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National 12 Open Meeting at Twickenham Yacht Club

by John and Mandy Thornton 3 Oct 2002 12:41 BST

Sunday September 29th - on a still and sunny morning 6 visitors joined battle with 3 Twickenham boats for the Thames Challenge Cup - the 67th consecutive year that this trophy has been raced for. Race officer John Deverson set a downstream course along the Thames from the Club start line towards Richmond. Local Pip Deverson, crewed by Janine Jones in N2304, led off the start line. A few holes and random gusts meant that by the first mark Geoff Camm crewed by Amelia Hall in N3464 had the lead followed by John and Mandy Thornton in N3468. By the second lap Fran Gifford crewed by Jenny Wilkins in N3431 had slipped into the lead. Despite the varied conditions these positions were held to the last mark where Dave and Rose Croft in N2935 took a lovely lift to get 3rd place.

The second race was sailed straight after the first. This time Fran called the start perfectly and was chased off the line by Dave and Emma Wilkins in N3460. However Dave Croft (now crewed by Caroline), Fran, Geoff and John managed to pull away from the rest of the fleet, with Geoff and John gradually pulling out a good lead. There was a close match race all the way to the finish with Geoff eventually taking the honours. Fortunately Dave Wilkins gave everyone else some amusement by taking a swim on the 3rd lap!

Lunch was very good but all bar the swimmers were persuaded to go out for the last and deciding race. Once again Fran led off the line, this time followed by Dave Croft. Just before the bottom mark, the leaders fell into a hole allowing John to sail around them into the lead. Fran gave chase with Dave Croft in close attendance and, despite the random conditions, these positions were held to the finish. With 3 boats on a 1st and a 2nd – there was a 3-way tie for the cup, eventually broken using the results from the last race.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmCrewClub
1N3468Pillow FightJohn ThorntonMandy ThorntonHenley
2N3431ZippyFran GiffordJenny WilkinsAldeburgh
3N3464TransmogrifierGeoff CammAmelia HallShoreham
4N2935Close to the EdgeDave CroftRose/Caroline CroftHenley
5N3460Feeling FranticDave WilkinsEmma WilkinsSpinnaker

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