National 12 Open Meeting 9th September 2012

National 12 Open Meeting 9th September 2012


I woke for the event with not a sign of any wind but glorious sunshine.  Ok, so I live south of the river and local conditions can be peculiar.  However, by the time our Race Officer (Commodore of Trent Valley John Richardson) got the briefing underway, we had a reasonable breeze and still glorious sunshine for the 14 competitors who had dared to take their boats along the treacherous access road.  I had advised an extra 15 minutes’ travelling time for this but I think one or two hadn’t believed me (had they Brian!). This event has grown from being a Vintage & 4-plank event to a mixed MAAT, 4-plank and Vintage event, and a full representation of those elements of the class were present, such as David Peacock (Trent Valley) enthusiastically crewed by Jayden Wood in Paradigm Buster, Jonathan Twite (crewed by his dad from Nottingham SC) in 4-planker Goosehunter and Fraser Goldsmith crewed by Niamh Wright in Quill.     n12-1     
Anyway, to the sailing, a good start for a traditional Trent Valley course of up the river to the top mark and back down to the bottom for a few laps.  One could call it a sausage but due to the bends in the river it would be an interesting sausage.  Due to the wind direction there wasn’t much of a beat, so river sailors who could fine reach did have a bit of an advantage.  Phillip David, crewed by Caroline Hunter, in Out of the Blue from Yorks Ouse led the way having declared that it was good to sail on ‘open water’; compared to Naburn it probably is.  Tom White, with Matt Smith (son of regular MAAT helm Ian Smith) came second and of course followed by Ian Smith with Jenny Chen capably crewing as always. n12-2
Second race was run back-to-back, or near enough, so we travelled the same course.  A lot of fine reaching and a lot of twitching by the crews to keep boats in best optimal balance and jibs in best setting.  How wonderful it must be to helm a Starfish, i.e. armchair, does Howard’s crew know how hard she worked?  Of course at this point I must point out amongst the Vintage fleet was Alun Brunton, crewed by Tricia Wood, helming Smuggler (part of the Paul Turner collection) who showed us all how to sail a 12 without reference to speedskins, neoprene boots and possibly buoyancy aids.  Alun is a long-time member of Trent Valley and had coincided a significant birthday celebration with this event and was eager to show us all he had not lost his feeling for the flow of the Trent. n12-3
After a very pleasant lunch break, the wind was picking up but still the sun shone – how good is that for September?  So we all were briefed on a new course – ever heard of the Goddard Chicane?  Well it made a reappearance to try to add a proper beat.  The start of the race saw interesting things happen with the wind picking up nicely to a Force 3/4  – Paul Turner lost a shroud, well what do you expect when taking out THE China Doll for her first time in 25 years and John Sears, ably crewed by Catherine Sears, somehow filled up with water – both retired gracefully.  Another of Paul’s boats – Microclipper – was out for a test-drive and crew Fenny Monteiro, helmed by Ben Arlett, was heard to say it got ‘a bit interesting’.  Apart from that there were no other incidents. n12-4

All-round a very good day of sailing, with lovely wind conditions and a full day of sunshine.  Trent Valley at it’s very best, although I say it myself.  Furthest travelled to attend goes to Brian Kitching for bringing Just Lucky crewed by Thea Armstrong (his bestest Burton week crew), closely followed by Howard Chadwick and Cathy Lawson from Yeadon SC, Phillip David and Caroline Clarke from Yorks Ouse, and Ben Arlett and Fenny Monteiro from Blakeney SC.


I think all would agree with me we had a great day’s sailing. So my many thanks to our Race Officer John Richardson and team and to Guy Browne who handled our safety craft but was not needed.


1st MAAT and 4-plank      Tom White and Matt Smith                             Midland SC

2nd MAAT                          Dave Peacock and Jayden Wood                Trent Valley SC

3rd MAAT                          Phillip David and Caroline Clarke                 Yorks Ouse SC


2nd 4-plank                       John Sears and Catherine Sears                   Notts County SC


1st Vintage                       Paul Turner and Christine Preston                  Trent Valley SC

2nd Vintage                     Howard Chadwick and Cathy Lawson            Yeadon SC


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