B14 Winter Series Leg 2 at Rutland SC

Leg two - Seavolution Winter Series 2012
Rutland SC
Harken B14 Seavolution Winter Series second leg was held at Rutland SC. The B14 flying circus headed up the A1(M) to Rutland Water for the Tiger Trophy to be greeted by sub zero weather, -5°C.

Taking the forecast into account (starting to sound like a gramophone record), several teams decided that the risk of snow and possible stranding, meant that they would have to decline and not attend. However, for the four B14s, that attended with the rest of the reduced fleet, Dave Wilkins and his team provided some great racing over the weekend in hard conditions.

The four boats, Harken (Steve Hollingworth/Chris Murphy), Seavolution (Mark Barnes/Dan Hare), Ullman sails (Mark Watts/Al Storer) and Marlow/All Good Fun (Dan Cowin/Dan Hollands) headed for the start line.

With the breeze ranging from 10 – 16 knots and mixed fleet it was going to be full on sailing the trapezoid course.

Race one and after a general recall, Seavolution gybed off the pin at 30 seconds and fired out just up from the pin on port to clear the fleet with Harken not so lucky having to duck a number of boats. As race one progressed, Seavolution battled with the two RS800s and leading two MPSs but lost out a bit on the last round. The other three hampered by traffic pulled through but their results reflected the traffic issues.

Leg two - Seavolution Winter Series 2012
Rutland SC

Race two and more of the same. This time with the pin congested again, the lead skiffs peeled to the right when possible with Seavolution and Ullman Sails in the chase. With the breeze dropping on lap three, this was to be one for the slow boats that only completed two laps when the gate closed.

Race three, and with the wind back up, so the line spiced up. Coming in from the port end Seavolution tacked under Merlin 3684 (Stu Bithel/Edd Clayson) to hold out for the pin. Over the next 30 seconds these two both got the better of each other, with Seavolution eventually managing to establish the pin and squeeze the line, only for a large shift to the right on the gun. The fast skiffs, manage to find a route around the bunch hitting right. Seavolution came out on top followed by Marlow/All Good Fun. An intense race followed as the cold took its toll and some headed home. However, the B14s that were left put on a show and hung on to the RS800s for most of the race, losing out on the last run where the first 4 boats got away in a stronger down wind breeze.

The fleet retired to thaw out and enjoy the hospitality of the White Horse inn at Moreton.

Sunday dawned with mist and little wind and ground covered in snow. With a delayed start, the B14s started with the MPSs, which always makes for an interesting start. Off the start, the best B14 was Marlow followed by Seavolution, separated by two MPSs.

Through the next two legs Seavolution broke through, and over the next lap had a battle royal with Sten in the MPS.

The following B14s were led by Marlow/All Good Fun who progressively broke through to get to 38th. Coming to the end of the race, having seen the high performance boats becalmed for a while at the bottom of the lake, the first high performance boats were Seavolution in 17th followed by Sten’s MPS in 23rd, but Sten was the first high performance boat overall in sixth and Seavolution eighth.

So a great event and some testing conditions. The next leg in the series is the Draycote Dash followed by the Hoo Freezer. Let's just hope that the conditions are finally kind to the fleet and we get all racing.