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National 12 Dinghy Shack National Series Open at Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club

by Neil McInnes 24 Sep 2023 20:34 BST 17 September 2023
Yorkshire Dales SC National 12 Open - The competitors at the prize giving © Tim Heaton

Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club had planned some great weather and good winds for the National 12 Open, however as we drove over the moors to the Club in mist and low cloud it appeared that the weather had only got part of the email! Luckily for the racers the reservoir sits in a bit of a hollow so visibility actually good and the wind had got the message and was reasonable in strength and direction.

Apart from the usual suspects Tim Hampshire had loaned his boat out to his son, Chris, and Ollie Lumb for the Open. They normally sail a 420 together on the Youth circuit so this was going to be a bit different for them. This was also beneficial to the author whose crew had needed to back out last minute so Tim was happy to jump in and crew me for the day.

In Race 1 Philip David and Lewis Walker led the pack up the first beat with Chris and Ollie testing the waters as they got used to sailing the boat together. Off the wind the double bottomed boats soon sped away with Philip and Lewis first and John Cheetham and Alison Stoyles (Cheetham) in second and Chris and Ollie coming through the fleet into third place. As the race progressed Alan Mason and Jonathan Bradley in their vintage boat were struggling with rigging issues so they retired early to fix things for the next race. From this point the fleet kept their positions until the end of the race.

The second race was a lot tighter than the first. Neil McInnes and Tim Hampshire were well up on the first beat but again the double bottom boats enjoyed the long off wind legs leaving the single bottom boats trailing behind. The first three had a close race with Philip and Lewis generally leading but as the wind went a little lighter and shifty on the last beat Chris and Ollie and John and Alison got ahead of them with Chris and Ollie taking the win

After warming up over lunch the fleet went out for the afternoon races with the points between the first three all equal.

Race 3 was tight to begin with but Chris and Ollie were quickly gaining confidence in sailing their boat and they got into the lead on the first lap and held that to the finish with Philip and Lewis in second and John and Alison in third.

For the last race John and Alison decided to sit it out as the wind was starting to increase leaving the rest of us to fight it out. Up the first beat the fleet were all close but again the double bottom boats eased away. At the first gybe mark Chris and Ollie lead into it only to capsize allowing Philip and Lewis the chance to get past and establish a lead. They quickly righted and gave chase however could not close the gap on the long downwind legs. Philip and Lewis held their lead up the next beat and it was looking all set for an interesting series of downwind legs until Chris and Ollie fell in again at the gybe mark ! This allowed Philip and Lewis develop a commanding lead that they held to the finish. Following further back in third place Neil and Tim were unable to take advantage of the capsizes of Chris and Ollie as they managed to somehow fill the boat up on a tack which took a period to clear, slowing them down and which allowed Alan and Jonathan to close the gap to them somewhat until they got the boat empty again. Chris and Ollie gave chase again but they couldn't close the gap to Philip and Lewis again and the positions stayed the same to the finish.

This created an interesting points situation for the OD team to work out as Philip and Lewis and Chris and Ollie were equal on 4 points each and with equal race results. After countback Philip and Lewis were declared the winners of the Open based on the positions in the last race, with Chris and Ollie the runners up in second place, and John and Alison were third.

In his winner's speech Philip thanked Yorkshire Dales SC, the Race Officer and team, the safety boat teams and everyone who were involved in looking after us during the day.

A great day's sailing was had by all!

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubDesignPts
1stN3499Philip DavidLewis WalkerYorkshire Ouse SCFeeling Foolish4*
2ndN3502Chris HampshireOllie LumbRipon SCBig Issue 24*
3rdN3468John CheethamAlison Stoyles Numinous7
4thN3216Neil McInnesTim HampshireYeadon and Ripon SCsBaggy Trousers11
5thN2066Alan MasonJonathan BradleyRedesmere SCSparklet25

* Split on the result of the last race

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