National 12s took the top four places in the slow handicap fleet during last weekend's Grand Slam event
A fleet of National 12s took part in the Weston Grand Slam during the four-day Easter regatta last weekend. The fleet was treated to four days of great open water racing with two light wind sunny days and two strong wind days. The 120 plus boats were separated into four fleets with the six National 12s sailing in the largest of the fleets, the 43-strong slow handicap fleet. Eight races were run in total with six to count
The 12s fielded a good diverse side which got plenty of attention in the dinghy park and fought with the Lasers, RS200s and Europes to take first, second, third and fourth overall.
Dave and Josie Greening showed extreme downwind skill and were noted for their performance in planing over the top of the RS200s with kite up, while Mike Cooke’s brand-new Aardvark Issues showed ever increasing boat speed, going like a bullet on the reach and fast on the run. Towards the end of the weekend, he also showed signs of harnessing the upwind speed.
Racing between the 12s was tight with just one point separating Geoff and Graham Camm after seven races so that all depended on the final race.
The race started with Geoff and Amelia taking an early lead gaining a boat length off the reaching start with Graham and Zoe hot on their heels. Geoff and Amelia increased their lead on the beat but rudder troubles and a gust filling from behind enabled Graham and Zoe to catch up. After half a dozen luffs and gybes on the run, Graham and Zoe managed to sneak into an inside overlap position and claim water. Determined to come back, Geoff and Amelia hiked for Britain and crossed ahead mid way up the final beat. But Graham and Zoe were lifted into the windward mark with a gust from the left, taking the lead once again which they held by the skin of their teeth until the reaching finish to take the race and the series.
1st 3469, Numinous design, Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne
2nd 3464, Final Chapter design, Geoff Camm and Amelia Hall
3rd 3472, Big Issue design, Mike Cooke and Debi Gibson
4th 3471, Annie Apple design, Dave and Josie Greening
Single Bottom boat
1st NX464, Mr Jones design, Steve Lee and Liz Crighton