Rocketship Takes home the state championship following tough and drawn out competition over the weekend.
The Kingston Beach Sailing Club played host to the annual Tasmanian B14 State Championships over the weekend. Sailors from as far as Wynyard attended the championships in the states south to compete in a fleet of 12 boats, 5 from the northern half of the state and 7 from the southern half. Conditions varied across the weekend including breezes from every direction on the compass and varying wind strengths throughout the 8 races sailed.
Adrian Beswick and his crew, Jono Le Bis sailing Rocketship, won the championship for a third time with a score of 8 points, a slender 2 points from fellow North West rival, coach, 2 time national and 5 time state champion, Nick Richardson and his crew Lauren Keil sailing Craftsman Homes who finished the regatta on 10 points. Third place went to Chris and Rani Wells sailing EPIC who sailed a consistent regatta and finished up on 13 points.
Nick spoke highly of Adrian and his crew Jono. He said that since his absence from the class since 2011 that their sailing had improved to the point where once they were in a winning position during racing, it wasn’t going to be as simple to just chase them down as it had been in their past encounters.
Adrian has been ‘nipping at the heels’ of Nick for a number of years as they have both been in the class together since 2002. Adrian said that the victory with Nick in the fleet, despite having two other wins in past years since his departure, makes this win so much sweeter.
Across the weekend there was some great close and spectacular racing with positions changing on a leg by leg basis meaning that mistakes cost sailors bigtime on the overall results sheet. Consistency paid overall, but with boats able to drop their worst two races it meant that some entrants benefited from deducting some pretty bad scores.
The handicap overall win went to Steve Miller and his crew Lauren Bird sailing Phantom on 21 points from Ross Daley and Josh Phillips sailing Early warning on 29 points and Grant Atherton and his crew David McAully on 30 points.
Grant expressed his elation following a great weekend’s sailing saying that sailing with his crew Dave McAully on the weekend again proved that the B14 is just as much driven by the crew at the front of the boat as well as the skipper at the back of the boat and that it was great to see both Skippers and Crews coming away with prizes and trophies of the same size. He commended the association on their efforts.
Newcomers back to the class Ryan and Rob Moreton sailing their boat, The Cunning Plan were presented with the classes encouragement award after showing great skills throughout the weekend which once honed will be right in the mix with some of the top sailors. Ryan and Rob had only had one training sail and were well on the pace in all the races.
Principal Race Officer for the regatta, Peter Gore following racing on Sunday said that the class is well regarded throughout the state for its high quality sailors, its engagement with the sailing community and its active presence online and in social media.
The Association thanked host Kingston Beach Sailing Club for all their efforts on and off the water. Regatta’s such as this one survive on the dedication of volunteers to run them and help to keep sailing alive and well across the state.
The B14 National Championships are scheduled to be in Tasmania in January 2016 at the Midway Point Yacht Club. Sailors are encouraged to get active, keep an eye on the www.b14.org website for updates and check out the marketplace or new boats section.