Twenty-five boats arrived at the lovely seaside resort of Paignton, for the Gul B14 Nationals hosted by the super-friendly Paignton Sailing Club and supported by Bays Brewery.
Day 1 dawned with what looked like a reasonable WNW blowing, but as the fleet launched for a 1pm start it started to drop away. After a short on-the-water postponement the sky cleared and the breeze started to build from the SE. PRO Ian Bullock and his team quickly laid a course and after a general recall the fleet was away with everyone on the racks.
Race 1 set a pattern of sorts - the first boat round the windward mark sailing away to an untroubled win. In this case it was Mike Bees/Pete Nicholson who came out of the left on the first beat. The other podium spots were taken by Steve Hollingsworth/Elliot Holman and Kathy Sherratt/Josh Wilce.
Race 2 followed the pattern to an extent, in that Alan Davis/Char Horlock cleared off into the distance but this time the right hand side was king, and remained so for the rest of the day. Next were Gerry & Leaky Fermor, starting a superb run of consistency, followed by Mark Watts and Matt Johnson.
Race 3 followed straight on with the conditions unchanged. This time Watts/Johnson took an early lead from Hollingsworth/Holman but those positions swapped mid-race as the early leaders had a brief sleep. Gerry & Leaky also slipped by for second.
With conditions looking poor for Friday, the race officer wisely added a 4th race. With the short races putting a premium on starts there was a bit of carnage on the start line, leading to a bit of protest/arbitration action. Watts/Johnson cleared off to a win, again followed by Gerry & Leaky followed by the also so-consistent Hollingsworth/Holman.
Welcome refreshment was provided in the dinghy park by Bays Brewery to cap an excellent afternoon in the sunshine
With another 10 races scheduled it's still early doors but the first three overall are showing ominous consistency.
The classic fleet is currently lead by Ben Lloyd-King & Jez Page.
Results after Day 1: (top six)
1. Hollingsworth & Holman, 2, (7), 1, 3, 6pts
2. Gerry & Leaky Fermor, (10), 2, 2, 2, 6pts
3. Watts & Johnson, (6), 3, 3, 1, 7pts
4. Bees & Nicholson, 1, 6, (7), 4, 11pts
5. Sherratt & Wilce, 3, 5, 4, (9), 12pts
6. Davis & Horlock, (12), 1, 6, 12, 19pts