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A superb championship season for the team at P&B

by Mark Jardine on 2 Oct 2 October 2017
P&B 505 © P&B

It has been a superb summer for the team at P&B, with top results in a variety of classes, culminating in a win at the 505 World Championship in Annapolis. We caught up with Dave Wade to find out more...

The season started well with Tim Fells and Fran Gifford winning Merlin Rocket Salcombe Week: "We've built on our 2016 success in the Merlins and have continued our work on the mainsail, tying in with the skinny Selden rig, matching the sail to the luff curve. The new design responds to the gusts better and flicks at the head more, making the rig more responsive."

Dave himself has taken part in the Merlin Rockets and Fireballs amongst others, but had a great time in the Mirrors down in Restronguet at the Nationals and then the Worlds:

"I sailed with my daughter Imogen a couple of years ago in the Nationals and the aim was to build up to the Worlds and try to win them. It's always great sailing with your kids - the best thing you can possibly do in my opinion - and it's a class we've always been involved with at P&B. It's nice to be able to sail against friends who I've known for a long time and meet some of the new people in the class."

Things started well for Dave and Imogen, winning the Gul UK Nationals, but a black flag in race 2 cost them the Worlds, with the Australians Cullen and Rowan Hughes winning the title. It wasn't all bad news though as they were using P&B sails as well!

P&B Loft Manager Stevie Graham took some time out from his work in Northampton to crew at the Scorpion and Albacore nationals for two different helms: Andy Mckee and Tom Lonsdale respectively. The combination of P&B sails and Stevie proved unbeatable at both:

"We've worked pretty hard on the sail design for both classes this year and we've brought out a new Scorpion this year, working with Ovington Boats, and our boats were first and second overall. The combination of a new builder and tweaking the sails proved superb. We've got back into the Albacore recently and Stevie was very pleased as he said they had boat speed to burn; a nice situation to be in!"

In the 505 class Mike Holt and Carl Smit have just won the SAP World Championship in Annapolis using P&B sails. This followed wins in both the French Nationals (Philippe Boite and Mathieu Fountaine) and UK Open Nationals (Mike Holt and Rob Woelfel) for P&B powered boats. It's a class that Ian Pinnell and P&B have been partnered with for a very long time and the team value their association:

"Like many of the classes we're involved in, we've all been sailing them for a long time – Ian's been sailing 505s for 20-odd years now. It's the same with myself in the Fireballs and that's why we know what to do when we need to tweak and develop the sails."

In another high-performance class, the International 14, Roger Gilbert and Ben McGrane won both the Prince of Wales Cup (International 14 National Championship) and the race week overall:

"Roger and Ben hadn't done a lot of practice, but we made them a new main and jib for the event and they were very consistent. They cleaned up in the single-race Prince of Wales Cup with boat speed to burn at times, especially when the wind piped up nobody could touch them and they were winning by up to a leg."

It's nearing the end of the championship season and a number of the P&B Race Team boats are now for sale. These are now fine-tuned and fully race prepared:

"We make sure all the ropes and systems are as small as they can be and are working as well as possible - they're just tweaked that little bit more. When you buy a brand-new boat you have to put a number of hours in to get them working perfectly, making sure everything is fully tuned and the rig is symmetric, all the details like that can add an extra second when you're tacking or gybing. You're looking for minor gains now in the fleets so if you can gain on manoeuvres then you're going to be better off in the results.

"Last week we sold two Streakers and a Solo straight away, the Flying Fifteen and Mirror have now gone, but we still have a Fireball left – a class where our sails won the Europeans and we are very passionate about."

The team will be out on the water throughout the autumn and winter, competing at events up and down the country, including the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series. All team members are happy to answer your questions about the class that you sail in.

Visit www.pinbax.com to discuss your requirements.

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