I-14 US Nationals
A Celebration of the Seattle I-14 Fleet's 60th Anniversary
October 5 - 7 2007
Corinthian Yacht Club, Shilshole Bay, Seattle, Washington
Helly Hansen, Ronstan, Fisheries Supply and ProSail
Twenty-one I-14s showed up for the 2007 US nationals - an excellent turnout considering that half a dozen boats were delayed on the way back from summer racing in Britain. Fortunately several of the sailors with boats held hostage in the container were able to salvage things by borrowing /chartering boats from west coast fleets. Teams came from as far away as San Diego, Newport RI and Alberta Canada. This moment was a watershed event for Seattle's burgeoning fleet since it marked 20 years from the last time an I14 Nationals had been held off of Shilshole. The last time that had happened it was in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the fleet!
The Friday blow-by-blow...
A cold grey northerly greeted the 14ers for Friday's racing. Dock conversation from participants were along the lines of "cold, cold, &'@#*! cold", and "...showed up in the morning to rig - had a fuzzy hat, big coat, and a polo shirt - not enough..." Just a hint... those comments were not from the Canadians!
The first race was off at 1:00 PM in about 12kts of breeze, with a double windward leeward, and was won by the team of Bundy and Hansler in 1163. The next race was the traditional 15-mile Long Distance race - which is for the President's trophy and cannot be shortened. The sun was coming out for this race -but the wind was dying. The race got off in about an 8kt breeze and the wind died from there. The course was to a inflatable buoy about 5 miles to windward - then back about 8 miles to a govt. mark, then up by the harbor, then a downwind finish. This race was won by Bundy & Hansler, and seemed to set a pattern that would last for the regatta. Only Bundy & Hansler and a few more made around the govt. mark before the wind died and the tide turned foul, leaving the rest of us out there for a few more painful hours only to be towed home about sunset.
Friday night was the Heritage Dinner at the club, with old 14ers coming out of the woodwork to reminisce, and tell stories about the old days in the 14s when the boats were wood and the men were steel - a great time was had by all as the Seattle fleet looked back to it's roots with Baird Baridison, Larry Craig, Roy Stubbs, Larry and Toby Craig, Glen Moore, Dennis Williams, Ken Monoghan, Eric Arens, Alan Laflin, and John Hyde.
The Saturday blow-by-blow...
Saturday started cool, sunny, and windy from the south. Dock conversation from the participants were along the same lines as Friday, except for the added comments about the high winds... "Saturday I wore two shirts, a vest and a heavy jacket, and a fuzzy hat for the land work, and I went to Fisheries Supply and bought a thick fleece to wear under the dry-top & wetsuit for sailing - I was still chilly, but it was better." Also heard was "We came in after our 15th or so capsize before the first start... Those 2 sail reaches in 20 knots to and from the course are, well, scary!"
Three races were held for the 14s in a blustery southerly with vary large lump, with wind over tide. The wind was in the 18 kt range for most of the day, except for the last race when a squall blew thru and caused some carnage - notably sending several top crews swimming, and breaking two of the three Canadian boat's masts.
The Sunday blow-by-blow...
Sunday dawned grey and showery with still more southerly breeze. The weather forecast was scary, but the day ended up just fine - the wind was a little left so it was very flat - fun sailing in a 14. Still more tales from the dock... "Downwind and running up the transom of a 505 was a little stressful at mach speed. However, we probably enjoyed our view better the 505 guys looking back at us". Also heard was "Jibed for the first bottom mark - then a big gust blew the fleet way below the mark - the boat went very fast - then faster still -the headstay got very loose - then another gust came and I said "nope - that's it" in a very high pitched squeaky voice, and I dropped the sheet to flag the kite, and went in to recover the kite.
Four more assorted windward leeward races were gotten off for a total of 9 races for the regatta. The 18 kts breeze held for the first three races, but the southerly came in hard for the last race capping a great regatta.
CYC's Bundy and Hansler won three of the last four races, cementing a well won championship.
Second was CYC's Goodson and Dericks who took the place on a tiebreaker from Archie Massey sailing for ISC, and hailing from San Francisco, sailing with local sailor Jen Glass (Morgan).
The regatta ended with an awards ceremony where there were loads of great keeper trophies, thanks to regatta sponsors Helly Hansen, Ronstan, ProSail and Fisheries Supply. The traveling sailors packed up the boats in the rain - including the California sailors with the 6 boat (six!) trailer, and all decided that it had been a great event, and perhaps the fleet should return sooner than the next 20 years and the 80th anniversary of the Seattle I14 fleet!