12s at Burghfield back in March
The 2014 Gul Series took in venues from as far South and West as Salcombe and as far North as Annandale in Dumfries and Galloway. Eight events were held with four to count towards the series.
Those that competed were well rewarded with Gul's very generous sponsorship, vouchers were awarded at each event.
The Family division is possibly the most important in the class. The National 12 is a superb boat to sail with youngsters and plenty of parent child teams competed. John and Ollie Meadowcroft N3543 were both consistent and well-travelled, they were only beaten in the family division twice in six outings. The sibling pair of Nick and Tanya Copsey N3528 finished second three points adrift. Nine of the crews who competed in the family cup were still pre-teen, the future is bright!
The Admirals cup was a showdown between Burghfield rivals and mates. Alan Beeton and Helen Barry N3388 were pipped to the post by Neal and Freya Lilywhite, in the beautifully restored N3271, who held the advantage in the light winds at the final event at Northampton. Both boats showed dedication to the task competing at Salcombe and Shoreham along the way, as well as waters closer to home.
The Vintage boats, as usual put in a good performance with nine competing. The rock solid Brian Kitching N1657 took victory from the Angus Beyts N1833 who took the time to travel from Scotland to impress us all with his kilt wearing at the Northampton prize giving. In one of the races at Northampton Angus crewed by Gerald Copsey beat one of the ultra-modern DCB's defying an age gap of more than half a century!
This year, recognising the advantage of winged rudders, the non-foiling boats were rewarded with their own sub series. Nigel and Chris White swapped their Numinous design for a Final Chapter N3445 and enjoyed success, they were pushed hard through the series by Jeremy Carey and George Rowland N3444. Jeremy and George had the chance to seize victory at the final event, but in light winds Antony and James Gifford N3348 stole their hopes with a fine performance.
In the overall series the DCBs dominated yet again. Tom Stewart and Andrea Downham N3544, shot off to a good lead taking advantage of Zoe Ballantine not being available to crew Graham Camm at Burghfield which is usually a banker for the Camm's. However as the season panned out it looked like, as last year, the Camm team would succeed with a late tilt at the title. Graham and Zoe won back to back events at King George and Ripon to draw level with Tom and Andrea for the final event.
However on this occasion things went the other way. With Andrea expected to be out of action Tom's fist reserve Robert Stewart was called into action and with the weight advantage in their favour Tom and Robert Stewart drifted to victory at the final event at their home club.