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International 14 World Championship 2015: Podium places assured as final day blown out - The blustery north-wester put a halt to the final day’s race of the 2015 I14 World Championship.
A brutal north-wester blew across Corio Bay this afternoon forcing the abandonment of the final race in the 2015 International 14 World Championships being held at the Royal Geelong Yacht Club.
With yesterday’s results awarding the 2015 world title to Britain’s Glen Truswell and Sam Pascoe, today was going to be all about the battle for second and third place.

As there was no final race the series point score remains unchanged from Race 6. The remaining podium places have been awarded to Britain’s Ben McGrane and James Hughes in second place and Australia’s Brad Devine and Ian Furlong in third.

Throughout the championship both teams have fought a hard battle with boat damage and personal injury being put aside in their quest to secure a podium place.

McGrane accepted his team’s second place with a mixture of relief and disappointment. “With the wind that was out there, I think the race managers made the right decision. It is always disappointing to not get a full series, but I am still very pleased to have come second after very little time sailing in the last year.

“Hopefully we have a buyer for our boat and then we will look for another one to put in the water in 2016. There are some good designs out there. We also have some young guys coming into the fleet in the UK. The class is probably in a better place now than it has been for the last couple of years,” McGrane said.

“We are now going to have a year off as James is getting married and I have a little girl. Then we will have a look at coming back for Carnac in 2016,” McGrane added.

In addition to their first I14 World Championship podium place, Devine and Furlong have successfully defended their Australian Championship title. “I wasn’t completely sorry we didn’t get out today, given the state of my back.

“It’s always nice to finish the regatta with a sail, but the conditions are what they are,” a chuffed Devine said.

Many of the competitors used the long postponement today to pour over Glen Truswell’s Dave Hollom Departure I14 design, discussing with each other its various characteristics and taking photos for future reference.

The 2005 World Champion Lindsay Irwin (AUS) counselled his fellow class members that Truswell’s success can’t just be put down only to his unique boat. “Everyone asks what is it? Is it his mast, his boat, his sails? It’s always a combination of all of those things. He has done a lot of work. He probably has also got a bit lucky along the way with some of his stuff,” Irwin said.

The sailors will go away with a lot to consider about what and how they can improve their boat’s performance. “It appeared the leading boats carried their rig firmer than we did, using more tension on the stays. Most of those boats are nomex honeycomb. I am not sure the average Australian boat, as a foam boat without a foredeck, can actually maintain those rig tensions without tearing the boats to bits. It’s the obvious thing that will improve it, but I am not sure we can actually do it without different boats.

“The sails were a little bit different as well. There will be some development after this event, which is what always happens. The British sails are traditionally more circular in their shape, compared to the Australians. The Australian sailors have a bit more draft forward, a little straighter in the exit. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the local sailmakers, including myself, try something like that,” Irwin added.

The next I14 World Championship will be held by the Yacht Club de Carnac, on the waters of Quiberon Bay in southern Brittany, France.

Photo : Rhenny Cunningham - Sailing Shots
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