The B14 winter travellers headed down the M2 to Hooness for what was hoped to be a classic Freezer on the Medway, the final round of the Seavolution B14 Winter Pursuit Series sponsored by Allen.
However, the joker's card was to be played again with sun and forecast of 2 – 4 knots. So the hopes of a building breeze were being anticipated. The breeze did build but only to about a steady 4 knots with big holes.
Classes were able to enter teams of 3 boats, so the B14s entered "B14 Team Allen" consisting of Seavolution (GBR 788 Mark Barnes/Dan Hare), Pink Pussycat (GBR 770 Simon Hadley/Nikki Hadley) and Anthill Mob (GBR 758 Tim Harrison/Johny Radcliffe).
Being the second start, the fast handicap got away at the first attempt, with Seavolution taking up the charge chased by the Anthill Mob and the single Cherub. Over the first lap, the two B14s were to have a right battle royal as Seavolution would pull away, only for the Anthill Mob to come back at them. Time and again these two exchanged tacks and gybes. Pink Pussycat GBR 770 Simon Hadley/Nikki Hadley and GBR 724 Rob Spraughton/Ed Lows got stuck in the traffic with Pink Pussycat slowly sniggling through the Ospreys and Hornets etc, only to be swallowed again as the holes appeared in the breeze and allowed the slower boats to catch them.
Over the second lap Seavolution pulled out a bit of a lead on the Anthill Mob, only to sail into a hole on the run on lap 3. The Anthill Mob on rounding the mark saw the predicament Seavolution was in, and headed for the Chatham side and sailed round them. Over the remainder of the lap, the lead compressed a little due to the wind pressure but the Anthill Mob held on to take the Fast handicap win from Seavolution.
Pink Pussycat, struggled against the tide in the light breeze to get back upwind to the finish and finished just inside the time limit with new boys GBR 724 running out of time. Many boats were swept away on the tide. Unfortunately the Hornets won the team prize from the B14s.
However, the B14s beat the Hornets to the chips and tea!
So an interesting series where just about everything was thrown at the fleets attending the events. On the upside 12 B12s attended the series which when seeing the conditions over the winter was a good turnout. With good conditions the turnout would have been appreciably higher.
We would like to thank the generosity of the series sponsors including, Allen Brothers, Harken, Marlow, North Sails One Design, Advantage Sails, Seavolution and Synthesize Yachts and Design.
The first TT is at Rutland on March 24th/25th with the prize giving being held at Saturday night's party.
Pos Boat Name Sail No Helm Crew Starcross Steamer Tiger Trophy Draycote Dash Hoo Freezer Pts
1 Seavolution GBR 788 Mark Barnes Dan Hare 5 1 1 2 7
2 Pink Pussycat GBR 770 Simon Hadley Nikki Hadley 12 12 2 3 17
3 Marlow GBR 769 Daniel Cowin Dan Hollands 12 2 3 12 17
4 Harken GBR 789 Steve Hollingworth Chris Murphy 5 4 12 12 21
5 Anthill Mob GBR 758 Tim Harrison Johny Radcliffe 12 12 12 1 25
6 Ullman Sails GBR 772 Mark Watts Al Storer 12 3 12 12 27
7 HB & R Consulting GBR 766 Barry Price Al Storer 12 12 4 12 28
8 GBR 724 Rob Spraughton Ed Lows 12 12 12 4 28
9 Flower Power GBR 764 Tony Blackmore Charlotte Jones 5 12 12 12 29
9 GBR 631 Michael Commander Andrew Commander 5 12 12 12 29
9 Asbo GBR 762 Crispin Taylor Guy Farell 5 12 12 12 29
12 Axicom GBR 761 Mark Emmett Alan Stewart 12 6 12 12 30