by Tim Harrison
B14 Inland Championships were held at Queen Mary Sailing Club over the weekend of 1st and 2nd October 2011. Up-and-coming B14 Aussie, Scott Cunningham travelled from Melbourne to compete in the event.
B14s in action - B14 Inland Championships 2011
The new Seavoultion B14 had its first showing amongst the fleet. The new B14, now built by Synthesize and fitted out by Seavolution, really looked the business, a good quality finish and a well thought out fit out - it certainly looks destined to be a winner in the right pair of hands.
On both mornings the great expanse of water at Queen Mary Reservoir was flat calm but on both days a fair sailing breeze appeared early afternoon giving us two races each day.
The delay meant a long lunchtime of boatpark bimbling, with some of the fleet helping the club bar resolve some issues with the beer pumps through trial and error, and one armed bandit Leaky distributing 'cough medicine' (that's what it sort of tasted like) to anyone that came too close.
On the first day Simon and Nikki Hadley scored the best with a second and a first giving them the edge over Tim Harrison and Jonny Ratcliffe. The only thing that was up and coming about our visiting Aussie was his Kite which went straight up coming straight back down into the water while the halyard was coming down the inside of the mast. Who tied that knot Scotty? One other notable performance from the first day was from Paul Roberts and Rob Taylor in Bodge. These guys have done a great job renovating this boat scoring a four and six.
On the second day Simon and Nikki still meant business reaching the first mark first followed by Tim and Jonny who went on to find more pressure on the opposite side of the course catapulting them into a lead which Simon and Nikki could not recover, their second place put them on equal points with Tim and Jonny leaving race four as a decider.
To add to the drama, the breeze picked up to almost 15 knots allowing both the helms and crews to finally stretch the legs on the B14's powerful wings. Tim and Jonny came off the line well as did David Hayes and Daniel Hare. These two had a tight battle around the course with several place changes, meanwhile Simon and Nikki were buried in ninth place. The battle at the front was eventually won by Tim and Jonny winning their third race of the weekend and the title as Inland Champions. Simon and Nikki who made a great effort to pull themselves back to third in that last race were the runners-up.
Everyone had a great weekend, thanks to some extraordinary Indian summer conditions and unexplainable sea breezes.
Oh, and I am sure you are all wondering how the new Seavolution performed, well sorry to say that Mark didn't look quite as good as his new weapon. But Mark Barnes will be back, he will be doing the winter circuit showing off his fine craft and getting himself race ready for a successful 2012 campaign. Keep an eye out for Mark and the B14 fleet at the Draycote Dash, the Starcross Steamer, the Steve Nicholson Memorial and the Tiger Trophy to see the new B14 for yourself.
| Pos||Sail No||Helm||Crew||Club||R1||R2||R3||R4||Pts|
|1st||758||Tim Harrison||Jonny Ratcliffe|| ||1||-3||1||1||3|
|2nd||770||Simon Hadley||Nikki Hadley||Bough Beech SC||2||1||2||-3||5|
|3rd||777||David Hayes||Dan Hare||Hayling Island||3||2||-4||2||7|
|4th||784||Steve Hollingsworth||Chris Murphy||Restronguet||5||4||6||(DNC)||15|
|5th||788||Mark Barnes||Andrew Thompson||Whistable YC||6||5||-7||5||16|
|6th||321||Paul Roberts||Rob Taylor||Weston||4||6||-10||8||18|
|7th||769||Daniel Cowin||Dan Hollands||Hythe||7||-8||5||6||18|
|8th||786||Gerry Fermor||Scott Cunningham||McCrae YC||(DNF)||DNC||3||4||21|
|9th||775||Rhys Triffitt||Simon Reynolds-Jones||QMSC||8||-9||9||7||24|
|10th||742||Carl Raynes||Guy Raynes||Weston||-11||7||8||10||25|
|12th||766||Barry Price||Al Storer||Thrope Bay||10||11||-12||11||32|
|13th||638||Will Rand||Querine van Meurs||Lymington Town Sailing Club||12||12||-13||12||36|
B14 Class Association website