by Jane Moffat
Starting on Wednesday 10 July McCrae B14 sailor Guy Bancroft will start his attempt to win his third B14 World Championship with three different crews.
Guy Bancroft at 2009 B14 Nationals - B14 World Championship - Plerin, France
Travelling over to Plerin in France a large contingent of Australians will be taking on the Europeans with Bancroft aiming for the top of the podium.
His main Australian competition will likely come from Richard Reynolds and Lisa McMillan from Woollahara Sailing Club. They are consistent performers in Australia and Plerin will be their eight World Championship with their best result a fourth. With 15 years of B14 experience and one of the lighter weight crews they will be favoured if the conditions turn light.
One of the newer and probably youngest crews taking part are Tasmanians Robbie Hunt and David McAully both are under 18 years and have been sailing in a B14 for just over a season.
With the championships shaping up to be a battle of two continents the European competition will come from Alain and Francois Cadre who are sailing in their home waters. Plerin is very tidal with a prevailing NW of between 8-12 knots in July, with a hometown advantage the Cadre’s will be Bancroft’s main rivals for the top of the podium.
As a past International 14 sailor Bancroft loves the Bethwaite B14 design. As a skiff it provides an exciting sail with sailors still needing to be agile but it’s not as physically demanding as the I14 or 49er. The camaraderie of the B14 fleet and in particular the Australian contingent is what many crews enjoy, essentially there is fun of competing at a World championship but without the pressure.
Bancroft is joined by crew Lachlan Imeneo for this shot at the World title. Bancroft’s previous crews have been Nick Darlow with whom he took the title in 2009 and fellow McCrae sailor David Grace in Carnac, France in 2010.
Imeneo is a successful Laser sailor and past member of the Victorian Youth Sailing Team, so will be more than capable of delivering the goods to get that top spot on the podium.
Preparation has been difficult, not least is having to load boats for the trip to Europe eight weeks out from the regatta. Bancroft says he is 'fitter than he’s ever been' and will use the European championships as 'good warm-up regatta, time to get a feel for the conditions'.
Will all the three’s line up? 2013, third World Championship, with three different crews.
All the results, photos and more can be found www.b14world.org/en/Home