#gp14 – The GP14 Irish National Championships took place last Saturday and Sunday at Ballyholme Yacht Club. The event was kindly sponsored by Craftinsure Insurance and North Down Borough Council Tourism. Almost 40 boats from Ireland and England attended the event which was seen as a warm up event for the World Championships in Cornwall in three weeks time. Full results are downloadable as word doc below.
Racing was delayed on Saturday morning due to a lack of wind. The wind eventually filled in to 15 – 18 knots from the south to give three full length races. All three races were won by the English pair, Mike Senior and Chris White. With the forecast of heavy winds on Sunday the Race Officer, Robin Gray, was determined to get three races completed on Saturday to constitute a series.
As it was the winds did increase for racing on Sunday but did not stop racing going ahead. Two races were completed with winds reaching 28 knots at times. Mike Senior and Chris White coped best in the testing conditions and continued their dominance to score two further wins. The competition for second place was very tight with Shane MacCarthy and Andrew Thompson coming in just ahead of Simon Potts and Pete Grey. Shane and Andrew were first Irish boat. Ross Kearney, formerly from North Down but now working and living in England came in fourth with his crew Ed Bradburn.
The Silver Fleet was won by Gerard O'Sullivan and Hugh McNally who finished well inside the gold fleet boats in 11th place overall. First in the Bronze Fleet went to Michael Cox and Nigel Sloan from Newtownards. Michael and Nigel finished 22nd overall.
Mike Senior's dominance puts him in strong contention for the World Championships in August. Almost 20 boats from Ireland will be making the journey across to compete in the week-long event. A fleet of 130 boats are due to take part.
The final results of the event were as follows:-
1st Mike Senior & Chris White
2nd Shane MacCarthy & Andy Thompson
3rd Simon Potts & Pete Grey
4th Ross Kearney & Ed Bradburn
5th Dave Young & Shona Fleming
6th David Fletcher & Laura McFarland
7th Graham Elmes & Melanie Morris
8th Keith Louden & Dessie Hughes
9th Bryan Willis & Ruan O'Tiarnaigh
10th Alistair Duffin & Paul Whitcombe
1st Gerard O'Sullivan & Hugh McNally
2nd Daniel Gill & Cillian McGreer
3rd Daniel Gallagher & Gareth Gallagher
1st Michael Cox & Nigel Sloan
2nd James Ogg & Ronan O'Beirne
3rd Peter Smyth & Jackie Malone