It looks like the B14 2022 TT series is kicking off with a bang over the weekend of the 19th - 20th March at Rutland Sailing Club. The class's five main winning protagonists over the recent period will all be there.
Lining up will be Harken GBR 796 (Nick Craig/Toby Lewis, current World and multiple event/class Champions), Team Seavolution/North Sails GBR 799 (Mark Barnes/Charlotte Horlock current National and multiple class champions), Blue Badge GBR 771 (Mike Bees/Martin Worth, past multiple champions), Highland Girl GBR 774 (Dave Hayes/Pete Nicholson, past multiple champions) and Brightmile GBR 797 (Mark Watts/Matt Johnson, multiple podium finisher). A line up that would match that of just about any domestic class, with possibly only the Merlin Rockets at their strongest bettering, of which three of these teams also compete in.
So if you fancy testing yourselves to see how you match up against these 5 teams of which several will need no introduction, do not be intimidated, then you need to be on that start line to experience probably some of the best dinghy racing in the UK over that weekend. With the 2022 season starting off with a bang and a full calendar leading in to the Europeans at Whitstable one of the UKs pre-eminent bits of racing water on 1st - 4th September 2022, if you fancy skiff racing, then you need look no further if you really would like to know how you match up against some of the fastest dinghy sailors in the UK.
There are currently a couple of top B14s on the second-hand list www.b14.org just waiting for the right teams to take them on their next adventure. Also if you would like to get involved as a crew of helm then go to the FaceBook page B14 Sailors and join in the discussions.
Designed by Julian Bethwaite and based on the Bethwaite 18 footer, you've no doubt been watching the JJ on 18footer.TV on YouTube (now the Murrey designed 18), well you could get an idea of the taste of what it could be like racing a B14 here in Blighty. Just imagine going downwind with 50 sq.m. of sail area doing 20 or more knots grinning from ear to ear as you get that adrenaline rush.
So if you want so great sailing at some great venues, sailing a great dinghy with a bunch of friendly but competitive souls, then you need to be in a B14 testing yourselves against these teams.
See all on the water in 2022 and lets all have a great season.
Congratulations to Craig Garmston and Paul Fleming for taking out the B14 2021-22 National Titles once again.
But it wasn't always easy...
Thanks to the Illawarra Yacht Club for hosting us once again, the B14s always feel very welcome at IYC and we are always well looked after.Thanks to Bob and Anne Bowers and all the volunteers. And well done Glenn Cardwell and Kim Desborough for all the hard work in organising this very well-run regatta.
Bryan Moses has created an excellent video of the event. 2021RaceDay2.mp4 (vimeo.com)
And more fantastic pics thanks to Brendan Markey can be found here. B14 Nats 6th Jan 2022 - Google Drive
It’s all over…
We awoke to a rainy morning with no wind, what was going on? It was forecast to be at the top of the range today! Now it was looking like maybe we wouldn’t be able to sail because there was not enough wind to inflate sodden spinnakers. We started to rig wondering if it was going to be a surprise day for the lightweights, or another one for the strong wind masters. It ended up being NNE 18-20 gusting to 23kn. There were a couple of holes out there but the gusts on the runs were amazing, flat-water blasting.
Heading into the race both 2nd and 4th spots were only one point behind the boats ahead of them, so there was a bit to play for. Guy and Louis in OMFTB in 3rd were keen to secure their spot on the podium by getting to the top mark first and blasting away down the run with Craig and Paul on Snatch rounding behind them, with 4th-placed Glenn and Jack on Bandit in hot pursuit. By the time they rounded the bottom mark, Bandit had moved up to be behind OMFTB, pushing them right to the last rounding of the top mark in the 3-lap race. Richie and Lissa in The Nude were down the fleet a little and slowly worked their way up to 4th as a couple of those ahead of them succumbed to the pressure and tipped it in on gybes in the gusty conditions.
Congratulations to Craig Garmston and Paul Fleming on Snatch for a well-sailed series and taking out successive B14 National Titles at the Illawarra Yacht Club.
The forecast for races 8 and 9 was up near the class limit so there was a bit of nervousness in the fleet. But word came back from the course that the wind was 12 – 15kn. Strangely it looked a bit more when we got to the start area.
When we got underway it was in NE winds 16-21 gusting to 23kn. In the final 2 minutes of the countdown to Race 8, Snatch ditched it but managed to get up and going at the gun, and ended up taking 2nd behind Guy and Louis (OMFTB) who took out their second win for the regatta. Bandits Glenn and Jack were 3rd, with The Nude (Richie and Lissa), regatta leaders going into the day, managing 4th in very unNude weather.
Race 9 was again in NE winds 17-21, gusting 24kn (according to the start boat – some competitors felt there was the odd bullet that could have topped that!).
Craig and Paul showed their class once again with a win. Sophie and Andy (Hunt Leather) always enjoy the breeze and racked up their first podium for the event with second. There are five women in the fleet and Sophie is the only girl helm (again! Go Sophie!!!) Bangers and Louis took third.
The start boat did record a 27kn gust during racing, and the forecast for the final race tomorrow is WINDY and possibly stormy. We shall see!!!