by Mike Bees and Mark Barnes, 26 Apr.
The B14 bandwagon headed to the south coast after a bruising Rutland Inlands a few weeks ago. Over the weekend of the 23rd - 24th April, we were promised sun and fair wind. The sun arrived as ordered but the weather gods were to play their joker with the wind.
by Mark Watts 23 Mar 10:48 GMT 19-20 March 2022
With a long-range forecast showing sunshine and a nice breeze there was a lot of pre-event excitement to open the season with the annual trip to Rutland. Sadly a few hiccups along the way led to a reduced turnout, excuses ranging from the now old excuse of Covid, to car accidents (on the way to the event) and what seems to be a sudden shortage of crews (scared off perhaps after a lack of winter training by the pre-event news article mentioning big guns!).
It seems such a long time ago, but the last show most of us would have attended would have been the 2020 Dinghy Show at Ali Pali just before the first lockdown.
In that time much has passed, Restart Sailing has been born carrying the banner for UK sailing, and against the odds we saw sailing as a sport prevail with championships held for many classes in the back half of 2021, and sailing as a whole increased participation as many rekindled their love for outdoor activities.
So it is to 2022 that we look to put the experience of the last two years with lockdowns and curtailing of many events behind us. Be it rekindling friendships and attending events to see what others are doing and to test our skills against like-minded people. To this end the B14 class has a full calendar in 2022 which can be found on www.b14.org, though this has not been without change due to having to postpone the 2022 Worlds at Garda until July 2023 to allow inclusion of our Antipodean friends/competitors, so removing uncertainty of whether they could get a container and/or themselves there by the end of June. However, we have a European and National Championships at Whitstable Yacht Club commencing on the 1st September for four days. One not to be missed, racing on waters where many championships have been held over the years. With competitors coming from across Europe it will be the focal point of the 2022 season.
Further to that, as we are seeing people returning to structured sailing events, the B14 class are looking for people who would be interested in crewing or possibly helming B14s in 2022. You do not need to have previous B14 experience. If interested come to stand C30 and/or also join the FaceBook page B14 Sailors and leave a post. You may just get that experience that you have been looking for from fun high performance sailing.
At the exhibition over the weekend of 27th – 28th February, we will be exhibiting on stand C30 close to the main stage. On show will be the all-conquering B14 GBR799, Rapid Fire, Team Seavolution/North Sails, sailed by Mark Barnes (Seavolution) and Charlotte Horlocke and will be in all her pomp. Having won both the Nationals and TT series in 2021, she will be exhibiting the latest thinking in B14 sailing and North Sails latest mainsail development which is now being used by several teams.
Over the weekend, members of the fleet will be available to discuss all aspects relating to the B14, whether looking to join, current or past member of the fleet, all are welcome. With much activity during lockdown where we saw the second-hand market evaporate, we now have several top B14s coming to market as teams look to upgrade or consolidate where they have more than one B14, plus Seavolution have a brand new B14 in stock if you fancy an all gleaming all dancing weapon. So if looking to attend the 2022 Europeans or 2023 Worlds, there is not a better time to pick up a top package ready to prance your stuff at the big regattas in what is considered to be the fastest non-foiling non-trapeze dinghy. Therefore, if you want that adrenalin rush sailing against some of the UKs best sailors, you need look no further. We look forward to welcoming you onto the stand over the weekend.