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Events 2014

Event History

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GUL series kicks off with a bang @ Burghfield 

Lets have more of this for the season!

Saturday 22nd March saw the start of the 2014 GUL series for the National 12's being hosted by Burghfield Sailing Club in the format of a one day event with three races. Forecast for the day looked favourable to exciting and as the competitors arrived, the sun was out and a gentle force 3 had already built. With one race before lunch and two back to back the fleet headed down to the bottom of the lake for a classic South Westerly start.  A short 'P' course was set for the first race in the gently building breeze and rather surprisingly the mixed fleet of boats including  DB's (Double Bottomed), Foilers and AC's (single bottomed) all got off the line cleanly on the first attempt- it's not uncommon for the highly competitive fleet to be a little over enthusiastic!


Tom Stewart and Andrea Ralph made statement from the first mark leading cleanly with Geoff and Amelia Camm taking second. Further back was a heavy mix of foilers, DB's and AC's, the short course keeping the fleet largely together and allowing for lots of place changing. As the laps unfolded (I think there were 7 but lost count) Tom had stretched his legs  but it was by no means plain sailing as Ian and Alex Gore were snapping at their heels having first had to fight their way up the fleet. By the end of the race it was great to see the DB's mixing it up in the results with the foilers proving that whilst there might be an advantage in open water, its not quite so straight forward all the time.
Race 2 was set on an very narrow inverted 'P' style course and by now the wind had built to a solid 4 with regular gusts. The pin was the favoured end of the line and possibly Tom  Stewart and Andrea took this a little too literally as they managed to hit the pin and capsize right at the start. This left the way clear for Ian and Alex Gore to fly out of the blocks with Jon Ibbotson and Charlotte Stewart, Kevin Ilses and Pip Jefferies all mixing it up. The almost windward leeward style course meant that it was perfectly possible to come from behind in the gusts and after taking the wrong route on the first beat Christian Day and Sophie Richards made great inroads through the back of the fleet whilst the leading foilers were getting away. After 3/4 of the first lap, Tom was flying through the fleet after his untimely start line capsize and it was not long before he was mixing it in the top few. It was not his race however as a gybe went haywire at the wing mark in a gust causing his second swim of the day. Meanwhile, though there was little separation in the leading group of DB's it went pear shaped for Jeremy and Luke Hartley  as they  buried their bow in a gybe.  By the end of the race Ian and Alex Gore had their intentions taking first place with Jon Ibbotson and Charlotte Stewart taking second. In the DB fleet it was all to play for and as tight as ever with Nigel & Chris  White having taken a 10th and 8th, Jeremy Carey and George Rowland a 7th and 11th and John and his son Ollie a 9th and 10th. It was all going to the last race. In the AC fleet Tom Lee and Helen Chapman whilst having to fight hard were in a strong position for the AC prize.

Tom lee

The final race and it was all to play for across the fleets. Whilst some breakages and a continuously building breeze had thinned the fleet for the start down to ten boats there was still just as much enthusiasm to get off the start line. A shift in the wind meant a very heavily port biased line and there were a few screams and shouts as the fleet converged on the pin on starboard, spitting a few boats out the back, including Ian and Alex Gore as the gun went. For some it was a case of playing catch up on the inverted 'P' course, set this time with a flying tight reach in the middle. Tom and Andrea after their problems of race two got clean away again leading from the front, this time with Jon and Charlotte in proximity and Graham Camm showing excellent pace after a crew change. Christian and Sophie Richards were also reveling in the stronger winds and really putting their foil to good use to leave the remaining DB's in their wake. In the DB fleet, after a terrible start, having been spat out the back Jeremy and George had to play catch up to John and Ollie and after a lap they were snapping (rather unsuccessfully!) at John heels. Downwind they were fast but struggled to outpace John and Ollie on the beats. Going the right way, they finally got cleanly past on the last beat of the race leaving a health and surely unassailable gap between the boats...... Then came the windward mark and a huge gust, the bear away was not pretty (too much kicker!) and that left them upside down for John and Ollie to cruise past to take the DB prize. Meanwhile further down the lake the same gust caught Nick Copsey and Lewis Bowen, fresh from their 4th in race 2 experiencing the joys of a pitch pole in a foiling Dead Cat Bounce, quite and achievement we thought, but just goes to show how big the gust was. By the end of the race Tom Stewart and Andrea Ralph had taken the bullet cementing their claim to the top spot for the day, after their shut out at the start Ian and Alex managed a discard-able 5th to give them second overall whilst Tom Lee and Helen Chapman signaled their intentions in the AC fleet by walking away with the win.

The generosity of our sponsor GUL cannot be under estimated as very incredibly generous prizes were given throughout the fleet in recognition of their achievements on top of the glassware from Burghfield. If the first event of the GUL series is anything to go by, then this is going to be a fantastically competitive and exciting year for the National 12's

Thank you both to Ian and Ellie Sharps from Bughfield who set such great course and lead the Burghfield team and to Burghfield Sailing Club itself for hosting the event. Video taken from bow of N3444 mainly during the first race.

Overall results

Rank Class Sailno Helm Crew Boat Name Club R1 R2 R3 Total

1st N12 3544 Thomas Stewart Andrea Ralph Whitebait Northampton SC 1 (7) 1 9

2nd N12 3525 Ian Gore Alex Gore Mog Up River YC 2 1 (5) 8

3rd N12 3540 Jon Ibbotson Charlotte Stewart Atomic Kitten Ranelagh SC (3) 2 2 7

4th N12 3527 Kevin Iles Pip Jefferis Snagglepuss Thorpe Bay YC 4 3 (16 DNC) 23

5th N12 3530 Graham Camm Gerald Copsey Very Hungry Caterpiller Burghfield SC (5) 5 3 13

6th N12 3528 Nick Copsey Lewis Bowen Blue Kangaroo Hunts SC (8) 4 8 20

7th N12 3515 Geoff Camm Amelia Camm The Wrong Trousers Warsach SC (6) 6 6 18

8th N12 3526 Christian Day Sophie Richards Catch The Sun Leigh & Lowton SC (12) 9 4 25

9th N12 3455 John Meadowcroft Oliver Meadowcroft BART Upper Thames SC 9 (10) 7 26

10th N12 3444 Jeremy Carey Georgina Rowland Trick Cyclist Burghfield SC 7 11 (16 DNF) 34

11th N12 3445 Nigel White Chris White Capriccio Burghfield SC 10 8 (16 DNC) 34

12th N12 3268 Tom Lee Helen Chapman Yellow Submarine Burghfield SC (13) 12 9 34

13th N12 3474 Jeremy Hartley Luke Hartley Master of Puppets Spinnaker SC 11 (16 DNF) 16 DNC 43

14th N12 3388 Alan Beeton Helen Barry
Burghfield SC 15 13 (16 DNC) 44

15th N12 3271 Neal Lillywhite Freya Lillywhite Indecision Burghfield SC 14 (16 DNF) 16 DNC 46

Images courtesy Sportography and Ellie Sharps