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National 12 Scottish Championships at Annandale Sailing Club

by Ed Willett 15 Apr 2014 17:21 BST 12-13 April 2014

The second of the Gul sponsored series of National 12 events was held at Annandale SC over the weekend of the 12th and 13th April. The event was the National 12 Scottish Championships with six races scheduled to compete for the beautiful Scottish Daily Express Trophy which was first presented in 1956 but which has a hallmark dating it to 1912.

No doubt the forecast of gale force winds for the weekend put some potential competitors off, but those who did attend enjoyed close competition in a variety of conditions.

The Saturday racing kicked off in a stiff breeze, but the OOD intended to attempt for three races back to back before the forecast gales arrived.

Race 1 was dominated from start to finish by Nick and Tanya Copsey sailing N3528 a Dead Cat Bounce design, who finished nearly 3 minutes ahead of Ed and Tom Storey in N3514, (a Feeling Foolish design) and Chris Day and Sophie Richards sailing N3526 (also a Dead cat Bounce design) who were separated by mere seconds. Ed Willett and Sarah Smith were 4th in N1833, the first Vintage boat, a Proctor Mk9 dating from 1960.

The wind had steadily dropped from a pleasant force 4 during the race to very calm conditions by the end. This was however literally the calm before the storm as the promised gales arrived as the competitors were waiting for race 2 to commence. The forecast Force 7 whipped the loch into a frenzy of white water and the rescue fleet was kept busy with multiple capsizes to contend with. Race 2 commenced in these challenging conditions which proved too much for most of the fleet. Only Chris and Sophie stayed upright and they were the only boat to complete the race with everyone else posting DNF's after multiple capsizes. With no sign of the wind abating the OOD sensibly curtailed the days racing.

The legendary Annandale feast commenced at 5pm with the wonderful food washed down with copious quantities of wine supplied courtesy of N12 Class captain John Hugo's wine cellar. The post race chat soon deteriorated to witty banter and then party games before the hardy departed for a local hostelry...

Sunday dawned grey, and although the wind had clearly subsided over night it was still breezy and the forecast was for F4 to F6 winds during the day. The OOD planned to hold two races back to back before and after lunch to ensure the full complement of six races was completed.

Races 3 and 4 were held in relatively gentle but gusty and shifty conditions. Some close racing was enjoyed between the three top placed 12's with Nick and Tanya posting two more first places and Ed and Tom and Chris and Sophie each sharing a 2nd and 3rd.

During lunch and in typical Annandale fashion the wind once again picked up to provide very challenging gusty conditions which saw more capsizes with even Chris and Sophie succumbing! Race 5 saw Nick and Tanya again take the win with Ed and Tom posting another 2nd. The overall thus came down to the last race...Nick and Tanya just had to finish, although conditions had become very testing, and Chris and Sophie needed to beat Ed and Tom to be sure of second, if Nick and Tanya finished. Chris and Sophie won the final race just 30 seconds ahead of Nick and Tanya thus sealing the result for them.

Overall a wonderful weekend of sailing and socialising. The National 12 class wishes to extend its gratitude to the generous sponsorship by Gul; the Annandale OOD's Lindsay Tosh and Stewart Mitchell, the Annandale catering staff and the rescue fleet (who were kept very busy!) and the generosity of John Hugo. Definitely an event not to miss, no matter what the conditions!

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubPts
The Scottish Daily Express Trophy
1stN3528Nick CopseyTanya CopseyHunts SC6
2ndN3526Chris DaySophie RichardsLeigh & Lowton SC10
3rdN3514Ed StoreyTom StoreyRipon SC12
The Mariner Mug (for the first old boat)
1stN1833Ed WillettSarah SmithCramond BC28

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