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Draycote Dash 24/25 Nov
Brass Monkey 27 Dec
Grafham Grand Prix 30 Dec
Bloody Mary 12 Jan
Steve Nicholson23 Feb (re-scheduled)
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National 12 wins light wind Snakes & Ladders at Northampton


With a packed entry of 148 boats for the Steve Nicholson Memorial Trophy despite the 1 degree conditions, it was the National 12 of Jon Ibbotson and Charlotte Stewart who won the biggest of the four fleets at Northampton Sailing Club on Saturday. After drought conditions last year, the relentless rain of the past 12 months created a larger pitch for racing at Pitsford Reservoir, the venue for the sixth and final event of the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series.

In the competitive 59-boat Doublehander fleet, Pete Gray and Rachel Rhodes’s Scorpion won the first race, then Matt Biggs and John Hackett’s Merlin Rocket who took the second. The light winds made it hard for anyone to gain an edge over the fleet, making it very competitive for a wide range of classes. In the end a 4,3 score by Ibbotson and Stewart’s National 12 was enough to give them overall fleet victory ahead of Mike and Liz Senior’s GP14 and Jack Banks and Penny Jeffcoate’s Scorpion. Fireball World Champion Tom Gillard with Simon Potts finished in 6th, the first trapeze boat in the division. Former 505 World Champion Ian Pinnell with Tim Needham was 12th in the fleet.

Among the 54 singlehanders it was a similar story of individual brilliance in the two races, with Steve Bolland’s RS300 winning the first race and Veronica Falat’s Streaker winning the second. But again, putting two consistent scores together was difficult and in this case it was Andy Couch who sailed his Phantom to victory with a 2,5 score. Craig Williamson was runner-up in a Laser, with third place going to Tom Lonsdale’s Solo.

In the 30-boat Asymmetric fleet, Ben Schooling took the first race in his Musto Skiff with Chris and Abigail Larr’s RS200 taking race 2. With a 4th place from race one, the Larr father and daughter duo took overall victory ahead of Dave Hall and Christene Slater in a K6 keelboat, with Schooling in 3rd place. The light winds were not ideal for foiling but it was 49er squad sailor, local boy Dylan Fletcher who came out on top in the Moths with a 1,2 ahead of Neil Baker from Queen Mary.

The results team churned out the final scores at an impressive speed. Tom Stewart of Pinnell & Bax was master of ceremonies at the prizegiving, under strict orders to get through it as quickly as possible with England about to take on France in the Six Nations rugby. Prizes were donated from Gill, Zhik, Gul, Musto, Harken, Allen Brothers, Pinnell & Bax, Sailjuice.com and GJW Direct Insurance.

To the crowd’s amusement, Tom Stewart had the honour of presenting the main prize to his wife Charlotte, crewing for Jon Ibbotson. Jon made special mention of the race committee, scorers and rescue boat crews. As he said, by then even his feet had only just thawed out, so how much colder must it have been for those on the race management boats?

Held in fond memory of popular local sailor Steve Nicholson, the event was another big fundraising success for Asthma UK, represented by Elspeth Dando who thanked organisers and competitors for raising vital funds for the charity.

For full results from the Steve Nicholson Memorial Trophy 2013, go here:




Article Author Andy Rice 24/2/2013 17:41


Photo © Brenda Hoult -SailRacer


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