Sea-Sure wins B14
With the water level low, light and shifty winds were the order of the day, particularly on the Saturday.
Dave Hayes and Sean Dwyer in Sea-Surestarted as they meant to carry on by winning the first race, gradually extending their lead after an early tussle with Alan Davis and Alison Wilson and Nils Jolliffe and Jon Branch in Raymarine. Those a little further behind were faced with the prospect of a port reach to the finish across the 29ers’ start line - just as they were starting. But with five classes racing from the same start line we were all grateful to the race officer for doing such a good job keeping things moving.
Race two saw a tight battle for the lead between Dave and Sean and Nils and Jon, before it became a tight battle for second as Matt Searle and Dave Roe found something special downwind to overtake them both and go on to win. These three contested the podium positions in race three, finishing in the opposite order and leaving Dave and Sean as the overnight leaders.
After conflicting forecasts of too much wind or too little wind, Sunday dawned with much the same amount of breeze as Saturday, but from the opposite direction and colder and wetter.
Alan and Alison briefly led race four but were soon overhauled by Dave and Sean. Then with a change in the wind direction turning the course from upwind / downwind to fetch/broad reach they were never going to be caught. Alan and Alison held on to second and, after having been overhauled by Matt and Dave, Nils and Jon got them back right at the last to snatch third.
After a delay while the race officer reset the course, the event was decided in the fifth race when Dave and Sean port-tacked the fleet at the start and led the whole way round. Nils and Jon and Alan and Alison filled second and third again.
Not needing to do the sixth race, the Sea-Sure team tacked off after leading the fleet around the windward mark and went for a well deserved pint, leaving three boats to contest second place overall. Alan and Alison won the race, but only one place in front of Nils and Jon, which was not enough to beat them overall, though there was only one point in it.
1. 749 - Dave Hayes & Sean Dwyer (Sea-Sure) – Southport/Maidenhead
2. 728 – Nils Jolliffe & Jon Branch (Raymarine) – Weston
3. 753 – Alan Davis & Alison Wilson – Lee on the Solent