The National 12 Looe open meeting last weekend was the fourth in the South West Area Series
The National 12 Looe open meeting last weekend was the fourth in the South West Area Series and also the warm-up for the class national championship which will be held at Looe on 9-16 August. Travellers came from as far as Bristol and the Thames Area to get a preview of the venue. There was one race scheduled for the Saturday and three for the Sunday.
On Saturday it blew a Force 5-6 but cleared to a sunny sky. Tim Laws, sailing Aardvark Issues (testing out a double-bottomed boat) started at the pin end to take the lead off the line. John and Mandy Thornton demonstrated blistering upwind speed to pass him on the beat, showing that they are really getting the Numinous moving this year. Unfortunately for them, they then capsized, allowing Gavin and Chloe Willis, sailing their Baggy 2, to pass. Willis then maintained the lead to win the first race.
On the Sunday, it started very windy, but this time without the blue sky. Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne took the pin end to lead off the line. The Thorntons overtook halfway up the first beat and it was neck and neck at the windward mark. Camm and Ballantyne overtook on the reach as the Thorntons fell in on the gybe, but Camm and Ballantyne capsized on the next run, allowing the Willis duo past. There was a fierce fight for the finish but Willis clinched it by a foot. During the brief pasty stop at lunchtime, the wind increased and there were large rollers out in the bay. A diminished fleet headed out for the third race, with the more sensible half of the fleet staying ashore. Willis pulled off a port-end flier on the start and the top three were again very close by the windward mark, with Camm and Ballantyne rounding first. Willis fell in on the run, allowing the Thorntons through to second, and positions remained unchanged to the finish. Simon Hinks in “Oh Crikey” also had a good weekend, being one of the few crews not to capsize on the Sunday and had a string of fourths throughout the weekend. Phil Bush came all the way from Bristol to practise wave-sailing and was just getting the hang of it before a formidable gust tipped him in just before the finish of the last race. If the sailing and the friendliness of Looe Sailing Club is anything to go by, then Burton Week in August will be brilliant.
1st Gavin and Chloe Willis
2nd Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne
3rd John and Mandy Thornton