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Gul 2017 April

Gul B14 National Championship at Whitstable Yacht Club - Day 2

by Mark Watts on 4 Aug 3-6 August 2017

With day one being a day of sightseeing and sampling the delights of Whitstable as the wind screamed down the beach it was with great anticipation that the fleet woke for day 2. Some a little hazy after the first night Leaky and Wattsy attempt to mix competitive cards with interesting cocktails!

With local fleet Oracle Barnsie confidently announcing it would be a lovely force 4 it was a slightly reluctant fleet that launched into the Whitstable washing machine and a healthy 20-25 knots.

PRO Handy Howard gave the fleet an early hurry up with the first aborted start sequence. Many of the favourites need to buy him a beer for being given a second chance to make the start!

Race 1 got away with the fleet charging off to the left led by 791 "P&B" (Jasper Barnham & Oli Wells) and the supposedly rusty 796 "Harken" (Nick Craig & Tobytastic Lewis) and the new partnership in 772 "Team Trunky" (Kathy Sherratt/Josh Wilce) proving lightweights/girls can be fast in third.

Down the first run and the fleet got a bit carried away enjoying the fast and furious rodeo through the Whitstable chop to overstand the gybe point. First to capitalize were 797 "Griptec" (Mark Watts/Chris Bishop) bringing them back from the dead after finding one of the soon to be common Whitstable Sea Snakes on the first beat.

The next beat saw a close group of 6 boats charging upwind trading places. "P&B" kept their nose clean to lead from Harken who were rapidly remembering how to sail a B14. 785 "Demelza" (Peter Knight/James Wilkinson) showed great pace in the breeze to hang on to third. The final beat was to change things up. "Griptec" pulled back into third and closed right up to the lead pair that went around the top mark in close formation. The final run was all about the layline back in to the finish with the 2 leaders slightly overcooking it leading to a close 3 way blast to the line. In the end they crossed line astern with P&B taking a well deserved win from Harken and Griptec.

Race 2 and with the breeze building slightly it was Griptec that stormed out of the Pin and led to the top mark. Harken chasing in hard in what was to be a 2 horse race. P&B were the best of the rest as the fleet strung out in the bouncy upwind conditions. Griptec held off the brains trust of Harken until the end of the third beat but a bad call at the windward mark saw Harken steal the lead and hold that through to another close finish. P&B sailed well for a solid third.

Race 3 and with the wind undecided as to whether it wanted to build or fade it was a breezy start into a course littered with snakes. P&B and Seavolution (Mark Barnes/Char Jones) decided to have their own little pin end party ending in both missing the line. Harken led out to the left from the fleet with Griptec rolling the dice out right and coming back to a surprising lead. Once again it was these 2 that led the fleet round for the first 2 laps in a nip tuck battle, Harken taking the lead on lap 2. Lap 3 and with a big hole at the bottom of the course Seavolution came back into the mix to threaten in third. Half way up the last beat Griptec broke left hooked into a shift to close right back to Harken at the top mark. Down the last run they split again with Griptec/English Braids hooking into breeze and applying the pressure. At the finish Harken held on to a well deserved win and took the day out in style. Griptec 2nd overall for the day and Seavolution starting to find their form in 3rd.

With the fleet looking pretty broken the PRO made the call to not try for a 4th race and to send the fleet back for much earned beer.

Now enough about the leaders... what other fun and games happened on the race course...

  • Oli "I do this for a living" Wells for his precision kite halyard sheave installation!
  • Spectacular synchronized capsizing from Simon&Steve and their partners Leaky&Gerry pre start to keep the race team amused!
  • Scrapheap challenge, nearly returning to the scrap heap with multiple breakages proving that 2 lanky giants are too much for aging B14 wings! Topped off with Iain showing his incredible strength to snap the rudder stock in two.. Impressive!
  • Crispy and Guy sailing Das Boot who were enjoying the seaside immensely and often seen having a little swim around the boat.
  • Alicia and Luke for their tenacity.. second time out in the boat and finished all 3 races. Top effort!
The fleet retire now to the BBQ, beer and boat fettling ready for a less breezy but I expect more mentally taxing day 3 as the fleet do their best to outsmart the boys in Harken.

Results after Day 2:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR3R4R5Pts
1796Nick CraigTobytastic LewisFrensham Burghfield2114
2797Mark WattsChris BishopWeston3227
3795Mark BarnesCharlotte JonesWhitstable Yacht Club54312
4785Peter KnightJames WilkinsonRestronguet SC45413
5791Jasper BarnhamOli WellsSnettisham Beach13DNF22
6772Kathy SherrattJosh WilceWeston67922
7764Tony BlackmoreNaomi PoundStarcross YC1010525
8728Iain HorlockAlex HorlockExe Sailing Club76DNC31
9784Steve BarnesSimon ReynoldsWhitstable Yacht Club89DNF35
1077Alicia CliffordLuke Graham 14121036
11762Crispin TaylorGuy HarrillStarcross YC13DNF637
12768James GardnerAnne GardnerHISC128DNC38
13749Will RandQuerine Van MeursLymington Town1111DNC40
14770Simon HadleyNikki HadleyWhitstable Yacht ClubDNCDNC743
15786Geraldine FermorLeaky Fermor DNCDNC844
16681Liam WillisAbby Keightley‑HansonLymington Town9DNFDNC45
17707Amir ShamsuddinAdam KitchenKing George SC15DNFDNF51

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