Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

GP14 Riocard O'Tiarnaigh Challenge Goes To McCarthy & Bracken

2nd June 2016
GP14s bunched at the leeward mark at Swords Sailing & Boating Club GP14s bunched at the leeward mark at Swords Sailing & Boating Club Photo: Paul Rainey

The GP14 Riocard O'Tiarnaigh Challenge was again this year held at Swords Sailing and Boating Club on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd of May. It was sailed as a combined event with the Purcell Trophy this year due to the 2016 World championships being held in Barbados at Easter. A warm welcome was given by the club to all competitors and their friendship and hospitality was extended thought the weekend, with their incredible race management on the water and their fantastic catering and ashore.

The results of the Purcell trophy were rolled over from the Saturday and used partly as qualifying for the Riocard O'Tiarnaigh Challenge final. A total of 7 races would be sailed for qualifying purposes with one discard to be used. After the Purcell event results were counted three shorter races with separate fleet starts were scheduled to be sailed on the Sunday morning.

Qualifying positions for the gold and silver fleets were wide open with a number of boats able to fill the four qualifying positions for each fleet.

In the first two races on the Sunday morning in the gold fleet Keith Louden and Alan Thompson took two race wins and Shane McCarthy & Damian Bracken took two second places. John & Donal McGuinness qualified in third place, this left the last place open and to be contested in the final race by three boats. Niall Henry and Ossian Geraghty took the race win and with other results going their way, they grabbed the final place. However they would later choose not to contest the final and pass on the final slot to Hugh Gill and Simon Revill.

The Silver fleet was just as hotly contested with the final places being decided in the final race of qualifying with Michael Cox and Josh Porter, Simon Jeffery and Alan Henry, Katie Dwyer and Michelle Rowley and Simon Cully and Richard Street all making it through.

The bronze fleet sailors Ian Nish and his crew Des, and Keith and Barbara Leonard who had already qualified, went out on Sunday morning to test out the conditions and get some practice in preparation for the final.

At lunch time the wind died away completely but when PRO Peter Smyth blew his whistle to signal end to lunch the wind duly obliged and within half an hour it had settled in to a steady force 3 in strength. However it was still shifting back and forth in direction, as it had done all weekend in preparation for the final.

The first race saw a great start by Katie Dwyer & Michelle Rowley and when they rounded the windward mark with a sizeable lead they could not be caught by Shane McCarthy & Damian Bracken, a result which would prove significant for the girls by the end of the day. John & Donal McGuinness crossed the line in third place.

Second race saw Shane McCarthy and Damian Bracken take an early lead which they would maintain to the end and with positions changing behind them Keith Louden & Alan Thompson took second and John & Donal McGuinness were third.

In the third and final race points counted double which meant any number of boats could still win the event, Keith Louden & Alan Thompson led at the windward mark and held on to that lead until the final leeward mark when they were passed by Shane Mc Carthy & Damien Bracken. Keith Louden & Alan Thompson finished second and Katie Dwyer & Michelle Rowley in third.

This result gave Shane McCarthy & Damien Bracken the Riocard O'Tiarnaigh Challenge win, Katie Dwyer & Michelle Rowley took second in a break of tie with Keith Louden & Alan Thompson in third place.

Published in GP14

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

The GP14 is a popular sailing dinghy, with well over 14,000 boats built.

The class is active in the UK, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and parts of north-eastern USA, and the GP14 can be used for both racing and cruising. 

Designed by Jack Holt in 1949, with the assistance of the Dovey Yacht Club in Aberdyfi. The idea behind the design was to build a General Purpose (GP) 14-foot dinghy which could be sailed or rowed, capable of also being powered effectively by a small outboard motor, able to be towed behind a small family car and able to be launched and recovered reasonably easily, and stable enough to be able to lie to moorings or anchor when required. Racing soon followed, initially with some degree of opposition from Yachting World, who had commissioned the design, and the boat soon turned out to be an outstanding racing design also.

The boat was initially designed with a main and small jib as a comfortable family dinghy. In a design philosophy that is both practical and highly redolent of social attitudes of the day the intention was that she should accommodate a family comprising parents plus two children, and specifically that the jib should be modest enough for "Mum" or older children to handle, while she should perform well enough to give "Dad" some excitement when not taking the family out. While this rig is still available, and can be useful when using the boat to teach sailing, or for family sailing, and has some popularity for cruising, the boat is more commonly seen with the full modern rig of a mainsail, genoa and spinnaker. Australian boats also routinely use trapezes.

At A Glance – GP14 Dinghy Specifications

Crew 2
Draft 1,200 mm (47 in)
Hull weight 132.9 kg
LOA 4.27 m (14 ft)
Beam 1.54 m
Spinnaker area 8.4 m2
Upwind sail area 12.85 m2

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Car Brands

subaru sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2020

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating