The B14 winter travellers headed down the M2 to Hooness for what was hoped to be a classic Freezer on the Medway, the final round of the Seavolution B14 Winter Pursuit Series sponsored by Allen.

The B14 fleet headed up the A1(M) to Rutland Water for the Rutland Challenge for the John Merricks Tiger Trophy to be greeted by
sub zero weather, -5°C. Taking the forecast into account (starting to sound like a gramophone record), several teams decided that the risk of snow and possible stranding, meant that they would have to decline and not attend. However, for the 4 B14s that attended with the rest of the reduced fleet Dave Wilkins and his team provided some great racing over the weekend in hard conditions. The club liad on it's usual welcome, and the briefing included a video message dispatched by Ian Walker from the warmth of the South China Sea where he was still racing in the Volvo Ocean Race

This was to be part of the Seavolution Winter Series, but a combination of the B14 fleet's legendary reluctance to do anything other than sail in a hurry and the popularity of this limited-entry event, which forms part of Andy Rice's "Sail Juice Global Warm Up" series meant that only two boats were able to enter, with even Mark Barnes, series organiser, failing to secure a place. So it was that just 749 (Olly and Gareth) and 766 (Barry and Al) made their was to Northampton SC on Saturday 28th January.

The B14 flying circus arrived at Starcross for the Streamer, to be greeted by a southeast wind of 20 – 30 knots. Taking the forecast into account, a number of the travelling teams decided not to travel. This did not stop a record entry for the race over a figure of eight course. With ring masters John Donovan and Mark Elkington in charge, it was going to be a great event.Steamer2012_1_thmb


As the B14s launched, a number of the early starters were returning ashore after finding the conditions overwhelming.