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B14 Worlds Championships at Yacht Club de Carnac - Overall

by Mark Barnes 3 Aug 09:31 BST 25-28 July 2019

G'day Australia and morning Europe from your roving correspondent in Carnac where the sun always shines and wine flows with the baggettes.

Well what can we say about the final day of the B14 World Championship. It delivered in bucket loads and the drama was tense for the top ten, especially the top two with a real snakes and ladders situation for some.

After a big night on the town where the Aussie contingent were using all the tricks of the bars etc. to scupper the chances of Team Europe in winning The Ashes, bragging rights would come down to the wire.

The fleet were held ashore for the wind to arrive, and when it finally did arrive, the tension was evident as the dinghy park exploded into action and the fleet rapidly headed out to sea to get two races in prior to the 1530 cut-off. Would Jerome the PRO achieve two race starts inside two hours with a variable 3 - 5 knot breeze?

Race 1 got straight out of the starting blocks on first delivery with AUS 375 (Craig Gamston/Louis Chapman (AUS)) leading from Team GUL/North Sails (Mark Barnes/Charlotte Horlock (GBR)) on the right and Harken (Nick Craig/Toby Lewis (GBR)) with The Nude (Richie Reynolds/Lissa MacMillan (AUS)) on the left and Team France (Alaine Cadre/Francois Cadre (FRA)) charging up the middle with impressive speed, but their challenge faltering after hitting the windward mark and having to turn and Team GUL/North Sails hitting a weed monster at the top of the second beat so slipping back. Over the race Harken and The Nude came to prominence with The Nude taking the win from Harken and AUS 375.

Going into the last race AUS 375 had it all to do and Harken had to again keep it clean. However, the irrepressible Harken came to the fore with The Nude and Team GUL/North Sails in hot pursuit with AUS 375 buried in the fleet, but on a charge. As the race unraveled, the front three held on to finish with a closing pack led home by Harken then The Nude and Team GUL/North Sails with the pack closing in fast containing a recovering AUS 375.

So scores on the doors, Harken retained the title, AUS 375 sailed a stellar series to come second and The Nude sailed out of their skins to climb to third beating Brightline (Mark Watts/Matt Johnson (GBR)) on count back with The Anthill Mob (Tim Harrison/Jonny Radcliffe) and Team GUL/North Sails. The numbers were mashed and we are pleased to Advise that Team Europe got one over on Team AUS and won the all important Ashes.

Each Worlds our bookie Crispin (do me a deal) Taylor runs the B14 Sweep take where each team puts in 10 euros. Last run at the 2016 worlds in Garda. All entrants were encouraged (press ganged) into competing, choosing who would win, were they would finish and 16th overall. We had a 3 way draw between Tony Blackmore, Simon Hadley and Nick Craig. All got the tie break question correct. So it was down to Rock Paper Scissors, and even then it took 3 goes to get a winner. After missing out on the Worlds after dislocating his shoulder on coming ashore on the first day, Simon Hadley won the 320 euro pot, being very surprised and happy to finish the event in such a way. A popular winner amongst the fleet.

The Classic Fleet prize (pre 2001 B14s) was hotly contested with a sterling job done by Carbon Composites (Paul Roberts/Rob Taylor (GBR)) finishing a very commendable 13th beating many of the newer boats, followed by Yellow Bone (Anthony House/Luis Miranda (AUS)) in 20th.

After the prize giving and dinner, the fleet headed to town with the new World Champions on a pass (being driven to the ferry at 0300 by Emma, Nick's wife). Time for the fleet to help the new champions celebrate in style. On leaving the safari whilst still in full swing, I can gladly report, that there the partying looked like it would go on till dawn if the Euros was anything to go by, and the fact that many were staying an extra day. However, our new World Champions will no doubt be sobering up on the ferry this morning with very sore heads.

So overall, a great two weeks in Carnac. Yacht Club de Carnac delivered two very closely fought series. The fleet's competitors and groupies will have many stories to tell, of which some will already be online no doubt, and very importantly, will the Merlot Tree be resurrected in Sydney at the 2021 B14 Worlds.

We hope all those flowing the event in the media and on social media, enjoyed the reports, and we'll be back again in 2020. Signing off for now.

Full results can be found here (PDF format)

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