Mark Barnes takes a look at what to expect at the B14 world championship 28/6/07
With the B14 world championship fast approaching and the entry list now firming up, the event looks as if it is going to be a good one. With the Ashes up for grabs, the question on all the European boats minds is how fast are the Antipodean boats going. Last time around in Sydney, they were the king and queens of the breeze and the British led in the medium to light airs.
This time around, with the event in Falmouth from 8-13 July, it looks as if this one should go to the wire as there is no current favourite. Though Seavolution (ex Readycrest) has won most events in the UK this year, they have on the whole done so by the smallest of margins with it invariably going down to the finish of the last race. The outgoing World Champions Matt Searle/Andy Ramus will not be defending their crown.
With the conditions this year proving to be very varied as has been seen at the SB3 Europeans and Etchells this week, the form guide takes into account a full range of possible conditions.
Chris Bines/Dave Gibbons – CSC (GBR): Ones that are very consistent starters and strong in the breezer conditions. This year, they won TT-02 and other than a protest at TT-03, would have won that one as well. Looking to be in the top 6 boats. Last time finishing 4th.
Mark Barnes/Pete Nicholson – Seavolution (GBR): Good in all but particularly fast in light to medium conditions. This team has shown there metal this year with consistent results throughout. Winners of TT-01, TT-03 and TT-04. Looking to be in the top 6 boats. Last time finishing 6th.
Rich Reynolds/Lisa McMillan – 368 (AUZ): The lightweight specialists from Woolahara Sydney who buck the idea of weight by being one of the big performers in the breeze but also doing well in light airs. Looking to be in the top 6. Last time finishing 7th.
Tim Fells/Shaun Barber – AT&T (GBR): Past World, European and National Champions. If lady luck calls at their door again, they may prove unbeatable. However, with lack of practice but sailing the World champion boat, should be in with a shout. Looking to be in the top 6. Last time finishing 3rd.
Guy Bancroft/James Patterson – 373 (AUZ): Melbourne’s finest from Macray who this time are back with a vengeance having had a last minute offish Worlds (by their standards) in Sydney with a new lighter crew, they will be one to keep an eye on. Looking to be in the top 6. Last time finishing 16th. Best result to date 3rd in Melbourne 2003.
Dave Hayes/Rich Bell – MJF/North Sails (UK): Though both experienced in the fleet with championships to their names, they are a new team this year. With a wealth of experience and showing pace, they will be looking to force their way into the top six. Looking to be top 8.
Mark Watts/Tim Rogers – Ince&Co (GBR): Last year’s UK TT series winners and being one of the form boats this year, with race wins, will be mixing it in the front pack. Though not the favourites they will be in with a shout. Mark sailing with Aussie bird Karen Wiseman finished 13th last time but were sailing very light. Looking to be top 8.
Tim Harrison/Johnny Radcliffe – 758 (GBR): Another team that has come back with a bang this year. Finishing on the podium at TT events this year, they are in with a chance of finishing in the top 10 but yet to show their speed in the big breeze. Did not attend the last worlds
Marty Johnson/Drew Malcolm – CST (AUZ): With chartered boat and lack of practice, this team may shine or may not. Marty has in his time in the class, always been in the top 10 at the Worlds. If it all comes together, they will be top 12 possibly top 10
Richard Fisher/Jason Walker – 357 (AUZ): The guys from Dalrimple Tasmania. They are fast in a breeze and have been honing their light airs performance. If the red wine party, for which they are famous, does not get in the way, they should be in with a chance of the top 10. Last time finishing 15th
Mark Pollard/Richard Hingston – 764 (GBR): Another team that has come back with form this year. Finishing on the podium at TT events this year, they are in with a chance of finishing in the top 12 and may be a force across the conditions. Did not attend the last worlds
Piers Lambert/Kathy Sherret – 774: A team that has come together for the Worlds, will if it all comes together be quick across the conditions and be looking to finish in the top 12. Did not attend the last worlds
Adrian Beswick/Josh Philips – 369 (AUZ): Another of Dalrimple’s pace setters. In a Divilo boat with new crew, these guys could be fast across the conditions and looking to be in the top 15. Last time finishing 27th
Mark Elkington/Chris Lloyd – 762 (GBR): One of the long standing teams showing good speed in the medium to light airs, showing good pace at the last TT event. Unproven against the big guns in the big breeze. They should do well and finish in the top 15. Did not attend the last worlds
Ian Cunningham/Scott Cunningham – 370 (AUZ): Another team from Woolahara Sydney who have the boat and possibly the form to get them into the top flight. Looking to be in the top 15
Gerry Brown/Chris Fermor – Leaky Pipes (GBR): What can we say about these two, life’s manyana team who at times show great speed. With their new carbon rig they should sneak into the top 15. Last Worlds 23rd
Don Forster/Anna Payne – Performance Rigging/Velocitek (GBR): Don normally sails with wife Kate, has a reputation of being quick upwind and tenacious downwind. Sailing with Anna at the Worlds should do well and in with a chance of the top 15. Last Worlds finished 19th
Dick Roe/Kate Dulieu – 776 (GBR): A team that can show a turn of speed in all conditions and will be mixing it at or near the front. They should do well and finish in the top 15. Did not attend the last worlds
Liam Pike/Phil Eltringham – Ovington Boats: Liam is good on flat water and in the lighter conditions. Phil who normally helms, is crewing and will bring a lot of experience with him. They should do well and finish in or around the top 15. Did not attend the last worlds
Harrison Ashton/Miles Ashton – 645 (GBR): The dark horses, very quick at times but will they have the right rig. If so they may well be in the top 15. Did not attend the last worlds.