Champagne sailing at Weston for third B14 travellers' trophy event 14/6/06
The B14 fleet arrived at Weston SC last weekend to be greeted by a 20 knot south-easterly breeze and brilliant sunshine that made for some of the best sailing seen this season for the third travellers’ trophy event.
First out of the blocks in race 1 was Matt Searle/Pete Nicholson (Gutted Hedgehog) who led from start to finish chased by Chris Bines/Dave Gibbons (CSC) and Mark Watts/Tim Rogers (Pocket Elephant).
Race two Don/Kate Forster were first to the windward mark closely followed by Gutted Hedgehog, Pocket Elephant and CSC. Gutted Hedgehog took the lead, followed by Pocket Elephant (forced to retire with kite problems on the run) CSC and the Forsters in third. During the race there were several wipe outs but Gutted Hedgehog held on to her lead from CSC and the Forsters.
With the wind increasing slightly it was all on in the third race. Short steep waves made for interesting downwind sailing and hard work upwind. Gutted Hedgehog led from start to finish closely followed by CSC but behind them there were many place changes.
Most Notable wipe out was Pocket Elephant promptly followed by Mark Barnes/Anna Payne (Readycrest) whilst they took evasive action. The gybes downwind accounted for several other boats that decided to retire to the bar for the football.
At the finish, it was Gutted Hedgehog from CSC followed by a good display from Mark Elkington/Chris Lloyd in third. The fleet had all had an adrenalin pumping four hours and could only thank race committee for the slick turn around enabling all to watch the football.
Glassy waters greeted the fleet on Sunday morning but a light south-westerly filled in and racing got away in around 5-8 knots of breeze. The fleet were a little keen out of the blocks and with no one retuning after the individual recall the results were subsequently turned inside out.
The fleet split left and right. At the windward mark there was nothing between the first four boats. The lead changed several times but at the finish the first three were OCS, resulting in Readycrest taking first and Dan Willett/Pete Nicholson second.
With shifty and gusty conditions snakes and ladders were easy to find. Gutted Hedgehog made the best of the conditions in race 5 to take first from Readycrest with Pocket Elephant in third.
In race 6 Gutted Hedgehog hit the left side while the rest of the fleet hit the up till now favoured right side. At the windward mark Gutted Hedgehog, having stayed in pressure led from Readycrest and Pocket Elephant. Throughout the race there were many place changes but Gutted Hedgehog held onto the lead with Pocket Elephant in second and Willet/Nicholson in third.
So with five boats being scored OCS in race 4, the overall results were a surprise to a few returning to the shore. Gutted Hedgehog had secured first but it was Readycrest who found themselves in second and Don/Kate Forster and CSC tied on points for third with CSC winning in countback.
1st 773 Matt Searle/Sean Dwyer/Pete Nicholson Gutted Hedgehog 5 points
2nd 768 Mark Barnes/Anna Payne Readycrest 19 points
3rd 775 Chris Bines/Dave Gibbons CSC 21 points
4th 763 Don Forster/Kate Forster 21 points
5th 772 Mark Watts/Tim Rogers Pocket Elephant 23 points