Craig discards a second
The opening round of the Ullman Sails B14 Circuit kicked off in perfect B14 conditions at Rutland with a force 4 with gusts over 20 knots. Planing upwind and planing even faster downwind made for exciting racing. Good race management allowed 4 races to be completed in 4 adrenaline pumping hours.
Team Gill (Nick Craig/MJ) won all four, but were challenged hard and got off lightly in race 2 when they went to do an extra lap letting European Champions l Team North Sails (Dave Hayes/Richie Bell) through for a win. However North Sails were knocked flat by the biggest gust of the day whilst trying to lay the tight reach into the finish allowing Team Gill to spot their schoolboy error.
New combination of Team Ullman (Mark Watts/Chris Bishop) showed good speed with their new Ullman sails to be constantly challenging for the lead and nearly took race 3 when they crossed Team Gill up the last beat. A very consistent 2,3,2,3 put them well placed overnight ahead of North Sails with a 3,6,4,2.
Returning World Champions Tim Fells/Sandy Ramus, after a four year break, knocked off the rust and were soon at the front again with a 4,2 before rushing off to a social engagement.
Top effort of the day was from Rhys Triffitt/Simon Reynolds Jones (above) who finished all four races in the cold weather, improving in every race, which won them the Ullman Sails Team of the Weekend prize of a pair of sailing bags.
In the evening, the fleet had the prizegiving for last years Circuit won by Tim Harrison/Jonny Ratcliffe followed by the usual pub grub & beer at the Wheatsheaf.
Sunday emerged windless but after a 1 hour race a shifty force 2 filled in with bags of sunshine. There were constant place changes at the front between North Sails, Chris Bines/Dave Gibbons, Harrison/Ratcliff before Team Gill found new wind on the penultimate run to just win from North Sails.
In the last race, Seavolution (Barnsey/Phil Eltringham) managed NOT to choke again to win from Team Gill, Dan Cowin/Dan Hollands picked up a big right hand shift on the last beat to take fourth. Watts/Bishop were third looking to take second overall only to find they were OCS allowing Hayes/Bell to take second.
The Ullman Sails B14 Circuit moves to the popular venue of Brightlingsea in late April for more thrills and spills and the competition hotting up in preparation for the Worlds in July.
|1||Nick CRAIG||MJ||Frensham Pond SC||1||1||1||1||1||-2||7||5|
|2||David HAYES||Richie BELL||Hayling Island SC||3||-6||4||2||2||4||21||15|
|3||Mark WATTS||Chris BISHOP||Weston SC/BCYC||2||3||2||3||7||(14 OCS)||31||17|
|4||Mark BARNES||Phil ELTRINGHAM||Whitstable YC||-6||5||3||4||6||1||25||19|
|5||Chris BINES||D GIBBONS||Brightlingsea SC||5||4||5||(14 DNC)||3||9||40||26|
|6||Daniel COWIN||Dan HOLLANDS||Hythe SC||-9||7||7||5||5||3||36||27|
|7||Tim HARRISON||Jonny RATCLIFF||11||8||6||(14 DNC)||4||5||48||34|
|8||Rhys TRIFFITT||Simon REYNOLDS JONES||Queen Mary SC||-10||9||8||6||9||6||48||38|
|9||Tim FELLS||Sandy RAMUS||Hayling Island SC||4||2||(14 DNC)||14 DNC||14 DNC||14 DNC||62||48|
|10||Phillip MURRAY||Kevin RUTHERFORD||Royal Northumberland YC||8||10||(14 DNC)||14 DNC||8||8||62||48|
|11||Alex WILLARD||Dave TURNER||RCYC||7||(14 DNF)||14 DNF||14 DNC||10||10||69||55|
|12||B PRICE||A STORER||Thorpe Bay YC||(14 DNF)||14 DNF||14 DNC||14 DNC||11||7||74||60|
|13||Kathy SHERATT||Rachel BENNETT||Weston SC||(14 DNF)||14 DNC||14 DNC||14 DNC||12||11||79||65|