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After many weeks of amazing summer weather, the GP14 Leinster Championships did not disappoint with Skerries producing a fantastic weekend sailing. With light winds forecasted all weekend the OD and his team had planned ahead to allow for 4 races to be sailed on the Saturday in preparation of very little wind on the Sunday. In the end, it proved to be the right call.

Download overall results below

Much to the appreciation of the fleet, gate starts were proposed for all races, as the Mounts Bay bound Irish contingent prepared for the 2018 World Championships. With only a handful of very late, barging boats, the gate starts worked very well. With many boats benefitting from the great coaching sessions organised by the class earlier in the year, these gate starts have become a lot less intimidating for sailors not as accustomed to them.

The racing was very tight as the results from day 1 would tell you, with 4 different race winners the championship was still well open going into Sunday. Shane Mac Carthy & Damien Bracken took 1st honours in race one followed closely by Ger Owens and Melanie Morris in 2nd and a great performance by youth helm Peter Boyle crewed by father Stephen taking 3rd. Ger & Mel took 1st in race 2, Niall Henry & Oisin Geraghty taking 1st in race 3, and Alan Blay & David Johnston winning the last race of the day.

With only 2 points separating 2nd and 4th place, and then a further 3 to 1st, the championship was wide open. Despite matching Ger & Mel with a 2nd and 1st on the final day (with time to spare for Alan to answer the call from nature up the final beat), Alan & David had to settle for 3rd overall as Shane & Damien had done enough with a 3 and 5 to earn them top spot and another Leinster Championship. Ger & Mel narrowly missing out by 1 point.

The youth fleet was very competitive with Gareth & Richard Gallagher taking it overall with Josh Porter & Sara Gowdy 2nd youth followed by Peter & Stephen Boyle in 3rd. All 3 within 7 points of each other.

Josh & Sara won Silver, Peter & Stephen Boyle in 2nd with Cathal Sheridan & David Cooke 3rd.

Bronze fleet winners were Stuart McCormick & Bernie, 2nd Noel Clarke & Chris, 3rd Michael Collender & Brian Walker

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The Irish GP14 dinghy fleet returned to Donaghadee in County Down, Northern Ireland for the 2018 Ulster Championships on a sunny Saturday afternoon last weekend.

The OOD Ruan O’Tiarnaigh got the first race off at 12pm in a moderate breeze. Ger Owens with his crew Damien Bracken dominated the first two races with two bullets after the McGuiness brothers, first home in race 2 were deemed OCS.

Race three was won by the current world champions Shane McCarthy & Andy Davis.

After an hour postponement on Sunday morning a nice strong breeze filled in. Keith Louden & Alan Thompson started at the pin on port and crossed the fleet and after a hard battle with Shane & Andy, took the win in race four.

Spinnaker DropGP14s prepare for a spinnaker drop at Donaghdee

Race five got underway with Shane & Andy showing their dominance in the strong breeze and led from the start to take the win.

After a general recall in race six, OOD Ruan O’Tiarnaigh eventually ran out of time and sent us home to the delight of many in the fleet.

Shane & Andy took the overall win with Ger & Damien in second and Keith & Alan in third.

The silver fleet honours went to Peter & Stephen Boyle with Josh Porter & Andrew Corkill taking second and Bill Johnson & James Hockley in third.

The bronze fleet honours went to Jack Buttimer & Adam McDonagh with Donaghadee's James Ogg & Jennifer Bryce taking second and Michael Collender & Brian Walker in third.

Results are attached for download below.

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The forecast for the GP14 O'Tiarnaigh Challenge 2018 was moderate to fresh breeze for the Saturday and strong breeze and up to 30 knots of gusts for the Sunday.

OD Peter Smyth at the Saturday morning briefing made the decision to sail all 6 qualifying races instead of the scheduled 4 races on the Saturday.

The fleet of 19 set off in their own fleet starts as Peter got 3 races in before lunch on Saturday with already a few thrills and spills in the growing breeze. The fleet had a quick lunch ashore with warm drinks and rolls provided by Swords. Back on the water to similar winds for the first race but it abated a little giving a more enjoyable final 2 races. The fleet was shore after a long day.

Greystones Sailing Club's Shane MacCarthy & Damian Bracken always enjoy the bigger breezes and dominated the two days

With the 6 races sailed the 4 leaders of each fleet were decided on the Saturday with 3 races scheduled for the Sunday for the final of the O'Tiarnaigh Challenge.

Greystones Sailing Club's Shane MacCarthy & Damian Bracken always enjoy the bigger breezes and dominated the two days and take another year's succession of winning the O'Tiarnaigh Trophy.

Second overall were Royal St George's Ross Killian with crew Ger Owens followed by a great performance and third place for Newtowards SC Josh Porter and Andy Corkhill.

Youghal’s Jack Buttimer & Adam McDonagh topped the bronze fleet finishing a very creditable 6th overall

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Five of the seven Irish GP14 fixtures this season will be on the east coast ranging from Donaghdee and Newtownards in the North to the inland venue of Blessington in County Wicklow. 

The season starts on April 14th with the annual Riocard O'Tiarnaigh Challenge at Swords Sailing Club and runs through to October 14th at the Hot Toddy event on the Ards Peninsula.

The highlight of the season, however, will no doubt be the July World Championships at Mounts Bay Sailing Club in Cornwall, with 2016 world champion Shane MacCarthy of Greystones still holding sway in Irish ranks at least.

The class is providing world championship travel grants for junior boats, where both helm and crew are under 22 years.

Along with the travel grant youth boats will also have a 50% reduced entry fees to the Worlds in Cornwall – the fee will be £125.00

Grant applications need to be submitted before 1st March 2018. 

GP14 Ireland 2018 Events

APRIL  14TH/15TH O'TIARNAIGH CHALLENGE Swords Sailing Club
MAY  12TH/13TH ULSTERS Donaghadee SC
JUNE 9TH / 10TH PURCELL TROPHY Lough Ree YC
JULY  7TH/8TH LEINSTERS Skerries SC
JULY 28TH-3RD GP14 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP Mounts Bay SC, UK
AUGUST  18TH/19TH/20TH IRISH NATIONALS & MASTERS Sligo YC
SEPTEMBER  15TH/16TH AUTUMN & YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIPS Blessington SC
OCTOBER  13TH/14TH HOT TODDY Newtownards SC

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The GP14 Annual Hot Toddy event took place over the weekend of the 14th / 15th October 2017 on Lough Owel hosted by Mullingar Sailing Club.

Racing began on Saturday on flat water and with the wind shifting in force and direction, some large gains were made and lost up wind. At the end of Saturday’s four races Shane

MacCarthy & Damian Bracken had two race wins and Curly Morris & Laura McFarland and John & Donal McGuinness one race win apiece. With Keith Louden & Alan Thompson putting together some very consistent results, this meant that any one of four boats could potentially win the event going into the final day.

Race five began on Sunday morning with individual recalls. The McGuinnesses and Louden/Thompson teams decided to return and start correctly and together with the aid of some large shifts both teams moved through the fleet to finish 2nd and 3rd respectively. Morris & McFarland took the win after MacCarthy & Bracken were judged to have been on course side at the start.

Going into the final race the points were now much tighter. MacCarthy & Bracken still leading, McGuinnesses in second on break of tie with Louden & Thompson and Morris & McFarland in fourth place.

At the first windward mark of the final race MacCarthy & Bracken led with McGuinesses and Louden & Thompson in close proximity. With Morris & Mc Farland back mid fleet Louden & Thompson choose this time to attack, taking McGuinnesses to windward on the broad reach. MacCarthy & Bracken decided not to get involved but ran the risk of being run over, however held a slim lead at the gybe mark. MacCarthy & Bracken broke clear after the gybe mark and would not be caught leaving McGuinnesses and Louden & Thompson to battle it out for second and third place, a battle which the McGuinnesses eventually won.

Silver and bronze flees were won by Gareth & Richard Gallagher and James Ogg & Steven Nelson respectively.

Download results below

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470 Olympic helmsman Ger Owens, sailing under the Swords Saliing Club burgee, continued his winning run in the GP14 Autumn Open at the weekend when he topped the 19–boat Autumn Open event sailed for the first time in Cork Harbour.

The GP14 fleet, who declined this year's Dinghy Fest invite due to calendar constraints, made good on their commitment to come to Royal Cork Yacht Club this year when they sailed their popular 14–foot dinghy in a two day event at Crosshaven, sailed on the Eastern Bank well out of the shipping lane.

Second overall was East Antrim Boat Club's Curly Morris with Sutton Dinghy Club's Conor Twohig third overall. Youghal Sailing Club's Jack Buttimer was the winner of the 13–boat youth championships.

Download full results below.

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The 2017 GP14 Irish Nationals were held on 19th-21st August at Ballyholme Yacht Club. 29 boats competed which included one visiting team from the UK – John Hayes, an ex 470 campaigner from Southport who was sailing with Joel James. Overall numbers were down a bit on previous years due to a number of mitigating factors. However those unable to attend missed a superb event with a wide range of conditions, superb race management, excellent hospitality and exceptionally close racing.

Chief measurer Jimmy McKee was in attendance on Friday night & Saturday morning to scrutineer and weigh boats. The forecast for Saturday was borderline and the fleet were held ashore initially for an hour or so to allow the wind to subside. When the fleet did eventually take to the water, the lull in conditions proved to be only temporary. Shortly after the start of race one, the committee boat began recording gusts of 30 knots. The ensuing white knuckle race saw Shane MacCarthy & Damian Bracken winning from Sligo’s Niall Henry & Ossian Geraghty with Sutton sailors Alan Blay & David Johnston 3rd. With only 15 boats finishing and conditions refusing to abate, the race committee made the sensible decision to send the fleet home after a single race. Once ashore competitors enjoyed a superb bar-b-que where the famous Ballyholme rib-eye steaks lived up to all of the pre–event hype.

The forecast for the second day of racing could not have been more different to the first. This time, conditions looked borderline on the light side, with even the most optimistic forecasts predicting gusts of just 7 knots. Nevertheless, with a race to make up the race committee sent the fleet out and after a hour or so floating around the breeze did eventually appear. Niall & Ossain took first blood in the challenging conditions winning the opening race from English visitors John Hayes & Joel James. The right hand side of the beats seemed to be consistently paying in the ebbing tide but getting out there through the various holes & shifts was’t completely straightforward! Ger Owens & Melanie Morris found a way though, knocking in 2 bullets in race 3 and 4 from Alan Blay & David Johnsson and Keith Louden & Alan Thompson respectively. Silver fleet sailors Doire Shiels & Andrew Sexton also had a good day, recording a 7th and a 3rd to take control of the silver fleet. After a long day on the water, the race committee decided the fleet had had enough after 3 races and the fleet returned home.

2017 GP14 Prize Winners2017 GP14 Prize Winners at Ballyholme Yacht Club

The Irish GP14 AGM was held on Sunday evening and saw Stephen Boyle step down after 3 years as class president. David Cooke takes over as the new president and no doubt will strive to continue the excellent progress made over the past few years as the class builds towards a 2020 World Championships in his home club. Following the AGM, many of the sailors gathered in the nearby Jamaica Inn with a surprise birthday cake for class stalwart Hugh Gill who is celebrating another big one!

With 3 races scheduled for the final days sailing, and just 2 points separating the top four boats the championship was wide open. Race 5 saw Shane & Damien record their second race win from John & Joel. Race 6 and another race winner, this time John & Joel taking line honours with Keith Louden & Alan Thompson in second position. So going into the final race the championship was set for one of the closest finishes in recent years with Ger & Mel holding a narrow one point lead but Shane & Damian, John & Joel and Nial & Ossian all still in with a real chance of overall victory.

In the end however, Ger & Mel held held their nerve and won the last race and with it, the overall event. Doire Shiels & Andrew Sexton won the Silver fleet finishing in 10th overall while Sutton’s Shane MacLoughlin & Rory Murdoch won the bronze fleet. Top youths were Gareth & Richard Gallagher in 12th position overall.

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As the GP14 British Nationals moves into its final day today, the fallout from Black Flag Monday continued with many seeking and getting redress for leeward caught BFD, as the pin boat was not anchored writes Andy Johnston

On the racing side yesterday plenty of windshifts at start resulted in big winners and losers as boats got on the wrong side of the course. The biggest movers from an Irish perspective were Sutton Dinghy Clubs Hugh Gill & Conor Twohig and Lough Foyles Bill & James Johnson. The Sutton Dinghy Club duo have moved up another 2 places to 15th, while a superb 9 & 10 in todays racing saw the Johnson father and son pairing charge up to 18th and are now leading the Silver fleet. This is a great performance from these Irish fleet regulars.

Former Champions Mike Senior and Ian Dobson remain 1st and 2nd and will surely fight it out for the title. Despite an 18 point gap between 2nd and 3rd, a good result tomorrow and the second discard could bring Fergus Barnham back into the reckoning.

Current World Champion and defending British Champions Shane MacCarthy & Andy Thompson (Greystones) retain 4th place, but before second discard are now only 2 points behind Fergus Barnham in 3rd. The Irish pair realistically need some very good results and for the GP14 Leinsters & Volvo DLR winner Barnham to have a poor day. This will be a battle tomorrow for sure.

Other results saw Donal & John McGuinness (Moville) slip to 8th while consistency keeps Keith Louden & Alan Thomson in 10th. A 7 today in race 6 helping Curly Morris & Laura Farland up into 14th.
The Newtownards pairing of Michael Cox & Rebecca Jeffrey posted their best results of the event with a pair of 11's to move to 28th.

Midfleet results saw the Gallagher brothers and Peter & Stephen Boyle drop a few places after great day on Tuesday.

Helming in his first Championship and gaining invaluable experience, Newtownards Josh Porter with Sarah Coleman lie 43rd.

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#GP14 - Defending champions Shane MacCarthy and Andy Thompson of Greystones lead the Irish charge in fourth, with Moville’s McGuinness brothers in sixth, after three days of sailing in the GP14 British Nationals at Looe in Cornwall.

Meanwhile, things got off to a better start on day three yesterday (Tuesday 8 August) for Sutton Dinghy Club’s two crews after a black Monday.

Peter Boyle (with father Stephen) and Hugh Gill (with Conor Twohig) found themselves among the 26 black-flagged competitor’s across that day’s two races.

Tuesday saw more positive results. Peter Boyle, a Silver fleet entry and one of the youngest helms competing, managed a 12 and 14 in yesterday’s races – enough for the Boyles to pull themselves right up the field to 28th.  

Hugh Gill, meanwhile, managed a superb ninth along with a 20th to move up to 17th overall. 

With today (Wednesday 9 August) a rest day, there will be two more races on Thursday 10 and Friday 11 August to close out the week. 

In other Irish placings at Looe, Keith Louden and Alan Thomson (Sligo Yacht Club) lie 10th with Curly Morris and Laura McFarland (East Antrim Boat Club/Newtownards Sailing Club) in 16th.

Bill and James Johnson from Lough Foyle Yacht Club lie 24th with the Lough Foyle youth pairing of Gareth and Richard Gallagher not far behind at 26th.

With two bullets on Tuesday, Mike Senior (with Chris White) leads Ian Dobson (with Andy Tunnicliffe) and Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta winner Fergus Barnham (with Andy Hunter) in the podium positions.

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The GP14 British Nationals got underway yesterday at Looe in Cornwall and two Sutton Dinghy Club crews on the start line. Traditionally the first day sees a practice race followed by the first of nine Championship races. Hugh Gill & Conor Twohig are 18th and Peter Boyle and Stephen Boyle are 21 in the 65–boat fleet.

The race was won by former World Champion Ian Dobson with Greystones Sailing Club's Shane MacCarthy, fifth, leading the ten Irish entries. Two more races are scheduled today.

Other Irish placings:

John & Donal McGuinness (Moville) 6th,
Keith Louden & Andy Thompson (Sligo) 16th,
Curly Morris & Laura Thompson (EABC/NSC) 24th,
Gareth & Richard Gallagher (Lough Foyle) 29th,
Bill & James Johnson (Lough Foyle 37th)
Michael Cox & Rebecca Jeffrey (45th)

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