Winter draws nigh

As National 12s hold final event in Thames area series reports Frances Gifford

Tuesday November 19th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom
The windless weekend of 16/17 November saw the arrival of 12 National 12s at Datchet for the final meeting of the Thames Area series.

The wind really didn’t arrive but in one of the gaps when it didn’t not arrive quite as much as it hadn’t arrived earlier, we took to the water en masse. Following a half hour beat of a trapezoid course, in which the lead could have been anybody’s, the wind that hadn’t ever really arrived disappeared completely. So the race officer duly abandoned and the rescue boats provided a much needed tow home, reminding many of their cadet and optimist days.

Sunday dawned very quickly following a lively Thames Area dinner, but once again the majority of the wind failed to materialise. The little wind that there was did prove to be enough to think about racing, so six of the twelve boats that had made the journey took to the seas and competed in two brilliant races.

The first race was lead by Tom Stewart and Liz Ross who had stormed off the start line in a mighty gust only to have the world’s closest race of the day with Caroline Martin and Sophie Mackley, with Caroline and Sophie nipping in front to take the gun. In the excitement, Ian and Alex Gore also got past Tom and Liz to take second.

Race two started in less wind than most people might ever really have enjoyed sailing in that much but we were all a keen bunch and duly set off for a three lap windward–leeward course. Caroline Martin and Sophie Mackley surged ahead, as did Ian and Alex Gore in second. This was how it remained with Frances Gifford and Jenny Wilkins taking third from Bim Daser and Mandy Thornton who excelled against all the other Admirals Cup boats (no second bottom), taking this most coveted prize.

1 3455 Caroline Martin and Sophie Mackley, Burghfield Sailing Club
2 3441 Ian and Alex Gore, Up River Yacht Club
3 3431 Frances Gifford and Jenny Wilkins, Aldeburgh Yacht Club
4 3476 Tom Stewart and Liz Ross, Royal Harwich Yacht Club

Admirals Cup winner 3410 Bim Daser and Mandy Thornton

A brilliant brilliant Thames Area series came to an end with Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne having dominated but so much very close racing for the subsequent places that it was all very exciting until the very very end.

1 3469 Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne, Burghfield Sailing Club
2 3468 John and Mandy Thornton, Henley Sailing Club
3 3431 Frances Gifford and Jenny Wilkins, Aldeburgh Yacht Club
4 3464 Geoffrey Camm and Amelia Hall
5 3410 Bim Daser and Various crews, Ranelagh Sailing Club

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