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National 12 Inland Championship at King George Sailing Club

by Sophie Richards 1 Oct 2014 07:43 BST 27-28 September 2014
National 12 Inlands at King George © Peter Rowe

Following a summer of sea sailing, almost 20 National 12s descended on London's King George Sailing Club (despite the light winds forecast) to see who was king or queen of the inland waters.

Day 1's forecast was true to form with a beautiful late summer's day but barely a breeze to be seen. Wind dances and prayers went unanswered and racing was abandoned for the day.

Worryingly the start of the Sunday mirrored the previous day's conditions, but eventually patience paid off with a sufficient breeze covering the reservoir. Race officer, Vince Horey, set triangle, sausages courses into the easterly wind. The first race saw crews hiking off the start line and playing the shifts up the beat. Jeremy and Luke Hartley took an early lead in their newly purchased Dead Cat Bounce, but were caught by Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne who led for the remainder of the race. Christian and Sophie Day also managed to get ahead of the Hartley's to take second.

The second race saw the wind begin to drop at times and the foiling rudders started to loose their advantage. Nevertheless Graham and Zoe were determined to get their hands on the Inlands trophy and cemented their early lead throughout the race. They were followed by Tom Stewart and Andrea Downham.

In the final race Nick Copsey and sister, Tanya, skilfully managed the light conditions to take the race win. However, Graham and Zoe did enough to ensure that the trophy went home with them, with Tom and Andrea second overall and Jeremy and Luke in third.

Report from Zoe Ballantyne

The National 12 Gul Inland Championships were scheduled to take place on 27th and 28th September 2014 at King George Sailing Club. Unfortunately, the weather was not co-operative on the Saturday and, after several hours of admiring the mirror-like reflections in the water, racing was cancelled for the day. On the Sunday, after an hour's postponement, a light breeze gradually filled in and racing finally started.

In the first race, the majority of the fleet bunched up near the pin end on the start. Graham Camm & Zoe Ballantyne were nearer the committee boat end with space to tack off after the start. They headed right up the beat and popped out ahead at the windward mark. Newly-weds Chris & Sophie Day also showed good speed round the course, pulling through into second place on the final run down to the finish just ahead of Jeremy & Luke Hartley in their newly acquired Dead Cat Bounce.

The wind was determined to challenge the race officer in the second race. After three general recalls when the wind shifted so far that no boats could cross the line on starboard, the race finally got underway. The right hand side of the beat paid again and Graham & Zoe reached the windward mark again in first place, with Jon & Charlotte Ibbotson and Jeremy & Luke chasing hard behind. A lucky gust down the reach in marginal planing conditions extended Graham & Zoe's lead, while Tom Stewart and Andrea Downham fought through into second place.

In race 3, the wind became patchier and being in the wind was crucial. In the first beat, the wind lifted hugely on starboard, benefitting the boats on the right. Steve & Jo Sallis, together with Nick & Tanya Copsey, got well ahead of the rest of the fleet as a result and maintained their lead for the rest of the lap. In the final lap, the wind filled in from both the extreme left and extreme right up the beat. Nick & Tanya headed hard left and picked up the breeze first, to overtake Steve & Jo, a position which they held to the finish.

Overall Results: (top four)

1st Graham Camm & Zoë Ballantyne
2nd Tom Stewart & Andrea Downham
3rd Jeremy & Luke Hartley
4th Nick & Tanya Copsey

1st Admirals Cup Alan Beeton and Helen Chapman
Gul Spot prize Dare Barry & Lindsey Iles

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