Whilst many have packed up for the winter with their the precious racing dinghies in garages or under cover, a sizeable hardy lot enjoy the GJW Sailjuice series thought the bleak winter. However, a group of B14s have headed down under to Port Dalrymple Yacht Club at Beauty Point in Tasmania for the Petuna and Bell Bay Aluminium B14 Open Australian Nationals from the 28 – 30th December and Tamar Cove and CST Composites B14 Worlds from the 02– 06th January 2018,

 

Team GBR is aiming to wrestle the B14 Ashes off of the Aussies who won the last event at Lake Garda in 2016.

 

The event will be held in waters similar to that of Whitstable Bay/The Swale at the top of the Tamar River in Bell Bay.

 

Led by GBRs two current quickest B14s, Team Harken (Nick Craig/Toby Lewis) and Team GUL/North Sails (Mark Barnes/Lauren Keil (guest crew for Char Horlock)), they will be taking no prisoners. Some stealth training may well be in order prior the shout out

 

The question is, will the two top GBR teams be able to do make a successful raid and catch the Aussies on the hop. With little to chose between the top 2 GBR and top 5 Aussie teams, there will no doubt be an element of luck as well as skill to see who stands tall come the final showdown. One thing is certain the fat lady will not be singing till the last throw of the dice.

 

Lets hope Team GBR can do a better job than our cricket team

 

During the events there will be daily script and video reports from Team Beswick (Adrian and John) our formidable hosts snd Chairman for the stopover

 

Enjoy a great Christmas in Blighty and we’ll be enjoying an Aussie Christmas down under

Gul B14 Nationals at Whitstable © Nick Champion / www.championmarinephotography.co.uk

Day 4 of the Gul B14 nationals, only 4 of 10 races had been sailed, With a maximum of only 4 races on the day, the championships effectively started again with only one discard available. Looking at the form guide and odds, would it be a good day to place a bet.

Snoozes, squalls and shifts

Gul B14 Nationals at Whitstable © Nick Champion / www.championmarinephotography.co.uk

During the 6 hr wait for the breeze to settle, the B14 'athletes' spent the day limbering up with ice creams, bacon rolls and practicing how to rig with the finest athletes taking time out for several power snoozes...

The sails were up and down like a prom dress as the squalls blew through and the rain/hail/sun/wind came in teasing bursts.

Eventually a window of opportunity appeared and we launched into a 6kn westerly and the setting Southend sun.

With day one being a day of sightseeing and sampling the delights of Whitstable as the wind screamed down the beach it was with great anticipation that the fleet woke for day 2. Some a little hazy after the first night Leaky and Wattsy attempt to mix competitive cards with interesting cocktails!