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Allen National 12 Burton Week 2021 - Runners and Riders

by John Meadowcroft 23 Aug 2021 23:10 BST 27-30 August 2021
Race 2 start during the Shoreham National 12 open © Warwick Baker /

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 in the runners and riders this year.

2019 Champion crew Zoe Ballantyne has abandoned ship in favour of daughter Anya who will sail with father Graham in their Dead Cat Bounce "The Very Hungry Caterpillar".

Tom Stewart, who last won the Championships with son Robert in 2016, this year teams up with daughter Isobel in "Whitebait". It has taken a few years for Isobel to dislodge Robert from the front of the boat. Tom and Isobel won in a competitive fleet during Salcombe YC regatta earlier this month and must be the combination that others will look to beat.

So who might beat them?

Jon Ibbotson and Rachel Smith have had lots of practice at both Burghfield and other recent events and will likely put in a strong series, particularly if the weather is light to medium.

At Pevensey Bay in 2019 Geoff and Henry Camm were very strong in a light wind series in their Paradigm 2 "Happy Hour". With lots of recent Optimist sailing under his belt I am sure that Henry will be determined to go one better this time round.

The evergreen Steve Sallis, sailing with daughter Joanne, has not been seen except at Norfolk Week where they were the dominant force - and we expect them to turn up ready to go. If it is breezy expect them to figure. They will love the waves in Shoreham. Also at Norfolk Week were Ian and Alex Gore and they took some races off Steve and Jo.

Antony and Jo Gifford will be down from Scotland sailing their own boat for once. Antony borrowed Jon Brown's 20 year old Paradox design "Tonto" and picked up a race win during Salcombe Week. You cannot discount previous champions! Jon is rumoured to be attending at Shoreham and with the extra speed of his T-foil conversion supplied by Simon Hipkin he could also end up well in the mix too.

Kevin Iles declares that he is in great shape and with Katy Meadowcroft crewing in "Snagglepuss" they will bring experience which the competition will struggle to match. Rumours abound of new sails from HD and a highly polished hull.

And finally, John and Dan Meadowcroft won the Burton Cup last time it was sailed in their Hijack "DB Cooper", but six foot tall Dan is now helming and has got the know how of Zoe Ballantyne crewing for him. And "DB Cooper" has been rented out to Ollie Meadowcroft and Sophie Edwards whose one weekend practice at Plymouth saw them take race wins against Jon & Rachel, Graham & Anya and Kevin & Katy. Ollie has had plenty of success in the 420 this summer and Sophie may just be able to keep his head in the right place too. They will be in the mix, and they will probably hike harder than anyone else.

We can expect lots of competition throughout the fleet!

Thanks to our title sponsor Allen Brothers but also to Dinghy Shack who are providing prizes as Shoreham is part of the N12 National Series for 2021. The Burton Cup this year is kindly sponsored by KitBrix.

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