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Ovington 2021 - ILCA 1 - LEADERBOARD

National 12 Scottish Championships 2023 at East Lothian Yacht Club

by George Finch 7 Jun 23:03 BST 3-4 June 2023
National 12 Scottish Championships at East Lothian © Angus Beytes

For 2023's edition of the N12 Scottish Championships, the fleet headed to North Berwick, to enjoy a fleet start as part of East Lothian Yacht Club's Annual Open Regatta on 3rd and 4th June.

Seven N12s appeared on the grass just above the West Beach in North Berwick, making nearly 10% of the overall entries for the regatta. Given that the weekend was the N12 Scottish Championships, the Race Officer kindly allowed the N12s to start first on the West Course all weekend.

Saturday 3rd June

Race 1

The sun was shining, the tide was flooding and a perfect breeze of ~12 knots was blowing from the North / North East. The course was a trapezoid and the fleet got away cleanly on the first start. Quick up the first beat were Antony & Jo Gifford (N3529), rounding first and were promptly followed by Iain Macintyre & F Grieve (N3519). A new pairing for this event, George Finch & Andrea Downham (N3551) rounded in third.

Race 2

It was the same order around windward mark as Race 1 and the same overhaul move was carried out by George & Andrea (N3551). Antony & Jo (N3529) held first place all the way around, however at times were feeling the pressure from George & Andrea (N3551). The waves on the downwind leg could give quite a rocky ride, but on the final leg of the trapezoid were perfect for the wind direction and could really accelerate the fleet, if caught at the right moment!

Race 3

Tide turned, some of the fleet definitely over the line, George & Andrea (N3551) went back allowing the Gifford Team (N3529) and Iain Macintyre & F Greive (N3519) to fight it out for first place. The Gifford's held firm but were challenged by Iain Macintyre & F Greive (N3519) throughout the race. George & Andrea used their boat speed on the reaches to their advantage and overhauled Tim & Chris Hampshire (N3502) and Philip David & Jacqui Massie (N3499) and managed to close the gap on Iain Macintyre & F Greive (N3519) but never enough to get in a position to overtake.

Sunday 4th June

The fleet were briefly held ashore whilst waiting for wind, launched just before the planned 11.00 start but eventually got away at 13.30 as the race committee decided to wait for a stable breeze rather than set the fleet off in the streaky zephyrs. Scotlands finest nature graced the racecourse whilst we waited, with numerous puffins and a pod of dolphins swimming through the area.

Race 4

With a stable breeze of ~8kts and full sunshine the fleet finally got away, although in a repeat of Saturdays final race George & Andrea were over the line, so had to return. As did Iain Macintyre & F Greieve. This eagerness handed the race win to Antony & Jo Gifford (N3529) from the start, however Philip David & Jacqui Massie (N3499) put in an incredible effort, occasionally putting pressure on the Gifford's and holding 2nd for the whole race. George & Andrea (N3551) eventually pulled through into 3rd.

Race 5

The breeze was steadily building and again there were some N12s over the line but not the usual culprits this time! Antony & Jo maintained their superior boat speed on the first beat, to reach the windward mark first, followed by George & Andrea. Tim & Chris Hampshire showed some moments of great speed, but Philip David & Jacquie Massie managed to pull forward from last into third on the final run, a testament to Philip's ability to make the Feeling Foolish fly!

Race 6

With the SIs stating a 3pm cut off for starting a race, it was a close call but the fleet were in sequence for the sixth and final race of the weekend at 2.54pm.

The breeze had continued to build and it was now a perfect 15kts. Most of the fleet started at the pin end with George & Andrea closest and therefore allowing them to hold a clear lane, with Antony & Jo and Iain Macintyre & F Greieve just over their shoulders. Iain & crew were forced to tack off, allowing George & Andrea to carry on and 'bang the corner' and tack onto the port lay line.

On the approach to the windward mark, George & Andrea crossed ahead of Antony & Jo, but with Antony & Jo on the starboard lay line, they managed to round the mark first. George & Andrea continued to put occasional pressure on Antony & Jo and throughout the race they were only separated by a couple of boat lengths at times, but the Giffords held their position to win.

Iain Macintyre & F Greieve sailed a fantastic third beat to really close the gap and put pressure on George & Andrea for second place, but there was no opportunity to overtake in the rest of the final lap.

A special mention to Philip David & Jacqui Massie (N3499), who were clearly excited by the action and needed to cool off, as they attempted to avoid some Solos on the final beat by putting a quick tack in, straight into a wave which stopped them dead and inevitably caused them to capsize a few metres from the finish line! Perhaps the short wetsuit wasn't the best idea for Scotland, Philip....

Thanks to all the volunteers at East Lothian Yacht Club who have the N12s such a warm welcome after many years without visiting ELYC. The class looks forward to returning in future years!

Next, the N12s keep on the East Coast, but head much further south for the annual open meeting at Royal Harwich Yacht Club, also part of the 2023 N12 Dinghy Shack Series.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st3529Antony GiffordJo GiffordRoyal Tay YC‑1111115
2nd3551George FinchAndrea DownhamRoyal Harwich YC22‑332211
3rd3519Iain MacintyreF GrieveLoch Tummel SC332‑44315
4th3499Philip DavidJacqui MassieYorkshire Ouse SC44423‑517
5th3502Tim HampshireChris HampshireRipon SC‑55555424
6th2153Angus BeytsB BerkettNewburgh SC(DNC)DNFDNCDNCDNCDNC40
6th3147Gerald CopseyTanya CopseyEly SC(DNC)DNFDNCDNCDNCDNC40

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