Eleven competitors arrived to take on the challenging conditions of river sailing with a lot of water in the river (yes it has rained a bit in the East Midlands)
A full and varied range of 11 competitors of the N12 class were represented by participants bringing boats as early as Paul Turner and Christine Preston in Dolly Daydream (2487) to David Peacock and Fraser Goldsworth in Paradigm Buster (3524) – strangely both Trent Valley members.
Ken Goddard provided stalwart duties as Race Officer, ably assisted by Peter Saunders and Alex LeGassick; with Steph Marshall, Sam Lawman, Guy Browne, Pete Browne and Roger Britton in safety boats. [With thanks to Annie Britton for ensuring we were all clerked in first].
Race 1 saw a traditional circuit of the Trent Valley course to the “top mark”, about a mile upstream of the club facilities, which, due to the bend in the river, enables all competitors to experience every point of sail under river conditions. I am told Mr Peacock got wet a couple of times but it didn’t stop him being 4th. Geoff and Amelia Camm, upholding the family tradition (Graham went to Minorca!!!!!!!! ) battled royally to be just in front for quite a while only to see the lead battle between Tom White (2765) and John Sears (2957).
Race 2, although designed to be ‘back-to-back’, saw the RO feel the need for change in course so a bit of a rest whilst course design was agreed upon. Our RO decided the long haul to the top mark needed restricting due to conditions, and despite trying to find a way of setting a “Goddard Chicane” was compelled to set a contracted 3-mark course in the lower part of the river near the Club house. It is to be noted here that several crews opted upon taking the shore-based version of this course as the wind was increasing.
After lunch, Race 3 set off with 3 boats being called over the line (3414, 2957 & 3524) at which point Mr Turner was heard to say “oh **** (woops) we are in the lead”, and as the only vintage boat in the race, we felt compelled to keep going. However, normal racing conditions resumed when Tom White over took us very close to the top mark. By now the wind was increasing – always a fun feature of sailing at Trent Valley when some boats have to tack more than others – I am told by one helm – ‘we only tacked for the bottom mark’ – it must be great to be able to point that high! It was very impressive to see Dave Peacock absolutely storm through the fleet from the bottom mark on the last lap to take the gun – may be there is something in these new-fangled double-bottomed boats with extra bits on their rudders. Personally I have to say (and I can feel it today) the weekend (we did the training too) was a good work out especially as Paul Turner insisted on keeping ahead of Phil in Annie Apple throughout the last race which was quite hard going – especially as reminding him we had 3 laps, not 2 when he thought he could ease up a bit at the end of the second lap, would be just more hard work.
The conditions throughout the day were fab – sunshine, no rain and some wondrous winds. The company of other competitors was excellent, the camaraderie of onshore and offshore attendees par excellence, and the Trent Valley catering was perfect.
Most excitingly of all, the results were decided in the last race, with 2 boats on same points:
1st Tom White and Mathew Smith, Oulton Mere
2nd John Sears and Catherine Sears, Notts County
3rd David Peacock and Fraser Goldsworth, Trent Valley
It is also very important to note, that at the end of the day’s sailing, Trent Valley had a bit of “state visit” by some senior N12 helms – so pleased to see them there in such conditions – Trent Valley at its finest in sunshine – and of course the wind had reduced a bit!
Our regards to Tim and Jean Wood, John Mason, David ‘Curley’ White, Peter Hill and Arthur Richardson and their families/friends, not forgetting Herbert Hunt – although as a Merlin sailor he classed N12s as “training boats”. It has to be said though, that although the new boats were admired, Messrs Mason, White and Hill, were seen to be positively ‘purring’ and stroking Dolly Daydream (formerly owned by the late Gerry White, crewed by the late Hilary Turner, and by Mike Gyte). Due to significant reminiscences, the author of this report went to sort out the prize giving; but so pleased to see old friends on such a good day.
Yet another interesting Trent Valley Open Meeting, thanks to all previously mentioned and anyone who helped who I have grievously forgotten to name.
Trent Valley Sailing Club – River sailing at its best – a bit like sea-sailing but not as lumpy and the tide only goes one way.
Report by Christine Preston
N12 Class rep Trent Valley Sailing Club