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2016 International 14's Carnac France

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  • 2016 International 14's Carnac France

    image © Christophe LE Bohec

    From August 21st to September 02nd, 2016 the Carnac Yacht Club will be pleased to host the VRSport International 14 World Championships (I14). Between 80 and 90 crews from around the world are expected. Appeared in the 1920s in Europe, the I14 was one of the first planing dinghies. Since its inception, the I14 has always been at the leading edge of technology. Adjustable carbon rig, hydrofoil rudder... the I14 is a powerful, efficient and fast boat. This gathering promises to be one of the most beautiful nautical events in Carnac, and in France.


    Carnac is famous as the site of more than 10,000 Neolithic standing stones, also known as menhirs. The stones were hewn from local rock and erected by the pre-Celtic people of Brittany. Local tradition claims that the reason they stand in such perfectly straight lines is that they are a Roman legion turned to stone by Pope Cornelius.[1]

    The Carnac stones were erected during the Neolithic period which lasted from around 4500 BC until 2000 BC. The precise date of the stones is difficult to ascertain as little dateable material has been found beneath them, but the site's main phase of activity is commonly attributed to c. 3300 BC. One interpretation of the site is that successive generations visited the site to erect a stone in honour of their ancestors.

    Everybody Must Get Stoned

    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  • #2
    So THATS what Bobby Dylan was singing about so many years ago?


    • #3
      Waiting For Wind

      "Nothing much as of yet... some great super fun practice days and then a big high pressure system hanging over Carnac since the team racing got going. USA tied GBR in team racing as the Finals could not be sailed due to lack of wind... They attempted two races and the first one was abandoned with the US leading but the race was called right before one of our lead boats could cross. GBR won that event on total points (and they still owe us a lot of beer)

      Practice race for the big event was yesterday... got 3 legs in before it died.

      World Champs race #1 is today - with a start time moved up 2 hours... but its not looking promising. Hopefully the forecast turns around."

      Terry Gleeson

      USA International 14's
      " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery


      • #4
        Carnac Can Be Cruel

        2016 VR Sport.TV International 14 World Championships – Day 1

        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, Truswell and Pascoe, the reigning World Champions ominously crossed the finish line first, closely followed by Gilbert and McGrane with Massey and Hillary. The British domination stopped there though, as Hayter and 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.


        video Day 1

        video Day 2

        It was a day of two halves here at the International 14 World Championship 2016 in Carnac.

        Despite the glassy water this morning, the competitors were down at Carnac Yacht Club bright and early to rig their boats and dry out their kites, turning the boat park into a sea of colour and activity. Outside the harbour walls however, the wind was yet to be roused, and so a series of indefinite postponements went up.

        Now was the time to take the opportunity to scale the boat park for the newest developments, and to compare rig set-ups and for some of the younger members of the International 14 family, park up the pram and take a nap under the shade of the sails. During the hustle and bustle of the postponement, the wind began to fill in, and the fleet were able to launch into a fairly steady 5 knots of breeze.

        The first start in light winds saw the fleet pushing the line, demanding a general recall, at which point the race officer swiftly exchanged his Blue Peter for a 'U' flag. However, even the wrath of the 'U' flag, combined with substantial port-end bias, couldn't keep the fleet behind the line, and so the second start also ended in a general recall. By this point the wind wasn't playing ball, and had dropped off, becoming patchy and shifty, and so the AP made a swift return.

        After an hour of playing cat and mouse with the wind, the breeze filled in from the left, and the race committee were able to set up a course in a promising 12 knots of breeze. The start was conducted under a black flag, and finally the fleet were off. The first windward mark rounding saw Pascoe and Truswell leading, followed by a swarm of Aussie boats including Krstic and Lanati, Devine and Furlong, and Blasse and Gilligan, who had everything to prove following yesterday's unfortunate breakage.

        The wind still had a couple of tricks up its sleeve though, and the fleet were subject to a significant right hand shift at the start of the second beat. This allowed for some re-shuffle at the front of the fleet, of which Gilbert and McGrane and Jones and Fitzgerald took full advantage, using the opportunity to propel themselves further up the fleet and into the top five. Jones recounted how "there was a huge right hand shift... which you had to be the right side of" but the duo also made reference to the importance of boat handling around the course due to the fact that "the course was set up for 7 knots".

        Even when the boats shot through the finish line, after three intense laps around the relatively short course, there was still no sense of peace, as the crews raced in to shore to find out whether they had been black flagged. Although the majority of the fleet were safe, several boats including Borkenstein and Dietrich, and Alexander and Wildson felt the full power of the BFD, and will now be looking forward to the discard kicking in.

        As day two drew to a close, Alisdair Cattanch eloquently summed up the day in stating that although they had to "wait around a wee bit", that ultimately they were rewarded with "great racing conditions".

        Reports: Ellie Meopham

        " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

 Photo Gallery


        • #5

          Carnage at Carnac on Day Three

          The Carnac Yacht Club was filled with a sense of purpose this morning. Boats were quickly rigged, and rigorously checked for any signs of wear which could lead to a breakage. Whilst all this was going on, whitecaps were beginning to develop across the bay, and the conditions were shaping up for what would later be referred to by Andrew Perry as a "big boys day". The only people not caught up in this air of nervous excitement, were the American possy, who were up to their usual antics and cracking jokes; these guys are good under pressure.

          The launch was uneventful, and the fleet were able to reach out to the course, where 18 knots of wind was blowing from a south westerly direction. The boats flew around pre-start, testing out the conditions, which were tricky to say the least. The windward shore was far enough away to allow for a substantial fetch, meaning that there was big chop rolling around the bottom of the course, where the 14s were trying to start. However the 14's showed their sailing pedigree as the fleet came together at the gun, and struck out left across the course. Big gusts, combined with the sea state made for a gruelling physical upwind leg, and the crews took it in turns to go swimming.

          As the boats began to close in on the windward mark, it became immediately obvious that the big breeze had bought with it changes in the leading packs. First round the windward mark were Jones and Fitzgerald, closely followed by Gilbert and McGrane, Massey and Hillary, notably Truswell and Pascoe were missing from their usual spot. Throughout the first beat the breeze had been slowly picking up, and boats were exposed to gusts of 20 knots and above from the top mark. As the overpowered skiffs careered downwind through the steep troughs and over the crests, crews and helms did everything they could to remain attached to their boats, and to keep the mast pointing the right way up.

          Once at the bottom mark, there was still no let up from the risk of capsize, as the boats fought their way back upwind. Changing direction was risky business, and few escaped the frisky waters as dinghies came off the plane and ventured to tack through the wind. At this point, not only were the boats having to dodge the numerous buoys around the course which Lindsay Irwin insisted had "some sort of magnetism to boats", but they were also having to avoid upside-down 14s, and sailors-come open water swimmers.

          Half way through the race, Massey and Hillary pinched the lead from Jones and Fitzgerald who dramatically stacked it through a tack on the second beat. This put Jones and Fitzgerald in third, and back in amongst the pack of Aussies and Brits chasing the leaders. However, the young duo weren't hanging round, and were back off within a shot. Whilst the drama was unfolding out on the race course, a steady stream of boats were being stretchered off the course due to breakages, capsizes and injuries. The fact that over 25 boats didn't finish the race was testament to the extreme conditions out on the course.

          Jones and Fitzgerald showed their true colours in the second half of the race, and won back their lead to take a hard earned, well deserved first as they crossed the line. They were followed shortly after by Massey and Hillary, Krstic and Lanati who took second and third.

          Day 3 Video

          Back on shore the boat park was buzzing with the thrills and spills of the days racing. Once changed and fed, crews hung out outside the yacht club with their well-earned beers, exchanging adventures and stories which will be revisited and recounted again and again over the decades to come. Other sailors, spent from a long days racing chose instead to retire early for a quiet afternoon, to recuperate and recharge batteries for what is looking to be a technical, light wind day tomorrow.


          " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

 Photo Gallery


          • #6
            A Calmer Carnac

            Day four at the International 14 Championships was a world away from the carnage of day three. The sun was high in the sky, there was a fresh breeze out in the bay, and the atmosphere at Carnac Yacht Club reflected the conditions. The morning was spent patching up the International 14 fleet, which took a bit of a battering yesterday. The boat park was filled with the sounds of files, angle grinders, saws, tape was everywhere, and ropes hemorrhaged out of boats. A room of the club had been turned into a makeshift sail repair centre, and the official notice board marquee had been taken over by spars and rigs. Amidst the chaos of Carnac Yacht Club the fleet was born again, and the International 14 family had also acquired a new member, as Eike Ehrig's wife gave birth to his child back in Germany.

            Day 4 Video

            On the water, the start went smoothly with no boats recorded as OCS. Glen Truswell and Sam Pascoe stepped back into their usual position at the first windward mark, closely followed by Roger Blasse and Andrew Gilligan in AUS 657, Andy Shaw and Adam Lees in GBR 1552, Hayter and Neighbour in AUS 666. The fleet was tight at the first mark, which made for an exciting downwind leg, as big gains could be made resulting in valuable positions.

            By the end of the race, there had been a considerably big change in the top five. Truswell and Pascoe comfortably retained their lead, and took their third bullet of the event. Neale Jones and Ed Fitzgerald came back from 7th to take second, Hayter and Neighbour fought up from 5th to take bronze, and Katie Nurton and Nigel Ash sailed an impressive race to turn their 10th at the first mark to a 4th at the finish. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, with André Bates even comparing the conditions to Hawaii, although admitting that the sea was "slightly colder".

            Back on shore the sailors were buzzing, tonight being the big mid-week party, with the layday (which I am reliably informed by an anonymous Canadian source is in fact known as getting laid day), booked off for hangovers. The results board hangs dejected in the marquee, and sailors sit around in the afternoon sun chatting and knocking back their cool beers. Safe to say that there will be a few sore heads about Carnac tomorrow.

            Ellie Meopham

            " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

   Photo Gallery


            • #7

              It was a slow start to the fifth day at the VR Sport T.V. International 14 World Championships in Carnac. There was very little breeze across Quiberon Bay, and so unsurprisingly the AP flag was hoisted. The indefinite postponement gave the sailors time to compare notes on their lay-day eve night out, and to fill in any gaps in their memories. By the time everyone was up to speed, the wind had picked up, and the AP was removed. The fleet were able to launch and set up on starboard to reach out to the racecourse.

              Video Link

              The start gun went at one o'clock with an even spread of boats across the line. The leaders struck out right, towards the shore, with Roger Gilbert and Ben McGrane leading the fleet into the windward mark along the starboard layline, closely followed by Glen Truswell and Sam Pascoe. A relatively short beat meant that the fleet was tightly packed together at the windward mark. This put immense pressure on the crews to get the kites up, to avoid being buried under the fleet.

              The next windward leg was lengthened to accommodate for the fact that the breeze had picked up to a steady 14-15 knots across the course. Katie Nurton and Nigel Ash took full advantage of this, having rounded the first windward mark in 6th, and sent it through the fleet. When asked, Nurton explained that due to the fact that tactically the race was relatively straight forward, the biggest priority was boat speed, which after 15 years of sailing a 14 together those two have in abundance. As the race wore on, Truswell and Pascoe continued to hound Gilbert and McGrane, but the duo were having none of it, and extended to their lead to finish comfortably ahead of the rest of the fleet. Nurton and Ash finished in third, with Mark Krstic and James Lanati just behind in fourth.

              After today's racing, the crews were able to discard one of their results. Although this hasn't changed the top three rankings, it does mean that Trusswell and Pascoe were able to discard their 7th, which has given them a seven point lead over Neale Jones and Ed Fitzgerald, and Gilbert and McGrane, who are occupying second and third respectively on equal points.

              The next two days are forecast to be light and shifty, and the sailors mull this over after sailing, debating the local mechanics of the sea breeze, and whether it will kick in. There are many theories, but no obvious conclusion and so the conversation returns to Tuesday night's antics. An American disappears to the bar to return with two cold beers for an American crew. "We like to keep things out of the jury room" he explains, handing out the beers. Turns out that there had been some minor rule infringement at the leeward mark between their boat and the Germans, and that 14 tradition dictates that this is the primary method for reconciliation and justice. If only all disputes could be so easily settled.

              " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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              • #8
                Brits and Aussie's Retain Top 17 Spots In Carnac

                The boat park is littered with tired looking faces on morning of day six of the International 14 World Championships in Carnac. Athletes competing at the 14 Worlds are not only required to complete the daily races, they are also expected to adhere to the colourful social calendar, which is as much a part of this championships as the sailing. This event isn't easy, and every athlete is stretched to the limit, but that's a minor price to pay for sailing an exciting, fast and technologically advanced dinghy.

                Once again the wind took a while to kick in, and so it was a relaxed start to the day with several crews taking the opportunity to have a last minute power nap under the indefinite postponement. Eventually the sea breeze kicked in, and the fleet were able to launch. The wind continued to build towards the start of the race, and so the class flag was eventually raised in 12 knots, with the windward mark set at 260 degrees. The first start saw the majority of the fleet over the line with about 15 seconds to go. There was mayhem at the starboard end, with boats trying to tack around the committee boat in order to get back behind the line. Unsurprisingly, this start ended in a general recall; a relief for many of the sailors. The next start sequence featured a black flag, in an effort to encourage a clean start, which it did successfully, with no boats over the line. With similar conditions to yesterday, the fleet headed out to the right, coming into the windward mark on the starboard layline. Archie Massey and Harvey Hillary led the fleet, with Glen Truswell and Sam Pascoe in a close second.

                Once again, the fleet was tight around the first lap, which meant that good boat handling was imperative. Some boats buckled under the pressure around the windward mark and hoisted kites only to capsize on the busy reach. Meanwhile, the leading pack pulled away from the rest of the fleet. Neale Jones and Ed Fitzgerald, fondly known around the boat park as the 'Kings of Boat-Prep', showed that hard work on land pays off on shore by fighting through the pack to sail round in third. Once again the British and Australian teams dominated the top ten, and the boats were having to fight tooth and nail for their positions. Massey and Hillary extended their lead throughout the race, only to be hijacked by Quiberon Bay weed at their last leeward mark, which led to them losing a significant amount of ground. Despite this, they still finished in first. Trusswell and Pascoe, once again demonstrated clinical professionalism in their racing, to take another second to add to an impressive set of results for the series.

                Unfortunately Jones and Fitzgerald suffered some major breakages, which meant that they finished the race in 11th, steering the boat holding onto the rudder case, after the tiller broke away at the leeward mark. Roger Gilbert and Ben McGrane sailed a strong race, and crossed in third, which means that there are now only three points between second and third.

                After racing, some boats even went back onto the water after a quick crew swap in order to make the most of the glamour conditions. Tomorrow is the last push, and although Truswell and Pascoe are pretty comfortable at the top of the fleet, silver and bronze is still far from being decided.

                Video Link

                " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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