Big winds kept competitors on their toes during the recent National 12 open meeting at Twickenham

The weather forecast of gales and rain obviously kept people away as only six boats turned up to race for the National 12 Twickenham Challenge Cup on Sunday 7 October.

The first race got underway in gusty and shifty conditions making it very difficult for the competitors. Dave and Rose Croft in their immaculate Pipedream “Close to the Edge” made the most of a gust and opened out a sizeable lead. In pursuit, John and Katy Meadowcroft in their Feeling Foolish “Fools Gold” and John and Mandy Thornton in the new Bim Daser Numinous design “Pillow Fight” battled for second place. Local sailor Pip Deverson was obviously putting her local knowledge to good use sailing well in fourth. “Pillow Fight” got the better of “Fools Gold” but couldn’t catch “Close to the Edge” who won comfortably. With a couple of retirals, Pip Deverson finished third behind the Thorntons in second.

After a very good lunch in the delightful clubhouse, and a few games of tables football a depleted fleet of four boats went out for the second race in deteriorating conditions. The Thorntons showed considerable skill in the difficult conditions with gusts coming in from all angles to pull out a good lead. However, a swim by the leaders allowed the others to catch up and at the finish the Crofts had pulled into the lead on a gust to win from the Thorntons and Pip Deverson again in third.

With the wind continuing to increase in strength, racing was cancelled for the rest of the day. However, conditions were just as dangerous ashore; while packing up a tree was brought crashing down narrowly missing the Crofts who dived for cover. Luckily nobody was hurt, but two members’ cars were squashed.

Overall Results

1st N2935 “Close to the Edge”, Dave and Rose Croft, Henley SC

2nd N3468 “Pillow Fight”, John and Mandy Thornton, Henley SC

3rd N2700 “Artic Tern”, Pip Deverson and Friend, Twickenham YC

4th N3147 “Catatonic”, Ben Deverson and Sister, Twickenham YC

5th equal N3429 “Fools Gold”, John and Katy Meadowcroft, Henley SC

5th equal N3426 “Purple Pants”, Jon Brown and Juliet Brawn, Ranelagh SC