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National 12 Midland Area Series at North Staffs Sailing Club

by Paul Turner 15 Apr 2010 08:06 BST 10 April 2010
A very mixed bag of entrants for the North Staffs National 12 open © North Staffs SC

The day dawned cloudless and virtually windless for NSSC’s first N12 open. There was a very mixed bag of entrants from DBs to vintage. NSSC welcomed back Mike Raine & Jane Hill and Eric Haselden & Jules Anthony who had de-camped to Rudyard Lake, the “Stumpies” (now from Leigh & Lowton) arrived with their Foolish N3513 acquired from Tom Stewart over the winter and Stuart Hopson & Debi Gibson from Staunton Harold sportingly appeared with N2020 Starfish (borrowed from the “Turner Collection” as the Alverbanks Baggy was still being fitted out). It was interesting to note that most boats were from clubs that do not yet have an N12 fleet and/or open meeting!

Race 1 – Paul Turner & Christine Marshall in the re-painted N3157 (minus the tasteless big red lips!) got a flying start – too good and had to re-start, arriving at the first mark very last. Mike & Jane lead across the line at the end of the first lap followed by Chris & Sophie and Brian Herring & Roz Stevenson in N2468. The race looked as though it would turn into a procession in the light and changeable wind but lap 2 saw a number of private battles break out all through the fleet. Lap three saw the wind die for the leaders, the fleet bunched up, and there were four boats in close formation going round the last mark. Chris got to the line first with Paul, Mike and Brian in close pursuit. The wind totally died for Stuart & Debi who valiantly hung on and finally crossed the line as we finished lunch!

Race 2 (after lunch) – Paul got to the windward mark first but was overtaken by Chris Day off wind. Mark 3 saw total chaos; a last minute course change had not been noticed by all but one of the fleet who followed Chris the wrong way round the buoy. After much debate the fleet returned to re-round leaving home boy Martin Rubrey, crewed by Josh Grocott, way out in front. There was much excitement in the clubhouse as Chris Day got ever closer to Martin as the race slowly progressed but he hung on, with Mike 3rd and Eric Haselden & Jules Anthony 4th.

Race 3 (back to back after #2) – The wind was now deadly light and changeable, and the row from the trail bikers on the opposite shore plus the manurial whiff from the farmer spreading slurry didn’t auger well for the last race; Stuart and Debi, perhaps wisely, packed up before the race, and Eric & Jules got bored and retired. The race saw Chris and Paul at the front again at the windward mark but as N3513 drew further away from the fleet it was clear that the main battle was for 2nd overall with three boats in contention; Mike got past Paul, but Martin in 4th kept pushing for 3rd place but in the end his challenge was thwarted by Brian.

At the prize giving Chris Day reminded us that the next Midland Area event is at Trent Valley on Sunday 9th May. A very pleasant and sunny day’s yotting made all the better by NSSC’s hospitality and excellent catering; we have even been invited back for next year!

Overall Results:

PosHelmCrewClubSail NoDesignPts
1stChristian DaySophie RichardsLeigh & LowtonN3513Foolish1.5
2ndMike RaineJane HillRudyard LakeN3306Crusader 885
3rdPaul TurnerChristine MarshallTrent ValleyN3157Micro Clipper5
4thMartin RubreyJosh GrocottNorth StaffsN3285Design 85.75
5thBrian HerringRoz StephensonWinsford FlashN2468China Doll8
6thEric HasseldenJules AnthonyRudyard LakeN3344Final Chapter (DB)9
7thStuart HopsonDebi GibsonStaunton HaroldN2020Starfish14

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