The B14 Flying Circus made the trek to Rutland Water for the opening event of the 2012 TT series. The fleet were to be greeted by no wind and a pea soup foggy morning. However, the sun burnt off the fog by mid day and normal service was resumed.
With reduced numbers across all fleets due to the weather, those that turned up were to have a tricky weekend on the water with some very close racing. In the B14s, in only two races, did the leader manage to build a lead, and in the other 4 races the bulk of the fleet finished with a minute of the leader.
So 2011 TT winners, the Anthill Mob (Tim Harrison/Johny Radcliffe) rocked up late as ever, to see how they stacked up against the new Seavolution/Synthesize built boats. Saturday was to prove to be an interesting start, as it was all about the snakes and ladders. With races run over 2 laps, there was no place to hide.
Race 1 the fleet split left and right. Those going right including North Sails (Dave Hayes/Sean Dwyer), Seavolution 1 (Mark Barnes/Dan Hare) and Neal Pryde Sailing (Mark Emmett/Carl Raynes) were to be the big losers on the two lap race. Ullman Sails (Mark Watts/Charlotte Jones) lead the charge chased by the Anthill Mob and Seavolution 2 (Steve Hollingworth/Chris Murphy). on the final run in the fleet compressed and the Anthill Mob snatched the lead to win.
Race 2 and more light winds. Seavolution 1 picked up the charge chased by North Sails and Anthill Mob. On lap 2 Seavolution 1 had to take late evasive action with an MPS and slipped to 3rd but recovered to 2nd by the finish. North Sails won.
Race 3, more ducking and diving with the leader changing many times over lap 1. This one was going to the wire but the Anthill Mob went down the unfavoured middle and found pressure to pass North Sails and Seavolution 1 to take the win with North Sails being bounced to 3rd with H&B Consulting (Barry Price/Al Storer) charging through to 6th.
Saturday night and the fleet retired to the White Horse in Morcott for a great evening's party.
Sunday and more of the same. With the clocks going forwarded, there was a surprisingly early arrival with all fairly chirpie. Obviously they did not manage enough partying the night before, or was it the fact the fleet have hardened to it! Today races would be over 3 laps.
Race 4, Neil Pryde Sailing (Mark Emmet/Allan Stewart) headed out right and crossed the fleet to lead out race 4 chased by North Sails. On lap 2 however, the boys missed the spreader and had to return to slip to 3rd. However, they managed to close the distance and finish on North Sails transom with the Anthill Mob winning.
Race 5 and after a general recall, Ullman Sails, Porky (Kathy Sherratt/Rob Taylor) and Harken (Simon Hadley/Nikki Hadley) in the thick of the mix took up the charge. With other protagonists hot on their heals, it was only North Sails that were to break through and the fleet finished the race overlapped with Ullman Sails just holding on to take 1st from North Sails and Harken.
Race 6, all to play for, the fleet hit left with Seavolution 1 holding middle left, only to be passed by several boats on the building pressure from the left. However, the lead changed several times on the beat and again on the final lap. At the finish, the first 3 were overlapped with the rest of the fleet finishing within 30 seconds. North Sails won but the Anthill Mob did just enough to win the event.
Some incredibly close racing with all having their moments. The next TT at Stokes Bay on the 14- 15 April looks like it is going to be a very close fought event, with many of the missing protagonists making the trip.
Thanks goes to Rutland SC's race team and shore management for a well run event in interesting conditions.
|Pos||Sail No||Boat Name||Helm ||Crew||Club||R1||R2||R3||R4||R5||R6||Pts|
|1||758||Anthill Mob ||Tim Harrison||Johny Radcliffe||Haven Ports||1||3||1||1||5||2||8|
|2||791||North Sails||Dave Hayes||Sean Dwyer||HISC||4||1||3||2||2||1||9|
|3||788||Seavolution 1||Mark Barnes||Dan Hare||Whitstable/Stone YC||6||2||2||4||6||3||17|
|4||789||Seavolution 2||Steve Holingworth||Chris Murphy||Restronguet SC||3||4||4||5||8||5||21|
|5||772||Ullman Sails||Mark Watts||Charlotte Jones ||Weston SC||2||7||6||7||1||6||22|
|6||770||Harken||Simon Hadley||Nikki Hadley||Bough Beech SC||5||5||5||6||3||4||22|
|7||761||Neil Pryde Sailing||Mark Emmett||Guy Raines/Allan Stuart||Weston SC/RYA||7||8||9||3||4||7||29|
|8||774||Porky||Kathy Sherratt||Rob Taylor||Weston SC||8||9||7||8||7||8||38|
|9||766||H&B Consulting||Barry Price||Al Storer||Broxbourne SC||9||6||8||9||9||9||41|