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National 12 Open at Royal Harwich Yacht Club

by Tom Stewart 2 Jul 2014 08:47 BST 28-29 June 2014

This year's Royal Harwich Yacht Club National 12 open was held over the 28th and 29th June.

Principal Race Officer Graham Ireland had some great plans for the weekend with different courses for each race designed to test the memory as well as the sailing ability.

Saturday's weather was not kind either to the race team or the sailors with the breeze shifting 180 degrees and blowing between 0 and 12 knots mixed with thunder and rain.

Jon and Charlotte Ibbotson led the first race but chose a different leeward mark to the rest of the fleet which, combined with lots of weed grabbing at the winged rudders on the Dead Cat Bounce designs led to a lot of place changes. Nick Copsey and Steve Carver led around the last leeward mark but Tom and Robert Stewart came thorough a last beat tacking duel to finish first.

The second race started after a delay to allow the wind to swing 180 degrees and increase enough for boats to plane. The fleet managed the second course with less errors. The drama was provided by the wind shifting and dieing before filling in in patches. At one stage on the final run it looked like the Larks and 12s might all cross the line in one downwind lump, but Locals and event organisers Antony and Jo Gifford snuck across first.

On Sunday the fleet were greeted by a decent breeze from the North. Jon And Charlotte showed their class to pull away and win on the windward leeward course by a decent margin.

The wind increased in race two and with it being against the tide the conditions were interesting, especially with a gybe mark laid close to the marina in the largest chop. John And Mandy Thornton, sailing a Final Chapter upgraded with a T foil, shot off the line and were cool enough to keep Jonno and Char at bay.

Going into the final race Nick and Steve needed a win to beat Jon and Char. After a tight beat the fleet arrived at the first a gybe mark in a bunch which managed to squeeze in between the mark and the Marina. On the second reach Nick and Steve went high to attack Jon and Char but to no avail. Jon and Char went on to win whilst Nick got embroiled further down the fleet and finally finished fourth.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoClubHelmCrewR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1st3540Ranelagh SCJon IbbotsonCharlotte Stewart‑321216
2nd3528Hunts/HaylingNick CopseyStephen Carver2‑523411
3rd3443Henley SCJohn ThorntonBryony Thornton‑6451212
4th3423RHYCAntony GiffordJo Gifford‑7135514
5th3544Northampton/RHYCTom StewartRobert Stewart16(DNF)6316
6th3437RHYCChris MayhewEloise Mayhew8(DNC)44622
7th3348RHYC and AYCFran GiffordJames Gifford53(DNC)DNCDNC26
8th3483BSCJon BrownSam Brown476(DNC)DNC26

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