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B14s at the RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show 2024

by Tony Blackmore 18 Mar 10:03 GMT 24-25 February 2024
B14s at the RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show 2024 © B14 Class

We might be one of the smaller classes at the show but the B14 class was punching above their weight once again. With 2 boats on the stand and the very professional backdrop we welcomed many existing, past and potential sailors to the stand.

The rigged boat belonging to Gaz Stuart (769) was a very smart Ovington hull that many people didn't believe was 20years old. And still absolutely competitive in the right hands. In fact they were first B14 at the recent Starcross Steamer pursuit race.

As well as the 20yr old boat we also had one of the most recent boats to be built on the now famous rocket ship stand. This belonged to class builder and long time stalwart Mark Barnes and his company Seavolution. We are very lucky in the class to be able to count on Seavolution to stock not just the specific spares we need but also a comprehensive range of chandlery and sails for immediate delivery.

Although small in number the class is in a very positive place. Over the past few years we have fostered the idea of sharing venues with classes like the 4000, Musto Skiff and for this year's Europeans and Nationals at Torbados we are sharing with the i14s. There are small compromises to be made at each venue but overall it's a very successful strategy with great racing and great onshore activities!

Over the weekend we welcomed several people onto the stand who expressed an interest in getting involved and who took away details of boats on the used boat list. Older B14s offer great value for money with competitive fully bimbled boats available for not a lot. As well as the VFM boats we also had several newer boats from both Ovington and Seavolution on the list. There has never been a better time to get involved.

Besides the Europeans and Nationals at Torquay we have a full TT series with the end of year culminating in the World Championships In Sydney, Australia. In fact as I sit here watching the 18ft Skiffs sailing the JJ Gilltian around Rose Bay and Shark Island l realise these are the exact same waters we'll be sailing on in 10 months time!

Why don't you join us!

So there we have it, a great show and a great season ahead.

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