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Displaying items by tag: Chris Robinson

Newtownards Sailing Club hosted this year's GP 14 Championship of Ireland. The event attracted 46 boats from throughout Ireland and Great Britain. Race Officer Nigel Kearney set excellent courses in what was some of the most testing conditions in recent years.

Form race one the weather conditions were steadily worsening; average wind speeds were in excess of 20 mph with gusts to 25 mph and occasionally 30 mph. The dark heavy sky laden with squalls added to the drama. As the fleet got underway, boats capsized on and after the starting. The strong wind made tactics of less importance than just sheer boat handling.

Rarely, for the GP fleet, many competitors opted not to fly the spinnaker on the downwind legs and those that did ran the risk of a capsize especially at the gybe mark which got very congested with upturned boats. The windward legs sapped the energy of helm and crew. The race was won by Tim Corcoran from Sligo.

Race two and the weather seemed to deteriorate further. Adding to the problem was the sea state - in an unusual swell for the North end of Strangford Lough and after the gruelling first race gave the competitors even more to contend with. Winner of the second race was Carl Jeffs from Trimley Sailing Club. The second day's sailing was cancelled due even stronger winds.

As a total contrast day three was glorious sunshine but light winds. Tactics came into play here and the English pairing of Andy Tunnicliffe and Chris Robinson reigned supreme, winning both races to give them the Championship overall.

Results: 1st Andy Tunnicliffe and Chris Robinson RWYC; 2nd and top Irish boat Tim Corcoran and Brendan Brogan, SYC; 3rd Carl Jeffs and Steve Parker TSC.

1st Silver Fleet: Cathal Sheriadan and David Cook, Skerries SC; 2nd Lawrence Baalham and Tony Brown, Newtownards Sailing Club 3rd G O'Sullivan and H McNally

1st Bronze Fleet: Maurice Baalham and Gary Brown, Newtownards Sailing Club; 2nd Bill Johnston and Styephen Byrne LFYC; 3rd I Beattie Orr and R Murray SDC.

Published in GP14

Marine Wildlife Around Ireland One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with marine wildlife.  It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. As boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat.  Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to the location of our beautiful little island, perched in the North Atlantic Ocean there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe.

From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals this page documents the most interesting accounts of marine wildlife around our shores. We're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and youtube clips.

Boaters have a unique perspective and all those who go afloat, from inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing that what they encounter can be of real value to specialist organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) who compile a list of sightings and strandings. The IWDG knowledge base has increased over the past 21 years thanks in part at least to the observations of sailors, anglers, kayakers and boaters.

Thanks to the IWDG work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. Here's the current list: Atlantic white-sided dolphin, beluga whale, blue whale, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, Cuvier's beaked whale, false killer whale, fin whale, Gervais' beaked whale, harbour porpoise, humpback whale, killer whale, minke whale, northern bottlenose whale, northern right whale, pilot whale, pygmy sperm whale, Risso's dolphin, sei whale, Sowerby's beaked whale, sperm whale, striped dolphin, True's beaked whale and white-beaked dolphin.

But as impressive as the species list is the IWDG believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves keep a sharp look out!

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