Mark Barnes and Pete Nicholson win B14 event at Whitstable 14/5/07

The B14 circus headed to Whitstable for TT-03 at the weekend. The fleet were to be greeted by strong winds gusting as high as 38 knots on Saturday. Therefore the race officer Howard Patterson postponed racing till Sunday. So the fleet with some of the Musto Skiffs did what they do well and partied into the early hours of the morning resulting in some missing the racing on Sunday.

Sunday morning we were greeted by Force 1 – 2 south-easterly that would build throughout the day to a Force 3 – 4.

Race 1 got underway with the fleet splitting left and right. Readycrest (Mark Barnes/Pete Nicholson) held the right having won the pin and a pack led by CSC (Chris Bines/Dave Gibbons) and 774 (Piers Lambert/Tim Bees). At the windward mark it was CSC followed by Readycrest, 774, Ince & Co (Mark Watts/Tim Rogers) and Ronstan (Mike Bees/Ferret).

On the run CSC was hounded by Readycrest on every gybe and this was to be the case till the bottom of the second run where Readycrest passed CSC, but with never more than 5 boat lengths between these 2 it was a dog fight. Over the next lap Readycrest pulled out to a 100 m. lead but incorrectly rounded the leeward mark on the way to the finish so allowing CSC to win by four boat lengths. Ince & Co pulled through to third and held it to the finish.

Race 2 and it was more of the same. Readycrest this time won the favoured committee boat end but it was those who came out of the middle of the line with more speed that were showing their metal. At the windward mark in was CSC, Readycrest, 774, Ince & Co, 764 (Mark Pollard/Richard Hingston) and 758 (Tim Harrison/Jonny Radcliffe) all over-lapped. With the first three reaching neck and neck, CSC had a tear in their kite and retired to replace, releasing Readycrest and 774. As the race progressed, Readycrest pulled out to a 100m. lead at the finish with Ince & Co just holding off 774, 771 and 758.

Race 3 and CSC had rejoined the fleet. Off the start Ince & Co led from the pin. As the pack went right, CSC and several others broke right. At the windward mark it was Ince & Co by two boat lengths from CSC, Readycrest, 764, MJF/North One Design (Dave Hayes/Rich Bell). Ince & Co held the lead pulling out to six to seven boat lengths at the leeward mark with Readycrest getting water on CSC on the gybe drop. On the next beat CSC broke out left to clear their air with the fleet heading right, but with more pressure and backing wind sailed round the first 2 to sail on to win by 50 m. at the finish followed by Ince &Co, Readycrest, MJF/North One Design and 771.
In race four it was between Readycrest, Ince & Co, CSC and 771 for the meeting.
Off the start CSC and Ince & Co had good starts with 771 and Readycrest having to gybe out and chase from within the pack. At the windward mark it was 771, CSC, 758 (later to capsize), Ince & Co, MJF/North One Design. Over the next lap Ince & Co were to pass CSC with 771 holding on to lead, but on the last beat CSC passed both 771 and Ince and Co to round by two boat lengths. With a nail biting last leg, CSC fought their corner and held on to win from 771, Ince & Co, MJF/North One Design and Readycrest.

On arriving ashore there was a protest between Readycrest and CSC over Race 3’s first leeward rounding. CSC was found to not have given Readycrest enough room, resulting in their disqualification. Readycrest won from Ince & Co and 771.

Overall Results

1 768 Mark Barnes and Pete Nicholson WYC
2 772 Mark Watts and Stig Rogers Weston SC
3 771 Mike Bees and Ferret Brightlingsea SC
4 774 Piers Lambert and Tim Bees Brightlingsea SC
5 757 David Hayes and Richie Bell Southport SC
6 775 Chris Bines and Dave Gibbons Brightlingsea SC