The BlockbusterClass newcomers Robbie Hunt and David McAully sailed brilliantly to take out the eight race series with an almost flawless score line and after drops they achieved perfection. Fortunately, for them their boat The Hitcher did not turn into horror/thriller ride like the film.
The series was sailed over two days with the reliable Beauty Point sea breeze increasing each day to 18 to 20 knots. All races were two laps on a windward leeward course
Unlike recent regattas, ten boats arrived at the Port Dalyrmple Yacht Club to contend for the title of the best blockbuster and the competition was fast and furious with every race containing its fair share of close finishes between boats.
Race 1 – Eight boats lined up and racing started as the sea breeze established and started to build to a solid pressure. The Hitcher crew jump out of the blocks at the start sailing fast and with good height towards the left of the course. They managed to gain a good eighteen second lead to take their first win of the series from Steve Miller and Earle Westbury in the Phantom who finished just two seconds ahead of the fast finishing Chris Wells and Rani Dabner in Epic. The gap between the next finishers The Cunning Plan and Bondi Tram was just four seconds. Tim and Alex (son) Grant in Craftsman Homes were next followed by Richard and Megan (niece) Grant in B Alert with the other family crew of Darren and Caitlyn (daughter) sailing Misunderstood.
Race 2 – On mass the fleet went left after the start with The Hitcher closely shadowed by Epic and Phantom. In the end these three again finished as a group in this order. While the Cunning Plan of Cole Dabner and Rob Moreton didn't improve on their placing from the previous race, they did manage to get an improved lead of five seconds ahead of Stephen Mitchell and Adrianne Daley in the Bondi Tram. The rest of the fleet Craftsman Homes, Misunderstood and B Alert were not far behind in the rising wind.
Race 3 – Almost a repeat of race two, but this time Chris and Rani hounded The Hitcher boys all the way and were only six seconds behind at the end. They were followed by the Phantoms with Stephen and Adrianne fourth in the Tram followed by Craftsman Homes. The Cunning Plan came unstuck to score a DNF. By this time the wind had reached its peak and the rest of the fleet was ashore.
Race 4 – In the strongest winds of the day The Hitcher managed to score a convincing win with a one minute and two second win over Epic which was only eight seconds ahead of The Cunning Plan. Phantom led Craftsman Homes over the line to round out the depleted fleet of finishers.
At the end of day one The Hitcher crew of Robbie and Dave had a clean score line with Epic and Phantom in second and third.
Day 2 dawned clear and fine with the light morning winds quickly replaced by an increasing sea breeze from the north-west. The fleet also increased from eight to ten with Richard McMinn and Ben Brice making their first Blockbuster appearance on Catharsis and Adrian Beswick and Clare Cromarty joining forces to put Smokin on the line.
Race 5 – The stronger breeze brought the heavier crews to the fore with the stand out for glory being Darren and Caitlyn who managed to get Misunderstood around the top mark in first place. But, this was not to last and they were overhauled by the usual suspects to finish a very credible fourth. The Hitcher again led the fleet over the line followed by The Cunning Plan, Phantom and in fifth, and their best place so far, was Craftsman Homes, then Epic and last was the lightweight in Bondi Tram. The gap from first to last was only two minutes and twenty one seconds which shows just how competitive the B14s are. The winner of the worst luck award had to go to the Richard and Ben in Catharsis who managed to break their spinnaker pole on the very first run of the day and consequently were amongst the non finishers. Smokin also suffered with the spinnaker pole refusing to come out to play but trip ashore to rig the pole for permanent extension saw them ready for race 7
Race 6 – Out of the blocks and quickly away up the track again was The Hitcher the crews of Phantom, Epic, and The Cunning Plan and Misunderstood playing catch up. Craftsman Homes was handling the stronger breeze well followed by Bondi Tram and Catharsis which was on the track but sailing without a pole. A torn wing mat saw Misunderstood out of the racing and the Tram finally succumbed to the strong winds. Again it was The Hitcher over the finish line a good minute ahead of The Cunning Plan closely followed by Epic, Phantom and Craftsman Homes with the pole handicapped Catharsis five minutes behind.
Race 7 – The depleted fleet started in gusty conditions and this time Epic and Phantom were out in front of The Hitcher which was being hounded by Adrian and Clare in Smokin, closely followed by The Cunning Plan and Craftsman Homes. Richard and Ben had called it a day in Catharsis and were ashore contemplating the work required to repair their pole. A well deserved one minute win by Phantom from Epic with The Hitcher a further forty seconds behind with a gap of fifty five seconds to Smokin. The Cunning Plan and Craftsman Homes rounded out the finishers.
Race 8 – For the final race of the day strong winds were replaced by a moderate breeze with stronge gusts and these spread the fleet out more than before. In the race Chris and Rani completely missed the start but hooked into a massive wind shift to again put Epic in front of The Hitcher, but this time they managed to improve even further to take a well deserved win, with Phantom in third. The Cunning Plan finished in front of Smokin. Sadly, Tim and Alex Grant scored their only DNF for the series in Craftsman Homes.
|B14 Fleet - Sailed: 8 Discards: 2 Ratings: VY|
|1||B14||The Hitcher||B14||AUS 372||Robbie Hunt||David McAully||94.4||1.0||1.0||1.0||1.0||1.0||1.0||3.0||2.0||6.0||y|
|2||B14||Epic||B14||AUS 359||Chris Wells||Rani Dabner||94.4||3.0||2.0||2.0||2.0||6.0||3.0||2.0||1.0||12.0||y|
|3||B14||Phantom||B14||AUS 367||Steve Miller||Earle Westbury||94.4||2.0||3.0||3.0||4.0||3.0||4.0||1.0||3.0||15.0||y|
|4||B14||The Cunning Plan||B14||AUS 366||Cole Dabner||Rob Moreton||94.4||4.0||4.0||DNF||3.0||2.0||2.0||5.0||4.0||19.0||y|
|5||B14||Craftsman Homes||B14||AUS 369||Tim Grant||Alex Grant||94.4||6.0||6.0||5.0||5.0||5.0||5.0||6.0||DNF||32.0||y|
|6||B14||Bondi Tram||B14||AUS 355||Stephen Mitchell||Adrianne Daley||94.4||5.0||5.0||4.0||DNC||7.0||DNF||DNC||DNC||43.0||y|
|7||B14||Misunderstood||B14||AUS 313||Darren Eggins||Cattlyn Eggins||94.4||8.0||7.0||DNC||DNC||4.0||DNF||DNC||DNC||52.0||y|
|8||B14||Smokin||B14||AUS 361||Adrian Beswick||Clair Cromarty||94.4||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNF||DNC||4.0||5.0||53.0||y|
|9||B14||B Alert||B14||AUS 250||Richard Grant||Megan Grant||94.4||7.0||8.0||DNC||DNC||DNF||DNC||DNC||DNC||59.0||y|
|10||B14||Catharsis||B14||AUS 159||Richard McMinn||Ben Price||94.4||DNF||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNF||6.0||DNC||DNF||61.0||y|