The B14 circus arrived trekked down to HISC for the weekends games, and what a weekend we had. Firstly entertained by the unfortunate RS800 demolition derby on the Winner Bank and 29ers on the inner course, unraveling in front of us as the wind picked up and caught the two fleets off guard.
After a conflab with Master of Ceromonies Tim Hancock, the wind had dissipated to 18 - 20 knots. However, as the B14s and Musto Skiffs launched the breeze kicked up to 37 mph. All boats that had not launched were held ashore but some had launched.
Amazingly all the damage was one bolt on a Musto Skiff but it had been a white knuckle ride. The B14s headed to shore and called it a day but the wind dropped to 25 knots and the smaller rigged Musto Skiffs completed 3 races and Laser 4000s two races.
The bar was calling and some responsible partying started during the late afternoon. Great evening as ever, but thick heads the result of the indulgence the following morning.
With breakfast over and 25 – 30 knot winds and rain, some called it a day after the first briefing at 10:00, but those that stayed on for the 12:00 briefing were treated to some great sailing. So we eventually launched with a smaller fleet to engage is some close battles over 4 races. With black flag, 400 m. course with mid and leaward gates, it was going to be fast and furious with some boats hitting the tide. For the first timers, they were amazed and speechless when they got ashore, but did they have big smiles on their faces, you bet.
Race 1 and off the pin end of the very short line MJF/North Sails (UK) (Dave Hayes/Shaun Dwyer) and Acxiom (Mark Emmett/Allan Stuart) led to the left. Seavolution/Blue Marine (Mark Barnes/Pete Nicholson) crossed the sterns of the fleet and headed out to the right.
At the windward mark it was MJF/North Sails (UK) hounded by Seavolution/Blue Marine and Sailsport (Tony Blackmore/Charlotte Jones). Into the gybe and Seavolution/Blue Marine Rolled MJF/North Sails (UK), taking the lead. This they held over the next lap to the finish followed by MJF/North Sails (UK) and Acxiom.
Race 2 and all tramped into the pin. Seavolution/Blue Marine baled out but Acxiom and Sailsport were caught out. Steam Boat Willie (Richard Valentine/Simon West) and MJF North Sails (UK) and Mean Machine 00 (Barry Price/Al Storrer), got the best starts. However, it was the Anthill Mob (Tim Harrison/Johnny Radcliffe) that took the lead.
At the windward mark they led followed by a charging Seavolution/Blue Marine and Acxiom. The first two were to have a battle royal till the finish with Seavolution/Blue Marine having rolled the Anthill on the first run, just holding on as the two gybed into the finish. They were followed by Acxiom but the OCS so third went to MJF North Sails (UK).
Race 3 and again keenness was to do for the Mean Machine 00. The line was square and the fleet hit the line in line but Seavolution/Blue Marine crossed the sterns and headed out to the right and protected the middle of the course to take the lead but behind as in the last couple of races, a rael dogfight ensued. After the two laps, Seavolution/Blue Marine won from the Anthill Mob and MJF North Sails (UK). So all scores were added up and they now represented 50% of the final score. Seavolution/Blue Marine led from MJF North Sails (UK) and Steam Boat Willie.
With the wind increasing to 19 – 20 knots, the course relayed, the spectacle was on. The fleet hit the line, full on with Seavolution/Blue Marine dipping the sterns and heading right away from the channel chased by MJF North Sails (UK). Heading to the left were Acxiom and the Anthill mob with the rest up the middle.
At the windward mark Seavolution/Blue Marine had pulled out on MJF North Sails (UK) who in turn were hounded by the Anthill Mob and Sailsport. On the run, Seavolution/Blue Marine pulled out to a lead but the chasing pack were no more than 10 boat lengths front to back with all up for grabs. The Anthill Mob and Mean Machine 00, hit the tide releasing the first three to chase down Seavolution/Blue Marine over the next two laps.
Unfortunately for them, They made hay and pulled away leaving the next three to fight it out for second. MJF North Sails (UK) and Acxiom had a real battle but and OCS did for the latter and MJF North Sails (UK) were second and second overall with Sailsport a well deserved third but with an OCS slipped to 4th with the Anthill Mob taking fourth in the race and 3rd overall.
So it was ashore on a rip roaring fly past the club to a prompt prize giving and tales to take away for another year.
A great event run by a team that is on the pulse and responsive to the competitors and individual boat needs. Roll on next year and hopefully better weather on the Saturday. B14 - Overall Position - Helm - Crew - Club
1 Mark Barnes Peter Nicholson Whitstable YC/Brightlingsea SC
2 David Hayes Sean Dwyer Southport SC
3 Tim Harrison Jonny Ratcliffe HPYC
4 Tony Blackmore Charlotte Jones Starcross YC
5 Richard Valetine Simon West Aylesbury SC
6 Mark Emmett Allan Stuart RYA
7 Barry Price Al Storer King George SC
8 Stephen Hollingsworth Chris Murphy Restronguet SC
8 Will McGrath Harry Reece Starcross SC
8 Theo galyer Jack Spencer Emsworth Slipper SC
8 Geraldine Brown Leakster Fermor KYSC
8 Daniel Cowin Kathy Sherratt Ely SC
8 Mark Watts George Morris Weston SC
8 Chris Bines Dave Gibbons Brightlingsea SC
8 Chris Turner Phil Eltringham Tynemouth SC
Event website - www.hisc.co.uk
Images website - Tania Samus, www.photoblink.co.uk