Hayes and Dwyer take B14 inlands

A report from the the racing at Grafham

Wednesday November 6th 2002, Author: Sean Dwyer, Location: United Kingdom
The B14s were at Grafham on 2/3 November, together with the other Ovington classes – 29ers, 49ers, 59ers and Musto Skiffs for all of their Inland Championships.

Light winds were the order of Saturday, with the start having to be postponed because of the lack of wind.

Dave Hayes and Sean Dwyer in Sea-Sure, grateful for the delay which enabled some last minute tweaking to be completed,started at the buoy end, went left up the first beat and came in on the port lay line to lead around the windward mark and never be headed. Steve Fisher and Jon Branch in Ray Marine took second and Matt Searle and new dad, Rich Bell, third.

Race two saw Dave and Sean adopt a similar tactic closely followed again by Fish and JB. Alan Davis and Alison Wilson began to show the speed they had been showing at the previous event at Datchet to grab third.

Race three went the same way with Dave and Sean nailing the buoy end again and leading the whole way round, again followed by Fish and JB and again with a different name in third, Tim Fells and Dave Cunningham.

In race four Tim and DC decided that they were going to have the buoy end no matter what and Dave and Sean were forced to adopt an alternative tactic. Predictably Tim and DC won the race, followed by Dave and Sean and Fish and JB.

This left Dave and Sean in Sea-Sure as the overnight leaders with an impressive 1, 1, 1, 2 scoreline, but closely followed by Fish and JB with 2, 2, 2, 3 and with four races still to be sailed all still to play for.

Substantially more breeze arrived on Sunday from a different direction, leaving a question mark over whether the go left, stay left tactic might be the way to go.

Tim and DC and Matt and Rich found a bit more speed in the breeze to take first and second in race 5, with Dave and Sean taking third.

Tim and DC won race 6 too, but Dave and Sean took second. However, when Tim and DC took second in race 7, following Matt and Rich over the line with Dave and Sean languishing in sixth things began to look interesting.

Dave and Sean needed to finish within a point of Tim and DC to win the championship. Tim and DC rounded the windward mark first, but closely followed by Dave and Sean. When the two were involved in a port and starboard incident downwind which resulted in Tim and DC having to do a turn, the contest was virtually settled. Dave and Sean got ahead and stayed there to the finish. Tim and DC took second and second overall and Fish and JB took third and third overall.

Thanks to the race management team who did an excellent job, particularly on the Saturday when the postponement meant there was only a four hour gap between start and darkness in which they managed to fit four races.

1. 749 - Dave Hayes & Sean Dwyer (Sea-Sure) – Southport/Maidenhead
2. 758 – Tim Fells & Dave Cunningham - Grafham
3. 728 – Steve Fisher & Jon Branch (Ray Marine) - Hayling Island
4. 725 – Matt Searle & Rich Bell – Hayling Island

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