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9 January 2006, 02:35 pm
Brits Off To Flying Start
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B14 World Championship 2006
Sydney, Australia

Light east south easterly conditions and blue skies greeted the fleet for the start of the B14 World Championship on Sydney Harbour, Australia. The British sailors have dominated the early races, and occupy all of the top five places at the end of day one.
With a slight starboard bias on the line a large bunch of boats grouped at the committee boat. The first start was General Recalled. At the second start, several of the front runners were deemed to be OCS. Ritchie REYNOLDS and Lissa MCMILLAN (AUS) on The Nude and Mark BARNES and Tom PYGALL (GBR) on Readycrest were the only ones to return.

By the first windward mark Matt SEARLE and Andy RAMUS (GBR) on Gutted Hedgehog established a good lead followed by a pack of boats closely bunched. On the run snakes and ladders came to play with the left hand side being favoured seeing The Nude shoot up to second. At the second top mark Gutted Hedgehog, The Nude and Kieran LIVERMORE and Tim AUSTIN (AUS) on BangBang had established a gap to fight out the podiums. By the third work the breeze had lightened off and become very shifty. Chris BINES and Dave GIBBONS (GBR) on CSC used the conditions to move through the fleet whilst Nathan MILLS and Jay NIBBS (AUS) Bondi Tram on maintained their position in the top five. Gutted Hedgehog and The Nude fought it out down the last run with SEARL and RAMUS holding on to get the gun. CSC finished in third. Bang Bang was not far behind but was OCS along with two other boats.

Race two and the heat was on. The wind was lighter, with five to eight knots from the southeast and the temperature up. At the start the line was square with the boats on the bottom half getting the benefit of the starboard knock on the way across the bay. At the windward mark it was Nils JOLLIFFE and Jonathon BRANCH (GBR) on followed by Mark WATTS and Karen WISEMAN (GBR) on Dump, Readycrest and Gutted Hedgehog.

With second to fourth closely bunched, pulled away to a comfortable lead while the other three had a real dogfight for the next three rounds to the finish. did an excellent job and disappeared into the horizon.

Coming into the finish three boat lengths separated Dump and Gutted Hedge at the committee boat end and Readycrest in the middle. However, the pack closed on the front runners on the front of a 15 knot breeze. The big gainers were Tim FELLS and Sean DWYER (GBR) on AT&T and CST. Readycrest gybed on the line to pip AT&T by inches, with CST a boat length behind with Dump fourth and Gutted Hedge fifth.

Mark BARNES/Angus LUFFMAN (As Amended By ISAF). Image:© Woollahra Sailing Club
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