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National 12 Gul Series Round 3 at Shoreham Sailing Club

by Zoe Ballantyne 19 Jun 10:58 BST 15-16 June 2019
Dan Meadowcroft & Isobel Stewart during the National 12 Gul Series at Shoreham © Warwick Baker /

The third event in the National 12 Gul Series took place at Shoreham Sailing Club over 15-16 June 2019. The fleet was greeted on arrival at the club by sunshine, a stiff breeze and scattered white horses, promising to be a cracking day's sailing.

The race officer, Alan Warren, set a short triangular course to the west of the club. By this time, rain clouds were starting to roll in, making for shifty conditions and pulling the breeze to the right. In the first race, junior helm Ollie Meadowcroft, sailing with mum Katy in a Hijack design, was hot off the start line and first to the windward mark, closely followed by Graham Camm & Zoe Ballantyne in their Dead Cat Bounce and John & Mandy Thornton pushing hard behind in their foiled Final Chapter. Ollie built up a good lead round the first lap, but was overtaken by Graham & Zoe on the second beat who played the shifts to good advantage. Ian & Alex Gore pulled through to take third place, following hard on Ollie's heels all the way to the line.

The tide strengthened for race 2, creating bigger seas and exciting planing reaches. Graham & Zoe were first to the windward mark this time, again with John & Mandy hot on their tail. Graham & Zoe pulled out a strong lead, with places changing frequently in the following pack of boats. Kevin Iles and Andrea Downham pulled through to try to chase down Graham & Zoe, but took second place on the line. Ollie & Katy finished in third and John & Mandy in fourth place. Meanwhile, the other end of the fleet was also having tight racing, with juniors Dan Meadowcroft & Isobel Stewart in their Design 8 with a cut down mainsail valiantly battling it out with newcomers Roland & Katie Whitehead in their Numinous and Alan Beeton & Ella Ford in their Man o' War.

In the third race, the tide turned, providing a slightly smoother sea state. Graham & Zoe took the lead again, and after much tussling, it was Kevin & Andrea who took second place again, with John & Mandy in third place and Ollie & Katy in fourth. The tide was out a long way by the time the sailors returned back to the club and the fleet was grateful to the club helpers who assisted with trolley retrieval and a helping hand up the slipway. The rain set in for the evening and the competitors were happy to retire to the clubhouse for chilli and a few beers, nursing aching muscles and not a few bruises.

Sunday dawned with a stronger breeze and waves rolling into the harbour. The waves out at sea were a couple of metres high, giving exhilarating (and wobbly) surfing conditions. Several crews decided not to venture out, and took advantage of the excellent spectating from the beach. In race 4, Ollie Meadowcroft, crewing for dad John this time, had a storming start using their weight to advantage off the line. Tom Lee and Charlotte Stewart were second to the windward mark, followed by Graham & Zoe. Graham & Zoe worked their way into second place down the first reach, but Ollie & John maintained their lead until disaster struck. John missed the toestraps on a tack and fell out, resulting in a capsize, much to Ollie's disgust. Tom & Char also ended up in the water on a gybe, leaving Ian & Alex to take second place. Ollie & John recovered to take third place. The race officer sensibly then called an end to racing before the tide turned and the sea conditions deteriorated further.

Special mentions must go to all the juniors. Ollie showed that he is turning into a force to be reckoned with in heavy weather and Dan & Isobel kept racing despite several capsizes, and still came off the water smiling.

Big thanks to Shoreham SC for making us so welcome and of course to our sponsors, Gul, for their generous sponsorship of the series.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st3530Graham CammZoe BallantyneBurghfield SC11114
2nd3527Kevin IlesAndrea DownhamWest Oxfordshire SC422412
3rd3320Oliver MeadowcroftKaty MeadowcroftUTSC234312
4th3525Ian GoreAlex GoreUp River YC355215
5th3443John ThorntonMandy ThorntonBurghfield SC643DNC29
6th3540Jon IbbotsonRachel SmithBurghfield566DNC33
7th3513George FinchLucy FinchRoyal Harwich YC1098734
8th3271N LillywhiteF LillywhiteBurghfield Saling Club111010637
9th3485Gavin WillisClara DawkinsBristol Corinthian YC777DNF37
10th3445Nigel WhiteChris WhiteBurghfield889DNC41
11th28XDan meadowcroftIsobel StewartUTSC121112843
12th3545Tom LeeCharlotte StewartBurghfileld9DNCDNC546
13th3492Roland WhiteheadKatie Whitehead/Jemima WhiteheadShoreham Sailing Club131211DNC52
14th3521Alan BeetonElla FordNSC/BSCDNC13DNCDNC61
15th3538Gerald CopseyTanya CopseyEly SCDNCDNCDNCDNC64

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