A stiff onshore breeze and big sea greeted the 20 National 12s at the Pevensey Bay open meeting on 16-17 June

The fleet of 20 National Twelves which arrived at Pevensey Bay SC on 16 June to race for the Superga Trophy, were greeted by excellent sailing conditions of a 15-20 knot onshore breeze.

The two races scheduled for Saturday were old style Olympic-type courses started off the club line. With a small amount of starboard bias it was a matter of just how close to the breaking surf dare you go. Jon and Charlotte Ibbotson (N3445) got away well, but Tom Stewart and Liz Ross (N3465) with the aid of a slight header made it to the windward mark first and made good use of their offwind boat speed to pull away to a comfortable lead. The Ibbotsons were strongly challenged for second place by Ian Gore and Penny Harris (N3441) who were always a threat downwind.

Race two started in a similar vein to race one with Stewart and Ross leading round the windward mark and pulling away downwind to win comfortably.The Ibbotsons remained consistent and made second place again. Antony Gifford with new crew Nicola Bass (N3447) battled through to finish third.

Sunday morning brought with it an offshore breeze and a remarkable number of hangovers. The tricky and confusing first beat of race three saw several leaders, John and Jimmy Whitehead (N3458) made the early running, but it was Tom Stewart and Liz Ross (N3465) who yet again led at the windward mark. It looked as if they would wrap the meeting up when they pulled away on the first reach. However, the gremlins or possibly ‘Stella-vision’ struck as they hit the gybe mark and then capsized attempting a penalty turn. This left Paul Pelling and Ian Simkins (3457) with a large lead. The following group including John and Katy Meadowcroft (3429) the Ibbotsons, the Whiteheads as well as Stewart and Ross had a tight tactical lap in which the Ibbotsons came out just ahead of Stewart and Ross, they then clipped the leeward mark allowing Stewart and Ross through.

On the next set of reaches these two boats caught Pelling and Simkins who appeared to suffer when the breeze dropped a little. A tight three-way battle to the finish saw the Ibbotsons gain their first win of the weekend from Stewart and Ross with Pelling and Simkins dropping to third.

Race four saw no mistake from Stewart and Ross who led from start to finish, again pulling away to win and take the event with a race to spare. The Ibbotsons took second place and Bruce and Claire Johnson (3423) made their presence known in third.

The final start brought a 20 degree port windshift in the last few seconds of the countdown, flummoxing many crews leaving several boats over and no route back. Stewart and Ross yet again got away well and after holding off strong challenges from Gore and Harris, and Graham Camm and Zoë Ballantine (3469), escaped to another safe victory. The Ibbotsons showed good speed especially on the final run, pulling through from a messy start to finish third just behind Gore and Harris.

Overall Results

1st Tom Stewart and Liz Ross 3465 (P&B Feeling Foolish)

2nd John and Charlotte Ibbotson 3445 (Waller Final Chapter)

3rd Ian Gore and Penny Harris 3441 (Feeling Foolish)

4th John and Jimmy Whitehead 3458 (P&B Feeling Foolish)