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Displaying items by tag: GP14

The recently-published ISA Survey of Club Racing commissioned and supervised by Board Member Jack Roy has started the process of putting together a realistic picture of how we sail and go afloat for recreation, and it was analysed on publication here in

It’s logical to have made the beginning with club racing, as racing provides its own narrative and a straightforward set of entry numbers and results. But it will become more complex as the national authority tries to provide realistic figures for day sailing’s less competitive aspects. And of course, once we enter the world of cruising as defined by sailing and boating projects which include passage making, both coastal and offshore, together with overnight on-board stops, then it can become much more difficult to get meaningful data.

Yet with the ISA’s Cruising Conference for February 20th already booked out within a few days of being announced on, clearly that is an area in search of services and support, a section of sailing which is difficult to quantify yet obviously of strong interest to a significant number of boat enthusiasts. W M Nixon takes a look at how the complexity of our sport’s many specialities makes it difficult to provide a clearcut picture for possible recruits to sailing.

Where would we be without the International Optimist Dinghy? The little solo-sailing boxes and their attendant support teams of mum and dad and the dog and the old 4X4 or station wagon or people carrier or whatever may seem to take up an awful lot of space and time, and all just so that one little person can go sailing.

But at least that one little person does go sailing. The ISA figures are brutally straightforward. In terms of genuine turnouts afloat at clubs throughout Ireland, in boat numbers the active Optimists are exceeded only by the Lasers, and this is arguably because Lasers aren’t age-limited, whereas the Optimists most definitely are.

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Optimist airborne. This is Ireland's second most popular class

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Ireland’s most popular dinghy class, the Laser is seen here at the Zhik Irish Nationals at Ballyholme

So we give a qualified cheer for the success of these two little boats. But it’s qualified because they’re single-handers which fail to provide any crew-relating sailing skills. Leading sailing figures as diverse as Des McWilliam of Crosshaven and Norman Lee of Greystones have been eloquent in promoting the notion that we should be doing more – much more – to encourage two-handed boats, and if we can persuade people into three-handed boats, well, so much the better.

Certainly that’s one of the reasons why our header photo says so much. A lone sailor in an Optimist or Laser promotes too much of a solitary, even an isolated image. And a two-handed boat like the GP 14, whose strong fleet figures in the ISA survey show the class’s vigour, is arguably just an act for a dynamic duo – it’s Strictly Come Dancing goes sailing…..

But getting three together to race a characterful boat like the National 18 with style – now that’s something special, that really is a superb combination of people skills interacting with sailing talent. And it’s a joy to behold. Yet anyone can see that for a complete beginner to sailing, this extraordinary silhouette of Tommy Dwyer’s National 18 against the November sky above the Hill of Howth will have an otherworldly air about it – “That’s not for me” is as likely a response as “Let’s have a go at that”.

Even those of us who have been in sailing for longer than we care to remember find the image decidedly thought-provoking, for we have some idea of what has been involved in creating the circumstances for this seemingly effortless balancing act, this lighter-than-air effect in the unlikely setting of a November afternoon.

Over the past year or so we have been recounting in Afloat,ie how the Cork Harbour National 18 Class, with very tangible backing from the Royal Cork Yacht Club, have been in the forefront of the development of the new ground-breaking Phil Morrison take on the long-established National 18, which is a developmental class which from time to time takes a leap in hull design, and moves forward in order to keep the spirit alive.

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The National 18s are part of the fabric of Cork Harbour sailing. Before the new Morrison boats arrived in July, the old fleet were seen here in May 2015 after their annual race to Ballinacurra in northeast Cork Harbour in company with the Dwyer brothers’ cruising ketch. Photo: W M Nixon

Acceptance of this is something which seems to be bred into Cork’s National 18 enthusiasts, many of whom have the advantage of being firmly of the opinion that a proper dinghy needs three people to sail it. But the social matrix which has built up around Cork Harbour over many decades with this concept at its heart is not something which will necessarily travel easily to other areas, and although the six boats of the National 18 flotilla which visited Howth for the Open Day got a great reception and gave many people from other classes a marvellous time afloat, it’s probable that the very different mood around sailing in Dublin means that something so technically and socially challenging as a three man dinghy is a step too far.

Sailing in the greater Dublin area seems to exist within a framework of independent balloons. While there are those who will happily move from one boat type to another and cheerfully spread their talents and enjoyment about, by contrast there’s the Dublin Bay Sailing Club Thursday Evening Phenomenon.

Thursday is when the DBSC cruiser classes go out to race. And there’s an entire cohort of people, mostly folk who work in offices in the city, who on a Thursday evening go straight to Dun Laoghaire, get aboard a pontoon-based cruiser owned by someone else, go out and race in some very specific crewing job, then come back in and have supper in club or pub with their shipmates, and then that’s it until next Thursday. Just one evening each summer mid-week is their entire sailing programme. Weekends are for something else. And as for the hassle and mixed joys of boat ownership and maintenance, that’s not their department at all.

It’s a very metropolitan, very citified yet specialized way of doing things, and Dublin is one of the very few cities whose location facilitates it. It will be fascinating to measure it, for Dublin’s way of sailing is steeped in history and tradition. But for now it’s refreshing to look at a place which has had a sailing tradition in times past, but somehow lost it, yet it’s coming back again, and one of the good news stories towards the end of 2015 is that the new Youghal Sailing Club has been accepted into the ISA fold.

Youghal at present is a difficult place for sailing, as the tidal power of the mighty Munster Blackwater sweeps straight through the estuary and along the old town’s waterfront, and the creation of any meaningful modern facilities will have the immediate difficulty of silting by incredibly adhesive black mud.

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With the sun out, and the tide in, Youghal looks to be an ideal location for the easy installation of a marina….....Photo: W M Nixon

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….but with the sun in and the tide out, the mud problem is revealed. Photo: W M Nixon

Thus, as dedicated readers will have recently observed, no sooner had one group announced that a marina in Youghal was on the way than another longer-established group quietly suppressed the story, as they’re well aware of the engineering and dredging difficulties involved, and premature announcements will only slow any project in the long run.

In the fullness of time, a marina at Youghal will be a godsend for any cruiser plugging along the south coast. It’s not always the easiest coast in the world to make a passage along, sometimes it can seem an awfully long way to Cork from Dunmore East or Kilmore Quay even if you do make stopovers at Dungarvan or Helvick, and there are times when the hardiest seafarer is glad enough to get his boat secured to a good big pontoon.

But that’s for the future. Meantime, the locally-based keelboats are using either the restless anchorage off the town, or the more serene pool across the estuary at Ferry Point on the east shore, while the new club’s flotilla of GP 14s are stored in spare warehouse space during non-sailing time, and when they do go sailing it turns out their clubhouse is a moveable feast - it’s a caravan which can be towed to a choice of sailing locations.

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A moveable feast. Members of the newly-affiliated Youghal Sailing Club with their caravan HQ, Adrian Lee in doorway. Photo: W M Nixon

On the national stage, it is young Youghal GP 14 sailor Adrian Lee who has been among those flying the club’s flag, and there’s hope in the air. When we were there in May on a fine day that promised a summer which never arrived, we couldn’t help but think that when they do get their facilities and maybe even a clubhouse, they’ll look back to the days of the caravan and ad hoc racing arrangements with sweet nostalgia. For sometimes, it’s much better to be travelling than it is to arrive.

But for the rest of us, the message from Youghal is simple. The sea is for sailing. Use it or lose it. By all means get proper people surveys done which indicate the way numbers are shaping up and things are going. But really, if you want to persuade people to go sailing, the best way is by example, getting afloat as much as possible yourself. And maybe then you’ll find the time to welcome aboard newcomers too.

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Reviving Youghal sailing – on race days, the club’s caravan is simply towed down to the pier and the races are started from there. Photo: W M Nixon

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Youghal’s massive public slip provides launching for the YSC sailing dinghies, but during 2015 the boats had to be stored at the other end of town when not in use. Photo: W M Nixon

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The pace-setter. Adrian Lee of Youghal SC with his Duffin-built GP14. Photo: W M Nixon

Click to download: ISA Survey of Club Racing 

Published in W M Nixon

The GP14 class runs a league of dinghy sailing in Ireland with sailors competing in Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets writes Laura McFarland. The CraftInsure GP14 Irish League comprises of seven events throughout the season starting in April and finishing in October: O’Tiarnaigh Challenge, Purcell, Ulster’s, Leinster’s, Irish, Autumn, Hot Toddy

The 2015 Silver and Bronze leagues were very closely fought with the winner only being decided in the last race of the last event.

Download the full league file below as an excel file.

Gold Fleet Winner
Shane Mac Carthy & Damien Bracken – Greystones SC

Silver Fleet Winner
Katie Dwyer & Michelle Rowley - Sutton DC

Bronze Fleet Winner
Gareth Gallagher & Richard Gallagher – Lough Foyle YC

The prizes of free Insurance vouchers were presented to the winners of the Gold, Silver and Bronze leagues at the final event of the Hot Toddy.

The GP14 Association of Ireland President Stephen Boyle thanks CraftInsure for sponsoring the GP14 Irish Leagues 2015.

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On a weekend full of expectation, this GP14 championship certainly didn’t disappoint writes David JohnstonBeing the last event of the year, a big turnout was expected and with 28 boats competing over the weekend, a big turnout was what we had. The weather was very kind to the fleet - a steady breeze throughout and the rain holding off.

With a clean sweep of events on the cards, Shane MacCarthy & Damian Bracken started where they had left off claiming a very convincing 1st in race 1. Ger Owens & Melanie Morris claimed 2nd spot holding off local boat Alan Pinder & Kevin Hackett. It was Keith Louden & Alan Thompson who grabbed the top spot in race 2 from Sean Craig & David Johnston 2nd and Ger & Melanie 3rd in what was a very close battle with positions changing frequently throughout. However no one could deny Ger the coveted 1st place in race 3 with Shane & Damian and Keith & Alan settling for 2nd and 3rd respectively. After starting quite well, Sean & David dropped out of this race having suffered the all too well known, spinnaker halyard caught around the jib shackle. An earlier amendment to the notice of race allowed for a possible 4 races on Saturday to try and allow an early finish on Sunday to accommodate the rugby. And so to race 4, the last race of the day, the wind had held on for us and everyone was raring to go. In what was a hot contest coming down to the final beat, it was Ger & Mel who would be first to return to shore followed closely by Sean & David who were even more closely followed by John & Donal McGuinness. Rumours had surfaced that a certain Shane MacCarthy had been feeling “poorly” all day with a close source reportedly fearing for his life and nose in the 4th race after some questionable smells began to arise from the back of the boat. When all the sailors were in off the water, it was into the clubhouse to gather around the small television screen to watch the Springboks take on Wales in the first of the 2015 RWC quarter-finals. After some exciting rugby and lovely scones provided by the club, it was time for the evenings dinner in Mullingar town. Danny Byrnes pub was where the sailors regrouped. Into the backroom for some grub, and for many, the pleasant surprise of a giant projector ready to show the thrashing of France at the hands of the mighty All Blacks.

Sunday morning, early start and after many forecasts of sub 5 knots, it was a great sight to see ripples all over the lake… would go ahead. With the much anticipated Ireland match on at 1pm, a tight schedule had to be kept in order to make it back in. Of course in true competitive GP14 fashion, there was a general recall for race 5. However to the joy of all, the race officer was well on top getting the race away with very little further delay. Having had to settle for 2nd in most of the events previously, there was no standing in the way of a determined Ger Owens & Melanie Morris who sailed fabulously again claiming their third 1st of the event. Saying that, they were made work very hard for it with Curly Morris & Laura McFarland in hot pursuit to claim 2nd. Having had a poor race, only managing a 12th, Shane & Damian had left the door wide open for Sean & David to possibly snatch 2nd from their grasp with only 1.25 points separating them going into the final race. After sailing at such a consistently high level all event, it was only right that Ger & Mel claimed the final race for a comprehensive event win. Shane & Damian claimed 2nd, securing 2nd place overall, and JP & Carolyn McCaldin sorting out their rig settings to finish the last race in 3rd position. Sean & David finished 7th to claim 3rd position overall. It was fair to say the real race was to get in and pack away the boats in order to claim a good seat for the match. Mullingar provided a projector to save our eyes from the small tv screen. Despite the disappointing result there was a great atmosphere nonetheless. While the exciting running rugby of the Pumas was thrilling to watch, I think the most entertaining moment, albeit slightly terrifying, was Ger Owens attacking the poor couch in which he sat in as Ireland launched a 2nd half comeback.Silve Fleet Winners Katie  Michelle

Silver Fleet Winners Katie Dwyer & Michelle Rowley

Bronze Fleet Winners Adrian Lee  Edward Coyne

Bronze Fleet Winners Adrian Lee & Edward Coyne

After a fantastic weekend, it is only fair to thank Mullingar Sailing Club for putting on such an enjoyable event. Under time pressure and shifty wind, the Race Officer got through all races quickly and set great courses. The shore crew who looked after the tired and cold sailors as we came ashore, providing endless scones, coffee, tea, biscuits and even some mulled wine. And of course to all the boats that turned up to make this end of season event very special. After a year of so much success .… roll on next season!

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There was a record entry of 24 boats for the GP14 Youth Championships hosted alongside the senior event, the Autumn Open last weekend at Greystones writes Niall Henry. With lots of sunshine on Saturday morning, a steady 15 knots of breeze a great weekends racing lay ahead.

Race 1 was won by Shane McCarthy and Damian Bracken with Ger Owens and Filup de Loosdan with David Johnson and Eanna Molony Lawless coming in an excellent third place. The first two places were the same in race 2 with Keith de Louden and Alan Le Thompson in third place.

Races three and four of the Autumn Open were sailed in the afternoon on Sunday after two full races were sailed in the youths. JP and Caroline McCalden led at the windward mark but got into difficulty with their spinnaker and were passed by Tim Corcoran and Blair Stowaway who in turn were passed by Niall Henry and Ossian Geraghty. (When asked on shore what happened Tim said it was Blair's fault, and that he hadn't wanted to crew in the first place, but when we asked Blair, he told us that it was Tim's fault and that he was just wasn't a very good crew..?) Niall and Ossian just about held their lead to the end of the race as Shane and Damian sailing that very small boat were closing in very quickly downwind. Ger and Filp came in third.

Autumn Open spinnakers downwind

The final race of the championship was again won by S&D (such a pity Damian's not called Maurice) with the Skerries duo of Colman Grimes and David Lappin showing great speed to come in second followed Curly Morris and Laura Thompson.

Shane and Damian were over all winners and are just one event off a clean sweep, with Ger and Filp in second place overall followed by Niall and Ossian in third spot.

The Silver fleet was won by David and Eanna with Katie Dwyer and Michelle Rowley in second and Michael Cox and Josh Porter in third.

Adrian Lee and 2015 youth champion Edward Coyne were winners in the bronze fleet with Tom and Kevin Gillen in second just ahead of Seamus O'Cleirigh and Stephen Tierny in third.

Results are downloadable below as an excel file

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Edward Coyne of Youghal SC crewed by Colman Grimes of Skerries, was victorious in this year’s Youth Championship raced in summer like conditions off Greystones in Co. Wicklow last weekend. David Johnson & Eanna Lawless of Sutton fought hard for second place just holding off 14 year old Sligo’s Jack Currin & Tim Corcoran who scored two seconds in the last two races and Adrian Lee & Ossian Geraghty from Youghal/Sligo who finished on the same points despite an OCS in race 3.

The first of the four race series was held in 12-16 knots with a strong Southerly tide. Ed & Colman lay down an early marker, winning from brothers Gareth & Richard Gallagher with Peter & Steven Boyle in 3rd. Gareth & Richard bounced back to win race 2 from Adrian & Ossian and Dan & Hugh Gill in 3rd. This left the Gallagher brothers as overnight leaders counting a first and second.

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Jack Currin (left) U16 GP14 Champion with crew Tim Corcoran (right) with Greystones Sailing Club Commodore (centre)

Race 3 on Sunday changed things with David Johnson & Eanna Molony (last year’s youth champion) taking the win from Jack Curran & Tim Corcoran in 2nd and Samuel Wray & Alan Thompson in 3rd. Skippers Gareth Gallagher, Adrian Lee and Jack Buttimer fell foul of the black flag in this race which PRO Mark Usher resorted to using after numerous recalls due to a combination of enthusiastic starters and strong tide. In Race 4 Edward Coyne & Colman Grimes took another win again to seal overall victory with Jack Curran in second and Kevin Martyn & Norman Lee in 3rd. If there was a Hard Lesson Trophy, the heads up winners would have been Gareth & Richard Gallagher from Derry who sailed a great regatta and looked like clear favourites until they came unstuck with 2 OCS’s on Sunday while trying too hard, very unfortunate for them as they have been going so well all season.
Ed Coyne also scooped up the U18 Trophy with Jack Currin convincingly taking the U16 with 2 years to spare. Top home club team was Tom and Kevin Gillen closely followed by Grainne Allen & Neil Willis and Ciaran & Aine Keogh.
This was a really enjoyable event expertly run by hard working Greystones club members and should be the last run from the characteristic old clubhouse as Sisk have almost finished a fine new larger one situated prominently by the south harbour wall with commanding views over the harbour, the sailing waters and beyond to Bray Head, Killiney, Dalkey Island and Howth.

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Culmore Regatta saw an exceptionally large turnout of GP14 boats and Foyle Class Punts. Winds were good for the Dinghy races but fell away for the Foyle Class punts.
Winners for the Foyle Class punts ;
Billy Doherty Memorial Cup was won by Roy Louden with Ryan Louden and James Lynch as his crew.
Bill McCann won the Isaac Ayton Cup for Foyle Class Punts with his crew of Danny McCann and Mark Banks.
The third Foyle Class Punt race was Won By Daniel Gallagher with his crew of Gareth Gallagher and Owen McCauley.
The Dinghy races – The first Race for the Magnet Trophy was won by Gareth Gallagher and Richard Gallagher , with Ken and Stuart Doherty second and Peter Fallon and James P Hockley third .
The second Dinghy race for the Frank Long Cup was won by Gareth and Richard Gallagher, second Pater Fallon and James P Hockley, third was John and Donal McGuiness.

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#gp14 – Always be apprehensive of a GP14 venue described as picturesque... Lough Erne was described as the most picturesque venue one would ever sail and it definitely delivered on that promise. I got to see every nook and cranny of the beautiful venue as we tried to navigate our way around the very trying race course. We arrived Saturday morning with the sun splitting the slipway and the breath-taking views were teeing up a very exciting event in Rory McIlroy's second favourite venue for golf. A great turn out of boats meant a large fleet would make any defending champ (in this case, Alan Blay) nervous at the prospect of holding onto a title. We rigged and launched eager to get around the corner to see the sailing venue for the racing.

A chilly breeze was an early warning sign to anyone who thought this was going to be another sailing event. The Race Officer got the racing off to a quick start and it was clear from the outset that the training Shane MacCarthy and Damian Bracken had put in over the winter was paying dividends and provided them with the extra boatlength required when situations were tight around what was set to be the most tricky racing in the GP's this year.

Lough Erne was a venue where consistency and patience were currency, and no amount of money in the bank would have bought you a race without them. Keith Louden (our lake specialist) was also on form and determined to topple the Macarthy winning streak. Alan Blay, the defending champion, was fired up and ready, staying for the weekend with local tactical genius JP McCaldin to increase his chances of a successful defence. The leader in every race came from the left hand side, crossing the fleet and using the right hand side to approach the top mark. The wind shifted ferociously and the 'bold child' that was Lough Erne laughed as the rest of the fleet sailed in circles trying to deal with the shifting conditions. Tim Corcoran had left himself a lot of work after being over the line in the first race. Over the weekend the naughty GP fleet were to try the patience of the race officer on more than one occasion with multiple restarts because they could not stay behind the line.

Day two launching was similar to day one with gorgeous sunshine guiding our way - however everyone had gritted teeth this time and for good reason. The difficult shifty conditions were to continue and stringing a couple of consistent results together for anyone was rare. Everyone had glimpses of the front of the fleet but hanging onto a lead was virtually impossible. The positions throughout the races were yo-yoing to say the very least except those of Shane and Keith who had set themselves up for a deciding match race in the natural amphitheatre that was Lough Erne. The rest of the fleet could only marvel as two gladiators of Irish GP's wrestled their way through the pack to try and win the title of Ulster champion. The title swapped and changed between the two several times contending with bonkers shifts that literally tacked boats uncontrollably at times. Keith had the lead at the top mark and Shane kept him in his sights throughout the race. Pile ups at three of the marks meant getting around the race course unscathed was a skill in itself, (Not something yours truly managed to do).

A nail biting last broad reach decided the championship and Shane was a well deserved champion, the wind had shifted to favour the chasing pack and filled in from behind, Shane was to leeward and in front of that same pack and chose to use his last ace card to hold the inside lane on Keith at the leeward mark and clinch the title, the boat length which himself and Damian had worked so hard to gain over the winter had been the small inch required to win. The rest of the fleet had to watch and enjoy the spectacle going on around them as they tried to make sufficient sense of the conditions to finish the race.

Special mention must go to the youth sailors in the bronze fleet who showed some of the gold and silver fleet how it's done - Gareth and Richard Gallagher and Peter Boyle sailing with dad Stephen put in a great performance over the weekend. It was also fantastic to see the return of Richard Street - Richard, we've missed you. And thanks again to the event organisers and members at Lough Erne Yacht Club for providing a warm welcome and great racing.

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#gp14 – Greystones Sailing Club GP14 sailors Shane MacCarthy & Andy Thompson won the GP14 British Inland Championship at Carsington Water Sailing Club 9-10 May. This makes Thompson a double British Inland Champion after his successful win with Tom Gillard in the Fireball at Grafham Water a month earlier writes Mark Fleming.

The GP!4 win also comes on the back of some early season successes at home for the Wicklow dinghy ace. McCarthy has also clocked up win at the Irish GP14 Purcell Trophy and O'Tiarnaigh Challenge.

Windy conditions on day one of the event greeted the 24 competitors and they all took to the water for a 13:00 start. The race officer David Rowlands and his team, who I must say did a fantastic job on the water throughout the whole weekend, were ready and ensured that the racing got under way promptly.

The first race saw the fleet get away first time with only the one individual recall (yes, me!) and saw Shane McCarthy / Andy Thompson round first ahead of a chasing pack including Richard Instone / Jim Toothill and Justin Jones / Chris Anderson. Capsizes changed the order and put some sailors who may well have been contenders for top-five finishes further down the fleet. Another unfortunate incident was the mainsail of Sam Watson / Andy Hunter falling down mid-race due to a halyard failure. They managed to get this fixed on the water after retiring from the race, and started race two. Shane & Andy ended up winning the first race by a comfortable margin, with Justin & Chris finishing in a comfortable second and Richard / Jim in third.

The second race was very similar to the first, the only difference being that the fleet got away cleanly this time! Shane McCarthy & Andy Thompson rounded the windward mark first, closely followed by Graham Flynn & Adam Froggatt and Richard Instone & Jim Toothill. The race had many little battles within it as Sam & Andy were trying to fight back through the fleet after being bogged down at the start. Graham & Adam chased Shane & Andy and managed to overtake them and take the win for race two. Richard & Jim were showing their consistency with another 3rd-place finish.

The third race provided some excitement for those both spectating and involved! The fleet got away cleanly again but at least five boats were involved in a pile-up at the windward mark. This gave an early advantage to the likes of Sam Watson & Dave Young as they took advantage of the raft that had occurred. Once the boats had un-rafted themselves, some impressive sailing from Richard Instone & Jim Toothill (who were in the middle of the raft) got them back to the front and they ended up taking the race win, with Sam Watson & Andy Hunter in 2nd and Dave Young & Nic Booth in 3rd.

The raft in race three had displaced some of the championship contenders, meaning that it was an open event overnight with Richard & Jim topping the leader board with two thirds and a first – showing consistency was important. What would the next day bring?

Lighter winds on day two greeted the sailors for a 10:30 start. However, the forecast was for it to build – and it did...

Race 4 got under way after a postponement to allow the wind to settle down and a general recall. Everyone behaved under black flag and Shane McCarthy was first to round the windward mark followed by a motivated Graham Flynn & Adam Froggatt and Gary Deighan & Dale Knowles. After some hard-fought battles, Shane & Andy got off to the perfect start with a first-place finish with Graham & Adam in 2nd and Gary & Dale 3rd. Ian Willis / Keith Dutton, who were first grandmasters, finished a creditable 4th after an impressive burst from mid-fleet.

Race 5 was swiftly under way after the end of Race 4 with the usual suspects of Shane & Andy and Graham & Adam rounding second and first respectively. They were closely followed by Justin Jones & Chris Anderson and Dave Young & Nic Booth. The fleet remained fairly compact for this race with nobody taking the race by the scruff of the neck. There were a lot of places changing in the mid-fleet, which made for some great spectating and also the odd capsize here and there! The race finished with Graham & Adam in first and Shane & Andy in second place, which put Shane & Andy in the driving seat to win the event because Graham & Adam were having to count a sixth place from the previous day. Justin & Chris were able to fend off the chasing pack for 3rd place.

The sixth race started, and after an event where Sam & Andy weren't getting off the line as well as normal, they nailed the start and ended up rounding the windward mark first with Neil Gibson & Geoff Phillips in a close second. Justin & Chris and Richard & Jim were in hot pursuit of the two boats and the tight racing meant that, again, the leaders did not pull away from the pack. Having witnessed a lot of the event from mid-fleet, it was quite weird having both the back of the fleet and the front of the fleet so close to us after a couple of laps! Neil & Geoff slipped away from the top five to finish 7th as Graham & Adam and Shane & Andy came through after some rare poor starts. Sam & Andy managed to fend off the challenge of the chasing pack to take first place, a great way to end their weekend, followed by Justin & Chris in 2nd who had a very strong end to the competition and Richard & Jim in 3rd.

After six hard-fought races, Shane McCarthy & Andy Thompson were worthy winners of the Inland Championships, and Shane thanked Carsington Sailing Club for hosting a great event, the competitors for some great racing and everyone who helped organise it and ensure it ran so smoothly. I would certainly echo this.

Other prizes were awarded to first youth boat, which went to the brother & sister team of Nick & Ellie Devereux from Budworth Sailing Club, and also to the first female helm, Megan Hicklin of South Staffs Sailing Club.

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#gp14 – Fresh from their win at the GP14 O'Tiarnaigh challenge two weeks ago Shane McCarthy and Damien Bracken from Greystones Sailing Club took the honours in challenging conditions at Lough Ree Yacht club writes Keith Louden

It had been nearly 20 years since the last time the GP 14 class had visited this beautiful club and jockeyed for position on the Lough Ree Yacht Club start line. Competitors had gathered from all four Provinces displaying the geographical appeal it now has. It was also the first time a GP 14 event had been twinned with the Mirror class and was a resounding success.
After a short delay on Saturday morning to let the wind ease a little, race Officer Liam Maloney assisted by his daughter Nessa lowered the postponement flag to signal his intentions to start the 2015 Purcell Championship. Out on the water he set up triangular courses which included long beats and fast broad reaches in force 4 gusting to force 5 conditions.
In race one Shane McCarthy and Damien Bracken took advantage of the shifting conditions and established an early lead at the weather mark, with the chasing pack rounding close together they were able to extend the lead while the battle behind ensued. With McCarthy and Bracken winning, John and Donal Mc Guinness finished second and Max Treacey and Ronan MacNamara showed good early pace finishing in third.
In the silver fleet Peter fallon and James Peter Hockley who narrowly beat Simon Culley and Libby Tierney, and Bill and James Johnson respectively established an early lead.
The Bronze fleet was won by Peter and Stephen Boyle with Gareth and Richard Gallagher in second place and Adrian Lee and Edward Coyne in third.
Race two began with Keith Louden and Alan Thompson taking an early lead only to relinquish this position towards the end of the second beat to McCarthy and Bracken who had recovered impressively from a poor start to take the win. Louden and Thompson just managed to hold off the McGuinness brothers in a close battle for second place. The silver fleet was won by Cully and Tierney followed by the Johnsons. The Bronze fleet was won with a very impressive fifth overall by the Gallagher brothers followed by Lee and Coyne.
With the wind rising and capsizes increasing in race three, some crews decided to make for the shelter of the club house where soup and rolls were distributed. McCarthy and Bracken must also have smelt this because they didn't hang around long before taking another impressive win. Second was the Mc Guinness brothers and Louden Thompson in third. In the silver fleet it was Fallon and Hockley followed the Johnsons, and in The Bronze fleet the Gallaghers were followed home by Lee and Coyne.
Sunday morning began with lighter winds much appreciated by the crews who survived the Saturday afternoon. Once again the start line and the courses were set impeccably by the race officer and his team. McCarthy and Bracken came through to continue their good form from the Saturday to take the win, with Niall Henry and Ossian Geraghty who didn't make Saturdays racing taking second, third was Fallon and Hockley who also finished first in the Silver, with Culley and Tierney second and Katie Dwyer and Michelle Rowley third. Bronze was Peter and Stephen Boyle from the Gallaghers followed by Lee and Coyne.
Race five began with some large shifts which oscillated from side to side and varied in strength, however, McCarthy and Bracken won the race and with it the Purcell Trophy. McGuinnesses came second and Henry and Geraghty in third.
With McCarthy and Bracken's weekends work done they decided to take an early shower and leave the rest of the fleet to battle it out for the last piece of silverware of the weekend. With the wind dropping away during some heavy showers, then rising to planing conditions just before the next shower this was a race which was never going to be won easily. At the first gybe mark McGuinnesses led, followed closely by Treacey and Macnamara, Cully and Tierney, and Curly Morris and Laura McFarland. After seeing the first three boats sail high on the reach Morris and McFarland steered a low course and rounded the leeward mark in first place. This was a position this pair did not relinquish despite the challenge of the chasing pack and the continually changing conditions. Second was Henry and Geraghty and third was Cully and Tierney.

Overall Positions:
Gold Fleet
1st Shane Mc Carthy and Damien Bracken
2nd John Mc Guinness and Donal Mc Guinness
3rd Keith Louden and Alan Thompson
Silver Fleet
1st Peter Fallon and James Hockley
2nd Simon Cully and Libby Tierney
3rd Bill Johnson and James Johnson
Bronze Fleet
1st Gareth Gallagher and Richard Gallagher
2nd Adrian Lee and Edward Coyne
3rd Peter Boyle and Stephen Boyle

Published in GP14
Tagged under

#gp14 – The GP14's kicked off the season with the Riocard O'Tiarnaigh Challenge sailed at Swords Sailing Club on the weekend of the 18th and 19th of April. A total of 20 boats turned up to compete for the championship which was run in individual fleets Gold, Silver and Bronze over the Saturday and Sunday. The top four in each fleet qualify for the final three race sail-off to determine the overall winner on the Sunday afternoon. Results downloadable below as a word file.

With a steady 13 knot breeze the bronze fleet were first to take to the water and the young Gallagher brothers Gareth and Richard showed early form to lead the first race from start to finish. In the silver fleet it was Simon Cully paired with his old crew Richard Street who took line honours while in the Gold fleet it was the Tim Corcoran and Brendan Brogan, back after a year's sabbatical who showed the early form and took the first race.

As the day progressed it was the young Gallagher brothers from Culmore who dominated the bronze fleet winning all but one of the six races on the Saturday. It was young Peter Boyle crewed by the auld fellow Stephen who won the last race of the day to hold second place overnight in the bronze fleet. Third place overnight was Adrian Lee and Edward Coyne from Youghal. Adrian and Edward sailed a consistent series finishing either second or third in each of the six races.

The silver fleet was hotly contested with Simon and Richard taking three of the six races but two DNS meant they were relegated to third overnight. Colman Grimes and David Lappin took two of the six races and were the overnight leaders in the silver fleet. Bill and James Johnson won one of the six races and finished the day in second place.

Despite Tim and Brendan's early showing it was Niall Henry and Ossin Geraghty who dominated the first day in the Gold fleet taking two of the first six and finishing second in three of the others. Shane MacCarthy and Damian Bracken finished the day in a creditable second place taking one of the six races and finishing second and third in the rest. The Mc Guinness brothers held third place overnight with consistent top four finishes.

On Sunday morning there was still three races to sail in the qualification series and qualification open to almost all the fleet. The Gallagher brothers, who after their strong showing on the Saturday had already qualified for the final didn't need to sail but decided to go out and get a feel for the course in preparation for the final. They sailed the first race and then came ashore to rest while the other battled it out for the remaining qualification spots. Peter and Stephen Boyle, Adrian and Edward from Youghal and Michael Collender with Brian Walker from Mullingar took the other qualification spots for the final. In the silver fleet it was Colman and David, Simon and Richard, Bill and James with Gerry Gilligan and Lucia Nicholson who qualified for the silver fleet. In the gold fleet the qualification places went to Niall and Ossian, Shane and Damian, John and Donal with Tim and Brendan taking the final spot.

The first race in the final saw Simon and Richard a little to eager to start and earned a black flag for their troubles. Niall and Ossian lead at the weather mark and held it all the way to the finish. Shane and Damian were second with Tim and Brendan third. Race two saw a reversal in the top two positions with Shane and Damian taking the first place and Niall and Ossian taking second. With double points for the last race, the overall result would depend on which of the two inform teams could come out on top. In the end it was Shane and Damian who won the race and the championship with Niall and Ossian finishing second overall with the McGuinness brothers taking the last of the podium positions. Colman and David took the top honours in the silver fleet while Adrian and Edward were the overall winners in the bronze fleet.

Published in GP14
Page 8 of 13
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