24 Oct International 14 Inlands @ Grafham Water SC 3/4th November 2007
Racing for the coveted Ranelagh Trophy, a solid silver model International 14, complete with rig, first presented in 1933, a dozen 14’s assembled at Grafham joining the Ovington Massive for their Inland Championships.
The first race set the tone with brilliant sunshine, single trapeze conditions with wind varying largely in strength and direction with the gusts. Very close racing ensued with considerable place changes taking place on every leg. Special mention should go to Ed Sibson and Mike Rix who, in their penultimate, showed a number of modern 14’s the way up the first beat! The final gun being taken by Martin & Neale Jones, closely followed by Damon and Alan Roberts, then Matt Larkin and Michael Barnes.
The second race had the strongest winds of the day with pretty much solid twin wiring conditions all round the course, although considerable skill was still needed to find the ladders and avoid the snakes. The ‘Beast’ (Julian Pearson & Nick Martin) showed great pace to take the win, followed by Mark Upton-Brown & Matthew Gottrel, then Ian Pinnell and Ian Mitchell.
The third and fourth races were held in the slightly lighter single wire conditions once more and the same three boats clearly had got their boats and heads tuned for these conditions with the Jones’ taking both wins, closely harassed by Larkin & Barnes, with the Roberts’ third in both.
Starting together with the 49ers provided an interesting additional element to the racing, both boats proving very similar in speed resulting is some very close racing!
After sailing the club did us proud with a hearty dinner and after being washed down by a few pints of the local brew some of the fleet proved how tough these 14 sailors are by dusting off their tents to try camping. After a freezing night most vowed to put the tents away for another year!
Unfortunately the wind never came out to play on Sunday and after a short postponement the Race Committee made the sensible decision to cancel racing that day. This left time for much comparing of mainsails, tuning chat and general sharing of set up information.
Overall and with an impressive score line in the conditions of 3 firsts was Martin and Neale Jones, second was Matt Larkin and Michael Barnes and third was Damon and Alan Roberts.