Please select your home edition
CoastWaterSports 2014
Product Feature

Dinghy Shack National 12 Open at the Port of Plymouth Sailing Association Dinghy Regatta

by Jon Ibbotson 16 Jun 06:12 BST 12-13 June 2021
National 12s at the Port of Plymouth Sailing Association Dinghy Regatta © Paul Gibbins Photography

A small but perfectly formed - and tightly competitive - fleet of National 12s battled with the M4 & M5 traffic to be blessed with a weekend of glorious sailing in Plymouth Sound as part of Port of Plymouth Sailing Association's Dinghy Regatta 2021.

Tactical conditions were challenging for race 1, with the course being set in a complex tidal system at the confluence of the rivers Tamar and Plym and a variable gradient breeze still dominant over occasional early hints of sea breeze. Jon Ibbotson and Rachel Smith in Atomic Kitten made the best of the conditions to take the lead around the first mark, which they held to the finish, followed by Graham and Anya Camm in Very Hungry Caterpillar. The land breeze held long enough for the Race Officer, Dave Curno, to get all fleets away at the start of race 2, but the sea breeze soon began to make its presence felt, with the usual lottery in the convergence zone. Atomic Kitten had bought the lucky ticket, advancing from third to first on the penultimate leg, again followed home by Very Hungry Caterpillar. With the other regatta fleets now becalmed in the convergence zone, the National 12 fleet had plenty of time to eat their sandwiches in the sun and adjust their clothing choices whilst the sea breeze stabilised and built.

Races 3 and 4 were an altogether more lively affair with some fast planing down the well-set reaches and even a bit of surfing on the wakes of the larger motor craft also playing in the sound. Atomic Kitten again took the gun in race 3 but this time from Kevin Iles and Katy Meadowcroft in Snagglepuss. In race 4, with some crews thinking about de-powering in the strongest conditions of the weekend, Ollie Meadowcroft and Sophie Edwards in DB Cooper showed the fleet a clean pair of heels and led from start to finish.

More wall-to-wall sunshine was the order of the day for Sunday. With a steady 7-10 knot gradient breeze back in charge for race five, Very Hungry Caterpillar shot off to leave the other boats with some tight racing for the minor places, with DB Cooper prevailing. As the morning wore on, the gradient breeze was at first destabilised, and then reinforced by a sea breeze effect. The net result was that the start of race six was very much in a period of instability, with the wind shifting and dropping away so that the ebb from the Tamar pushed the fleet rapidly down towards the pin end of a very short line. Atomic Kitten was first to see the danger and gybed out back towards the committee boat, with the other boats getting embroiled with each other and failing to clear the pin. Very Hungry Caterpillar also made an early move to the right hand side of the course, into the new wind, to take their second race win of the day.

The final race saw some extremely close fully powered-up racing up the first beat in the now quite lively breeze, with all 4 boats arriving at the windward mark within a few boat lengths. DB Cooper rounded first and managed to work away into a slightly less than comfortable lead on the first reach. Very Hungry Caterpillar eventually made the most of the planing reaches on lap 3 to work up to take second. However, this wasn't enough to stop Atomic Kitten taking the overall win.

Overall Results:

1 N3540 Atomic Kitten, Jon Ibbotson & Rachel Smith
2 N3530 Very Hungry Caterpillar, Graham & Anya Camm
3 N3543 DB Cooper, Ollie Meadowcroft & Sophie Edwards
4 N3527 Snagglepuss, Kevin Iles & Katy Meadowcroft

Related Articles

National 12 'Naburn Paddle' at Yorkshire Ouse
End to the good weather doesn't deter the regulars and several visitors After several days of glorious September sunshine and the long postponed "Naburn Paddle", the forecast for Sunday 19th predicted the end of the good weather, but it didn't deter the Yorkshire Ouse SC regulars and several visitors. Posted on 22 Sep
National 12 85th Anniversary Event at Northampton
Celebrating the class's rich and varied 85 year history On 12th March 1936, the National 12 Class was born and this weekend the National Twelve Owners' Association celebrated the class's rich and varied 85 year history. Posted on 17 Sep
2021 Allen Sailing National 12 Burton Week
29 boats take part at Shoreham Sailing Club Postponed from 2020, the National 12 National Championship, known as Burton Week was much anticipated. With no Burton Cup sailed in 2019 (no wind) or 2020 (no event) and new helm/crew combinations for 2021, there was a lot to look forward too. Posted on 6 Sep
Three Lost (and Great) Wise Men
In many definitions of greatness, these three sailors tick most of the boxes With each loss, those links to the golden era of our past get weaker, which makes the passing of three greats of our sport in little more than a few weeks an even sadder summer for our sport. Posted on 3 Sep
National 12 class 85th Anniversary preview
Celebrate (and race) in Northampton this September Preparations are in full swing for the National 12's 85th Anniversary Event at Northampton Sailing Club on 11th & 12th September 2021. Posted on 27 Aug
Allen National 12 Burton Week runners and riders
Which ex-champion is bringing which of their children? Burton Week 2021, sponsored by Allen, will be held at Shoreham SC over four days the August Bank Holiday weekend. With sailing so limited over the last 18 months and some new combinations it is difficult to identify much form. Posted on 23 Aug
72nd North West Norfolk Week
National 12s, OKs, and handicap fleets which included the Seafly This year saw the 72nd edition of North West Norfolk Week take place having lost only last year's sailing in its history. The racing this year was split into four fleets. Posted on 12 Aug
Do you want to compete at National 12 Burton Week?
There are helms looking for crews or you can borrow a boat There are helms looking for crews or you can borrow a National 12 for Burton Week (and the reduced Entry Fee is available until 25th July). Posted on 19 Jul
National 12 Dinghy Shack Series at Royal Harwich
Smugglers' Trophy weekend racing on the River Orwell The National 12 fleet were once again welcomed back to the Smugglers' Trophy weekend at Royal Harwich Yacht Club. The Smugglers' Trophy weekend consists of four or five different fleets enjoying racing on the River Orwell. Posted on 14 Jul
Solway Yacht Club June Open
From International Moths to the Laser Grand Prix and much more! Lakeland Laser Grand Prix result: 1st Richard Benson (Tynemouth SC) 2nd Jonathan Nicol 3rd Myles Ripley (Sedburgh School) 4th Dewi Williams (Solway YC) 5th Guy Liggins (Derwent SC) Posted on 15 Jun