Tom Stewart and Liz Ross win National 12 champs at Northampton

The 2005 National 12 inland championship was held at Northampton SC recently. PRO Richard Willows tested the fleet with a multi mark course with two beats per lap, tight and broad reaches and some exciting gybe marks.

Tom Stewart and Liz Ross (3476) took good shifts on the left of the course and had a narrow lead at the top mark which, partly due to the carnage behind them they extended to the finish. Five times previous inland champs Steve Sallis and Jenny James (3436) were unusually wobbly and splatted on the first gybe allowing Jon Brown and Rachel Williams (3483) a clear path to second place.

Race two was started in less breeze but on round two a black cloud delivered a 20 knot puff which tested out the gybing skills of the less proficient. Former national champion Antony Gifford crewed by Jo Gifford (3484) held off a strong challenge to take first place from Graham Camm and Zoë Ballantyne(3492), who crossed the line just ahead of Tom and Liz who were recovering from a very second rate start.

Northampton SC hosted an excellent evening of eating and drinking. DJ Bishop sorted the disco and the bar games were led and in part won by Alan Bax.

Sunday dawned and much to the weather forecasters surprise the breeze was still there.
Stewart and Ross showed their intent and pulled through to win their second race of the series, Camm and Ballantyne were hot on their heels picking up another second.

Race four was started with the black flag. Three boats were over eager to win the pin and were disqualified (including points leaders Stewart and Ross). Jon Ibbotson and George Hand (3494) enjoyed the lighter breeze and at times had a good lead but the lighter winds meant that Sallis and James were no longer having gybing wobbles and were picking some mean shifts to push them all the way to finish overlapped but just in second place.

Camm and Ballantyne got it all right in a tricky final race and won comfortably. Patrick Elcombe and Laura Brown (3394) played good shifts on the left to round the first mark in second place, meanwhile the oldest boat in the fleet 3020 sailed by Marc and Ivan Savitsky stormed up the right to round in fourth. By the end of the race Stewart and Ross managed to pull through to second which was enough for overall victory.

Overall Results

1st Tom Stewart and Liz Ross, Northampton SC

2nd Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne, Burghfield SC

3rd Jon Ibbotson and George Hand, Royal Harwich YC

4th Antony Gifford and Jo Gifford, Aldeburgh YC

Admiral’s Cup

1st John and Alison Cheetham 3209, Yeadon SC

2nd Patrick Elcombe and Laura Brown, Middle Nene SC