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National 12 Open Meeting at Yeadon

by Tim Gattis on 18 Oct 2013
Philip David and Josh Cowley Overall winners Mike Cox
It was definitely ‘T’ shirt and shorts weather for the helms and crews of the ten National 12’s that turned up for the Open Meeting at Yeadon weekend. The warm sun and blue sky belying the fact that it was now early October.

The southerly breeze was slightly stronger than the fleet had experienced at Ripon the day before and the gusts and shifts were to increase later in the afternoon, not untypical for this small, enclosed water, causing some boats to stay ashore.

Bill Wilson and his Race Team got the fleet off to a clean start in Race 1 and Philip David, crewed by Josh Cowley, who took second place overall at Ripon, were soon leading the fleet in their double-bottomed Feeling Foolish design, N3499 ‘Out of the Blue’; a position they held to the end of the race.

Relative newcomers to N12 Fleet – ex-420 Youth Squad helm, Matt Lulham-Robinson and his crew Ellie Hide, sailing in only their second Class Open in a borrowed boat – Howard Chadwick’s Admiral’s Cup Design 8, N3356 ‘Squidgy Bits’, had a continuing tussle with John Cheetham and his crew Caroline O’Shaughnessy sailing another AC boat, N3209 ‘Rebel’ – a cold-moulded Crusader design, originally built by John in 1983. Eventually, Matt and Ellie settled into the groove and took second place on the finish line.

Not far behind in the Vintage Fleet, there was close competition between Brian Kitching and his crew Naomi Bilton sailing in a 1958 Chimp design ‘Just Lucky’ N1657, whose varnish positively sparkled in the Autumn sunshine, and Howard Chadwick with his regular crew Helen Nicholson.


Brian and Howard were both in line to win the Vintage Series Trophy depending on the outcome of this meeting and Howard had chosen to relinquish his recently restored China Doll ‘Hoodoo’ N2683, in favour of his trusted Starfish design ‘Triada’ N2266. There can’t be many fleets where you can pick and choose which boat to sail depending on the venue and the conditions! Howard’s choice paid off, however, and after a real ding-dong of a race he finished third, closely followed by John and Caroline with Brian and Naomi having to settle for fourth place. All credit to Naomi who was sailing with a bruised face and a broken nose – the result of an awkward fall in the boat during the second race at Ripon the day before – ‘Just Unlucky’ for some perhaps?

Brian Herring and Ros Stevenson sailing another newly restored Starfish, N2345 ‘Bakewell Tart’, did well to take third Vintage position, finishing ahead of another AC boat N3216 – ‘Twice Shy’ sailed by Neil McInnes and Rachel Dean.

Tim Gatti and Gill Bilton sailing in Tim’s recently built 1936 Uffa King design ‘Gruffalo’, struggled in the gusty conditions to match the form they had found at Ripon, where they had taken second place overall in the Vintage fleet in lighter winds. Angus Beyts, who had travelled over 250 miles from Scotland for the weekend, had to quickly adjust to a different boat and crew– Howard’s China Doll ‘Hoodoo’ and Yeadon sailor, Rachel MacHutchon, having previously borrowed ‘Triada’ to sail at Ripon the day before.


Simon Moss, sailing with his very young son Thomas, in their newly acquired Crusader - N3331, looking very shiny with lots of string, were doing well until a near collision mid-race caused them to capsize and subsequently retire. Undaunted, young Thomas went out again after lunch in a strengthening breeze and sailed the final two races with his dad, so certainly earned his stripes.

In Race 2, following a course change, the finishing order remained similar although John and Caroline managed to sneak past Howard and Helen to snatch third place and Simon and Thomas did well in the blustery conditions to finish seventh behind Neil and Rachel in their ‘Baggy Trousers’.

In Race 3, both Brian Herring and Angus Beyts and their crews opted to stay ashore and have an ice cream. Meanwhile, on the water, after a long battle for the lead, Matt and Ellie in ‘Squidgy Bits’ eventually pulled past Philip and Josh to take a very well-earned first place and the prize for the first AC boat.

Congratulations to the overall winners of the Tarn Trophy – Philip David and Josh Cowley, to Matt and Ellie for their excellent second place and first AC boat ranking and to Howard and Helen – third place overall and first Vintage – which meant that they also won the Vintage Series prize – the Witchcraft Bailer. Other positions are detailed in the attached table.


Thanks to all who turned up to sail; to Yeadon Sailing Club’s well-organised Race, Rescue and Catering Teams for a glorious day’s sailing and thanks too must clearly go to Howard for providing almost a third of the fleet racing at Yeadon that day!

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