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National 12s Enjoy Salcombe GUL Event

Seventeen national 12s arrived in Salcombe on the final day of April to see sunshine and a lovely north-westerly breeze for their bank holiday weekend GUL event. Having negotiated tricky conditions (due to wind direction and tide) off the line, the fleet headed up to mark 7 with Nigel and Chris White and Christian and Sophie Day neck and neck with the rest of the fleet on their heels. As the channel opened out, Tom Stewart, sailing with son Robert, got his nose in front to lead the fleet around marks 5 and 6. Back in the estuary the Stewarts held on to the lead for the win with Antony and his son James in second place. In the Admiral’s Cup fleet the Lillywhites came in first.

While some of the country was recovering from snow, National Twelve sailors enjoyed a beer in the sun on the balcony of the Yacht Club. This weekend the Yacht Club also welcomed lots of younger members of the 12 fleet and when not impressively showing their parents how to hike, they enjoyed games on the beach and ice creams in the town. It was even rumoured that Mary Berry was spotted at the inaugural Salcombe Crab Fest. Following, the ice-creams, games and drinks on the Saturday over 40 members of the 12 class were treated to a splendid dinner at the Yacht Club. 


Salcombe start line

Sunday was a busy and blustery day on the water for the fleet of Twelves, with not one but two races. The pasties on the beach at lunch-time were much needed and appreciated! With the more usual south-westerly wind, the morning saw a race win from Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne, with John and Ollie Meadowcroft not far behind. In the afternoon, after a competitive start, Tom and Robert took the lead and were quickly followed by Graham and Zoe as well as John and Ollie. In the end Graham and Zoe inched ahead and Tom and Robert to take the race win.

It was all to play for on Monday with gusts of up to 30 miles an hour forecast! Beating against the tide, the Stewarts made it to the windward mark ahead of Graham and Zoe. Off the wind though Graham and Zoe once again got ahead. The two boats remained neck and neck for the rest of the race with Antony and James close behind. On the final beat to the finish line a well timed tack and lift allowed the Stewarts to get ahead and take the bullet to win the race and overall.

Thanks must go to our generous sponsors GUL, the next GUL event is at Royal Harwich Yacht Club 21st -22nd May.  We would also like to thank our hosts Salcombe Yacht Club, who will be welcoming back 12s to the club for the Yacht Club Regatta week 13th-18th August and the Autumn Open Meeting on 8th – 9th October.

Overall results

1. Tom and Robert Stewart
2. Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne
3. Antony and James Gifford

Admiral’s Cup
1. Neal and Freya Lillywhite