Seavolution UK Nationals 2015 Day 3

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 queue, 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.

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Seavolution UK Nationals 2015 Day 2

Seavolution B14 National Championships Day 2 – Massive Cuttlefish!

Day 2 and the light winds sniggling we were promised did not materialize. Instead we had force 3 – 4 climbing to a solid force 4 – 5. But what a day on the water it was. The 4 front runners going into the day all had kite issues at times as the boats fired down the short steep seas. The gybing points were easily identified after the first laps as the front runners chased down the guys who had piled it in. It was definitely a day of it is not over till the Fat Lady Sings.

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Seavolution UK Nationals 2015 Day 1

13881105035 68968d681f mThe B14 Flying Circus arrived at Stokes bay to be greeted by grey seas and 30+ knot winds, peaking at 40 knots around 1300. With the predicted forecast for Friday and Sunday, some chose not to make the trip. What a day they were to miss.

After being held ashore under AP, the fleet was advised that they were going to sea at 1530.

The first few boats tentatively launched into 25 knots that was fast reducing to 20+knots with gusts from the SW. After 30 minutes, the start sequence started. With several boats opting to sit this one out, the protagonists lined up for a fast charge round the bay.

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Seavolution B14 Nationals 2015 Form Guide

May 29th will see the B14 fleet descend on Stokes Bay SC for one of the most competitive National Championships in recent years. A quick review of entries suggests that there is a strong top group with a few others within the fleet capable of upsetting the order. Friday and Sunday look likely to produce big breeze. Schedule is for 9 50 minute races over 3 days with a maximum of 4 per day. So it could be a game of attrition.

Here are a selection of the "Runners and Riders":

757 – Ben McGrane & Olivier Wells (P&B South)
Current National Champion (Ben with Oliver Vidal) and back after performing well in the I14 and recently at Halying in the Merlin Rocket ST, it would be a brave person to bet against this team - though maybe the other favourites Bees and Craig might take that bet?

Odds: 7/4 (Fav)

761 – Nick Craig & Tom Pygall (Whitstable Marine)
Both ex. National Champions, and Tom having won the pre-Worlds in Australia and to European in the event with Chris Lewns, should if the team work transfers from their recent Merlin Rocket sailing, possibly edge top spot. The key here will be how they will gel in the big breeze. Definitely ones to watch.

Odds: 7/4 (Fav)

771 – Mike Bees & Ferrett (Blue Badge)
2013 National Champion. Back to form, this team know how to grind out a result and with a couple of upgrades, may well improve on their 2014 3rd overall. Would be a huge surprise if they were not on the podium.

Odds: 7/4 (Fav)

788 – Mark Barnes & Ruth Oliver (Seavolution)
Builder/supplier of the B14 and 2007 Nationals winner and 3rd in the pre-Worlds in Australia, sailing with young 18 year old Ruth Oliver, have hit a sweet spot in the lighter conditions and with a lighter Saturday, should be in the mix as they won the TT at Stokes Bay in April. It would be a gutsy call to bet against a podium place.

Odds: 6/1

791 – Mark Watts & Chris Bishop (Ullman Sails)
Will be looking to do something special after their performance in Australia at the Worlds, especially if there is big breeze. 2nd in 2013 and 4th in 2014's breezy Nationals, they are a good 'each way' bet for a podium, but can struggle for consistency in lighter conditions.

Odds: 6/1

785 – Peter Knight & Jane Reeves (Demelza)
Fast and tactically astute and 6th last time out in 2014, this team should go well in the potentially light conditions on Saturday. What will be a key player here will be how the big breeze plays out on the opening and closing days.

Odds: 13/2

786 – Gerry Fermor Brown & Leaky (Torq)
Consistent and hugely competitive in light to moderate conditions. Very capable of multi

Odds: 16/1

787 – Alan Davis & Kathy Sherratt (Watts) (Troublegum)
This team have plenty of experience and Kathy has been on the podium before at the Europeans. They were knocking on the door at the Stokes Bay TT in April. A consistent series should put them comfortably inside the top 10.

Odds: 20/1

With 10-15 other teams also expected, including many new faces, the mid-fleet results are difficult to place odds, but we can be sure there will be some real snakes and ladders as the series evolves.

The key prizes that the middle order teams will be keen to get their hands on where they can qualify, will be first newcomer and tin rig. Another prize worth its weight is the Endeavour Trophy for the last boat to complete all races.

Wherever in the results the teams end up, they will be subjected to the usual friendly welcome of the B14 fleet and Stokes Bay SC. With a good mix of socials included in the entry fee the off-water activity promises to be as good as the sailing.

Entries are still coming in. The forecast looks great. We'll see you there!



B14 Stokes Bay TT-02 2015

The B14 Flying Circus headed to Stokes Bay Sailing Club, venue of the 2015 National Championships for their second TT of the year, and first sailed event, due to Rutland being blown off. The forecast was for gusts in excess of 25 maybe 30 knots on both days, so those travelling further, stayed away as they had an inkling they were in for another Rutland weekend propping up the bar and recounting tales of mad off-roading on bikes and skiing holidays for those that did not go to the Worlds in McCrae Australia

So those that did attend, were treated to flatish water and SW 8 – 15 knots, unlike the promised breeze the heavier bomber command teams had been salivating over and enjoying a hearty week, found they were going to have their hands full with the lighter teams.

B14 TT at Stokes Bay photo copyright Tim Olin taken at Stokes Bay Sailing Club and featuring the B14 class

Photo by Tim Olin

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B14s at Stokes Bay Sailing Club – Solent chop and usual Stokes Bay hospitality tests teams


Stokes Bay B14 action

Round 2 of the 2014 B14 Travellers Trophy Series took place at Stokes Bay Sailing Club over the 12th & 13th of April.


The arrivals were greeted by a beautifully sunny Solent and a slightly fitful looking breeze, with the promise of better to come. The PRO had consulted the weather tree and planned on getting 4 races in on Saturday while the going was good, leaving the remaining 2 races to the fate of Sunday's fickle looking forecast.

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B14 Inland Championships – Queen Mary Sailing Club - Defying the Forecasts!!

Despite forecasts suggesting breeze well over 25 knots all weekend a number of teams made the trip to Queen Mary SC to battle for the 2013 Inlands Title. A rather unusual scene the fleet must have made on arrival with many teams packing as much mountain biking kit as sailing kit just in case!!  It was to prove to be unused for most..


Bullet-B JosWill power downwind on day 1

Bullet-B powers downwind on day 1

Photo Copyright


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The Inaugural B14 “Cymru Cup”

gbr01The morning of Saturday 14th September awoke to blue skies and a gentle northerly Welsh breeze at Cardiff Bay YC where 3 teams from across the land (2 apparently from God’s Country) gathered for what was going to be a spot of training and then a racing test event. The teams “Doris” (Mark Cockrill/Alex Farr) & “Adventure Wales” (Gareth Davies/Nathan Cumpstone) began with a spot of England v Wales banter whilst waiting for the late arrival of “Sabre Sails” (Simon Brewer/Alistair Ramsden) – someone forgot what time we were all meeting apparently).


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Ullman Sails B14 Nationals 2013 at Whistable YC


Day 0

Many teams (including 2 boats from France) arrived early for some pre-event practice, only to be met by a warm 40 knot welcome from Whitstable. So it was an early start in the bar for many, enjoying the usual Whitstable YC hospitality.

Day 1

Friday dawned with gusts well into the 30's and, following a less than optimistic briefing from PRO Dave Curno, the fleet set about bimbling and relaxing.

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Ullman Sails B14 Nationals Whitstable 2013 - Preview

whit12 1sWhitstable awaits the fleet for what should hopefully be the biggest B14 Nationals since 2003. Whatever the weather throws at us, it should be cracking event. One trophy that will be hotly contested, will be the new Endeavour Trophy awarded to the highest score boat finishing all races- so no matter how you're doing it might be worth carrying on regardless.

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