The B14 circus in Brightlingsea for TT-03 and another tight series 8/5/07
Race one of the B14 event at Brightlingsea SC got away in a Force 2-3 on Saturday with Readycrest (Mark Barnes/Pete Nicholson) winning the pin but returning mistakingly due to an individual recall.
The boat setting the pace was Ronstan (Mike Bees/Ferret) followed by 774 (Piers Lambert/Tim Bees) and CSC (Chris Bines/Dave Gibbons). With the fleet splitting to left and right on each beat and run many minor place changes occured. During the race the wind veered 30 degrees but Ronstan held on to win from CSC followed by Readycrest having clawed their way back.
Race 2 and Readycrest held the committee boat end to lead off the line in a backing Force 2-3 to the favoured right. They held onto the lead throughout the race holding off various protagonists to win by 10 boat lengths at the finish from Ronstan and CSC. Ronstan led overnight.
Due to the fading breeze, the fleet retired to the bar and evening meal prior to painting the town red.
Sunday dawned and a cold easterly breeze to clear those cloudy heads. The fleet launched into Force 3-4. With four races today, race 3 was to be sailed last. Race 4 got underway with nothing between the first six boats. First to lead was 758 (Tim Harrison/Jonny Radcliffe) followed by Readycrest and 774. Again the fleet were to split left and right to avoid the channel with little opportunity to pass. With the lead changing several times this one was to go to the wire with CSC peaking at the right time to win from 758 and 774.
Race 5 and more of the same with the same six protagonists jostling for the lead. Readycrest and CSC battled for the pin, resulting in CSC bailing out with three seconds to go and crossing the back of the fleet and with Readycrest not able to start at full speed being forced out to the left and mid fleet. First to take the lead was Ronstan but they were passed by a resurging Readycrest on the second downwind leg. With the top 6 boats never more than 20 boat lengths apart over 6 laps, the racing was to be tight with crews eking every last bit of speed out of their boats to try and win. At the finish it was Readycrest holding off Ronstan by 3 boat lengths followed by a resurging CSC 2 boat lengths astern.
Race 6 and the points were starting to close out with four boats in the hunt (758, Readycrest, Ronstan, CSC). At the start Readycrest and Ince & Co (Mark Watts/Stu Phillips) made slight contact with Readycrest spinning. With tight racing throughout they were never to get a look in during the race. Off the start it was Ince & Co, 758 and CSC swapping the lead throughout the race. At the last windward mark CSC regained the lead from Ince & Co to hold on and take the win with 758 in 3rd.
Going into the last race it was still up for grabs between the same four boats. Off the start with strong flood tide, the fleet clawed out right and there was nothing in it. First to lead was Ince & Co only to have it grabbed by 758 who was hotly pursued by Readycrest, Ronstan and CSC. As the race unravelled, 758 just held on by less than a boat length at times, but behind a battle royal was ensuing. On the last lap CSC and Readycrest were to swap places 5 times but on the last part of the run Readycrest gybed inside CSC and nailed the finish with Ronstan in fourth. At the finish CSC won a hard fought series from Readycrest, Ronstan and 758.
1st CSC, C Bines and D Gibbons Brightlingsea SC 10pts
2nd Readycrest, M Barnes and P Nicholson Whitstable YC/Brightlingsea SC 12pts
3rd Ronstan, M Bees and Ferret Brightlingsea SC 14pts
4th 758, T Harrison and J Radcliffe 15pts
5th Ince & Co, M Watts and S Phillips 21pts