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Dinghy Shack National 12 open meeting at Burghfield Sailing Club

by Graham Camm 5 Apr 22:41 BST 1 April 2023
New balcony canopy at Burghfield Sailing Club © Nigel Rolfe

The National 12 Dinghy Shack series 2023 kicked off with sprint racing at Burghfield. The constant rain for the previous ten days might have put a few boats off but eight 12s braved the flooded roads, and miraculously enjoyed a day without downpours.

However, the sailors were tested by the North Westerly F2-3 breeze, which was shifty and patchy even by Burghfield standards - creating many opportunities for changing places within races, along with the island separating the fleet on both the runs and the beats.

In the end, the race officer exceeded his target of eight and squeezed in nine short races, each between 12 and 20 minutes and covering one or two laps of a trapezium course. The event was shared with the OK fleet which started first, with the 12s three minutes after. The marginal planing and fluky conditions meant the fleet intermingled quite quickly, making for some congested mark roundings.

To add to the challenge, the race officer hoisted the Z flag, meaning a 20% penalty for anyone over the line. The 12s were well behaved, with only two boats receiving a penalty during the day - but the same couldn't be said for the OKs.

Mark & Sam Addison sailed their newly acquired Final Chapter and showed some great bursts of speed. Likewise, Lars Porsena of Clusium had some blinding beats, catching bands of wind whilst the rest of the fleet were becalmed. They claimed three third places combined with a smattering of lower positions to take fifth place overall.

Tom Lee and Jen Bugge, sailing A Wood and a Sheep, used the island separators well in the final race to take second - only narrowly missing out on a win by a few inches of overlap at the leeward mark - and took fourth place overall.

Race winners were Jon Brown & Katie Meadowcroft sailing Elise, Jon Ibbotson & Rowan Copse sailing Atomic Kitten, and Graham & Anya Camm sailing the Very Hungry Caterpillar. Elise and Atomic Kitten both sailed with consistent results in the top four, and were very close on points - with Elise a few ahead to take second. The Very Hungry Caterpillar claimed seven first places to win the event.

Zoe Meadowcroft sailing with Zoe Ballantyne in Lars Porsena of Clusium battled it out with Robert & Charlotte Stewart for the junior prize, with Zoe claiming the prize overall.

Overall Results:

PlaceBoat nameSail NoHelmCrewClub
1stVery Hungry Caterpillar3530Graham CammAnya CammBurghfield SC
2ndElise3514Jon BrownKatie MeadowcroftBurghfield SC
3rdAtomic Kitten3540Jon IbbotsonRowan CopseBurghfield SC
4thA wood and a sheep3545Tom LeeJen BuggeBurghfield SC
5thLars Porsena Of Clusium3471Zoe MeadowcroftZoe BallantyneUpper Thames SC
6thSnagglepuss3527Kevin IlesIsobel StewartWest Oxfordshire SC
7thFatal Abstraction3449Mark AddisonSam AddisonUpper Thames SC
8thSilverfin3501Robert StewartCharlotte StewartWaldringfield SC

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