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Ovington 2021 - ILCA 1 - LEADERBOARD

B14 TT Round 3 at the 2022 Weymouth Skiff Open

by Mark Barnes 26 May 2022 11:14 BST 21-22 May 2022

The B14 bandwagon headed back south to the Jurassic Coast to see what Portland and Weymouth had to offer. Would it be racing out in Weymouth Bay or inside Portland?

Well, the sun came out to play and baked the hard standing, so shorts and polo tops were the dress code of the day. Some arrived on Friday for a sneaky check out of the conditions, whilst many arrived on Saturday, with one B14 very late on parade due to following an articulated horse box for many miles cross country with no passing lanes. Neigh it was a long slow ride. Teams had travelled from Whitstable in the east to Exeter in the SW.

All we needed now was for the forecast to play ball. With the breeze coming from the west to SW, all were hopeful other than the Race Officer who knew his stuff and advised we’d be playing in the play pen (Portland harbour) this weekend.

So, with four fleets, B14s, Cherubs, I14s (they do sail elsewhere other than Itchener on Chichester Harbour) and the Musto Skiffs. There would be two starts, all the double handlers followed 5 minutes later by the Mustos.

At the start on a square line with tide going west to east, it was a case of check who’s around you as the I14s leave a very big hole in the wind. Therefore, two B14s decided to muscle the committee boat end and others soon learnt as did the Cherubs that if you take the I14s on in a drag race, there will only be one outcome no matter how well sailed your steed is. It would also be a case of avoiding their wind shadow throughout the day and managing expectations on where you wanted to go on the course.

Favoured side would always be left to get the wind bend round the Bill, but go to far, and you would overstand as you lifted on port. Go to low and you’d be diced by the I14s upwind and downwind unless you went really low. This was to prove to be the dilemma all day. Get it right and you would appear to be a genius, get it wrong and you’d be an also ran.

So out of the start in Race 1, Team Seavolution/North Sails (Barnsie/Char) were first out of the blocks and slowly extended on the fleet chased by Asbo 2 (Crispin/Gi). With two Upwind/Downwinds in force 2 – 3, it was also going to be about spotting the pressure. At the finish Team Seavolution/North Sails took the gun followed by Asbo 2 and Dads On Tour (DOT (Josh/Matt Hollis)).

Race 2 and much of the same out of the start but Team Seavolution/North Sails took the low route and found themselves in the mix rounding mark 1. They hunted down Asbo 2 and took their moment to jump them on a gybe and then cover them for the next round to take out race 2.

The starting order was now switched with the Musto Skiffs going off first. Wonder if the Mustos were having issues with the I14s coming downwind on their first beat.

Now the wind decided to have a few wobbles and we had a case of do we or do we not start as the big swings were observed with an aborted start and postponements.

Race 3 and the fun started, Team Seavolution/North Sails again boxed the windward end with DOT and caused an I14 sandwich. As the I14 started to get a bit familiar with Team Seavolution/North Sails back end, Char advised them they might want to disappear. So without further ado, off they trotted once they had a route out. From there onwards it would be a case of who played their cards right. Coming into the mix was Team GUL/Seavolution (Amir/Nick) with DOT and Asbo2 with little to choose what order they’d round out the beat. Team Seavolution/North Sails and DOT led, but with the rest close behind mixed in with the leading Cherubs. Not much changed until the next windward mark where Team Seavolution/North Sails had to make a couple of extra tacks letting DOT off the leash and past they went. Down the run both teams had some fun, knowing each others sailing styles well as Josh and Barnsie up until this year sailed a Merlin together. So dance a merry they did go, with the latter going higher and then lower, but unable to pass as they stayed joined by the umbilical cord. At the gybe, the latter was inside with DOT having done their best to get them to either gybe early or switch to the outside. However, it was not to be, and Team Seavolution/North Sails gybed and slam-dunked DOT. With little between them the order remained the same to the finish followed by Asbo 2.

The breeze was now becoming more unstable with several aborted starts. However, the joker had been played and finally it settled enough to get a last 4th race of the day in. By now the committee boat end was getting more congested by those avoiding the wind shadows and still a couple of the I14s came to play but if not on the front row found they had a problem amongst the slightly slower dinghies.

Team Seavolution/North Sails seemed to have lost her mojo as though taking the start, found the slow lane and at one point was looking down a big hole with several others ahead of them. Baffled by their change of form, they would spend the race hunting the leaders. DOT came to the fore and covered Asbo 2 all the way whilst Admiral Trailers (Tony/Jamie Dawson) mixed it with the two Seavolution teams. By now Barnsie and Char were scratching the brain matter and discussing their wows. Had they thrown a shoe or were the dark arts at play. DOT came home a deserved winner followed by Asbo 2 and then a recovering Team Seavolution/North Sails.

After a long tricky afternoon on the water all teams headed for shore and rest.

Team Seavolution/North Sails had bent a spreader etc but all was soon repaired for another day. Some stayed camping at the club and others headed off home to prepare for another day with a good night’s sleep.

Sunday dawned, the fog came in, the Race Officer postponed and then it was a game of will it or will it not play ball. Bimbling was to be seen around the dinghy park. 1230 arrived and the Race Officer, with the combined fleets agreement hoisted the appropriate signal and all packed up ready for home. During the prize giving the final fickle breeze died and fog hung over Weymouth.

After some close racing Team Seavolution/North Sails took the event from DOT followed by Asbo 2.

The Race Officer and his team made some calls which proved to be right in tricky conditions but got 4 races and a series in for which we were all thankful. Overall a good weekend was had by all.

The next B14 TT is the 11th – 12th June at Lee-on-Solent. This will be a great event, so if looking to attend an event prior to the Europeans at Whitstable in September then make the effort to get there.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1799Mike BarnesCharlotte HorlockWhistable YC111‑33
2791Josh WilceMatt HollisRutland SC‑33216
3789Crispin TaylorGuy HarrillStarcross YC22‑326
4764Tony BlackmoreJamie DawsonStarcross YC444‑512
5795Amir ShamsuddinNick PyeKing George SC / Royal Harwich YC‑555414

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