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Displaying items by tag: GP14

Skerries Sailing Club Regatta next weekend (July 24/25) will feature a separate GP14 dinghy start and five championship-style races in anticipation of next year's World Championships to be staged at the north Dublin venue.

The annual Skerries regatta is also well placed to give Geep crews some timely race practise coming just six weeks ahead of the class national championships on Lough Erne this August. 

As regular Afloat readers know,  following their success at the Ulsters in June, Ger Owens and Mel Morris were crowned GP14 Leinster Champions at Blessington Sailing Club in early July 3/4 making them the form boat for the National Championships.

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A year and a half ago, Afloat reported on a famous GP14 called Ventura, which had been saved from destruction and was being restored by Derek McCune of Newtownards Sailing Club. 

Now Ventura, no 796 built in 1955 and once owned by Ernie Mawhinney of Belfast Lough, is back in the water on Strangford Lough at Newtownards. Three weeks ago, he sailed her for the first time in what is essentially Ventura's second life.

Ventura's  decks are varnised Ventura's decks are varnised

After sorting out the inevitable teething problems, Derek will then concentrate on future plans, which include possibly the Irish Nationals at Lough Erne Yacht Club in August and hopefully the postponed GP14 Worlds next year in Skerries.

Vintage GP14 dinghy Ventura a year and a half ago - work to be done

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Different event, same result. Following their success at the Ulsters two weeks ago, Ger Owens and Mel Morris were crowned GP14 Leinster Champions at Blessington Sailing Club last weekend. (Jul 3/4)

Originally earmarked as part of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, the Leinsters attracted 34 boats to Blessington and Blessington did not disappoint.

On Saturday, tough flukey conditions saw a long delay before racing got underway at 2:15 but our PRO Joe Crilly held his nerve to get in 3 great races.

While Hugh Gill might be waiting for his new GP14 from Alistair Duffin, it certainly doesn't stop him from getting into other boats and making them sail fast. With another loaner for the Leinsters, he led the first race from the start, chased by Ger Owens, Shane MacCarthy, Norman Lee and Colman Grimes, only relinquishing the lead on the last leg into the line. 1, 2 Shane & Ger, with Hugh hanging on for 3rd.

A couple of wind shift induced AP's led to Black Flag start on Race 2 but with everyone away, it didn't take long for Shane and Ger to renew rivalry again with Curly Morris well to the fore. By end of the race Ger was in the ascendancy with Keith Louden coming through to take 3rd. Curly 4th and Colman Grimes taking 5th.

Class President Michael Collander  of (Mullingar SC)Class President Michael Collander of (Mullingar SC)

Race 3 saw Ger, Shane, Curly, Keith and Colman all to the fore from early on. A stronger breeze brought some welcome fast spinnaker reaches. With Keith splitting Shane and Ger, it now looked like some order was taking shape going into Sunday. Not a bit of it! It was still all still to play for.

Sunday saw PRO Joe Crilly out promptly on the water and now aided by the visiting Derek Bothwell from HYC. The day started with fresher and more consistent breeze for the first race. This time Curly Morris with event organiser Richard Street in the front of the boat, split Ger and Shane with the pair now level on points. The 5th race saw a clean start, but with plenty of port-starboard incidents as well as the unusual sight of Ger Owens in the water after losing his footing. An improving David Johnston looked likely to be first to the weather mark, but a windshift saved a nosebleed by letting Shane and Colman nip in ahead. The Class saw Diana Kissane (Sutton Dinghy Club/HYC) back in the fleet for the first time in 10 years and a 4th in Race 5 suggests it won't be long before we see her exert pressure at the top of the fleet. A great recovery saw Ger fight his way back into contention from his early bath but Shane hung on for the bullet with Ger having to settle for 2nd.

Silver fleet was led at this stage by the very consistent Conor Twohig & Meg Tyrrell (Sutton Dinghy Club) who had posted 5 top 10 finishes to lead Steve Nelson (Newtownards SC) and Stuart McCormack (Mullingar SC). The host Clubs Matthew Street led Bronze fleet from Class President Michael Collander (Mullingar SC) going into the 6th and final race.

With dark rain clouds forming and moving down the valley, Joe and Derek got the final race off without a hitch. A ding dong match race ensued between Ger and Shane as they struggled to gain the key advantage. Ever consistent now in 2 events, Skerries Colman Grimes injected himself into the frame and made the outcome even more interesting. A major windshift on the sausage prompted the PRO to shorten the race and with Colman now in 2nd, Shane's 3rd meant Ger & Mel were to take the Championship.

With the rain now starting to lash the fleet, 34 boats made a bee-line for the shore.

Derek Bothwell who will be PRO for GP14 Championship of Ireland in August came down to get acquainted with the Class and with 34 boats, quality racing at all 3 levels of the fleet he must have been impressed and I am sure he will now be looking forward to Lough Erne in August.

A great turnout from the host Club, strong Youth attendance and with 16 Clubs represented across the 34 boat fleet, 2021 has highlighted the interest in competitive, affordable racing within Irelands largest 2 handed Class. With quite a few notable absentees in Blessington and also a no. of new boats on the way an even better turnout may be expected for the Nationals at Lough Erne Yacht Club in August. All preparation for the GP14 Worlds in Skerries in Aug 2022.

Richard Street as Event Organiser with Class President Michael Collander presented the Leinster Championship McDowell Trophy to Ger Owens and Melanie Morris. The Leinster Youth Trophy went to Peter Boyle & Joe Doherty (Sutton Dinghy Club) with the Leinster Junior U19 Trophy going to Sam Street and Rian O'Hailin (Blessington).

Class President Michael Collander thanked Blessington Sailing Club for all their efforts in making it such a great event. Remarking on the no. of event first timers in Blessington he reminded everyone of the Classes ' Adopt a Sailor' campaign and asked regular attendees to help encourage and support someone in their Club to get along to the next GP14 event. Be it issues with trailers, tuning or a crew sometime a little bit of help and support can make the difference in getting someone to their first event. He praised Steven Nelson from Newtownards and Shane MacCarthy for supporting and encouraging Jennifer Bryce/Lara Sunday and Ronan Beirne/Dave Mulvin to make it to Blessington. With nearly 6 weeks to our next event, the Championship of Ireland (August 13-15), Michael encouraged those who can make it to attend the Skerries Regatta on July 24/25 where a GP14 start will be provided.

GP14 Leinsters summary fleet results 

(Full results downloadable below as a PDF file)

Youth (U22)
Peter Boyle & Joe Doherty (Sutton Dinghy Club) 

Junior (U19)
Sam Street & Josh Lloyd (Blessington Lakes SC)

Bronze Fleet
1 Matthew Street & Riain O'Hailin (Blessington Lakes SC)
2 Michael Collender & Brian Walker (Mullingar SC)
3 Des McMahon Pat Biesty (Cullaun SC)

2021 GP14 Leinster Silver Fleet Winners, Conor Twohig & Meg Tyrrell2021 GP14 Leinster Silver Fleet Winners, Conor Twohig & Meg Tyrrell

Silver Fleet
1 Conor Twohig & Meg Tyrrell (Sutton Dinghy Club)
2 Steve & Daniel Nelson (Newtownards SC)
3 Stuart McCormick & Bernie Briody (Mullingar SC)

2021 Leinsters Champions, Mel Morris and Ger Owens2021 GP14 Leinsters Champions, Mel Morris and Ger Owens

Gold Fleet
1 Ger Owens & Mel Morris (RStGYC)
2 Shane MacCarthy & Josh Porter (Greystones SC)
3 Colman Grimes & Ed Coyne (Skerries SC)

Photos courtesy of and John Channin and Ruairi O'Hailin

Published in GP14

Ger Owens and Mel Morris were crowned Ulster Champions in the first event of the GP14 dinghy calendar at Newtownards Sailing Club at the weekend writes Andy Johnston

Day 1 of the Ulster Championships at Newtownards Sailing Club and 3 great race under the watchful eye of PRO Ruan O Tiarnaigh. Some great performances in what was for many the first racing since 2019. Some expected faces at the top of the Gold fleet, but the top 3 shows some new ones too. Adrian Lee bagged another gun in Race 1 and lies 3rd, with Ger Owen in 2nd after 2 bullets. Consistency or lack of a good night sleep has helped Colman Grimes to the top of the pack. Steve Nelson heads Silver fleet lying 5th overall with Michael Brides leading the Bronze fleet in 19th. Great turnout from Newtownards Sailing Club with 11 boats. 4 boats have travelled from Sutton Dinghy Club and Youghal the furthest travelled of the 28 boats on the water.

Day 2 of the Ulster Championship and the weather gods continued to indulge us. PRO Ruan O Tiarnaigh again managed to get 3 cracking races in while changing the race format to Olympic from yesterday's Windward Leeward. The top of the leader board coming into Sunday saw Colman Grimes lead from Ger Owen but with Ross Kearney not too far away. Adrian Lee with Richard Gallagher in the front was there or thereabouts. Shane Mac Carthy surely would have his say before the end of the event.

Colman GrimesColman Grimes

Tricky conditions saw a few false starts before fleet got away for Race 4.

Left was the order of the day and even with lightening breeze it was Ross who lead around the windward and despite Ger Owens, Katie Dwyer and Shane Mac Cathy all getting close Ross took the gun. Ger hung on for 2nd but Alistair Duffin came through for 3rd with Lough Foyle James Peter Hockley setting down a mark for the Silver fleet in 4th. Curly Morris took 5th with Steve Nelson on 6th.

Katie DwyerKatie Dwyer

Race 5 again saw Ross take an early lead and get around the gybe mark before tide and lightening breeze created a separate race between the rest of the fleet. Despite strong pressure from Ger, James Peter Hockley held on for a superb 2nd with Shane MacCarthy 4th. Behind them saw 3 Sutton Dinghy Club boats battle it out with Peter Boyle taking a 5th just ahead of David Johnston and Hugh Gill.

David JohnstonDavid Johnston

Despite the light and tricky breeze, our race office Ruan got the 6th and final race of the event underway. Shane MacCarthy got a super start and lead by a boat length from Ger Owens at the weather mark. The pair batled it out all the way with the lead changing hands a few times. Behind them overnight leader Colman Grimes, Katie Dwyer, Keith Louden and Ross Kearney were nip and tuck looking to take the final podium spot in Race 6.

Ger held off Shane for the gun with Ross taking 3rd from Suttons Katie Dwyer in 4th, Lough Foyle Keith Louden 5th and Skerries Colman Grimes 6th.

A great event to kick start the 2021 GP14 season with 28 boats and all the more important after the lack of racing in 2020 due to Covid.

The open air prizegiving was held in sunshine with Event Organiser Josh Porter presenting the Ulster Championship to Ger Owens and Melanie Morris and Ulster Youth Championship Trophy to Peter Boyle and Joe Doherty.

Class President Michael Collender thanked Josh Porter and Michael Cox and the Newtownards Sailing Club for all their efforts in making it such a great event. He reminded everybody that our next event on the calendar is the Leinster Championships originally planned as part of the Volvo Dún Laoghaire Regatta but now to be held on Jul 3/4 in Blessington Sailing Club.

Gold Fleet
1) Ger Owens & Mel Morris
2) Ross Kearney & Jane Kearney
3) Shane MacCarthy & Josh Porter

Silver Fleet
1) James Peter Hockley & Alan Thompson
2) Steve Nelson & Daniel Nelson
3) Michael Cox & Claire Cromwell

Bronze Fleet
1) Michael Brines & Peter Bridnes
2) Michael Collender & Brian Walker
3) Newenham DeCogan & Maggie Sinnamon

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The Irish GP14 fleet has confirmed its Ulster Championships will go ahead in Newtownards Sailing Club on the weekend of June 19/20 as planned.

It's buoyant news for one of the country's leading dinghy classes that had to scratch its proposed trip to Clare for a May Leinster Championships at Cullaun Sailing Club

Newtownards members have been back sailing for almost a month now and have good numbers out on the water, with up to ten Geeps racing there.

The organisers have a max limit of 40 boats for Newtownards. The closing date for entries is June 17th.

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The International GP14 Association are taking part in World Sailing's Female Festival – "Steering the Course"; following the excellent Zoom talk from three top female sailors from the 2018 World's at this year's RYA Dinghy Show; the Association has asked a few more sailors to join them in chatting about GP14 sailing.

The sailors will be sharing tips on boat set-up and techniques for lighter weight sailors. They will be sharing their journey into sailing and Ross Kearney will share what he does differently when he has a female crew.

A third talk is about the supporting roles in sailing and International race team member Sally Burnett and International Measurer Olive Parker amongst others will be talking about what this entails.

Jane Kearney (gold fleet crew)Jane Kearney (gold fleet crew) at the 2018 World Championships

The GP14 is a friendly class where families can sail together or in opposition. We have had child helms with their parents crewing, husbands and wives or siblings sharing a boat on the competing together, at all levels of sailing from club to World Championships as well as in opposition to each other. In 2022 our Worlds at Skerries in Ireland hope to host a Ladies World Championship, along with the open, Mixed and Youth if there are enough entries to meet the criteria set by World Sailing.

GP14 Females Talk on Zoom

Monday 24th May 8pm

Topic: Female helms –Katie Dwyer First female Helm at 2018 Worlds. Sarah Norbury First female Helm and female boat, 2019 Nationals and Ross Kearney 4th place at 2019 Nationals (with a male crew)

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 860 7664 5302
Passcode: 256293

Tuesday 25th May 8pm

Topic: Female crews – Mel Morris 9th place and first female crew 2018 Worlds, Liz Senior 2nd place crew at 2019 Nationals and more importantly just in front of her World Champion husband Mike, Michelle Rowley- Crew for Katie Dwyer and first female boat at the 2018 Worlds and Jane Kearney (gold fleet crew)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 856 6550 8262

Thursday 27th May 8pm

Topic: Other Roles Which Supporting Sailing – Sally Burnett International race official, Olive Parker International Measurer, and Kerri-ann Boylan coach chat about how they came to be involved
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 862 3727 3250
Passcode: 975564

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Following the disappointment arising from the cancellation of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, the GP14 Leinster Championships will now sail at Blessington Sailing Club on the same dates (July 3/4).

A 30-boat fleet is expected for the Championships as the class returns to the County Wicklow venue that hosted 2020's only Geep event, according to Michael Collender, President of the GP14 Ireland Class Association.

Ulster GP14 Championships

Before that, the GP14 Ulster Championships are scheduled to go ahead as planned in Newtownards on the weekend of June 19/20 for the first event of the season as the Munsters in Cullaun in May were postponed.

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The GP14 class has announced the postponement of its 2021 Munster Championship at Cullaun Sailing Club on May 15/16.

With only a limited lifting of restrictions expected for the end of April, the GP14 class believes it is highly unlikely it would have been able to proceed with its initial dates.

The class was looking forward to starting its season in the scenic and historic area of East Clare but following discussions between the class and Cullaun Sailing Club, the decision has been taken to postpone the Munster Championship till November 6th / 7th.

The class are now keeping its fingers crossed that Cullaun is the only fixture on the 2021 calendar that will be subject to a COVID change as the Geeps turn their attention north to Newtownards in June for the Ulster Championships.

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16 GP14s represents the biggest fleet so far for July's new look Volvo Dun Laoghaire One Design Regatta

With four months to the event itself, (and five days to the close of the VDLR Early Bird entry) the Dun Laoghaire Harbour event will be the second on the Geeps 2021 calendar that also doubles as the class Leinster Championships.

As regular Afloat readers will recall, UK visitors Sam Watson and Andy Thompson were victors in 2019 ahead of Donegal's John and Donal McGuinness after eight races sailed in a 31–boat fleet.

So far, there is no sign of Watson on the entry list but the Moville brothers are signed up along with fellow north coast competitor, James Hockley from Lough Foyle Yacht Club.

See the entry list here

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Three Irish GP14 sailors will feature at this weekend's virtual Dinghy Show run by the RYA in a section of the show called 'Women Win Too' are getting together by Zoom to discuss Women in Sailing and winning on the racecourse with a lighter crew.

Katie Dwyer, Michelle Rowley & Melanie Morris will be on a session mid-day Sunday (12pm)

The GP14 class has arranged a number of talks and chats over Zoom across the two days of the show.

It's not the only Irish female interest at the show either. Dun Laoghaire's Saskia Tidey, who will sail for Britain in Tokyo this July in the 49erfx skiff class, will also take a leading role at the RYA event, as Afloat reported previously here.

Register for the show here

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Page 7 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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