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Gul B14 Nationals 2019 Form Guide

by Mark Watts 1 May 2019 10:06 BST
Racing in Carrick Roads on the final day of the B14 World Championships © Lee Whitehead / www.photolounge.co.uk

It's a big year for the class with the European and World Championships looming in Carnac, France in July. The GUL B14 Nationals at Restronguet is bringing out some new and old faces for what is set to be another tightly fought championship.

Worth a bet for a podium

Team Harken Nick Craig/Tobytastic (Odds on Favourites)
Current World Champions/Multiple Endeavour Champions but they could be in for a real fight this year. How quickly can they brush off the dust and let the raw talent shine through? We can only hope the local ale tempts them both and they are not quite up to full speed too soon!

Anthill Mob Tim Harrison/Johnny Radcliffe
Past World Champions and back for a shot at the title. Tim proved last year at the Nationals he hasn't forgotten what to do in the back but whether Johnny Rotsniff is back to his lean self and can rise out of retirement to his former heights we will have to see! What we can be sure of is they will be last to rig and be frustratingly laid back!

Trunky Kathy Sherratt/Josh Wilce
Second at last year's Nationals and with ridiculous pace in the light the forecast is shaping up nicely for them once again to feature at the front and take another podium. There are rumours of a cure to the sticky pole issues that caused Josh such frustration at Stokes Bay!

Team Gul/North Sails Mark Barnes/Charlotte Horlock
Back from illness and fired up to make up for lost time. Will probably win the prize for most logos on a boat and certainly will be seen AND heard on the race course. With the light forecast they will be mixing it for a podium and fantastic to see them back.

Demelza Peter Knight/James Wilkinson
Local heroes and previous Nationals podium placers. Peter and James are going to be in the mix. Definitely a good bet for a race win and vying for a Podium overall. Expect to see plenty of people following them assuming they know where to go!

Brightmile/Wonky Donkey Mark Watts/Tim Rogers
With MJ in the cooler after his Stokes Bay antics with the trifle Wattsy has dragged Stig back out of retirement to see if Falmouth is as good for them now as it was back at the 2007 Worlds. All we do know is Wattsy won't want to be beaten by wife Kathy two years in a row! Expect fireworks.

Worth a bet for a race win, making it hard for the podium contenders and a top 10 overall

The depth of talent in the class means it is hard to pick the positions for the next group. They are all past race winners and expect them to mix it up at the front. Some will cause more trouble than others!

Leaky Pipes Geraldine & Chris Fermor
This team has been in hiding. Unusually quiet! Word on the street is a secret training regime and with Leaky being kept locked up, we may not be ready for what he unleashes in Cornwall! They will probably win a race if it is light and certain for a top ten if leaky can minimise the pole dancing!

The Cornish Boys Steve Hollingsworth/Elliot Holman
I have a feeling I will be shown to be completely wrong not to put them in the Podium contenders. Leaders of last years nationals for half the event and local knowledge means these two could be the real dark horses. Can they string the series together to lad the result they have threatened for so long?

ASBO Crispin Taylor/Guy Harrill
The forecast is light and there are unconfirmed sightings of new sails! This could be a potent combination so they will be a team to keep an eye on and could well throw in a race win to spice things up! Solid top ten bet.

Worth a bet for other special abilities

Bodge Paul Roberts/Rob Taylor
Sorry boys but the forecast isn't looking good for you (more Hussars than light cavalry). They will however I am sure make up for the absence of the injured Raynes brothers and lead the charge at the bar and race hard.

The Newcomers

We have two teams that are B14 Nationals Virgins. Who will take home the kudos of best newcomers?

Kevin Moore and Stuart Moore
Father and son team that have been learning the trade at both of this years TT events. They are learning fast, having a ball and it will be interesting to see them improve throughout the weekend.

Paul Scullion/Simon Hindley
Local team that will be showing a few teams that an Alloy rig can still mix it up on the race course with their local knowledge. Relatively unknown it will be great to see how they get on and how well the local fleet has helped them prepare.

Let's not forget the rest

It is almost impossible to place odds on the hot contest for mid fleet, but it doesn't feel right not to mention them individually.

Gary Parks/Chris Webber
Another local team that have upped their game and been in training this winter to compliment their new ship aka The Beast. They have moments of brilliance where they challenge for race wins locally. For sure they will have moments where they can strut and enjoy the glory of the moment.

Christian Wilms/Daniela Alt
The joint Chairman's job will keep Chris busy, but Daniela will keep him focused. They will probably be picking their battles with the usual suspects and enjoy discussing the jousting in the bar after sailing. With lighter conditions, they could shine.

Simon Hadley/Rory Moppett
With Rory crewing, these two will be on their prayer mats hoping for a good stiff breeze. Normally with wife/crew Nikki they excel in the light, but now more heavy artillery. Shall be interesting to see how far they can push forward at the pointy end of the fleet over the three days. Ones to keep an eye on if the forecast improves.

Ben Lloyd King/Jez Page
Another from Restronguet's pool of talent. These guys will have their eyes firmly fixed on the Classic (none Ovington or Seavolution hulls) Championships. With some new kit, will they have unlocked Pandora's Box or will they have found that secret ingredient to make the difference.

Henry Metcalf/Jasmine Husband
I probably should have put this team in the top ten with their local knowledge and light wind pace. The wily old fox will be showing all a trick or two if it stays towards the lighter end of the conditions. One definitely to keep an eye on for the first two lighter days.

Patrick Seyler/Stacey Bray
Guaranteed to be the best dressed helm at the event you can guarantee that Chuck Norris will be out there in the mix. With Stacey in the front, they need the breeze to stand a chance of winning the Classic Championships, but be sure, they have the power if the forecast changes.

Tony Blackmore/Charlotte Cooper
Joint Chairman and Mr Admiral Trailers. He'll have lots going on, but come the racing, they'll come out all guns blazing and no doubt be captured on head cams etc for all to watch later. Definitely in the top half, but as a new team, where exactly, only time will tell.

James Gardner/Anne Gardner
Showing good pace in breeze at the last two events, the forecast doesn't look like it will fall in their favour. If that changes they might just be a surprise. So with a possible mixed bag on Monday, we could see a late charge.

Will Rand/Querine Van Veurs
The chilled out team that rolls out and comes to the Nationals and sometimes a couple of events each year when Will is not working at sea. How much will they have been practising, probably not a lot, how much with they remember, hopefully a lot. Will be in the mix come the last day of the Classic Championships.

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