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Displaying items by tag: GP14

In a warm-up for the 12-day long GP14 Worlds in Skerries in early August, a very competitive 40-strong fleet came to the line for the Ridgeway Irish GP14 Championships hosted by the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club on the south shore of Belfast Lough last weekend. The competitors travelled from all over Ireland; from Sligo to Greystones, from Blessington to Youghal and from Lough Foyle to County Down; a great spread of interest throughout the country.

 Sutton Dinghy Club's Conor Twohig and Matthew Cotter (14165) and Keith and Mateo Louden from Lough FoyleSutton Dinghy Club's Conor Twohig and Matthew Cotter (14165) and Keith and Mateo Louden from Lough Foyle

And it was the 2016 World Champion Shane MacCarthy from Greystones teamed up with Andy Thompson, who began the event with a win and went on to dominate the fleet with three more firsts and two seconds, finishing very comfortably in first place 12 points ahead of Ger Owens and Mel Morris from Royal St George and East Antrim. Ger Owens won the event last year at Lough Erne in Fermanagh with Brendan Brogan.

Ruan and Rebekah O'Tiarnaigh (14215)Ruan and Rebekah O'Tiarnaigh (14215) finished 12th. Not long after a busy Bangor Town Regatta in Excession

In third slot were the host club’s Ross Kearney and Andrew Vaughan, a new pairing for this year, who had shown some early form with victory at the Ulsters back in May.

Best placed in the Silver Fleet was another RNIYC crew, Chris Clayton and Rory Higgins who came 13th overall and in the Bronze, it was Kerri-Ann and Megan Boylan from Skerries at 26th.

A 40 strong GP14 fleet on Belfast LoughA 40 strong GP14 fleet on Belfast Lough 

Day 1 saw the fleet very keen to get afloat but like a good Race Officer at a start, the Beachmaster had to be satisfied everyone was complying with the ‘rules’. Hence the grid lock but once they got off, it was an Olympic course. Principal Race Officer Nigel Kearney set gate starts which a 105-strong fleet can expect at the Worlds.

A steady 12- 14 knots with gusts of 17 persisted through Races 1 and 2 with a slight easing for Race 3. With the lull came a shift shortly after the start causing fetch to the windward mark and that race was abandoned. It was restarted but the restart had to be abandoned too and then it was finally off. A long day and the fleet returned ashore around 5.30.

The Sunday brought a stronger breeze resulting in minor gear damage with some crews to shore and then going back to the race area. There were lots of position changes, Ross Kearney and Andrew Vaughan were knocked out of the number 2 slot to finish third overall.

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This Saturday the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club is hosting the Ridgeway GP14 Irish National Championships on Belfast Lough and event director Gerry Reid casts his eye over the 40-boat fleet and looks at some of the runners and riders (in no particular order).

The championship is a prelude to the class World Championships being staged in Ireland in Skerries, North Dublin in mid-August.

Ger Owens and Mel Morris
Ger and Mel are certainly the ones to beat this year, having cleaned up last year. They favour the lighter winds but are fast becoming the ultimate all-rounders, they will be hot favourites for another National title.

Shane MacCarthy and Andy Thompson
2016 World Champion MacCarthy teams up with Andy Thompson. This team haven’t sailed this year in the GP but they will be up to top speed from the get-go and a good bet for overall winners.  

Peter and Stephen Boyle
The Boyles started the year with two second places in the lead-up to the Nationals, showing some great pace in the breeze and generally an “in form pairing”. 

Hugh and Dan Gill
Another father and son team with the right mix of youth and experience, they have got their beautiful new Duffin going great this year, with a few races wins mixed together with black flags they haven’t had the results they may be deserved. 

Alan Blay and Hugh McNally
This strong team, won the last event of the year in 2021 and showed good form early in the season. Have served their time in the class, is this year the year for them? 

Colman Grimes and Ross Gingles
Another strong pairing, Colman and Ross have been flying this year, with numerous race wins. They have shown excellent pace and another boat that like a bit of breeze to work with!

Jane Kearney and Ollie Goodhead
Back helming again this year after a number of years at the front of the boat, Jane and Ollie hope to pick up where they last left off taking third place in Skerries at the 2019 National Championships. 

Ross Kearney and Andrew Vaughan
A new pairing for this year, showing some early form with victory at the Ulster’s back in May. A range of conditions will suit these two.

Ruan and Rebekah O’Tiarnaigh
The father and daughter team jumped into the class and have taken off very quickly. No surprise really with Ruan’s vast experience and past success in the class, they are showing some great pace and will be right up there at the front.

Keith and Matteo Louden
Keith teaming up with his youngest son has been great to see, a very light pairing who could cause some serious trouble if the conditions go in their favour. They will hope that their efforts in driving up from Derry to race in the spring series at Royal North will pay dividends with local knowledge.

One of the great joys with the current Irish GP fleet is that the competition is so strong the whole way through, there will be many teams aiming to compete in the top 10, Adrian Lee and Gareth Gallagher, Curly Morris and Meg Tyrell, Katie Dwyer and Michelle Rowley (fighting hard for first lady helm) and the McGuiness brothers to name a few.

Not to forget the battles throughout the Silver and Bronze fleet with new categories this year in addition to the youth overall prize, a Junior trophy (U19) and the first Lady Helm trophy will be awarded.

All in all, it looks to be a fantastic event, looking like 40 plus boats and half-decent weather forecast.

Racing starts on Saturday 2nd July at 12noon at Cultra on Belfast Lough. 

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Host club Skerries Sailing Club in North Dublin has 105 entries for the upcoming GP14 World Championship taking place from the 14th to the 19th of August this year.

That number is set to grow further as the event draws closer, according to Championship Organiser and Skerries Sailing Club Secretary Colman Grimes.

Boats from all over Ireland and the UK as well as competitors from as far as Australia, South Africa, Barbados, Ski Lanka and the USA will compete over for the week-long World Championship.

The last world championships was in Mount’s Bay in Cornwall in 2018 and has been postponed twice in Skerries in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID.

Skerries has some pedigree when it comes to GP14 world championships as the event was held there 25 years ago in 1997, an event which is still very fondly reminisced about by the older members of the fleet.

GP14GP14s from all over Ireland and the UK as well as competitors from as far as Australia, South Africa, Barbados, Ski Lanka and the USA will compete over for the week-long World Championship

Some big names will be arriving in Ireland to compete including five-time world champion Ian Dobson, multi-Endeavour Trophy winner and multi-class world champion Nick Craig who is looking to put GP14 world champion on the list, past Topper and GP14 World Champion Neil Marsden amongst many others. Ireland will also be well represented.

Top names such as three-time Olympian and current GP14 National Champion Ger Owens of the Royal St George. Ross Kearney a past Mirror World Champion who finished 2nd at the last GP14 worlds.

There are plenty of other upcoming young sailors that will be looking to get into the mix. Peter Boyle from Sutton Dinghy Club has being showing some consistent form this year with 2nd in each event so far. He has ace crew (and dad) Stephen Boyle in the boat with him.

The GP14 fleet is one of Ireland's largest double-handed classes, regularly attracting over 30 boats to regional events and over 40 to its National Championships.

An impressive 60 Irish boats will compete at the worlds this year. The class has a very vibrant youth section aided by a strong coaching drive within the class. It is expected the youth categories at the championships will be hard-fought for.

There is also a strong category of all-female teams and mixed teams. So overall there is a lot of categories to be contested at the event.

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Ross Kearney and Andrew Vaughan from Royal North YC on Belfast Lough topped the 26 strong GP14 fleet at the Ulster Championships over the third weekend this month. The event was hosted for the first time since 2018 by Lough Foyle Yacht Club near Derry in the north west of Ireland. Kearney was Afloat’s sailor of the month in September 2018.

The club lies at Culmore Point on the north shore of Lough Foyle where the River Foyle meets the Lough and from where in a very different craft, St Colmcille is said to have started his journey to the island of Iona off Mull on Scotland’s west coast to found the Abbey. The Gaelic cuil mor does indeed depict the location well as the ‘big corner’.
In conditions described as testing with south westerly gusts it was clear that this would indeed provide a valuable precursor for the forthcoming World Championships in Skerries in August.

GP14 dinghies racing on Lough Foyle GP14s on Lough Foyle

With the GPs keen to make their mark, the first race suffered from over eager starters and after the second general recall the black flag claimed the Sutton pairing of Hugh and Dan Gill. With the fleet up and away, the locals, Keith and Mateo Louden (LFYC) used their knowledge of the Lough, to go right early and to good effect, though with the wind variable around the course, those who made good use of the puffs were also faring well.

After several position changes on the long beats, the strategy of conservatively playing the right allowed Colman Grimes and Ross Gingles from Skerries SC to take the first win of the weekend, followed by Ger Owens and Melanie Morris of the Royal St. George YC who managed to keep Peter and Stephen Boyle of Sutton DC at bay down the last reaching leg. First in the Silver fleet were Conor Twohig and Matthew Cotter from Sutton with the tenacious Lara Sunday and Jennifer Bryce of Newtownards SC 1st in Bronze.

The second race saw rain clouds blow in and with the river now fin full spate, rounding the weather mark proved dramatic. Having sat out the first race, the fresh-legged Hugh and Dan Gill from Sutton claimed first slot with Kearney and Vaughan second and the Boyles showing their consistency with two 3rds now under their belt. Sam Wray and Luke Henderson of Sligo YC took 7th place and first Silver and with some swapping around in the bronze fleet, it was now Mullingar’s Michael Collender and Brian Walker time to shine.

Race three had a light air start which caught the fleet out with several struggling to make the line. Ger Owens and Mel Morris spotted the favoured right-hand corner having noticed earlier in the day and were largely uncontested, pulling out a very substantial lead and easy win. The Gill’s conviction that the left should pay finished with an 18th, while in contrast Josh Porter and Cara McDowell of Newtownards SC came second having noticed Ger and Melanie’s progress. Peter and Stephen Boyle made it a hat-trick of 3rd places. First Silver were Michael Cox and Claire Cromie of Newtownards SC with Collender and Walker went on to improve their positions in the Bronze fleet with a 10th.

Overnight results left the contest wide open with Owens leading overall but unable to sail the next day.

Day Two brought the same conditions and John and Donal McGuiness of Moville had a better day and took first In Race 4 with the host club’s Keith and Mateo Louden second and the Sligo pair, Diarmaid Mullan and Lauren Donaghy in third.

Puffy shifty conditions produced an awkward sea for Race 5. Kearney and Vaughan made the most of it, powering through the chop to secure another win, putting them in a good position to close out the series provided they could discard their 11th. Hugh ad Dan Gill took second.

It was close at the top going into the final race and again the black flag was out. At first, the Boyles looked good but overlaid the windward mark with Grimes and Gingles having a decent beat, but Conor Twohig and Mathew Cotter pipped them to the mark. After a windy reach, Grimes and Gingles closed out the race with another win, but a fourth was enough to secure the title for the Royal North pair. Twohig and Cotter’s second in the final race gave them the Silver overall first and the Bronze went to Michael Collender and Brian Walker.

Ross Kearney and Andrew Vaughan from Royal North YC on Belfast Lough topped the 26 strong GP14 fleet at the Ulster ChampionshipsRoss Kearney and Andrew Vaughan from Royal North YC on Belfast Lough topped the 26 strong GP14 fleet at the Ulster Championships

In July the same stretch of water will see very much bigger 70-foot boats sail through with the Round the World Clipper Race fleet arriving for its stopover in Derry mid-month.

Published in GP14

28 boats, six races, eight OCS’s and a whole lotta racing got the 2022 GP14 Ireland season off to a bang on the waters off Rosses Point in County Sligo over the weekend of 30Apr/1 May writes Ryan Devitt

The forecast was for wind and rain, and the fleet got their fill of both over the two days.

Saturday started in fresh and blustery conditions with the wind from the south west and under the expert eye of RO Michael Conway from Wexford the fleet got away on Race 1. The left hand side seemed to pay and first at the first mark was veteran father and son team of Hugh & Dan Gill (SDC) sailing ‘Yin Tang’ with Ross Kearney & Andrew Vaughan (RNIYC) in ‘Ron’, and Ger Owens & Mel Morris (RStGYC) in ‘Two Belle’ close on their heels. Two Belle was in fact Too Belle and once in the lead, stretched it out for the win with Yin Tang second and Ron third. Fourth went to another son and father team of Peter and Stephen Boyle (SDC) in ‘Further’ and Jane Kearney & Josh Porter (RNIYC/NSC) in ‘Purple Rocket’ 5th followed by another father and son team of Keith and Matteo Louden (LFYC) 6th .

Race 2 started in similar blustery and cold conditions which again favoured the left hand side of the beat. First at the weather mark and returning to the GP14 fleet sailing with his daughter in her first event were Ruan & Rebekah O’Tiarnaigh (BYC/SDC) in ‘Ghost Light’ closely followed by a stalwart GP14 team of Niall Henry & Ossian Geraghty (SYC) in ‘Local Yokel’ and also Two Belle in the hunt. Despite best efforts Ghost Light, after 2 laps holding off the persistent threat from Local Yokel in the blustery conditions they finally succumbed and were passed by both Local Yokel and Two Belle before the finish. These three were followed by Colman Grimes & Ross Gingles (SSC/DWSC) in ‘No Surprise’ 4th , and Further in 5th.

Shifting winds required a number of course changes before the fleet again got under way with a slightly reduced fleet due to the cold wind and rain. Race 3 and again the team on Ghost Light rounded the first weather mark in lead position with Yin Tang close second, Two Belle third, Adrian Lee & Gareth Gallagher (YSC/Moville) in ‘Ideal’, Alan Blay & Hugh McNally (SDC) in Wally and the rest of the usual suspects in hot pursuit. A cheeky manoeuvre at the gybe mark allowed Yin Tang through to the lead, only an impromptu swim at the leeward mark required a remarkable recovery for Yin Tang’s helm Hugh and despite it the team remained in first place going into the second lap. The three leaders played the right hand side of the course, but a group that went left early in the beat came through to disrupt the placings by the second weather mark. After another tremendous race, it was Ideal finishing in first, Further second Purple Rocket third, No Surprise fourth and Two Belle in fifth.

Ashore overnight the results were tantalizing. Leading the Gold fleet with a very consistent 1,2,5 was Two Belle: Owens & Morris

Second with 4, 5, 2 : Further : Boyle & Boyle
Third with 5, 8, 3 : Purple Rocket : Kearney & Porter (Jane, wife of Ross ahead overnight)
Fourth with 3, 7, 6 : Ron : Kearney & Vaughan
Fifth with 2, 9, 7 : Yin Tang : Gill & Gill
Sixth with 12, 6, 1 : Ideal : Lee & Gallagher
Seventh with 10, 1, 10 : Local Yokel: Henry & Geraghty

Silver Fleet: ‘Beltraka’, Bill & James Johnson (LFYC), followed by Edward Coyne & Oisinn Brown
(Youghal SC) and ‘Ice and Slice’ Brian Morrison & Noah Canham (LEYC/SYC)

Bronze Fleet: David & Jon Evans (SYC), ‘Surprise’ Darrach Dinneen & Eoin Boylan (Skerries SC) and ‘Southern Wild’ Des McMahon & Pat Blesty (Cillaun SC)

Sunday brought the fleet much of the same in terms of weather but the direction had veered from southwesterly to westerly injecting an element of mystery as to which side might be favoured in terms of tidal flows. After a number of general recalls which the RO patiently handled, he finally got the fleet off under the black flag. Further, Yin Tang and Local Yokel were requested to leave the race by the race committee for being OCS leaving No Surprise somewhat surprised to be leading, Two Belle second and Ghost Light third. These three maintained their positions to the finish while after a grand melee Purple Rocket came
home 4th with Ron 5th Wally 6th and Beltraka a very credible 7th. After more shenanigans at the start of Race 5 again meant that again a number of boats were requested to depart the race track during the first round, this included event leader Two Belle, Ron, No Surprise, Wally and Ideal. Capitalising on this was Ghost Light who led from the pin end uninterrupted to the finish, with Further second, Yin Tang third, The Wrong Trousers, Conor Twohig & Matthew Cotter (SDC) foUrth in a 1-4 for Sutton boats. Fifth and Sixth continued the battle of the Kearney’s household with Jane pipping Ross again and holding a commanding lead in the ‘household bragging rights department’ going into the final race.

In slightly moderated winds the final race saw Yin Tang, Ron and Two Belle get ahead of the melee and battle out for first, Ghost Light fought their way into 4th after round 1 and sat rather undisturbed for the remainder of the race. Meanwhile, the battle for 5th was hotting up between Bronze fleet and the youngest helm 15 year old David Evans with father Jon crewing, Further, Ideal, Local Yokel, The wrong Trousers, all in the mix. After some exceptional helming, David Evans held off all comers to clock in a remarkable 5th with Further 6th, Local Yokel 7th, Ideal 8th and The Wrong Trousers 9th. Certainly, David is one to watch for in the future.

So to the final scores…
6 races, 6 different race winning teams. The competition was as tight as a drum.

Gold Fleet:
First, Despite an OCS, Two Belle, Ger Owens & Mel Morris finished on 12 points counting 1 first, 3 x seconds and a fifth. 
Second on 19 points, Further, Peter & Stephen Boyle (Sutton Dinghy Club)
Third with 20 points, Ghost Light, Ruan & Rebekah O’Tiarnaigh (BallyholmeYC/Sutton Dinghy Club)
Fourth with 22 points, Yin Tang, Hugh & Dan Gill, (Sutton Dinghy Club)
Fifth with 24 points, Ron, Ross Kearney & Andrew Vaughan (RNIYC) only just pipping his wife
Sixth with 25 points, Purple Rocket Jane Kearney & Josh Porter (RNIYC/Newtownards SC)
Seventh wit 34 pts, Local Yokel, (and event organisers) Niall Henry & Oissian Gerraghty (Sligo YC)

Silver fleet :
First, Beltraka, Bill & James Johnson (LFYC) (12 th overall),
Second, Edward Coyne & Oisin Brown (Youghal SC).
Third, Chris Clayton & Rory Higgins (RNIYC)

Bronze Fleet:
First, David & Jon Evans (Sligo YC) (15 th overall).
Second, Surprise, Darrach Dinneen & Eoin Boylan (Skerries SC)
Third, ‘Southern Wild’, Des McMahon & Pat Blesty (Cullaun SC)

With over 140 boats registered for the World Championships in Skerries in August the season is very much hotting up.

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6th March 2022

Tony Clery of Sutton

It was with great sadness that we heard of the passing of Tony Clery, One of Sutton Dinghy Club's most active, progressive and colourful Commodores writes Andy Johnston

As remembered by a close family friend and former Commodore Muriel O'Tiarnaigh, Tony arrived like 'a Thunder Bolt' in Sutton in the late '70s. Obstacles were to be surmounted, no job was ever too big or too small for him to tackle and all done with large dollops of fun. With the full support of his late wife Pauline, Tony organised a range of functions and social gatherings to help Club fundraising that was really quite breathtaking. Dream Auctions, Grand National nights, St Patrick Day parties, Champagne Breakfasts, BBQs and many others, Tony organised them all. Not just happy to organise, he would act as butcher, chef, pour the drinks and even offer his professional services as prizes. As a respected surgeon, specialising as a proctologist in Beaumont Hospital this always drew a laugh.

Originally from Wexford, Tony Clery took up dinghy sailing having moved to Sutton, living right on the water's edge at Sutton Creek not far from Sutton Dinghy Club. Tony became involved in the GP14 fleet, becoming Class captain when the Club fleet included Pat Murphy, Hugh Gill, Riocaird O'Tianaigh and Padraig Boyle to mention a few. Tony competed in both Club and Open events travelling around the country and even to World Championships abroad. His early crews included Gilmore O'Neill and Davy McBride and the stories are legion of the banter and crack had by anyone in Tony's party either in Sutton or indeed at an event. Tony struck up a very close friendship with well known GP14 sailor Riocaird O'Tiarnaigh becoming the best of pals and regularly travelling to events together, however, friendship turned to intense rivalry when the pair hit the water. According to former GP14 sailor and close friend Padraig Boyle, the stories about Tony and Riocaird are such that "you could write a book". Tony was Commodore in Sutton between 1986 and 1988 and played a hugely active role in fundraising and helping improve sailing facilities through his term and beyond into the late 90s. This was a period of significant racing achievement at both senior and youth levels with the Club and its sailors at the forefront of the GP14, IDRA14 and indeed the Mirror fleets.

Tony On Ireland's Eye in the 1990sTony On Ireland's Eye in 1990

One such luminary is former All Ireland Sailing Champions Ruan O'Tiarnaigh who began his GP14 career crewing for Tony in 1981 in Fingal Runner (#12142). Ruan recounted this week, "We club raced and competed on the Irish GP14 circuit, making lifelong friends along the length and breadth of Ireland. We also competed in a number of World Championships, firstly in Mumbles in Wales where the 13m tide required a slipway which Tony christened, 'Cardiac Hill'. Tony encouraged me greatly and allowed me to take over calling tactics on the water. In 1984 Tony couldn't make the Nationals at East Down Yacht Club, but he generously offered me the boat if I could get a crew. This began my sailing with fellow Sutton Dinghy Club member, Stephen Boyle, a partnership that continues to this day. Tony encouraged me to read around the subject of tactics and recommended such titles as 'The Tactics of Small Boat Racing' and 'Advanced Racing Tactics'. Tony was instrumental in me becoming the sailor that I am today and for that, I shall be forever thankful."

Ruan also remembers the commitment to the Club and its members and its visitors. "Tony was a very generous club member and I remember well coming down to an Annual Prize Giving at the club when he was Commodore to find him with a jar of Brasso, polishing the Club Sign before the guests, visitors and members arrived, whatever he did was done as well as possible. But mostly I remember Tony for the fun that was had at Sutton throughout the '80s and '90s. The dinners, the whole roasted venison which Tony shot on one of his hunting trips in the Wicklow mountains which was cooked, it is reputed, in the ovens at Dublin Airport and transported whole to Sutton Dinghy Club by Ambulance. The Irish Coffee Mornings on Easter Monday, Grand National day. The piper piping accompanied by SDC members singing and marching around the clubhouse to 'The Sash' much to the shock, amazement and delight of our Northern visitors on the occasion that the Leinsters were hosted in Sutton on the weekend of 'The Twelfth'. The fact that Tony personally phoned each and every GP14 club in the country twice before that GP14 Leinster Championships, resulting in 78 boats on the startline, is surely a record entry to this day. Tony, with Pauline by his side, were fantastic members and friends. For me Tony was always greeted with 'Hello Helm' and his response was always 'Hello Crew'. 'The Craic' as they say was mighty and they are both very much missed."

Tony was also a member of Howth Yacht Club and shared a cruiser-racer with friends and fellow GP14 sailors Pat Murphy and Declan Gray.

As mentioned, Tony had a tremendous sense of humour and one of the best stories was recounted to me during the week by Curly Morris, the current President of the GP14 International Class. The pair became very good friends through sailing and regularly stayed in each other’s houses. Curly remembers that Tony would tell everybody that his house on Sutton Creek was built on piles. Architecturally and financially correct as much of the money came from operations on haemorrhoids!

In later years, with Pauline's illness, Tony was a more infrequent visitor but still made the time to drop in to support significant events such as when the Club held the GP14 Championship of Ireland back in 2013 and when after a gap of 16 years Sutton held and re-captured the Book Trophy from our rivals Royal Cork Yacht Club in 2014. Tony attended our annual dinner in the company of Pat Murphy and friends a number of years ago.

Tony Clery was a one-off and his time in Sutton Dinghy Club and within the GP14 Ireland fleet is fondly remembered by all those who knew and met him. The Sutton Dinghy Club Committee would like to extend its thoughts and condolences to his son Tony, his daughter Elizabeth, his brothers and sisters and extended family and friends.

Finally, in the words of Ruan, "Goodbye Helm"


Published in Dublin Bay

The RYA Dinghy show is currently underway across in Farnborough in the UK and with the GP14 World Championships coming to Skerries in August, GP14 Ireland was represented on The GP14 Association stand with Hon. Sec Andy Johnston (who reports here) joining International Class President Curly Morris supporting the UK Class for the weekend.

Plenty going on at the first Dinghy Show for a number of years and first outside Alexandra Palace for many years. For the GP14 class, it's a significant moment as we got the first sighting of the new Butler Boats composite racing GP14. And beautiful it looked too, with boatbuilder David Butler hoping to get the boat out on the water over the next few weeks.

I also bumped into friend and former Comanche Raider crewmate, sailing commentator and journalist Matthew Sheehan. The former technical editor of Yachting World was covering the Dinghy Show for his latest venture PlanetSail, the new sailing channel on YouTube which gained significant traction with their America's Cup coverage from New Zealand.

GP14 Ireland's Andy Johnston (right) with Matthew Sheehan of Plant Sail at the RYA ShowAndy Johnston (right) with Matthew Sheehan

For the Irish contingent on the stand however the main focus was answering questions about accommodation in and around Skerries, ferry options to get to Dublin in August and if it was true there are over 130 entries already and for some, will it be as good as the 1997 GP14 Worlds in Skerries?

Curly Morris with Ian Dobson and Justin JonesCurly Morris with Ian Dobson and Justin Jones

Former GP14 World Champion Ian Dobson called by as did five-time UK Endeavour Trophy winner Nick Craig who rumours have it has been putting in extensive hours in the GP14 in recent months. Both are confirmed entries while Robslines Justin Jones indicated he hopes to get himself and a boat across for the event.

The GP14 stand The GP14 stand with the new Butler boats hull on display

With a number of medallists from Tokyo connected to the GP14 Class, we had plenty of British Sailing coaches drop in including British 420 coach Jonny McGovern who is hoping to get across to compete at Skerries.

It was a chance for so many former GP14 sailors to come by and reacquaint themselves with the boat of their youth or catch up with adversaries from previous Worlds such as Skerries, Sligo, Durban, Cape May, Sri Lanka and Barbados.

The show continues today Sunday and it's a very enjoyable experience with the sheer number and range of classes and boats under one roof quite amazing. Another year out of Covid and I would suggest next year's event could be even better.

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With the Skerries GP14 dinghy World Championships scheduled for this August, Irish crews will be starting to dust down their boats and start their Worlds preparation in earnest.

To help try and kick start the process and to make this Thursday's (Feb 17) association AGM via zoom will include guest helmsman Ross Kearney for a Q&A session.

Kearney, a runner up at the last Worlds in Mounts Bay in Cornwall and GP14 Ireland National Champion in 2018 is also a former World and European Mirror dinghy Champion.

The Northern Ireland ace will run through some of the technical, physical and mental preparations that should be considered in 'Preparing for a Major Championship'.

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A ready to go vintage GP14 dinghy restoration project has gone online that might be suitable for a Dublin-based renovation.

Facebook poster Tim McAuley asks on the GP14 Facebook page "Is anyone here based in Ireland (Dublin better) and interested in antique GP14 revival?"

McAuley says he has boat number 5458 "sitting in dry storage, in reasonable condition and what seems to be all original attachments, including wooden mast (probably not serviceable) and boom"

He adds the boat is 'Looking for a new loving home".

There is no road trolley, just a basic trolley. 

McAuley says the boat built in 1960 has been in the family since it was built. It hasn't been sailed properly since 1970. It was built by Blackburn in Dunbarton. 

It won't be the only antique GP14 restoration of the pandemic, however. 1955 built Belfast built Ventura was brought back to life last year as Afloat reports here

See his Facebook post here

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The interest in the GP14 Frostbite Series on Dublin Bay continued with seven taking to the water last Sunday morning for some very close and competitive races.

Curly Morris with Josh Porter upfront joined Sam Street and Josh Lloyd and Colman Grimes and Meg Tyrrell in making the journey to Sutton Dinghy Club.

Add in the home Clubs Hugh and Dan Gill, Peter and Stephen Boyle, Alan Blay and Hugh McNally and Kerri-Ann Boylan & David Johnston and the build-up to the World Championships for Irish crews had some cracking racing under PRO Jim Lambkin with Safety and Mark Laying managed by Club Commodore Ian McCormack.

Despite it being low water, the racing was underway by ten past 11 in 15kts of breeze. Before the end of the morning, it had reached 20kts with a few gusts to 26kts. Aside from a broken toe-strap on the Blessington boat and a visit to the drink for Kerri-Ann and David during a spinnaker gybe, two superbly competitive races were completed.

On the day Alan Blay/Hugh McNally won both races.

Race 1: Alan Blay (1), Peter Boyle (2), Colman Grimes (3), Hugh Gill (4), Sam Street (5), Curly Morris (6), Kerri-Ann (7)
Race 2: Alan Blay (1), Peter Boyle (2), Hugh Gill (3), Kerri-Ann (4), Colman Grimes (5), Curly Morris (6), Sam Street (7)

Racing continues this Sunday.

Published in GP14
Page 5 of 20

Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.


At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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