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23 July 2013, 09:11 am
Harrison And Ratcliffe Dominate B14 Worlds
Highly skilled B14 racers
Highly skilled B14 racers

B14 World Championship
Plerin, France

The final day forecast for more breeze failed to materialise and race 9 got underway in a fluky sub 5 knot northerly... not that the nearly crowned champions of GBR 758 Tim Harrison and Johnny Ratcliffe cared as they led at the top mark and disappeared into the haze to take yet another win.
The battle to secure the rest of the podium spots was however on and with Mark Barnes and Jeremy Williamson (GBR) deep in the pack at the first mark the podium battle was down to the two lightweight teams of Ben and Roz McGrane (GBR) and Richie Reynolds and Lisa McMillan (AUS). As has been their form all week it was Reynolds and McMillan that took second place after gaining places on every leg, with the McGranes' taking third to take the event to the wire in nervy conditions with pressure fluctuations and a strong tide.

Going into the final race only three points separated the McGranes' and Reynolds and McMillan. The form was once again the same with runaway victors coming through on the beat to just lead round the top mark and sail on to take their win and a remarkable score line. Behind the battle was on with the Australians trying to put enough boats between themselves and The British pair.

Ultimately though it was too much and whilst Reynolds and McMillan took second on the water the McGranes' were strong in third to secure second place overall.

The presentation of the Worlds Trophy and B14 ashes was hosted by local Plerin and Brittany dignitaries with another massive bottle of champagne this time successfully negotiated by Tim and as a rare occurrence, signifying the magnitude of the event, it was even enough to prompt Tim to make a speech and bring a small tear to Johnny's eyes.

Tim Harrison and Johnny Ratcliffe are truly worthy 2013 World Championships showing consistency that no other team could match. The question will be can they retain their title at McCrae YC, Melbourne, in 2015, home club of the one and only Guy Bancroft, who after a relatively poor showing here will be sure to give it his all to bring the Trophy back to Australia and take his third title!

A huge thanks must go to the Centre Nautique de Plerin, the staff, helpers, race team and sponsors for a truly great event that many will remember for wall to wall sunshine, a holiday atmosphere from start to finish and with great racing throughout despite the lack of wind.

A final special mention to Sophie and Sebastien Le Cam who as French Fleet Captains put in a super human effort to organise the event and without which it simply would not have been the event it was. The fleet thanks you!
Mark Watts
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