The B14 flying circus comprising 20 boats descended on Starcross YC this weekend 12/6/07

The B14 flying circus comprising 20 boats descended on Starcross YC this weekend for a spot of champagne sailing.

On Saturday, class training took place in the morning with a three race personal handicap no discard series in the afternoon. With each race lasting approximately 20 minutes, the racing was close with an emphasis on tactics and boat handling. With a 450 metre course and the leeward mark 200 metres. from the spectators/club verander, it proved to be great spectator sport.

The winners on the day were 758 (Tim Harrison/Johny Radcliffe) with special prizes going to 745 (Rod Boswijk/Sharon Binney), 644 (Tony Blackmore/Charlotte Jones) and 713 (Chris Gould/Sam Woolner).

Sunday dawned with glorious sunshine and the sea breeze kicked in on queue. The format was for a four-race, no discard shootout. Racing was to be very tight all day with every position hotly contested.

Race 1 got underway in a Force 2. On the first round MJF/North Sails (Dave Hayes/Rich Bell) led hotly chased by a succession of boats over the first lap. The two boats that worked their way through over the first lap was Seavolution (Mark Barnes/Pete Nicholson (ex Readycrest) and 758.

Short tacking out of the tide on the right, MJF/North Sails and Seavolution exchanged places, with MJF/North Sails rounding first and Seavolution rounding second but getting the better of them downwind. Up the next beat it was a close contest between the leading two with 758 closing in. At the windward mark, Seavolution led by a small amount from the following two. Over the final run, Seavolution led to the finish with 758 getting the better of MJF/North Sails by a boat length at the finish.

In race 2 the fleet got away at the first attempt led by 646 (Crispin Taylor/John Donnelly). However, shortly afterwards the start was abandoned due to a course mix up. The restart took two attempts and started under the black flag.

The charge was to the left over the sand bar. Front runners were 645 (Harrison Ashton/Miles Ashton), 776 (Dick Roe/Kate Dulieu), 762 (Mark Elkington/Chris Lloyd) and 764 (Mark Pollard/Jane Johnson). One boat – 762 – was deemed OCS and left the course at the windward mark. This left 776 and 764 taking up the lead with 645, Seavolution and INCE&CO (Mark Watts/Kathy Sherrit) in hot pursuit. Seavolution broke through to take first place.

Race 3 and with slacking water, the fleet started under black flag. Blue Marine (Allan Stuart/George Morris) led for part of the beat only to be OCS and leave at the windward mark. First was 758 followed by 646, 762, and 764. At the leeward mark 762 had taken the lead followed by 764 and 646. By now Seavolution and MJF/North Sails were making their presence felt. At the windward mark 762 led from Seavolution, 764 and 758. Over the next round 762 repelled several boats but in the run to the finish, Seavolution got past them on the last gybe but held on to beat 758 and 764 by the narrowest of margins.

Race 4, with only two laps, due to no discard all was to play for. Off the start Seavolution was buried in the fleet and 758 led off the start with 762, 730 (Will McGrath/Ed Griegran) and 695 (Mark Phillips/Lewis Turner). At the windward mark 758 led from 764, 695, 762 and Velocitek (Guy Whitby/Anna Payne). With many place changes on the run, at the leeward mark 758 led from 762, 764 and 730, with Seavolution sneaking through to the top seven. Up the next beat 758 led the formation but Seavolution was closing in to 4th at the windward mark. Down the last run Seavolution closed in on 758 and 762 with each gybe. Going into the finish 758 and Seavolution were neck and neck with nothing to split them at the finish. Seavolution got it by a nod from 758 closely followed by 762, 764 and 730.

Overall Results
1st 768 Mark Barnes and Pete Nicholson, Whitstable YC
2nd 758 Tim Harrison and Johnny Radcliffe, B14 Class Assoc
3rd 764 Mark Pollard Jane Johnson, Starcross YC
4th 776 Dick Roe and Kate Dulieu, Gt Yarmouth SC
5th 762 Mark Elkington and Chris Lloyd, Starcross YC
6th 730 Will McGrath and Ed Griegan, Starcross YC
7th 772 Mark Watts and Kathy Sherrit, Weston SC
8th 757 Dave Hayes Rich Bell, Southport SC
9th 744 Guy Whitby Anna Payne, Weston SC
10th 695 Mark Phillips Lewis Turner, Starcross YC