14s at the Holt Tide Ride

24 Oct 14s at the Holt Tide Ride

Seventeen 14s turned up for the Holt Tide Ride at Hayling Island Sailing Club on the 15/16 September 2007.

The short course racing (the courses were only 300 yards long), with several downwind gates, meant speed was unimportant and made boat handling and tactics the priority.

Racing was a round robin series through Saturday and early Sunday, with all races counting towards one result. Sunday afternoon had a final race counting as another result ensuring there was no chance of the regatta being decided before the last race.

Saturday saw very light airs with crews single wiring. This produced some very close racing with the fleet coming together on the runs as the leaders got blanketed by the rest of the boats. The gates saw some very tight action as the fleet tried to squeeze through, indeed it was possible to start the run in the lead and finish it last! Results were very mixed with few boats achieving any consistency.

It was a different story on Sunday, when it blew very hard. The emphasis was now on keeping the boat upright, especially in the round robin races where the course was set so you had to gybe at the top mark to make the first gate. Several people went swimming at the windward mark with more joining them as they tried to avoid the upturned boats.

The round robin series finished with Martin Jones leading overall, but this counted as only one result so there was still all to play for in the final race.

For the final the fleet had thinned down slightly with only 10 boats starting. The fleet reached the windward mark with Martin Jones and Mark Upton-Brown jointly leading, closely followed by Julian Pearson. The two leaders capsized on the hoist and Julian, whose spinnaker halyard had jammed, set off goose-winging downwind. The rest of the fleet hoisted and gybed on the lay line for the gate, but then got hit by a massive gust which took them off the course, forcing them to drop their kites and beat back to the gate. This gave Julian the lead which he kept for the rest of the race. The Pascalle brothers finished the race in second.

On the final count, Martin Jones won the event with Julian Pearson second and the Pascalle brothers third.

A big thank you to Hayling Island SC and Holt for a great event. See you next year!

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