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Gul B14 TT at the Gul Allspars Final Fling

by Tony Blackmore 22 Oct 2018 20:07 BST 13-14 October 2018
Gul Allspars Final Fling in Plymouth Sound © Lee Whitehead /

This was to be the last event of our Gul Watersports sponsored TT series with everything to play for. The class is very grateful for the Gul support with the majority in the fleet sporting the latest top quality Gul gear! And this is set to continue for 2019.

We made our way to the Royal Western YC on Saturday afternoon. Saturday's racing had been cancelled due to too much wind. When we arrived it we weren't even sure we could put the masts up! It was very windy with horizontal spray across the sound. We were all wondering if we were to get any racing in at all! However it all calmed down and by around 7pm that evening it had moderated significantly. In fact we were now wondering if there was going to be enough wind to take advantage of the B14's crazy speeds.

We needn't have worried! Sunday dawned dry and breezy. Albeit northerly and all over the place! Three races were planned with the first being windward/leeward (hooray!), the send, a triangle (boooo!) and the third a race around the breakwater and back to the finish line off the club in Cattewater.

The breeze was on and off all day but a lot on! The B14 racing was very close with lots of place changing and plenty of opportunities to get on the wrong side of shifts and not take advantage of the geographical complexities of sailing in a small corner of the sound!

In the first race Crispy and Gi in Abacus 762 made their intentions known by sailing off into the distance, Kathy and Char in Trunky 772 second and Tony and Megs in Admiral Trailers 764 3rd just in front of Giff and Rob in Bodge 321. Wattsy and Jack in Brightmile 2018, using the new North 3DI trial mainsail, were learning the ropes in 5th whilst trying to think themselves light!

The second race was changed to W/L (hooray!) With wildly shifting breeze and lots of it. Tony and Megs played their lucky card and were first to the windward mark. Wattsy and Jack however were in full fat chase mode and it was close at the leeward mark with Crispy and Gi not far behind them. Tony and Megs however checked out down the second run with a full on turtle swim leaving Wattsy and Jack to take the win. Kathy and Char in second putting together 2 excellent results. But with Crispy and Gi 3rd there was nothing to chose between them. Giff and Rob were 4th with Tony and Megs the very last boat to finish!

The 3rd race was the one we (the B14s) were really looking forward to. After a short hitch upwind we turned down wind and reached out to the western entrance of the sound. Spinnakers down as we approached the breakwater to harden up and get around the end. Spinnakers back up and down the outside of the breakwater. Giff and Rob needed cooling down with a brief swim but were soon back up to speed hot on the tail of the rest of us. Watsy and Jack again made the most of the pork factor and tore away from everyone with Crispy and Gi in hot pursuit. Kathy and Char in 3rd.

Around the eastern end of the breakwater and it was a beat from hell all the way back through the sound to the club finish line. Wattsy tacked almost immediately inside the sound for a hitch along the inside of the breakwater. Crispy and Gi carried on up the eastern channel. The rest went somewhere in between! Wattsy tacked and started heading towards Plymouth up the very centre of the sound. Giff and Blackers went further right and stayed in a bit more breeze. As the fleet got towards the Cattewater it was Giff and Rob who had gone furthest right who were in the lead with Tony and Megs, next right in second. But with another hitch right for Tony and Megs it was very close at the finish with Giff and Rob taking the win and Tony and Megs just a couple of metres behind. Wattsy and Jack 3rd, Crispy and Gi 4th and Kathy and Char 5th. How close was this? This close.

Overall Results:

1st Crispin Taylor & Guy Harrill, 762 8pts
2nd Mark Watts & Jack, 2018 9pts
3rd Paul Roberts & Rob Taylor, 321 9pts
4th Kathy Sherrat & Char Horlock, 772 9pts
5th Tony Blackmore & Meg Baker, 764 10pts

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