by James Fox
The Artemis 2011 International 14 World Championships have now completed the last day of racing at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) with a nail biting finish.
Artemis 2011 International 14 World Championships
David Campbell-James, the Principal Race Officer did a fantastic job to squeeze in Races 6 and 7 before the 1400 time limit, especially considering the fleet arrived out in Weymouth bay to be greeted by a fickle and variable south-easterly breeze and a postponement.
The World title was still up for grabs with Roger Gilbert and Ben McCrane two points ahead of Archie Massey and Dan Wilsdon. Only two firsts would ensure victory for Archie and Dan, whereas Roger and Ben required a sixth or better and to beat Archie and Dan in either race. Hot on the heels of the top two boats was third place boat Katie Nurton and Nigel Ash who were just six points off first so could not be discounted.
Race 6 – The sixth race got underway on the second start under the black flag and in eight knots of wind. Roger and Ben footed out right to cover Archie and Dan, who were trying to recover from a punchy start at the committee boat end. By the first mark Roger rounded sixth and Archie 12th. Meanwhile Katie and Nigel had wiped out the points deficit by leading the race early on. By the end of the race Glen Truswell and Chris Blackburn had pulled out a large lead to take first, followed by Katie and Nigel in second and in third the local boat of Sam Pascoe and Alex Knight.
Unfortunately Katie was called OCS, and in doing so dropped out of contention for the title. The title contenders continued their battle with Roger and Ben keeping a loose cover over Archie and Dan, and both finishing with their worst results of the regatta a seventh and a tenth.
Race 7 - The final race loomed with Archie and Dan requiring a win and Roger and Ben requiring a seventh or better. After one general recall, the black flag was pulled out and the warning signal sounded ten minutes before the last start cut off time. The wind had built to 13 knots. The two contenders shot out the line, neck and neck, with Archie and Dan just squeezing out Roger and Ben on the port lay into the top mark.
The positions remained the same, never more than ten yards apart for the three lap race. Roger and Ben took the lead on the final beat, when Archie and Dan undercooked the starboard layline. The Canadian pairing of Billy Gooderham and Ian Hogan in their Killing 3 were running a solid third and finished the with the best result of their series. The drama was not over as Roger and Ben crossed the finish line to no sound signal. They were unfortunately black-flagged at the start and in doing so handed the race win and World Championship title to Archie and Dan.
Overall - Archie and Dan were crowned World Champions for an unprecedented third time, Roger and Ben finished second and Katie and Nigel third. British, Australian and German boats made up the remaining top ten positions.
The two week championships concluded with an excellent prize giving dinner at the Weymouth Pavilion. Evening entertainment was provided by the ‘Crews Union’, who flexed their muscle to punish many unsuspecting helms for various crimes committed throughout the year. Partying continued in Weymouth’s finest nightclub with discussion turning to Canada and the 2013 Toronto Worlds Championship to be hosted by the Royal Canadian Yacht Club.
International 14 Worlds website