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Gul 2017 Boots 728x90

Gul B14 TT Series Round 4 at Starcross Sailing Club

by Mark Barnes on 25 Jun 17-18 June 2017

The B14 Flying Circus headed back down SW for a shoot-out on the River Exe at Starcross. The big question was would there be any wind at all over the weekend? For most of the long distance travellers, they chose not to risk the opposing land and sea breeze conundrum. Those that did travel had wall-to-wall sunshine and an 8 – 12 knot sea breeze and very hot temperatures.

Saturday was a sprint series consisting of six 2-lap races lasting approximately 18 minutes. The reduced fleet launched into a building breeze for the shoot-out. First out of the blocks was local experts ASBO (Crispie Taylor/Guy Harrell) who had been getting some sneaky coaching from Ben Rhodes, chased by Team GUL/North Sails (Barnsie/Char Jones). ASBO got the jump on the fleet and held on, no matter how much the other protagonists tried to rattle them to take first blood. Over the next five races, Team GUL/North Sails got into their stride and prevailed to take 5 very hotly contested bullets, having it far from their own way, but came good when it mattered. Other stars on the day were Admiral Trailers (Tony Blackmore/Bubbles) and GBR789 Henry Metcalfe/ Jasmine Husband) each having their turn at the front. GBR 789 had a little nibble in the plate box where they hit a sand bar heading downwind, which bought about some chin wagging later on.

Having had a great close race tournament on the water, the fleet adjourned to the club for some sun soaked refreshments prior to dispersing to shop and reconvene at Crispies overlooking Exeter watching AC35 and eating a barbecue, followed by fireworks and late night nightcaps.

Sunday dawned, or did we slowly arise? Off to the club we trekked and not a breath on the river. Tea and bacon butties were had by all. Sure enough the sea breeze kicked in at 1130, unlike on the sea where it did not really build, or so we were led to believe.

Race 7: ASBO picked up where she left off the previous day having a battle royal with Team GUL North Sails. These two battled for glory until the latter got to keen on avoiding the tide, ending up marooned on a sand bar having an unscheduled pit stop with no damage, rejoining the race in 4th to climb back to 2nd by the finish.

Race 8, notables were GBR 707 (Amir Shamsuddin/Adam Kitchen) vying for the lead up the first beat. Over the race Team GUL/North Sails eased into the lead and posted their statement to ASBO. Race 9, statement noted, ASBO hit the booster button and got the jump, Team GUL/North Sails mixing it with GBR 789 and Admiral Trailers on the second downwind bear away, hit the oily stuff with Char falling backwards as the kite cleared the bag with Barnsie avoiding Char falling left. The wheels came off as the tiller snapped, but all were ok and no collisions or capsize as the kite set. So early tea and cake for them, leaving GBR789 and Admiral Trailers to chase down ASBO, who held on to take the win.

Over the weekend other notable performances mixing it at or near the front were, PSB Repairs (James and Anne Gardener) and GBR750 (Gary Parks/ Chris Webber).

Some great racing, fast turnarounds by James Wells R/O and team on Saturday and overall a great weekend with some great prizes from fleet sponsor Gul.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9Pts
1st795Mark BarnesCharlotte JonesWhitstable YC‑21111121(DNF)8
2nd762Crispin TaylorGuy HarrillSYC1‑2‑422212111
3rd789Henry MetcalfeJasmine HusbandRestronguet SC452(DNF)‑6333222
4th764Tony BlackmoreBubblesSYC3333‑4‑544323
5th768James GardnerAnne GardnerHISC‑74553655(DNS)33
6th750Gary ParksChris WebberRestronguet6764546(DNF)(DNS)38
7th707Amir ShamsuddinAdam KitchenKGSC56‑76‑7776441

Classic B14 (non Ovi/Seavolution): GBR 707 – Amir Shamsuddin/Adam Kitchen
Merit Prize (Last boat to finish all races): GBR 750 – Gary Parks/ Chris Webber

Next event is Eastbourne on the 1st July followed by the 4 day GUL B14 Nationals at Whitstable, 3rd – 6th August, where there is a great social program and no doubt will see some hotly contested racing on the water.

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