International 14 Worlds Underway in France
Published on August 26th, 2016
Carnac, France (August 26, 2016) – The first day of the 2016 VR Sport.TV International 14 World Championship was a demonstration of why this is one of the most popular development classes in the world. Just under eighty boats are registered and with strong contingents from across the globe including Australia, USA, Germany and the UK.
The fleet launched into a brisk, gusty 12-15 knot offshore breeze, and the competitors flew down wind through the lobsterpots to the starting area with their spinnakers up. Jan-Martin Luehrs, GER 2, described the conditions as “almost flat water, nice wind conditions, not to scary, but lots of fun.”
Seconds after the start gun at 10:00, the entire fleet had shot off the line and were half way up the beat with an even split across the course. The 14’s were tightly packed together, the crews fighting for inches, as they flew across Quiberon Bay. As the race wore on however, the fleet was not without its casualties, with several crews going swimming, and others being forced to retire due to breakages.
By the penultimate lap, Glen Truswell and Sam Pascoe, the reigning World Champions ominously crossed the finish line first, closely followed by Roger Gilbert and Ben McGrane with Archie Massey and Harvey Hillary. The British domination stopped there though, as David Hayter and Trent Neighbour, the Aussie duo, clinched fourth from Katie Nurton and Nigel Ash on the finish line.
The atmosphere in the dinghy park was jovial on return, with even the retirees indulging in a few beers before checking out the newest innovations, and swapping stories from the day. Roger Blasse, AUS 657, recounted how there was “a loud bang, and everything came crashing down” in reference to his delaminated mast step.
Report by Ellie Meopham