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16 July 2010, 12:32 pm
Bancroft and Grace (AUS) Lead B14 World Championship in Carnac
The fleet at the 2010 B14 Worlds
The fleet line up at the B14 World Championship in Carnac, France

B14 World Championship 2010
Carnac, France

After racing on day three was cancelled due to strong winds, the competitors were keen to get away on time on day four of the Neil Pryde B14 World Championship. Wtih eight races completed it's an Australia leading the field holding three of the top four positions.
With the weather forecast predicting increasing winds, Race 5 started on time. Weather conditions were variable as the new weather system approached. With a dark cloud over the left hand side of the course the boats on this side of the line and course were found in the top five at the windward mark. Guy Bancroft and David Grace (AUS) rounded first, followed by Team Gill, Nick Craig and Matt Johnson (GBR), then Seavolution, Mark Barnes and Paul Smith (GBR) from Tim Harrison and Jonny Ratcliffe (GBR).

There were a few place changes down the run but it was the second beat where the wind shifted to the right Bancroft and Grace held the lead while Dynamic Sails pulled up the fleet to second at the windward mark and Harrison and Ratcliffe switched sides of the course to hold on to third.

On the third beat the wind swung hard right this time and Bancroft and Grace's conservative down the middle course enabled them to hold the lead, closely followed by Barnes and Smith and the North sails Team Dave Hayes and Richie Bell (GBR) who both flew in on the starboard layline. The first three lead the fleet out to the right hand side of the run missing the last big shift of the day where those that gybed early sailed straight to the line. Tim Fells and Sandy Ramus (GBR) got a perfect line in to finish with Alan Davis and Toby Barnsley-Dale (GBR) taking second and Harrison and Ratcliffe finished third. Back on the beach both the overall leaders Guy Bancroft and David Grace and second place boat Dave Hayes and Richie Bell scored an OCS.

In Race 6 the weather system had passed and the breeze had built to 20+ knots

Dave Lorimar and Raf Heale (AUS), the heavy airs specialists, lead around the first lap and everyone thought they would runaway with this race but they ran over their kite on the drop and were never part of the race again. Scott Cunningham and Jason Walker (AUS) took the lead at this point and went on to lead throughout the race. He was chased hard by Team Gill who finished second. The battle for third was more interesting, initially Hayes and Bell held the place, but was forced out by a breakage on the second downwind leg. Then Chris Bines and Dave Gibbons (GBR) took the spot but capsized on their final approach to the finish so Fells and Ramus added a third to their win earlier in the day.

Overall, despite his OCS and an eighth in the windy second race Guy Bancroft and David Grace still hold a six point lead. David Hayes and Richie Bell (North Sails Team) have dropped down the leader board having had a OCS and a DNF, they need the ninth race on Friday to get the second discard.

Racing continues

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