B14 sailors enjoyed perfect conditions at this weekend's open meeting at Lee-on-Solent SC
There were smiles all round at the end of a great weekend’s sailing for the B14s at Lee-on-Solent SC. Saturday (11 May) was a bit of a head boiler with big shifts, major variations in wind strength and copious amounts of tide. However, all of this was forgotten when Sunday (12 May) produced sun, a f Force 3-4 and very close racing. There was even time to soak up the sun on the club balcony with an after match beer.
The challenge on Saturday was maintaining consistency. Both teams of Matt Searle and Rich Bell and Neil Ashley and Roz Allen posted bullets but collected 12th places to go with them. Tim Fells and David Cunningham kept their noses clean with a 4,2 to lead overnight from Nils Jolliffe and Jon Branch with a 3,5.
Sunday opened with sun and a building breeze and team Sea Sure, Dave Hayes and Sean Dwyer, were fast out of the blocks to extend a large lead but crossed the line to silence. Simon Nelson and Andy Ramus gratefully accepted their first bullet in their brand-new boat. In a glorious 15 knots, Tim Fells and David Cunningham took race four only to see Simon and Andy bounce straight back with a second win of the day in race five. This left the event wide-open going into the last race. Tim and David held the lead from Simon and Andy neck and neck with Steve Fisher and Neil Barber who had been in and around the top three all weekend.
With the whole fleet fighting for the pin-end position, Dave and Sean were forced to go early and gybe round. Jason Andrews and Joel got a peachy start and drove into the left-hand corner before tacking to cross the fleet. Simon and Andy were next in with Tim and David on their hip. With the tide starting to turn, Tim and David called a great lay line to round a couple of feet ahead of the pack and blast down the run. Matt and Rich, finding the right buttons again, chased all the way to the line to lift them to fourth overall. Behind them the key battle for second was resolved with Fish and Neil just ahead of the Simon and Andy.
Both the great conditions and quality of the racing made this a stand out weekend. All eyes are now focussed on the B14 Europeans at Hayling in early June.
1st 758, Tim Fells and David Cunningham (Grafham Water SC)
2nd 734, Steve Fisher and Neil Barber (Datchet Water SC)
3rd 764, Simon Nelson and Andy Ramus (Ranelagh SC)
4th 725, Matt Searle and Rich Bell (Hayling Island SC)
5th 749, Dave Hayes and Sean Dwyer (Southport SC)
6th 728, Nils Jolliffe and Jon Branch (Weston SC)