The Thorntons win a windy event at Thorpe Bay Yacht Club on Sunday 19/9/07

A total of 19 National 12s met at Thorpe Bay Yacht Club on Sunday 16 September for the penultimate Gill Series event of the season. A late tide meant a relaxed 1pm start for three races which were held back to back with the wind gradually increasing throughout the day.

In the first race, the start line had some port bias into the south-westerly wind, but significant shifts were there for the taking. Andy Bayliss and Vicky Woods sailing N3445 (Purple Turtle) was 1st to the windward mark, followed by Richard Williams and Lindsey Iles in N3450 (Carbon Twelve) and Kevin Iles and Jane Wade in N3373.

Places were generally held down two fast reaches with most of the fleet surviving the gybe mark. The shifts up the next beat saw Carbon 12 make it to the front, a lead which he held to the finish despite capsizing at the final wing mark.

John and Mandy Thornton in N3443 (The Full Monty) and Ian Gore sailing with Frankie Turley in N3441 (Tabitha Musto) continually made progress through the fleet to make it into 2nd and 3rd places respectively. In the Admirals cup, Gerry Ledger sailing with Elisabeth Ross in N3287 took the gun from Matt and Joe Stiles in N3143.

The second race saw the arrival of John Meadowcroft and Caroline Martin sailing N3473 (Max Factor) and the wind continuing to increase. The Full Monty made it to the windward mark first followed by Max Factor and Carbon 12. A poor gybe mark by the Full Monty allowed Max Factor to get past on the following reach.

More shifts and good boat handling on the 2nd beat saw Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne in N3492 (Babel Fish) get through into 2nd place, but by the end of the run the front four boats had closed up again. Max Factor managed to hold Babel Fish, The Full Monty and Carbon 12 with these boats all finishing within five seconds of each other. Gerry Ledger again dominated the Admirals cup fleet with Simon and Matt Hopkins (N3230) coming in just behind.

A reduced field started the last race with the wind further strengthening to an average of 25 mph with significant gusts and large waves. Max Factor showed great upwind speed (and perhaps fresher legs) to establish a good lead by the windward mark. Carbon 12 rounded 2nd with the Full Monty in 3rd. Carnage at the gybe mark and a sensible wear round by Max Factor allowed Fran Gifford and Sophie Mackley in N3431 (Zippy) to take 2nd with The Full Monty 3rd. A very windy 2nd beat raised hopes of a shortened course. The three leaders all wore round on the run with The Full Monty and Carbon 12 managing to overtake Zippy. Those four boats were the only finishers in that order.

The final standings were calculated with no discards so Max Factors two 1sts were unrewarded leaving the Thorntons to win the meeting. Simon and Matt Hopkins were the only Admirals cup boat to start the last race, winning them the prize for the first Admiral’s cup boat.

Overall Results
1st John and Mandy Thornton, N3443, Henley SC, 7 pts
2nd Richard Williams and Lindsey Iles, N3450, Royal Harwich YC, 8pts
3rd Ian Gore and Frankie Turley, N3441, Up River YC, 18 pts
4th Antony and Jo Gifford, N3484, Aldeburgh, 20 pts
5th Andy Bayliss and Vicky Woods, N3445, Hykeham SC, 21 pts
6th John Meadowcroft and Caroline Martin, N3473, Henley SC, 22 pts

Admirals Cup
1st Simon and Matt Hopkins, N3230, Up River YC, 31 pts
2nd Gerry Ledger and Elisabeth Ross, N3287, Up River YC, 39 pts