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Gul National 12 Championship at Brixham Yacht Club - Preview

by Gerald Copsey 16 Aug 2018 19:59 BST 18-21 August 2018
Tom Lee and Jenefer Bugge © Frances Copsey

The National 12 Gul sponsored National Championship is being hosted by Brixham Yacht Club, and having last visited in 2013 we know we can expect a well organized event.

At the recent Royal Harwich open meeting there were an amazing nine entrants in the family competition out of a total of twenty two. The number of parents sailing with their children appears to be growing and this is great for the class in the longer term.

For this year though it still looks likely to be the usual contenders.

2017 champions Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne were looking very quick at Salcombe just a week ago and were only beaten once (by John Ibbotson and Rachel Smith in the first race).The new home built rudder blade has certainly not harmed their boat speed.

In the four previous years Tom Stewart was national champion. Now sailing with son Robbie, this pair were champions in 2016 and have won both Gul events they have sailed this year. This is the team most likely to prevent Graham and Zoe from walking away with the silverware.

Of the other contenders John Meadowcroft has been closest in the last couple of years while John Ibbotson and Rachel Smith are getting a bit stronger each year. Former National champion Ian Gore sailing with Alex and Jeremy Hartley with a new crew and Kevin Iles with Charlotte Ibbotson can all be expected to be in the mix. Nick Copsey and Joanne Sallis should be in this group and will also be favourites for the Canter Trophy which this year has been changed from being a trophy for the first helm over 40 to the first helm between the ages of 21 and 40. Last year Nick was the only helm aged under 40 in the top 10 with Rosie White finishing 11th.

In addition to the overall championships there are a number of other categories which should ensure that interest is maintained throughout the fleet until the racing is finished. There are Trophies and/or prizes for double floor boats without a foil, first lady helm, first helm born before 19 August 1997, first crew new to Burton week, Tubs trophy, helm of wooden boat of clinker construction(built prior to 1975)and several others.

Ollie Meadowcroft has been sailing amazingly well this year and showed considerable skill in navigating his way round the course at Salcombe in a seriously windy race with very little weight in the boat. A mention should also be made for Emilia Mayhew on doing a superb job of crewing for him all week. It is great to see so many young people in the class now. Ollie will be competing for the Corrigan (under 21) trophy.

Teams of three will be put together to race for the buddy trophy so support your team mates and you could win the trophy and some Gul vouchers.

Brixham is a great place to sail with very easy launching. It also has a great harbour and other family attractions to entertain.

The National 12 association looks forward to welcoming everybody.

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