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Zhik 2024 March - LEADERBOARD

International 14s at the Weymouth Skiff Open

by Rob Struckett 17 May 06:41 BST 11-12 May 2024
International 14s at the Weymouth Skiff Open © Tim Olin / www.olinphoto.co.uk

For a fleet whose major events often focus on one long race per day, the thought of an eight race weekend had the crews carb-loading from early on. Some came down the night before to sample the fine Weymouth culinary scene, while others preferred the club's generous cooked breakfast options.

As it turned out, though, this was a false alarm: the two lap races were very manageable - very enjoyable in fact - in a beautiful sunny force 3-4 on both days. Thanks to the race team for managing the various fleets very well and for putting on great racing even when the breeze threatened to do something strange in the final race.

With 11 entries, the International 14s were the largest of the double handed fleets on the water. But - more importantly given that they were sharing a start line with the 49er and 49er FX fleets - they were also the quickest. This meant that boats who made it off the front rank at the start were able to choose their route without too much traffic. That made starts particularly important, though, as those who did get stuck in the pack had some boats to avoid for much of the rest of the race. Downwind, there was the usual dodging of Musto Skiffs and the B14s, Cherubs, ISOs and 4000s in the slow handicap division - thankfully much of the i14 fleet is used to sailing in Chichester Harbour so dodging obstacles is nothing new!

Andy Shaw & Rob Struckett came from the right hand side of the beat to lead at the windward mark in race 1 but were less successful choosing the same side down the run along with Glen Truswell & Ed Fitzgerald. That opened the door for Katie Nurton & Cam Tweedle who used their local knowledge to find more breeze down the other side and take the lead. Archie Massey & Harvey Hillary also benefited from that breezier side and took the lead before being overhauled by a charging Glen & Ed. Glen & Ed showed some excellent speed for the next couple of races as well and dominated the scoresheet on day 1. But they had to work hard for it at times, and were passed on the last run of the last race by Archie & Harvey, leaving it all to play for on day 2.

Andy & Rob and Katie & Cam had some tight battles for 3rd but Douglas Pattison and Mark Tait's day was unfortunately ended early with a tiller breakage at the very end of race 1 (although they did manage to limp over the line with Douglas sprawled over the rudder stock. Given that the breeze was relatively steady all day, there was a lot of place-changing as it was easy to find lighter patches. Although left was generally paying, Peter Bromley and Hugh Maclean took a great 4th in the third race after sampling the right hand side, but then Andy Penman & Chris Watson showed the value of the left for their best result - a 5th - in race 4.

A delicious curry put on by the club on Saturday night was very successful, along with a Q&A session with the leaders of each fleet. Well done Glen & Ed for triggering some animated discussions from the room on all kinds of topics ranging from boat design to their role allocation on the water. Hopefully that's given the other fleets (as well as the chasing pack in the I14s) something to think about! More sampling of Weymouth's delights was done later on as well as some fleet members sought out the finest cocktail establishments while others settled in for the long haul to make sure they were up to see the Northern Lights.

Day 2's forecast was slightly concerning with a dying breeze and thunderstorms on the cards. However in the end there was absolutely nothing to be concerned about as a similarly perfect day presented itself. Archie & Harvey took race 5 to make the scoreboard quite interesting. Glen & Ed were back at it in race 6 though, as they gybed early at the windward mark with Andy & Rob left swimming in their wake as they tried to do the same. Andy & Rob took race 7 but Glen & Ed rounded off their fantastic weekend in Race 8 to solidify the win. Archie & Harvey took second overall with Andy & Rob in third. Katie & Cam had an impressively consistent weekend in 4th, followed by Alex Knight & James Clark. There were battles throughout the fleet as well - Philip and Tasha Gladman made their recent training pay with a few great results including a 6th in the final race. Great to see that the first five boats in the fast handicap results were all 14s.

All in all, it was a great training weekend for the Nationals and Prince of Wales Cup at Royal Torbay Yacht Club from 13 to 16 June. Rides and even spare boats are available for this and for our World Championships on Lake Garda in August if you are interested, email

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Pts
11553Glen TruswellEd Fitzgerald 1112‑31219
21565Archie MasseyHarvey HillaryItchenor SC22‑31123213
31569Andy ShawRob StruckettItchenor SC33232(RET)1317
41557Katie NurtonCameron TweedleRYS44‑64535530
51530Alex KnightJames ClarkChew Valley Lake SC6556‑754435
61572Peter BromleyHughbert MacleanItchenor SC864864(DNC)DNC48
71531Andrew PenmanChris WatsonItchenor SC7885877(DNC)50
81566Philip GladmanTasha GladmanItchenor SC9977‑1089655
91561Douglas PattisonMark Tait 5(DNC)DNCDNC466DNC57
101548Julian PearsonFreddie Carvel (DNC)DNCDNCDNC998769
111527Philip McdanellLuke BoughtonItchenor SC(DNC)799RETDNCDNCDNC73

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