International 14 World Championship - Aussies set sight at top prize

Australian International 14 World Championship 2013 - Devine and Furlong under kite starboard gybe 189kb
Andrew Gough
International 14 World Championship 2013. Current Australian Champions in the International 14 class, Brad Devine and Ian Furlong, are building towards a strong showing at the upcoming world championship in Canada.

The i14 World Championship in Toronto is expected to attract a fleet of 80 boats, up from the 71 that raced at the previous world regatta in Weymouth in 2011.

Devine and Furlong were the best prepared and consistently fastest crew at the 2012-13 Australian Championship regatta held at Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron. They won the Invitation Race which was held in winds pushing over 25 knots in emphatic style. They also showed loads of class, and speed, in moderate winds but it is their determination to excel in lighter breezes that may reap rewards in Toronto.

The need to be fast across a wide range of conditions are echoed by Canadian i14 sailor Chris Leigh who said the conditions on Lake Ontario near Toronto in September would be varied.

'Teams will need to be prepared for a some 20 knot days with large waves that build over the 300 kilometers of open water to the west,' Chris said.

'Other days will have more moderate winds or flat water depending on the wind direction.

'The most successful teams will have the ability to adapt to conditions of the day and the endurance for the large inland lake race course.'

Devine said he and 'Footy' (aka Furlong) had worked hard on their ability to change gears through all wind ranges. They have not only concentrated on setting up their B5 for lighter conditions but they have been punishing themselves physically in training to be fitter, stronger and lighter.

The 194cm Footy for example peaked at 110 kg a few seasons back. His target for Toronto is 90 kg and when combined with Devine, they plan to total 165kg in September.

A clue to Devine’s competitive drive can be found in his training regime where he has taken up boxing. Perhaps typically for him, what started out as a bit of fun for fitness has turned into fully fledged bouts in the ring with a Commonwealth Games standard opponent.

The gentleman fighter in him is certainly evident when he is in regatta mode and that is bound to be on show at the 2013 Worlds.

Time will tell but the Devine and Footy will have to contend with the hottest i14 sailors across Europe, North America and the Asia Pacific. One of the strongest and fastest crews will be the 2012 i14 Canadian National Champion Gordon Cook, sailing a Steve Killing 'K3' named Red Headed Step Child. The Ontario-based designer has certainly put together a cool package in the K3.

Killing says: 'The International 14 is the most challenging small boat I have ever designed. There are two quite separate tasks in the project - the first is to shape a hull that will permit the crew to push it harder and therefore achieve maximum speed a greater percentage of the time. The second is to create hull deck and foredeck shapes that provide an efficient working platform, allow for variation in deck layout and most important, have a minimum number of parts for efficient manufacturing.'

And of course, there is the Archie factor ... Archie Massey ... who will be having a crack at extending his world title winning run to four in a row. Archie loves, and is damn good at, 14 sailing. Look for Archie in the black boat.

Toronto could prove a showdown between the so-far supreme B5 and the relative new kids on the block in the K3.

International 14 World Championship