The B14 Circus consisting of sixteen B14s, rocked up to the eastern end of the Solent - Lee-on-the-Solent - with fond memories of their full on Nationals two years earlier in 2006. Mark Barnes and Pete Nicholson came out the winners, with Tim Harrison and Johny Radcliffe just pipping Dave Hayes and Sean Dwyer for second.
Sharing the event with the Flying Dutchman Nationals, it was to prove an interesting event for both fleets. The FDs were to do traditional Olympic and the B14s upwind/downwind with one leeward mark.
Saturday and the wind and sun God came in on queue. Racing started in a building westerly spring tide with easterly force 3 – top end 4 breeze.
Following the FDs by 5 minutes, it was a case of when we would meet and on what leg. This was to have an impact on the way the race leaders decided their tactics.
Race 1 and the leaders from the start were Hyde Sails (Alan Davis/Toby Barsley-Dale), Anthill Mob (Tim Harrison/Johny Radcliffe) and Seavolution/Blue Marine (Mark Barnes/Pete Nicholson). The race was on to get out of the tide. This was won by the Anthill Mob but by the windward mark, Seavolution/Blue Marine had gained the lead. Over the next five laps, CSC (Chris Bines/Dave Gibbons) made their move to climb through the fleet from a mid fleet start.
With the front two meeting a road block on catching the FDs, upwind, the front 4 compressed on lap 4 with CSC getting the jump on the Anthill Mob and Hyde Sails. The same was to occur during lap 5 with Seavolution/Blue Marine being hauled in. Going into the finish CSC squeezed through to take the win from Seavolution/Blue Marine, Anthill Mob, Hyde Sails and MJF/North Sails (Dave Hayes/Sean Dwyer).
Race 2 and more of the same, but this time it was MJF/North Sails that led off the pin and Boulder Mobile (Nick Craig/James Stewart) that held the middle ground. At the windward Mark it was MJF/North Sails that led with various teams biting at their heals. However, they were to hold repulsing various teams, to take a well deserved win from the Anthill Mob, Simmons&Simmons (Mark Watts/George Morris), a recovering Seavolution/Blue Marine just getting the jump on CSC on the last round.
Race 3 again MJF/North Sails with the Anthill Mob led of the pin but this time Seavolution/Blue Marine got the roll on them coming into the left hand shore corner. From this point on, Seavolution/Blue Marine took the lead extending/contracting 50 – 100 m. However, behind them, a real dogfight was had between the next three with MJF/North Sails getting the jump on the other two. So at the end and leading overnight on 7 was Seavolution/Blue Marine followed by MJF/North Sails second now on 8, Anthill Mob third on 9, Hyde Sails and CSC.
With the teams retiring to the club for a gastronomic seasonal buffet and band, a good night was had by all. We never did find out what Gordon’s mystery beer was.
Sunday and we were greeted by breeze from all quadrants. The wind god was playing his joker. After a respite for lunch, the breeze kicked in and both fleets launched.
Race 4 and the pin paid but one boat bucked the trend coming out of the middle, Ovington Boats/Dynamic Sails (Dave Dabrejuic/Phil Eltringham). Up the beat, they clicked in within the top 5. At the windward mark, they had climbed to fourth and rolled MJF/North Sails. Over the next 3 laps, Seavolution/Blue Marine repulsed first the Anthill Mob and then on several occasions, Ovington Boats/Dynamic Sails.
The following two were in turn, to have an altication with the Anthill Mob spinning at the leeward mark. However, the Anthill Mob got back past Ovington Boats/Dynamic Sails on the last beat to finish second behind Seavolution/Blue Marine and so secure second in the race and second overall.
After two days of good racing the fleets headed for shore in the dying breeze. A well run event both ashore and on the water with some tight racing. TT-7 is at Thorpe Bay in two weeks. So expect some tight racing and great partying if attending. B14 - Final overall results
1 Seavolution/Blue Marine Mark Barnes Pete Nicholson Whitstable YC/Brightlingsea SC 2 4 1 1 8 4
2 Anthill Mob Tim Harrison Johny Radcliffe Havens YC 4 2 3 2 11 7
3 MJF/North Sails Dave Hayes Sean Dwyer Southport 5 1 2 6 14 8
4 CSC Chris Bines Dave Gibbons Brightlingsea SC 1 5 6 DNS 29 12
5 Hyde Sails Alan Davis Toby Barsley-Dale Weston SC 3 7 4 7 21 14
6 Simmons&Simmons Mark Watts George Morris Weston SC 7 3 5 DNF 32 15
7 Ovington Boats/Dynamic Sails David Dabrejuic Phil Eltringham Tynemouth SC DNS 6 7 3 33 16
8 Acxiom Mark Emmett Allan Stuart/Rachel Bennett Weston SC 6 9 8 4 27 18
9 Mo’B Rod Boswijk Sharon Binney Mountbatten SC 9 8 DNF 8 42 25
10 Boulder Mobile Nick Craig James Stewart Frensham Pond SC 8 DNF DNS 5 47 30
11 Credo Theo Gayler Jack Spencer Emswroth Slipper SC DNS 10 9 DNS 53 36
12 North Sails UK Tim Rush Richard Anderton Bristol Corinthian SC DNS 11 10 DNF 55 38
13 Chattanooga Cho Cho Kathy Sherrat Rachel Bennett Weston SC DNF DNS DNS 9 60 43
14 Pink Pussy Cat Simon Hadley Nicky Webster Whitstable YC 10 DNS DNS DNS 61 44
14 Hyde Sails 2 Don Forster Dawn Barsley-Dale Weston SC 11 DNS DNS DNS 62 45
16 Dryshirt Kevin Rutherford Phil Murray Royal Northumberland YC DNF DNS DNS DNS 68 51