The International 14 class battled it out in high winds for the Itchenor Autumn Pint trophy on 6 October, 2001

The Itchenor Autumn Pint on 6 October was the last outing for the International 14s before packing up into containers to ship out to Bermuda for the worlds at the end of November. It was a good turn out with 22 boats on the water including three Swiss visitors. The first race was due to start at 12 noon, but in true International 14 style, the first boat appeared in the distance a good 10 minutes later. With a 30-minute postponement to wait for stragglers, the racing began in a steady southerly wind averaging a healthy 18 knots. It was a good start, most boats holding back to avoid damage before the worlds.

Rollo Pyper was somehow given plenty of space by the rest of the fleet at the port end of the line. Using it to full advantage he took an amazing port-tack flyer across a high paced fleet on starboard. A daring move which he managed to pull off successfully.

First round the windward mark was Bruce Grant’s very slick new Chris Turner-built Bieker 3, closely followed by Roddy Bridge. After a good screeching start across the stern of the committee boat, Jonathon Pudney found himself further down the fleet in his new Woofe-built Morrison 10 than he was used to. However, he took off down the kite leg gaining a good few positions in his wake.

As the sun made a brief appearance, the wind settled at 20 knots. Fawcett and Grant held the lead throughout with Bridge steadily closing on their tail. The race was shortened after two laps and there was some amazing, seat-of-the-pants boat speed on the short but sweet two sail reach to the finish line. Fawcett and Grant took first, with Bridge in second and Charles Stanley in third.

As the boats stacked up on the line ready for the second start, the wind gusting up to 28 knots caused a few problems through the fleet. With one minute to go, three boats were swimming. As the rain set in, it was starting to look a bit hairy and unpleasant on the water. Pyper was again given ample space on the line and tried to recreate his previously successful port tack flyer. It didn’t work second time round, the wind was just that bit too strong and he was left to pick up the pieces as the rest of the fleet powered off to the windward mark.

Fawcett and Grant were first to the mark again, but gave their sails a bit of a wash with a dunking on the kite leg, shortly followed into the water by Zeb Elliott and Tim Hancock in Holt. This started a trend as 25-knot gusts flattened the whole fleet leaving Andy Partington with a broken rig. Luckily his boat was not headed for Bermuda.

As the wind built and racing became more precarious, the course was shortened to one lap, giving Bridge a win with Fawcett close behind. It was a good race for Victor Brellisford who somehow managed to take third place from being one of the last over the start line. He must have swum less than the rest, probably putting his 18 foot Skiff experience to good use! With only 10 finishers and not much hope of anyone else attempting to make the line, racing was abandoned so as to prevent further damage to both boats and crews.

Overall Results

1st R Bridge, 1426

2nd J Fawcett, 1442

3rd V Brellisford, 1450

4th C Stanley, 1464

5th R Pyper, 1457

6th J Pudney, 1465

7th R Ewart-Smith, 1447

8th M Pascall, 1456

9th A Fitzgerald, 1462

10th A Partington ,1453

11th Z Elliott, 1460

12th C Smith, 1431

13th N Upton-Brown, 1455

14th J Sibthorpe, 1449

15th D Spragg, 1445

16th P Muller, SUI19

17th H Stevenson, 1436

18th equal Gasser, SUI17

18th equal C Billing, SUI20

18th equa P McDanell, 1430

18th equal R Sutherland, 1435

18th equal J Pope, 1367

18th equal T Trevelyan, 1448

18th equal J Pearson 1463