A total of 10 National 12s joined a 250-boat fleet for the annual Bloody Mary Pursuit Race at Queen Mary on 4 January
A total of 10 National 12s joined a 250-boat fleet for the annual Bloody Mary Pursuit Race at Queen Mary on 4 January. A challengingly cold northerly breeze greeted the fleet and set off sweating in too many thermals. The strength of the breeze kept the fleet active apart from on the long runs, and the tight planing reach across the bottom proving you don’t need a trapeze or too much sail area or a spinnaker to really move offwind. The tight reach certainly helped the 12s in conditions where larger boats were planing in all directions.
Chasing principally Toppers, GP14s, Enterprises, and Laser Radials, Mike Cooke and Helen Hunt led the charge for the first half lap, to be overtaken by John and Katy Meadowcroft who never really shook Mike and Helen off as they made headway through the fleet. Unfortunately for them insufficient headway was made, and a Cherub overtook after about an hour, and then with about 10 minutes to go a plethora of 49ers, Fireballs, 14s, RS400s and RS800s came charging past.
The real mid fleet battle saw Kevin Iles and Jane Jones stay ahead of renowned Queen Mary experts Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne until the final moments when Graham and Zoe snuck through to beat them round.
15th John Meadowcroft 3473, HENLEY SC
22nd Mike Cooke 3472, NOTTS COUNTY
30th Graham Camm 3469, BURGHFIELD SC
36th Kevin Iles 3373, THORPE BAY YC
60th Chris Pinner 3439, OXFORD SC,
124th David Wilkins 3405, SPINNAKER CLUB
142th Graham Iles 3197, THORPE BAY YC
166th Ellie Martin 3460, BURGHFIELD SC
210th Caroline Martin 3544, BURGHFIELD SC
210th Tim Knight 3478, LYMINGTON TOWN SC