The first leg of the B14 NSW State Titles 2019-20 kicked off on the first weekend of November at the fabulous Illawarra Yacht Club, the venue for the fast-approaching 2020 Nationals.

The breeze was south-westerly to begin, but swung to the east to settle in at 8 to 14 knots.

Eight boats contested the event. The B with Kade Morgan and Dylan Cardwell broke a boom before the first race, but managed to get back to shore sharply and complete the second and third races with a replacement.

The Nude, with eight state championships under her belt, began the event with an unusual starting tactic … capsizing three and a half minutes into the sequence. (This was after a planned capsize before the race to fix a kite rigging problem.Doh!) Sophie Hunt and Andy Payne, returning after a wee sabbatical, banged the left corner (probably to reduce the number of manoeuvres needed!). Glenn Cardwell and Audrey Schue in Bandit went to the right. The Nude worked the middle and ended up making up the lost ground to win the first race, with Sophie and Andy second and The Bandit third.

Allen Graham and his cousin Col had a great start in the second race, getting a big lift on the right and storming into the first top mark at speed and in first place. Anthony House and Micah Sullivan in Yellowbone also hooked into the right-side lift and were well placed early.

But the pressure eased during the first run and Toxic, going for speed, ended up going a lot further than The Nude and The Bandit who switched to a very low mode.

Race three saw The Nude get a great start and build a solid lead, which was handy as experienced skipper Richie decided to jump off the boat gybing halfway down the last run. The uprighting was fairly quick, with only about three seashells collected on the deck from the sticky black mud on the top of the mast! More arse than class, The Nude managed to finish 2 seconds before The Bandit.

The second round of the States will be on Sunday 15th March at Woollahra Sailing Club.

And from January 12th to 17th 2020, Illawarra will host the Nationals. Entry form here.