Following the vintage open meeting the previous day, a total of 16 National 12s turned out for some close racing on the Thames last Sunday for the Henley SC open meeting
A National 12 open meeting took place at Henley Sailing Club on Sunday 15 September. With a fleet of 16 boats and a reduced river level, the race officer decided to split the fleet into four flights for the racing.
The first race started in a light breeze and both fleets were quite compact. There were holes aplenty, so keeping a good look out was as important as sailing! In the first flight, Dave Wilkins crewed by wife Frances and sailing in a borrowed 12 (N3460), led off the line and held off Gerry Ledger and Liz Ross all the way to the finish.
In the second flight, which was very line shy, Geoff Camm crewed by Katherine Ingham in another borrowed boat, N3469, also managed to work his way into the lead up the first beat. John Thornton crewed by Mandy Thornton in N3468 worked their way up through the fleet to finish second, closely followed by Stephen Gent and Vivian Roberts in N3221.
After lunch, reports of wind further up river convinced the race officer to have set a course up river to a committee boat finish and then start the last race starting from the committee boat to race back to the club for tea.
The Wilkins again showed good boat speed in the first flight with close racing against the Thorntons pursued by Dave Greening crewed by daughter Josie in 3471. In the other flight, Camm again took the gun from Dave Croft crewed by Caroline Croft in N2935 to leave the third race as the decider.
The first flight was the competition for third place with Will Henderson crewed by son Arthur getting the early lead. The Thorntons and Ledger were always on his heels but only managed to get close enough to scare Henderson at the finish. In the second flight, a start line incident between the Meadowcrofts and the Wilkins allowed Camm to get away. Croft and Wilkins gave chase but Camm always had speed when required.
1st N3469 Thanks for all the Fish, Geoff Camm and Katherine Ingham (Shoreham SC)
2nd N3460 Feeling Frantic, Dave and Francis Wilkins (Spinnaker Club)
3rd N3418 New Isabelle, Will and Arthur Henderson (Salcombe YC)
4th N3468 Pillow Fight, John and Mandy Thornton (Henley SC)
5th N2935 Close to the Edge, Dave and Caroline Croft (Henley SC)