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GUL B14 TT Round 2 at Stokes Bay Sailing Club

by Mark Barnes 16 Apr 2019 09:42 BST 13-14 April 2019

So Winter is over and we're into Spring. We had the hottest February day in recent records and March was not bad either. Well, the Joker was played this weekend and it's mid-April.

Saturday with wind chill, the temperature was just above zero, yes zero on Saturday and 6C on Sunday till the sun came out according to my watch. For those that sail skiffs where there is nowhere to shelter, the very thought will send a shiver down the spine. More like Rutland when you can have a cold polarizing Tiger Trophy.

However, many brave souls made the trek to participate. The B14s were down on numbers as it is the schools holidays and some helms and crews had passes to play with the little people in warmer climates/conditions. Some hardy members of the B14 Flying Circus rocked up for some very close racing, including Team GUL/North Sails where Barnsie had been on a sabbatical dealing with the uninvited big C, which hopefully has now been dealt with, and life can go on for he and Char, enabling them to pick up where they left off last May.

Well maybe down on numbers, but 5 of the top 8 B14s on paper were there. Team GUL/North Sails came out with all guns blazing (bluffing on Barnsie's fitness) to edge a lead over the first two laps before Brightmile (Mark Watts/MJ) rolled them through a gybe and led to the finish followed by Blue Badge (Mike Bees/Pete Nicholson). Race 2 and 3 were very much a repeat of race 1 where racing was incredibly tight (any of the top 5 could have won) with the lead changing several times in each race. Blue Badge had got their road map out and pulling the rabbit out of the hat, snuck race 2 at the last mark, and finally got the jump half way through race 3 to win and lead overnight. Other leaders during the races being Trunky (Kathy Sherratt/Josh Wilce) and Porky and The Bandits (Dave Hayes/Sean Dwyer).

Dan Vincent did his legendary quiz night with the help of Richard Pelley on the music section. The trifle winner takes all grandstand finish will be talked about for a while, but having won MJ was disqualified for dumping a little of his trifle.

Sunday dawned and the fleet launched into the wind chill but with a little sun showing its face at times. Who had a sore head, probably half the fleet across all classes. Hopefully the wait between races would not be as long or cold as the previous day, when many found it quite tough, but the RS800s were doing the same number of laps today as the B14s and Mustos, so all was hopeful.

Well two races were sailed, with Blue Badge sneaking under the radar again and putting another big win on the board from Brightmile, plus a swim whilst leading and fast recovery from Trunky. The 5th race went to Porky and The Bandits now they'd solved their fishing issues and led from the first windward mark to finish over 3 laps, a first for any B14 over the weekend. Blue Badge had won but second was up for grabs. Then came the call as an increase in wind/front headed down the Solent from the East, cancelling any further racing, all fleets headed for shore as the breeze struck.

So what did we learn. There was very little between the top few B14s, Blue Badge likes to sneak up under the radar doing it very effectively and did so a number of times; Brightmile like testing their navigation system and when it goes wrong, like polishing the bottom to go faster; Team GUL/North Sales, keep Barnsie busy he may not get a wiggle on and so fade as the day goes on, but Char will be pushing hard to get them home in front; Trunky likes port-end flyers and when out in front likes to go on parade; Porky and The Bandits, returning after a few years away, having mastered their fishing (registering their interest in a quota license), and getting time in the boat together, They'll be after the Anthill Mob (Tim/Jonny) come the Nationals; PSB Repairs (James/Anne Gardener) were also in the mix at times with their shiny pristine ship and may well have a good showing over the summer; The Phantom Menace (Kevin/Stuart Moore) new to the fleet, showing some great pace at times with lots to come from this team in the future.

So after a late lunch and prize giving where many GUL tokens were handed out, the fleet hit the road to plan for their assaults on the Nationals in 3 weeks at Restronguet over the bank holiday.

Thanks to Stokes Bay SC on and off the water.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1771Mike BeesPete NicholsonBrightlingsea SC‑311136
2797Mark WattsMJWeston SC1‑42249
3795Mark BarnesCharlotte HorlockWhitstable YC2‑333210
4774David HayesSean DwyerWhitstable YC & Lancing YC‑5245112
578Kathy SherrattJosh WilceWeston SC4‑554518
6768James GardnerAnne GardnerHayling Island SC66(DNC)DNCDNC28
7755Kevin MooreStuart MooreNetley SC7(DNC)DNC6DNC29

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