The other Admiral's Cup

National 12 race penultimate event in Midlands area seres

Tuesday October 15th 2002, Author: Graham Camm, Location: United Kingdom
Burton S.C. provided an excellent venue for the penultimate meeting in the 2002 Midlands area series.

The weekend kicked off with coaching on the Saturday with the Twelves doing some rig tuning in the morning whilst waiting for the wind, by the afternoon a perfect coaching breeze filled in and 8 Twelves enjoyed the expert tuition of Tom Stewart & Charlotte Ibbotson. Thirteen Twelves took to the water for the open meeting on the Sunday with a light breeze at first which steadily picked up throughout the day.

Race 1 started in an unsettled wind, first off the line were the family team of Dave & Emma Wilkins who tacked early off the line into a nice patch of wind which lifted them to the mark, Geoff Camm & Amelia Hall sailing the "Aardvark Issues" followed clear wind to the left of the course whilst Graham Camm & Zoe Ballantyne took shifts up the middle. The fleet were only inches apart as they converged on the windward mark and position on the approach proved to be the critical part of the race. Graham & Zoe rounded first followed by Steve Sallis & Jenny James whilst Caroline Martin & Jane Jones popped out third and these positions remained unchanged to the finish.

The wind stabilised for Race 2 and hot off the blocks this time were Tim Laws & Jimmy Whitehead in their Design 8. Tim & Jimmy lead the fleet to the windward mark and along the reach, showing excellent boat speed. The fleet bunched up again on the run, Graham & Zoe sailed to the left of the fleet pressing the inside position on Tim & Jimmy. The wind filled from the left allowing Graham & Zoe to sneak through into the lead. As the fleet started the second beat the wind again filled from the side. Caroline & Jane noticed this and combined with the blistering boat speed of their Feeling Foolish "Bart", they overhauled both Tim and Graham to take an unstoppable lead. Graham & Zoe hung on to second and the following fleet fought for third with John Sears & Lydia Wood coming though in their Pipedream.

It was all to play for in the final race with Steve & Jenny, Caroline & Jane and Graham & Zoe all in contention. Rain descended for the start of the race bringing plenty of wind with it and surprisingly most of the fleet came out to play again. Steve & Jenny were fastest off the start line this time in their Feeling Foolish, closely followed by Tim & Jimmy. Positions were tight up the first beat and the fleet was close at the windward mark.

Steve rounded first with Tim in second with Graham & Zoe on top of them. Graham & Zoe overhauled Tim in a gust and caught up Steve & Jenny. The run proved the deciding point of the race, Graham & Zoe went high and Steve & Jenny luffed to protect the inside position. Caroline sailed the direct course to the mark and edged through with lots of boat speed. Graham & Zoe gybed back early and caught a gust which pulled them a half boat length ahead. As the three boats approach the second gybe mark the wind filled from the left benefiting Steve & Jenny who pulled back enough to protect their position from Caroline & Jane but inches short of claiming water on Graham & Zoe. The wind picked up enough to turn the next two legs into enjoyable (although unexpected) planning reaches.

The positions of the top three were fought fiercely for the next two laps and Steve & Jenny almost broke through on the final beat as they caught the inside of a lift at the start of the final beat but Graham & Zoe hung on to win the race by a matter of inches.

1st Graham Camm & Zoe Ballantyne
2nd Caroline Martin & Jane Jones
3rd Steve Sallis & Jenny James

Admirals Cup
1st John Sears & Lydia Wood
2nd Tim Laws & Jimmy Whitehead

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