The second race after lunch started in very light, patchy winds, in contrast to the previous race. The wind swung round to make the line very port biased, giving Mike Cooke & Kate Edwards a flying start on the starboard side of the course and causing Jon & Charlotte to score OCS. Caroline Martin & Georgina Rowland had a very fast first beat and rounded the windward mark in second place, which they retained to the end. Tom & Liz recovered quickly from an initially poor start and worked their way up the fleet to take first place.

After some time waiting for the wind to settle to a steady direction, the third race got underway in more breezy conditions. Frances Gifford & Sophie Mackley pulled away early to take a solid lead which was never seriously challenged. Graham Camm & Zoe Ballantyne tussled with the Gores over second place, but couldn’t manage to retain it to the finish.

In the Admiral’s Cup fleet, John & Alison Cheetham maintained their season’s form to finish in front of Phil David & Yvonne McInnes, with a rare appearance by Bim Daser sailing with Jane Longman in third place.

Overall Results

1. 3476 Tom Stewart & Liz Ross

2. 3441 Ian & Alex Gore

3. 3431 Frances Gifford & Sophie Mackley

4. 3492 Graham Camm & Zoe Ballantyne

5. 3455 Caroline Martin & Georgina Rowland

Admirals Cup

1. 3209 John & Alison Cheetham

2. 3217 Phil David & Yvonne McInnes

3. 3410 Bim Daser & Jane Longman