Philip and Helen David sailing a China Doll design, won last Saturday's vintage National 12 open at Derwent

An excellent turnout of 10 vintage National 12s were greeted with lots of wind and fine weather for the Vintage open meeting on Saturday 31 August at Derwent Reservoir SC. Boats had travelled from as far away as Cheshire, Derbyshire and Yorkshire to compete in this annual northern meeting.

With the wind blowing Force 4-5, conditions were not altogether ideal for a vintage fleet including many boats built in the early 60s when epoxy glue had not yet been invented. Race Officers David and Barbara Darling found the most sheltered corner of the reservoir available and set an excellent short triangle course for the first race of the day.

The first race saw Philip and Helen David in N2545 pulling clear of the fleet closely followed by Vincent Philips and Louise Needham N2531 with Howard and Sarah Chadwick N2266 in third place. A broach on the reach saw Vincent washing out his 12 and dropping him down the fleet. Many of the fleet showed discretion at the gybe mark and tacked round out respect for the ageing craft (or was it the ageing crews?). After a hard first race Philip and Helen took line honours with Howard and Sarah second followed by Vincent and Louise who had made a valiant recovery to finish third. Vintage section Chairman Ken Goddard retired having rolled in spectacularly on the broad reach. The fleet then left the relative shelter of the bay to beat back the two miles or so to the club for lunch.

Over lunch the Derwent Vintage Handicapping System was applied for use during races two and three with Philip now starting seven minutes after the first boats and Vince and Howard six minutes after the first boats etc and so on through the fleet. Most of the fleet then ventured out for the very fast run back to our allegedly sheltered bay.

Race two went well as the wind eased slightly with Philip and Helen David finding even more speed to power through the fleet back into first place. Peter Roe and Helen Bird in N2429 sailed an excellent race to finish second and Ken Goddard and Alex Milburn having fully recovered from the earlier capsized sailed another good race in N2300 to finish in third place.

Race three began as the wind picked up again causing some excitement with Brian Herring and Ros Stephenson in N1673 capsizing and inverting such that they needed rescue assistance. Philip and Helen again sailed through the apparent ease to finish first with Vincent Philips sailing an excellent race and finishing second followed by Ken Goddard in third place. Howard and Sarah had seen a chance to pick up two places and gybed on the penultimate lap where others were tacking but they paid for their bravery with a quick dip! Ian Purkis and Margerate Overend N1620 had sailed consistently all day and without major incident to finish a very creditable fifth overall in the oldest boat sailing, complete with metal centreplate and other traditional equipment.

Overall an excellent day’s sailing with all three races to count in near perfect, if very windy conditions with the ageing craft and many ageing helmsmen/crews giving a creditable performance and finishing almost intact. Three boats unfortunately did not manage to stay the full series due to gear failure and consideration for the boats but all enjoyed a good day.

Overall Results

1st N2545, Philip and Helen David China Doll design

2nd N2531, Vincent Philips and Louise Needham Whisper 7 design

3rd N2429, Peter Roe and Helen Bird Proctor Mark 14 design

4th N2266, Howard and Sarah Chadwick Starfish design

5th N1620, Ian Purkis and Margaret Overend Proctor Mark 6 design

6th N2300, Ken Goddard and Alex Milburn Proctor Mark 12 design

7th N1673, Brian Herring and Ros Steavenson Proctor Mark 4A design