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Gul 2017 Boots 728x90

Gul National 12 Championship at Weymouth Sailing Club - Day 1

by Gerald Copsey on 20 Aug 19-22 August 2017

The National 12 Burton kicked off with a bang. A strong breeze, two broken masts and 6 boats OCS in the second race of the day. It was anything but dull on the first day and ended with the first 6 boats just 4 points apart.

The sail to the start area was quick and relatively easy, but a number of the older boats decided to stay in the dinghy park. The first race was sailed in 20 knots with strong gusts but relatively flat water. It was in this race that the fleet suffered the two broken masts, but 22 boats did have a fantastic sail. The race was dominated by John and Ollie Meadowcroft who led at the first mark and sailed away. Place changes behind were few with Kevin Iles and Jo Gifford a clear second ahead of Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne.

Race two was sailed in very similar conditions, but with over half the fleet over the line on the first start, the OOD decided in was time to bring out the black flag to make the fleet behave. Unfortunately six boats were caught out on the second start and were sent for an early shower.

At the third attempt the fleet were cleanly away and it was Nick Copsey and Emma Pearson who led at the first mark followed by Tom and Robert Stewart with John and Ollie and Graham and Zoe close behind. Nick and Emma held the lead for the next lap but on the dead run were overtaken by Tom and Robert. At the start of the last lap it was Tom/Robert leading, Nick/Emma second and Graham/Zoe third. Just behind these three were John and Ollie but a capsize ended their challenge.

Graham/Zoe got passed Nick/Emma at the start of the beat but the positions were reversed back by the end of the beat. Tom/Robert were confident enough in their lead to wear round the gybe mark allowing Nick/Emma to close the gap but not overtake.

Results after Day 1: (top six)

1st Tom/Robert (5,1) 6pts
2nd Graham/Zoe (3,3) 6pts
3rd John/Ollie (1,7) 8pts
4th Nick/Emma (7,2) 9pts
5th Jeremy/Luke Hartley (4,5) 9pts
6th Steve Sallis/Jo Gifford (6,4) 10pts

Sunday is Burton Cup day with the race for one of dinghy sailing's most historic trophies.

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