Class in focus: National 12

Gerald New looks at what the movers and shakers are up for this season
Latest news in the National 12 class from among the movers-and-shakers at the front end of the fleet is that 2001 Burton winners Tom Stewart and Liz Ross will be campaigning a new boat - another one of the Feeling Foolish designs by Bim Daser. Tom will be using a Super Spar carbon rig with the latest Pinnell and Bax sails, but they will not be defending their titles at the Burton this year due to a clash with the Merlin Rocket championships. Tom will be a sailing the Merlin Championships in a Winder, Canterbury Tales design and using the latest P & B radial-head mainsail developed for the class, together with their latest jib which has now been released for the market after testing last year. John and Katie Meadowcroft are another team with a new boat, they will be out in a Final Chapter which will be to the modified deck design with wider flare added to the existing hull lines. Sailing Bim Baser's Numinous design this season will be both John Thorton and Graham Camm. This design is a refinement of Bims very successful Feeling Foolish design. Something different is the build project of Mike Cooke, who is home building a Big Issue from the design of Phil Morrison which was influenced by Phil's design work on International 14s and has a double bottom with a raised shear line so you can nearly sit in it! Mike has used a mould from original builder, Kevin Driver at Wrecked 'em boats down in Beer. He has made a few small changes from the original mould: the bow is now narrower back as far as the shrouds/mast area with the intention of slightly better progress through waves. The back few feet of the deck have been pushed out to maximum width for extra power