The forecast was terrible for the second and final leg of the B14 NSW States at Illawarra Yacht Club on the 14th March 2021.
There was a gale warning, with southerlies of 25 gusting 30 knots predicted.
Four skiffs braved the elements, 15 degrees and rain, following a day of 28 degrees and brilliant sunshine.
The club was keen to provide racing if possible, both for the B14s and for the regular Sunday local sailors in Trailables and other craft, and had a boat on the lake taking readings, and of course was monitoring the wind as it moved up the coast. As race time approached, the rescue boat was only measuring 14 knots on the lake, although it looked a hell of a lot worse. Racing was declared ON, so the B14s started getting ready to go on the water. The locals, on the other hand, got out of their wetsuits and went home!!
While 4 boats rigged up, only 3 hit the water as Yellowbone had a kite halyard mishap which could not be rectified.
Glenn Cardwell and Audrey Scheu in Bandit dominated the day, winning all three races, two by a long margin. The Nude gave them a run for their money in the third, but Bandit won out comfortably. Nathan Reynolds and Darren Morgan in Usain Boat had a good first race, finishing 2nd. But in Race 2 they collided with Richie Reynolds (no relation!) and Lissa McMillan in The Nude at the first top mark, breaking The Nude’s tiller extension. Nathan and Darren capsized during the penalty turn and struggled to upright the boat. Although the wind remained about 16-18 knots most of the day, with a few 20 to 25 knot gusts, the lake was very lumpy in the southerly, and the sea state made sailing challenging. Happily the lake water was very warm!
Although Bandit won the day, The Nude took out the States 2021 (for the 11th time), having notched up 3 wins at Woollahra in leg 1, whilst Bandit had recorded 3 fifths on the Harbour. The State Titles Trophy has had to be modified, with another layer added to fit more shields.
At the AGM before racing, Glenn Cardwell took over the role of NSW President from Lissa, who has held the role for 21 years. Minutes of the NSW AGM are here.
We are very grateful to Illawarra Yacht Club for putting on racing for just our small fleet on a pretty ugly day on the water! Thanks to Bob our Race Officer, as well as Ann, Norm, Dante, and the others on the start and rescue boats.
The Australian Nationals planned for Woollahra Sailing Club have been cancelled, due to the uncertainty surrounding the event caused by COVID-19. Potential last minute lockdown and travel restrictions make it too hard for participants and organisers to plan. However, some B14ers are looking at some informal sailing during the week of January 3-7 with whomever can make it to Sydney.
At this stage we would be looking at returning to Sydney in January 2022 for the Nationals. The Worlds in Lake Garda are still scheduled for 4th – 14th July 2022 at Circolo Torbole.
Sydney’s had a run of “interesting” weather this season, with the planned first leg of the B14 NSW States postponed from 25 October after Woollahra cancelled racing due to a howling southerly. Racing was cancelled the following Sunday with southerly gusts in excess of 30 knots. And the rerun of the States on 8/11 saw southerlies again, albeit not ridiculously strong, but still gusty and swinging wildly.
Six boats braved the conditions to complete 3 races. It wasn’t easy to sail well, and some less than graceful manoeuvres were displayed! Of note was the less-than-a-minute-to-go-to-the-start-of-the-first-race capsize by class veterans Sophie Hunt and Andy Payne in Purple Cow aka Hunt Leather. But like the pros they are, they managed to finish in second place behind Richie and Lissa in The Nude.
Glenn Cardwell and super-crew Audrey Schue in Bandit were with the Hunties going around the top mark but their mast hit the water, pushing them back through the fleet. The boom also hit Audrey’s head during righting, which might partly explain Bandit’s unanticipated performance – they were not their usual highly competitive selves, chalking up 3 fifths.
On the other hand, Yellowbone (Anthony House and Natalia Wu) and Usain Boat (Nathan Reynolds and Ellen Noye) both had sustained periods of brilliance. The most impressive was the third race when they led the field to the first top mark, going around together. The Nude and Hunt Leather managed to get around the pair, with Yellowbone finishing up third and Usain Boat fourth in that race, and indeed in the regatta.
Despite not much time in the boat this season, Stan Bland and daughter Anna showed good pace, particularly off the start and upwind. The full results are here.
On a demographical note, it was a very balanced regatta, with one female and one male on each boat. The age range was also impressive, from 16 to 66!
Good fun was had by all and hoping others can join us for the second leg of the States to be held at Illawarra Yacht Club on 14th March.
The B14 Class Association regrets to announce that the 2021 World Championships to be hosted by Woollahra Sailing Club in Sydney, Australia from January 3 – 7, 2021 have been cancelled.
The World Council has been closely monitoring the worldwide developments in the COVID-19 pandemic and the huge impact this has had on international travel and logistics. They understand the huge commitment of time and money it takes to participate in a major Championship, as well as the enormous resources that host clubs dedicate to putting on such events. Sadly the current global situation simply doesn’t allow this to happen.
Australian and World Class President, Lissa McMillan, said it was not feasible to continue to plan the regatta within the current climate of uncertainty. “There’s no guarantee international competitors and their boats would be able to enter Australia by January next year. The B14 Class focus now shifts to the World Championships on Lake Garda in mid-2022, by which time we hope the global situation is vastly improved.”
The B14 Australian Nationals will now take place at Woollahra Sailing Club in Sydney in the January 3 – 7 2021 window vacated by the cancellation of the World event. A massive thanks to everyone who has been involved in organising the B14 Worlds. The European fleet were really looking forward to sailing in Sydney Harbour once again and whilst we fully understand and respect the tough decision that has had to be made, are disappointed we’ll have to wait a bit longer to return to our spiritual home down under!”
The European/UK National Championships at Rock Sailing and Waterski Club are scheduled for 3-6 September and we still hope these are able to go ahead as planned.
Further details of upcoming B14 events will be published on the Class website, b14.org as soon as the calendar is confirmed.
Rob Taylor, B14 European Class Chairman