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Home / News / Int14 Prince of Wales Cup 2023
Home / News / Int14 Prince of Wales Cup 2023

Int14 Prince of Wales Cup 2023

Published 09:51 on 4 Aug 2023

The legendary Price of Wales Cup, first raced in 1927 has had its fair share of memorable races. Every sailor in the fleet has a story from an iconic P.O.W of the past and its safe to say the 2023 iteration of the race lived up to the high standards.

The unusually long nature of the P.O.W race brings a different set of challenges to what the I14 fleet usually faces; with an approximately 2.5 nautical mile course and six laps its fair to say this race is more of a marathon compared to any other dinghy race.

Pre race tensions are high, as the crews battle through any nerves they have and go through their pre start routine. The race course was was located in Bracklesham Bay  and as the starting gun sounded the fleet got off the line in what was a light 7-10 knots and a relatively flat sea state. The fleet split with the leaders at the windward mark coming in from the right hand side of the course. Tightly packed, the fleet headed down wind with every position being fought hard for. 

As the fleet rounded the leeward mark to finish the first lap, an increase in wind came, allowing both helm and crew to fully extend themselves upwind; from this point on both the wind and sea state continued to build and didnt show any signs of letting off!

With the increase in the size of the waves and the wind, the I14s came alive as the sailors fought hard to keep the boats upright. In these testing conditions,  Andy Shaw and Rob Struckett dramatically pitchpoled on the 2nd lap, ripping their bulkhead and taking them out the race - a devastating blow to a team who have consistently been pushing for wins.

Halfway through the race four teams made up of Douglas Pattison & Mark Tait, Glenn Truswell & Ed Fitzgerald, Archie Massey & Harvey Hillary and Martin Jones & Harry Kennedy broke away from the rest of the fleet as they began a four-way battle for the title. 

With tight racing everywhere in the fleet, conditions really started to push the boats and their crews to the limits. Entering the 2nd half of the race both Archie & Harvey and Douglas & Mark pitchpoled and capsized allowing Glenn & Ed to extend their  lead, but by no means did this mean they could let off. With quick recoveries the top three were racing again with 2nd & 3rd place ready to pounce on any mistake made by the lead boat. 

By this point conditions had grown to truly epic states. With a lot of the fleet focusing on getting round the course, the lead pack continued to extended, pushing the boats as hard as they could and on the 5th lap the race was shortened. Glen & Ed expertly stormed down the final leg to take the win, amazingly making it three P.O.W titles in a row! Following them came Archie & Harvey and then Douglas & Mark, a podium which really displayed incredible skill in how fast they got round the course but also such perseverance to continue pushing so hard the whole way round.

Further down the pack Katie Nurton & Cameron Tweedle began to reel in Martin and Harry, over taking them in a dramatic final lap, positions in which they finished in rounding off the top 5.

A huge congratulations to our 2023 Winners but also to the whole fleet. Racing high performance skiffs in the conditions presented is both tough mentally and physically, the whole fleet displayed skill and style as they battle round the course. 

The International 14 class put on a great performance on the water but also off the water, as the fleet relived the race talking and laughing together as the class put on a cocktail evening. With such quality on display and great camaraderie with one another the class moto seems to still ring true, imitations come and go but 14s are forever.


Written by Cameron Tweedle 

Last updated 13:27 on 26 January 2024

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