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Original Cottages B14 Euros / Nats 2022 at Whitstable Yacht Club - Form Guide

by Mark Barnes 31 Aug 2022 14:00 BST 1-4 September 2022
2019 GUL B14 TT Round 3 at Whitstable © Nick Champion / www.championmarinephotography.co.uk

The B14s return to Whitstable on Thursday 1st September for the Original Cottages (Kent & Sussex) B14 Euros/Nats combined event. The Euros will consist of 12 races over 4 days and Nats Friday - Sunday consisting of 9 races.

The forecast looks to be mixed with the strongest breeze on Predictwind on Thursday with the next 3 days looking to be a possible recipe for snakes and ladders, so giving the middle order a chance to shine.

Numbers are down this year as a number of the stalwart teams are still not travelling but others are coming out of the woodwork.

This year will be an interesting one with the return of World Champions Nick Craig/Toby Lewis in Team Harken, and the inform team last year's National Campions Mark Barnes/Charlotte Horlock in Team Seavolution/North Sails now having Char off on maternity leave. So the form of these two teams will be unknown with several other teams getting in discrete practice.

  • Team Harken: Nick Craig/Toby Lewis - GBR 796 - Seavolution hull, North sails. Current World champions, but being absent from the fleet last year chasing other championships, they make their return this year. Since their last jousting with Seavolution/North Sails, the only thing that is the same with their main protagonist is Barnsie as GBR 799 was new last year and has all the latest tweaks. So this could be a great game of chess with Harken strong in full on breeze and the latter a master of the snakes and ladders. Hopefully these two will be inseparable till the last race. Solid podium 2/1.

  • Seavolution/North Sails: Mark Barnes (Barnsie)/Kathy Sherret sailing GBR 799 - Seavolution hull, North sails. Well leading into the event prior to Char's stepping down, when attending, have only lost 2 races since last year's nationals. As current national champions, all were looking forward to the showdown with Team Harken as it has often gone down to the last race between these two teams, but on this occasion with Kathy stepping up, how this team gels will be the unknown factor but if on song, got to be one for the podium. 3/1.

  • Blue Badge: Mike Bees (Beezer)/Martin Worth (Ferret) sailing GBR 771 - Ovington hull, North Sails. Brightlingsea's time machine, that keeps pushing the twilight back down the road. Beezer sailing back with the ever-faithful crew Ferret are certainly one of the contenders and but for an OCS in the top 2 last year, and have been winners in 2022. Rumour has it they have been out getting in some training. So over the wind range they should be a shoe horn for the podium. 5/1.

  • Brightmile: Mark Watts (Wattsy)/Matt Johnson (MJ) sailing GBR 797 - Seavolution hull, North sails. Last these guys finished 2nd in the nationals. Preferring the bigger winds they should be strong on Thursday and be looking to improve their form in the light winds. They will certainly be in the mix and one of the teams on for the podium. 5/1.

  • Porky's Revenge: Dave Hayes/Pete (Pistol) Nicholson sailing GBR 774 - Ovington hull, North sails. A team that has won all the domestic B14 trophies individually, but not as a team. Quick in all conditions and looking to correct this issue, will all their race craft practise this year in their Merlin Rockets help them to get this one in the bag. But for an OCS last year, they'd have been on the podium at the nationals. 5/1.

  • Dads On Tour (DOT (Josh/Matt Hollis)): Josh Wilce/Matt Hollis - Seavolution hull, P&B sails. Josh needing no introduction the B14 world as half of the recent Trunky team with Kathy Sherret, now teamed up with Matt Hollis, and driving has hit the ground running. Thursday, they should shine and as the breeze gets lighter, it shall be interesting to see where they land, but as pond sailors, they should do well. Could be on the podium. 6/1.

  • Team Asbo: Crispin Taylor (Crispy)/Guy Harroll (Gi) sailing GBR 789 - Seavolution hull, North sails. This team has put in the miles and training this year. Yet to get on the podium, they go quicker in the lighter, but have been known to occasionally pull a breezer top 3 race result. They have all the parts in place, so could shine this time. Ones to watch. 8/1.

  • Asbo Rides Again: Russ Gibbs/Lucy Loughton sailing GBR 762 - Ovington hull, North Sails. Last year was their first B14 nationals and they signed off by winning the last race. They have got steadily quicker and will be knocking on the door in some races. One of the teams to have a bet on to upset the top order. 8/1
Current forecast is for Force 4 with gusts from the NE on Thursday, with lighter mixed direction breeze over the following three days. It will be interesting to see who gets the bragging rights come the end of racing. No doubt there are teams not in this list that will be there in the mix at the end. One thing is certain it will probably go to the wire with the Fat Lady singing on The Swale on the way home.

Daily reports will be on YachtsandYachting.com

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