Nine National 12 teams arrived at Pagham Yacht Club on Saturday 19 April for the first sea event of 2008 but were disappointed when poor visibility and adverse launching conditions forced the race officer to call off racing for the day.
Conditions on Sunday were near perfect with bright sunshine and a variable 15 knot breeze. The first race of the day was closely fought with several boats in contention throughout. Jon Ibbotson & Charlotte Stewart were the early leaders but were unable to stop Richard Williams & Lindsey Iles taking advantage of a left shift on the second beat to take the lead and the race. Ibbotson & Stewart finished second with Antony & Jo Gifford third.
In race two Ibbotson & Stewart took early control and comfortably protected their lead from the chasing pack through to the finish. Williams & Iles stole second from Kevin Iles & Jane Wade after benefiting from a left shift late on in the race.
Iles & Wade were the early pace setters in race three and continued to lead for several laps but dropped to third after choosing to conservatively play the shifts in the middle of the beat while Williams & Iles found favourable breeze on the left and Ibbotson & Stewart found the same on the right. Williams & Iles took first place closely followed by Ibbotson & Stewart and Iles & Wade.
With a slender one point lead, Williams & Iles chose to stay with Ibbotson & Stewart from the start. Both teams headed right and crossed the fleet before Williams & Iles edged ahead at the windward mark, setting up a tight match race for the next five laps.
Williams & Iles covered hard and marginally extended their lead on the upwind legs but Ibbotson & Stewart closed the gaps with their superior pace on the downwind legs. Having completed more tacks in one race than in a week of championship racing, Williams & Iles were relieved to cross the finish line ahead to take the event. National 12 - Leading Results
1st Rich Williams & Lindsay Iles
2nd Jon Ibbotson & Char Stewart
3rd Antony & Jo Gifford
4th Kevin Iles & Jane Wade