International 14s meet at Tynemouth S.C at the weekend

International 14s met at Tynemouth S.C. over the weekend on June 30/July 1, to race for the Estuary Bowl, a most impressive piece of silverware for which the class has competed at TSC for many years. The trophy was in fact first awarded in 1951, making this year’s event its fiftieth anniversary.

Talk in the dinghy park on the Saturday morning was of a nice 3-4; at sea, it became apparent that Tynemouth “3-4’s” generate quite impressive white horses. A strong, gusty and varying offshore wind provided challenging conditions and while the sea was reasonably flat at the windward (inshore) end, by the leeward mark, it was getting distinctly lumpy. Local Howard Steavenson (whose father won the trophy in 1953) has always been especially good in the stronger stuff and he, sailing with Ian Turnbull, duly took the first race, although challenged closely by Kimball Morrison and Colin Gardiner, who ultimately lost out only by capsizing on their last tack for the finish line.

Sunday really was a nice two-wiring top end of a force 3, and the calmer conditions provided some excellent competition. Colin Smith and Peter Helm took the first race, although this was a close affair, the lead changing several times. Thereafter, Dave Spragg and Andy Loukes took control by winning both the remaining races, the last by a particularly large margin after getting away convincingly on the run.

Overall winners were Spragg/Loukes, followed on a tiebreak by Smith/Helm and then Steavenson/Turnbull. This breaks some years of Steavenson’s control of the trophy, leaving a space on his mantlepiece which he will no doubt be seeking to refill next year.

TSC put on a great weekend, including an excellent barbecue at the club on the Saturday night, and a masterstoke of organising a bulk delivery of fish and chips after the last race to fuel hungry sailors for the drive home. The 14’s look forward to returning to Tynemouth in future years to continue racing for the Estuary Bowl.