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Royal Thames YC Trophy for National 12s at Ranelagh Sailing Club

by John Meadowcroft 17 Feb 2014 13:06 GMT 16 February 2014

Nine National 12s raced in glorious conditions for the Royal Thames YC Trophy, hosted by Ranelagh SC on 16 February.

Whilst just 10 miles away from Putney, other communities on the Thames were fighting floodwater, rather oddly the conditions on the Tidal section of the Thames were very benign. The Thames Flood Barrier was closed which meant that whilst the race was expected to start on the rising tide, the water had not been allowed to arrive. The closure of the barrier was to allow more water from higher up the river to come down and despite very moderate winds all the boats were able to make good progress against a current which was a lot weaker than might have been expected.

So with the barrier closed, local knowledge was not as useful as it normally might be and it was the visitors rather than the locals who made the most of the conditions. John and Ollie Meadowcroft got away very quickly off the start line sailing closer to the shore than the competition and establishing what looked like a handy lead. However they found a hole off Fulham FC – Lord know what this would be like if the Football Club gets permission from the Port of London to build a larger stand hanging over the river – and John and Mandy Thornton sailed out into worse tide, around them, and into a lead.

Returning back from the turning mark near the Crabtree pub Tom and Robbie Stewart rolled up behind the leading two and then took the lead. Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne – they like pursuit races – were now starting to light the afterburners too.

On the second run back down from the Crabtree a significant shift condensed this leading group of 4 and put Graham and Zoe into the lead. Whilst many thought the race might get shortened, the sun was out and the race team thought better of it and sent us round for a third lap. Fulham FC again provided another light patch and the pivotal moment, this time for Tom and Robbie to sail to leeward of Graham and Zoe. They then built the sort of lead which would be comfortable probably anywhere other than at Ranelagh but which they were able to hold until the shortened finish.

All the sailors and supporters then retired to the Ranelagh SC clubhouse for the Annual Thames Area Aggregate Prizegiving lunch for last season. Graham and Zoe picked up the trophy following wins at Burghfield, Spinnaker and Henley last summer. The next event is the Hamble Warming Pan in March.

A great day out.

Overall Results:

1. N3544 Tom & Robbie Stewart (Northampton SC)
2. N3430 Graham Camm & Zoe Ballantyne (Burghfield SC)
3. N3443 John & Mandy Thornton (Henley SC)

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