• 2017 B14 Nationals. Photo Sarah Tester.
    2017 B14 Nationals. Photo Sarah Tester.

Over the New Year, Australia’s B14 skiffs competed in the Gill Australian B14 National Championships at Twoflold Bay Yacht Club, Eden. The picturesque location and prediction of fair winds drew a total of 18 boats to the shores of Quarantine Bay. With no less than nine boats returning from a huge Worlds campaign at Lake Garda in Italy this year, racing was set to be fierce.

Wind conditions were light on the first 3 days of sailing and slowly increased as the New Year set in. With New Year’s Day a layday, all sailors were recharged and keen to get back on the water for day 4 racing. Unfortunately races were abandoned due to high winds but resumed again on day 5 with a mixed bag of conditions ranging from 7 to 20 knots.  

Overall, first and second place was hotly contested by Bonus and The Nude. Both boats sailed incredibly well remaining consistent by adapting to the shifting and fluctuating winds. However even with a scorecard that places no less than 3rd throughout all 9 races, Richie and Lissa could not hold off Guy Bancroft and Jason Walker who took the Championship by 1 point. In 3rd place was Bonework, sailed by father and son team, Ian and Dave Cunningham. A team which also took on the responsibility of boat security, watching over all the boats throughout the night.

A special mention goes to Get Nicked who came 8th overall and Orca Blush at 13th place. Both boats had a fantastic campaign and sailed out of their skins to the great delight of the fleet. Geoff Waldon and Jim Gaal on Orca Blush posted their highest placing ever from a partnership of many years.

On Handicap Toxic, The Bandit, Usain Boat and Get Nicked took out 1st, 2nd and equal 3rd place respectively. For complete race results visit: www.b14.org

- Sarah Simmonds

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