8 B14s descended on SYC for its annual open on the weekend of 6th and 7th August. This was smaller than recently and was largely due to the recent Nationals in Cornwall taking up everyone’s leave and emptying their piggy-banks!

This year the 800 fleet joined in and were sailed off the same start using the PY handicap system, though final results were to be awarded on a class basis.

SYC’s galley crew and race committee did a wonderful job making this one of the favourite’s events on the B14 calendar.

Next year’s event has already been provisionally booked as a Skiff open and will probably be run along similar lines.

Day 1

Early arrivals pitched up on the Friday evening for a few sociable beers, before retiring to tents to try and sleep through the passing trains. Saturday dawned with light, patchy winds causing the race officer to delay the start of proceedings; this gave ample time for the fleet to help newcomers Tom and Kate get 109 into racing trim. The old boat showed some remarkable pace through the weekend, showing there’s plenty of life in the old hulls. With four races per day and limited tide, races were kept short and sharp with turnarounds as quick as possible in tricky conditions for the race team.

Race 1

With a SSE F2 the fleet split 50/50 right and left with Crispin and Guy (762) rounding 1st with a lead that they held to the finish, narrowly beating Will and Harry (768) and Tim and Jonny (758) who slipped to 3rd after they mistook the number of rounds to be sailed! Further down the fleet the massive shifts were causing confusion for visitors and locals alike, with Tony and Charlotte (764) completing a full 360° with the spinnaker up.

Race 2

Started after something of a delay which resulted in the committee boat having to move as the wind swung through 360 degrees in 30 minutes! 762 won from Tim and Jonny and Dan Cowin/Nikki Hadley in (769).

Race 3

Started in a shifty f1-2 WSW, 758 and 762 battled throughout with 758 taking the win from 762.

Race 4

Although it barely seemed possible, the breeze became even more shifty with winds from SSW to NW and back again. The race was won by 768, second 769 and in third 758. At the back of the fleet, 109 pipped Mark and Megan (657) for seventh .Crispin and Guy were overnight leaders on 4 points, with Tim and Jonny second on 6 and Will and Harry snapping at their heels with 7.

Day 2

Sunday dawned with a fresher breeze and an excellent breakfast spread. The shelter afforded by the clubhouse and seawall led some to make unwise kit choices for the day, though they weren’t to know quite how windy it would become

Race 5

Out on the course it was blowing 15knts, WSW. 762 lead for the first lap only to gybe into 768’s water causing 762 to wash their sails, a habit which they quickly remembered and repeated several more times during remaining races! Won by ever ready 758, second 768 and 657 storming back from their last place in the previous day’s final race to take 3rd

Race 6

The wind was distinctly freshening, 18-22 knts, WSW. Quite a few swimmers in the 25+ knt gusts. A truly excellent display by Will and Harry in 768 took line honours followed by a pair of 800s with 758 2nd in the B14 fleet ahead of 769.

Race 7

Blowing small dogs off leads! Quite a few swimmers in both classes with winds above 25 knts. 758 led the B14 fleet ahead of 768 and 764, with the overnight leaders in 4th. By now almost everyone had washed their sails at some point, but some remained dry!

Race 8

By now blowing rather larger dogs off leads…. 27 knts+ and still fresher in the gusts which were pretty full on… 109 and 769 decided that they’d rather watch the action from the safety of the shore, leaving six B14s and a lone 800 on the track. The top 2 remained as the previous race, with the remaining positions decided by who could keep the boat the most upright or right themselves fastest, with 766 keeping the mast in the air to finish 3rd ahead of 762 in 4th (again) who were getting good at getting back up having had a fair bit of practice.


Overall and Results

758 Tim and Johnny took the win followed by the top Youths and 1st SYC boat, Will and Harry (768) and Crispin and Guy in 3rd. The furthest travelled prize went to Barry Price and Al Storer in 766.

Pos Helm Crew Club Sail No R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 Pts
1st Tim Johnny HPYC 758 [3] 2 1 [3] 1 2 1 1 8
2nd Will Harry SYC 768 2 [4] [4] 1 2 1 2 2 10
3rd Crispin Guy SYC 762 1 1 2 [5] [6] 4 4 4 16
4th Dan C Nikki RYA 769 4 3 [7] 2 4 3 7 [9 DNS] 23
5th Tony Jonesy SYC 764 [5] 5 [6] 4 5 5 3 5 27
6th Mark P Megan SYC 657 6 6 3 [8] 3 [7] 6 6 30
7th Barry Al TBSC 766 [7] [7] 5 6 7 6 5 3 32
8th Tom Kate LTSC 109 8 8 8 7 8 [9 DNF] [9 DNF] 9 DNS 48