Howard Chadwick and Helen Nicholson won last weekend's National 12 open meeting at Grimwith SC

A small but competitive group of northern National 12s met at Grimwith reservoir to compete in the Northern Open Meeting at Grimwith SC last Sunday. A shifty breeze and some excellent courses paved the way for a good day’s sailing some 1,000ft above sea level.

Bernard Clark and Henry Mark had a superb start in the first race of the day, only to get the wrong side of a windshift allowing John and Alison Cheetham to take the lead, closely followed by Neil and Katy McInnes, then Howard Chadwick and Helen Nicholson in third place.

Despite some closing and widening of gaps, this remained the order throughout although the fleet was still very close together at the finish, with the exception of John and Alison who demonstrated superior speed throughout and were never seriously challenged.

The second race involved much more place changing in the shifty winds as boats were backed off and then lifted by shifts of up to 90 degrees. Despite all the changes, the first three boats were within 50 yards of one another at the finish. The result this time being first John Cheetham, second Howard Chadwick and third Neil McInnes, with Bernard Clark finishing in fourth place.

For the final race, the winds appeared to be dying fast which cause Clark to drop out, closely followed by Cheetham having pulled his main halyard up the inside of his mast accidentally! This left Chadwick and McInnes to race for the overall honours of second place. With only two boats out, both managed to make poor starts in the dying wind which fortunately filled in again just after the start. At the first mark, after a hard fought first beat Chadwick was two boat lengths clear of McInnes and this gap remained throughout the next three down wind legs. On the final beat Chadwick opened the gap slightly while keeping a cover on McInnes to finish first and hence second overall.

Overall Results

1st N3209, John and Alison Cheetham

2nd N3384, Howard Chadwick and Helen Nicholson

3rd N3216, Neil and Katy McInnes

4th N3382, Bernard Clark and Henry Mark