Richard Williams and Stella Brown win National 12 Thames Estuary Championship at Thorpe Bay YC
Race one of the National 12 open meeting last weekend started in a Force 4 and was led all the way round by Richard Williams and Stella Brown in Carbon 12, closely followed by Frances Gifford and Sophie Mackley sailing Zippy.
In race two Gifford and Mackleys mainsail split from leech to luff just before the start. Williams/Brown again established a lead by the first windward mark and were followed by Kevin and Lesley Iles in The Electric Prune. All seemed stable until halfway up the second beat when a Force 6 squall hit without warning, causing most of the fleet to capsize and some unfortunate damage resulting to masts and rudders. However, only four boats continued to finish the course, managing to keep the hulls under the rigs by wearing round rather than gybing.
Sunday dawned with a moderate Force 3. All three races saw close racing between new arrivals Antony and Jo Gifford, and Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne at the front. They were joined for the final two races by Williams/Brown, who had to return to the shore to sign-on in the first race and missed the start. Williams and Brown ended with two thirds to go with their two wins from the Saturday to take the event.
1st 3450 Carbon 12, Richard Williams/Stella Brown – Final Chapter design
2nd 3431 Zippy, Frances Gifford/Sophie Mackley – Feeling Foolish design
3rd 3491 The Electric Prune Kevin/Lesley Iles – Big Issue design
4th 3484 Antony/Jo Gifford – Dazzler design
5th 3455 Bart, Caroline Martin/Andy Douglass – Feeling Foolish design
6th 3492 Babel Fish, Graham Camm/Zoe Ballantyne – Numinous design