The B14 UK circuit ended in fine style at Grafham Water on 3-4 November with a closely-fought inland championship which went down to the wire
The B14 UK circuit ended in fine style at Grafham Water on 3-4 November with a closely-fought inland championship which went down to the wire. The six-race series was blessed with continuous sunshine and although the Saturday racing was in a light breeze, Sunday brought a perfect Force 3-4.
In Saturday’s Force 2, racing was very tight with the usual Grafham shifts contributing to much place changing. Fast out of the traps in race one were Simon Nelson and Andy Ramus who led for half the race until overtaken by Jason Andrews and Chimp Hobson who took the first bullet of the day. Tim Fells and Richard Dowsett came through at the end to claim second from Matt Snedker and Dave Dobrijevic.
The second race saw Nelson and Ramus repeat their first race performance but this time it was Nils Jolliffe and Jon Branch who came through to extend a comfortable lead. Fells / Dowsett and Snedker / Dobrijevic again filled the next two places. The final race of the day was dominated by Snedker / Dobrijevic who port-tacked the fleet and led all the way from Andrews / Hobson and Fells / Dowsett.
Sunday produced some wonderful, tight racing in near perfect conditions. Race four produced a boat for boat battle all the way round between Matt Searle and Richard Bell, Fells / Dowsett, Nelson / Ramus and Snedker / Dobrijevic. Fells / Dowsett just found enough in the last round to take the bullet narrowly ahead of Snedker / Dobrijevic.
In race five, Snedker / Dobrijevic found their way through the shifts to hold a commanding lead by mid distance. However, Fells / Dowsett never gave up the chase and got all the shifts right on the fourth beat to snatch an unlikely win.
Going into the final race Fells / Dowsett needed to stop Snedker / Dobrijevic from winning in order to take the title. Sailing their last race together after six highly successful years, they clearly planned to go out on a high note. Taking the lead at the first mark they sailed a near faultless race to extend a massive lead and clinch the title. Searle / Bell and Andrews / Hobson rounded off strong performances in the minor placings.
1st 758, Tim Fells and Richard Dowsett (Grafham Water)
2nd 736, Matt Snedker and Dave Dobrijevic (Weston)
3rd 756, Jason Andrews and Chimp Hobson (Eastbourne)
4th 755, Simon Nelson and Andy Ramus (Ranelagh)
5th 728, Nils Jollife and Jon Branch (Weston)
6th 687, Ewan McLellan and Alex Matthews (Oxford and Cambridge)
In the UK and Eurocup circuit events, team of the year were Dave Hayes and Sean Dwyer who took both titles to go with their European championship and third at the worlds. The most sailed team in the fleet, they have developed excellent teamwork and race winning pace in all conditions and will be strong contenders at the next worlds in Melbourne.
With eight different event winners across the two series it is evident that the level of competition at the front of the fleet is the closest ever with a number of new teams expected to make the breakthrough in 2002.
1st 749, Dave Hayes and Sean Dwyer (7 pts)
2nd 758, Tim Fells and Richard Dowsett (9 pts)
3rd 736, Matt Snedker and Dave Dobrijevic (14 pts)
4th 728, Nils Jolliffe and Jon Branch (19 pts)
1st 749, Dave Hayes and Sean Dwyer (4 pts)
2nd 756, Jason Andrews and Chimp Hobson (4 pts)
3rd 758, Tim Fells and Richard Dowsett (5 pts)
4th 733, Jonny Ellis and Spike Daniels (6 pts)