Day 3 and the B14 fleet woke to wind whistling through the rigging. R/O Mike Rayden held the fleet ashore for 1 hour to let the breeze subside from 35 knots.
On cue, the wind gods did their job and the breeze started to drop around 1100. Helping each other and with some club assistance the fleet launched quickly into an onshore breeze and sea.
Race 1 (race 6), the fleet hit the line at full power in 20 knots and short sea. Charging up the beat Friday’s main protagonists reveled in the breeze. First round the windward mark was Flying Donkey (Mark Watts/Chris Bishop), P&B South (Ben McGrane/Ollie Wells), Whitstable Marine (Nick Craig/Tom Pygall) and Blue Badge (Mike Bees/Ferret). Down the run the boats launched off the waves with some spectacular sailing. At the gybe the top 5 fired through and with the peddle hard down charged to the gate. Blue Badge spun out coming down off a wave bringing Seavolution North Sails (Mark Barnes/Ruth Oliver) in to 4th with a gap to the next batch. Up the next these 4 gave no quarter with a lot at stake. Flying Donkey led the charge covering Whitstable Marine with P&B South in hot pursuit. Over the next 2 rounds there was little to chose between these 3 as they battled for the top spots with Blue Badge out of the picture. Seavolution/North Sails, headed for the beach on the last lap with their kite torn in half at the top of the run. So Flying Donkey held off Whitstable Marine for the bullet, followed by P&B South.
Seavolution North Sails, with the help of some rock stars on the beach did a very quick pit stop and returned to the fray with new kite and 4 minutes to spare
Going into race 7, P&B South and Flying Donkey were tied for second with blue badge’s capsize costing them dear. Off the line the same 5 charged upwind with Ullman Sails and Whitstable Marine giving as hard as they got followed by P&B South, Blue Badge and Seavolution North Sails arriving in that order in close proximity at the windward mark. Down the run with building sea, the bows went high and the grins got broader. The top 5 held on in order, with P&B making their move up the second beat. Another hard charge downwind saw some capsizes in the mid fleet. The big play was to be over the last downwind with the top three arriving not far apart. As the big breeze, hit the B14s sung louder with the crews on the back of the bus giving some memorable slay rides. Come down to the leeward gate Whitstable Marine had a leeward shroud failure with kite up, but saved the rig and still gained 4th (impressive). Flying Donkey leading down the last run failed to cover and were passed by P&B as a cloud brought in new pressure and breeze leaving many teams overstanding the bottom gate. P&B South took 1st, Flying Donkey 2nd, followed by Blue Badge.
Whitstable Marine won a worthy Nationals followed by P&B South and Ullman Sails with 5 winners from the 7 races and some amazingly close racing.
The race team laid on a great event with fast turn arounds and nice big courses to allow the B14s to stretch their legs.
Also thanks to Larry the Quiz Master and support team ashore.
Endeavour Trophy (Last to complete all races) – GBR774 – Iain Horlock/Charlotte Jones
1st Rondar – GBR 681 – Paul Gliddon/Josie Gliddon
1st Lady – GBR 785 – Jane Reeves
1st Youth – GBR 788 – Ruth Oliver