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Gul B14 TT Round 3 at Whitstable Yacht Club

by Mark Barnes 25 May 2018 09:54 BST 19-20 May 2018
Gul B14 TT at Whitstable © Nick Champion / www.championmarinephotography.co.uk

Round 3 of the Gul B14 TT series headed to the SE coast to Whitstable, home of Wheelers restaurant and oysters. Most teams arrived very early or Friday evening to avoid the mass of DFLs* descending on the town.

With the promise of a sea breeze on top of the gradient breeze and sunshine, it looked like the fat lady would not be singing till the end. The prior did play but the latter was not so forthcoming, and on both days, eventually the sun came out to play, but a lot of the time, the sky was cloudy. Thankfully the sunsets were sublime.

Into the racing, and day 1, racing was delayed to await the light sea breeze. Three races were to be sailed in a flooding tide making the beats a bit tricky for the heavier teams. With quick turn arounds, the fleet got 3 races in over 3 hours before heading back ashore for the pasta fest and rehydration

Races 1 – 3, were very tight between Trunky (Kathy Sherratt(Watts)/Josh Wilce), Torq (Gerry Fermor/Leaky Fermor), Blue Badge (Mike Bees/Ferret) and Team Gul/North Sails (Barnsie/Char). However, first out of the blocks was CST (Rhys Triffit/Abby Keightley-Hanson). The prior two excelled in the light conditions, especially Trunky demonstrating their new North 3DL and North sails. If they got a sniff of a lead, they shadow boxed the other three and extended in races 1 and 3, but Torq got the better of them in race 2, with the other 2 heavier teams chasing hard throughout, with English Braids/Griptec (Mark Watts/Matt Johnson) also with their new Norths, and Harken 2 (Simon Hadley/Nikki Hadley). Blue Badge threw away their lead in race 3 with a senior moment, going for the finish line a lap early and suckering Torq plus a few others into the same mistake.

Once ashore, the teams, relaxed for an evening on the veranda, eating fish and chips, washed down with beer and wine, watching the sunset and catching up. Then it was into a mini pool tournament where shot forfeits were the penalty if you lost.

Sunday dawned and the sea breeze was filling in earlier than the day before, with the breeze steadily building from 5 – 9 knots by the end of racing.

Race 4 Blue Badge and Team Gul/North Sails won the start and headed left to hook into the right lift. However, Trunky (sailing with a holed centreboard case after striking a solid object on the way out to the start) rolled right out of the start and from there, used their extra raw speed to get the edge on Team Gul/North Sails at the windward mark. Over the next 2 laps, these two tracked together to the finish.

The game player was race 5, where after a repeat of race 4, after 2.5 laps, Blue Badge led into the last windward mark from Team Gul/North Sails, with Trunky who had been leading, Torq and English Braids/Griptec, all coming into the mark on starboard stemming the tide. As a knock hit the group, Team Gul/North Sails had to tack and dip the overlapped pack as all within a 25 m. circle. This play was to later decide 2 – 4 overall. Tight racing. Once round the spreader, the group tracked in formation to the finish without either managing to get a hook on the other. Trunky had won, English Braids/Griptec had a kite halyard cleat failure, so both headed home.

Race 6, and still 2 – 4 up for grabs, Team Gul/North Sails led out of the blocks to the finish, but would it be enough. Alas not as Blue Badge and Torg pulled away from the pack and had a battle royal to the finish with Torq getting the nod. Out came the calculators, and Torq beat Blue Badge on countback from Team Gul/North Sails.

With some very tight racing and fast turnarounds by Howard Patterson and his team, all headed in after a great weekend on the water, followed by Wizz's pasta once ashore.

This is the first B14 event where the first two helms are female and 5 females are represented in the first 6 teams. A big plus for the fleet seeing so many female sailors breaking through within the fleet.

After three events the series is proving to be very open going in to Restronguet on 22 – 23 June, where a strong turnout is likely. After many prizes generously supplied by Gul, the fleet are starting to look very corporate in the nice Gul kit.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1788Kathy SherrattJosh WiliceWeston / Rutland12112(DNC)7
2786Geraldine FermorLeaky Fermor 21-443212
3771Mike BeesMartin Worth -33231312
4795Mark BarnesCharlotteWYC4432-5114
5770Simon HadleyNikki HadleyWYC555-66425
6775Rhys TriffitAbby Keightley-HansonBough Beach SC67-997534
7797Mark WattsMatt JohnsonWeston SC(DNC)6654DNC36
870Alicia CliffordCharlie HadleyWYC-11101078742
9784Stephen BarnesSimon ReynoldsWYC128(DNF)89643
10707Amir ShamsuddinAl StorerKGSC1097-1212947
11790Andrew ThompsonCharlotte HarrisHythe & Saltwood SC8-12111010847
12749Will RandQ Van MeirsLymington Town SC9-11811111049
13766Barry PriceAdam KictenGratham714(DNC)DNCDNCDNC66
14672Chris WilmsDaniela AltEastbourne Sovereign SC(DNC)13DNC1313RET69

* DFL = Down From London

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