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National 12 Burton Week 2022 at Felixstowe Ferry Sailing Club - Preview

by John Meadowcroft 26 Aug 2022 09:25 BST 27-30 August 2022
Tom & Robert Stewart win the 2016 Sir William Burton Cup © Fiona Brown

Burton Week is the annual championships for the National Twelve Class, first sailed in 1936, stopping thereafter only for World Wars and Pandemics.

The 2022 regatta will be held at Felixstowe Ferry SC over 4 days over the August bank holiday weekend attracting a 30+ entry from all over the country.

The smart money has to be on 2021 Champions Tom & Isobel Stewart will be out to the defend the title won last year at Shoreham where they also won the Burton Cup. They are in the form having won the recent Dinghy Shack meeting at Royal Harwich and scraped a victory ahead of Graham & Anya Camm at Salcombe Week. Graham & Anya are super lightweight and tenacious when the breeze is up too.

But these two boats won't have it all their own way. Steve & Joanne Sallis were just a couple of points of the title last year with a string of second places in their score line. They just need to go one better on a couple of occasions...

Jon Ibbotson & Rachel Smith can claim to be the most practiced crew out there and will be in the hunt in the balmy light winds that we look like getting over the bank holiday weekend, whilst Ian & Alex Gore will be persistently in the frame too.

Former champion Antony Gifford with wife Jo crewing showed moments of class in Salcombe and will be looking to roll the clock back to 1998. Kevin Iles & Katy Meadowcroft showed good speed at Royal Harwich. New Ceilidh mast, new HD sails could they be the package for 2022?

Only the Hijack design has really broken the dominance of the Dead Cat Bounce in the last decade. John Meadowcroft & Rory Gifford are an untested partnership. A new slot gasket, a polished hull and a new P&B jib will hopefully offset the dearth of on-water preparation. It needs to be windy.

Jon Brown & Jude Armstrong will be one to watch. 20 year old N3483 "Tonto" was almost written off after a run-in on the M4 just three months ago. Now reassembled and repainted by Phil Scott, all new string, foils refinished, new sails, Simon Hipkin rudder, slot gasket properly attached, what could possibly go wrong?

And on the subject of refurbs, Mary Henderson & Rupert White have given their new to them Feeling Foolish N3431 "Zippy" the White Formula treatment and Zippy simply looks epic. And has lost no speed either. Whilst most of the fleet favour big wings Rupert's design are smaller and sleeker.

And coming back for another go we find 1988 Burton Cup winner Jeremy Hartley & Emma Knott in a borrowed and well garaged Final Chapter.

In the U21 helm category Dan Meadowcroft & Zoe Ballantyne face stiff competition from James Gifford & Charlotte Stewart. Maya & Sam Brown will be seeking to make this a three-way fight!

The National Twelve class remains evergreen. Fun boats which sailors just can't get enough of, youngsters coming through and enjoying the sailing too. It promises to be a great weekend.

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