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Rooster 2020 - Impact BA - LEADERBOARD

B14 TT at the Weymouth Dinghy Regatta

by Mark Barnes 8 Jul 13:58 BST 3-4 July 2021

After what seems a long time and the last meet up of the B14 fleet since October 2019, other than the Dinghy Show 2020 at Ali Pali, it was with mixed emotions that the fleet headed to Weymouth.

Glad to be back on the water and meet up with friends outside in the open in the dinghy park at the WPNSA where the Asymmetric fleet was to be based. Finally one of the new B14s, Ali Pali's GBR 799 Seavolution/North Sails was to finally get her first competitive outing.

Though not the usual protocol that we were all used to pre-CV-19, with a lot of space to rig, the B14s that were lucky enough to get an entry into the limited number event, were in for a treat. With limited entry 8 B14s were quick to enter and 7 made it on the day. What we lacked in number, was there in quality.

Following protocol, all changed in the dinghy park, thank goodness it was not sand but hard standing.

The forecast was not great, but R/O Bill Barker and his team, took the opportunity to take us into the bay as Sunday's forecast was to be worse and so it proved. Sunday the racing took part in Portland Harbour.

So with excitement at the prospect of racing other B14s the fleet headed out in to the bay. The breeze was from the SW 12 - 20 knots and 1.3 m. seas. The sun was to come out, though still a cold chill in the air. Did someone say it was summer. All were dressed as if racing in October/April, not July including woolly hats. Champagne sailing in the conditions was enjoyed by all though.

The course was to be the usual windward/leeward with marks shared with the symmetric fleets and starts spaced at 3 minute intervals. First away were the Scorpions, followed by the Phantoms, Fast Handicap, Asymmetric and then finally the Slow Handicap on the inner course.

Race 1 and the mixed fleet got away first time with Donkey (GBR 774 Dave Hayes/Pete Nicholson) taking up the mantle with Brightmile (GBR 797 Mark Watts/Matt Johnson) and Seavolution/North Sails (GBR 799 Mark Barnes/Charlotte Horlock) leading the chase. Over the 2 laps Donkey held on from those nipping at her heels to win from Seavolution/North Sails and Brightmile.

Race 2 and more of the same but this time. Seavolution/North Sails led out of the blocks chased by Customised Composites (GBR 321 Paul Roberts/Rob Taylor) and the other two protagonists. Navigating the symmetric fleet was more of an issue downwind as the wind had swung slightly and was to prove the joker in the pack. Seavolution/North Sails led throughout to the last Leeward mark, but Brightmile had taken the cleaner route and got the jump on the drop to win from Seavolution/North Sails and Donkey.

Race 3 was much the same but this time the fleet as a group kept to the cleaner left-hand side of the course with Seavolution/North Sails holding on from Brightmile and Donkey

The fleet after a great day on the water headed for shore and an important evening's entertainment. Overnight there was very little to choose between the top 3.

Sunday dawned to a building breeze and all thermal sailing kit being used.

Race 4 and 5 in a building breeze, the fleet got away first time, ripping into the slower fleets by the windward mark which added to the fun. In both races Seavolution/North Sails led from Brightmile throughout the 3 laps, only to lose out on the last downwind to Brightmile with Donkey coming in 3rd.

Race 6 and now honking but flat water, the fleets headed upwind. The Asymmetric fleet ripped into the Fast Handicap fleet and Phantoms and were right in the mix at the windward mark with nothing to choose between the first 3 B14s. Seavolution/North Sails decided to peel off and head home as with the speeds they'd achieve and a series result, did not fancy negotiating the traffic in their brand new B14. As the race progressed what was left of the Asymmetric fleet slowly reduced in number with Brightmile being the last Asymmetric standing. On arriving ashore many had stories to tell of the race, but with smiles on their faces.

So the podium was Brightmile from Seavolution/North Sails and Donkey.

A great event run across the Weymouth sailing clubs orchestrated by Bill Barker's race team. and run overall by Richard Bowers.

The next B14 TT is this weekend at Weston Sailing Club with greater numbers of B14s expected and maybe less wind and warmer days as most will be camping.

1. Brightmile (GBR 787 Mark Watts/Matt Johnson)
2. Seavolution/North Sails (GBR 799 Mark Barnes/Charlotte Horlock)
3. Donkey (GBR 774 Dave Hayes/Pete Nicholson)

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