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Greystones Pair McCarthy & Bracken Win GP14 Ulsters at Newtownards Sailing Club (Drone Footage Here!)

23rd June 2017
The GP14 fleet were welcomed back to Newtownards Sailing Club for their Ulster Championships at the weekend. Scroll down for drone footage. The GP14 fleet were welcomed back to Newtownards Sailing Club for their Ulster Championships at the weekend. Scroll down for drone footage. Photo: David Corkill

The GP14 Ulster Championships took place over the weekend. The fleet were welcomed back to Newtownards Sailing Club by Michael Cox who organised an outstanding event. It felt more like Barbados than the Ards peninsula as we had the most glorious sunshine and temperatures in the mid-twenties all weekend writes Ossian Geraghty

On Saturday the wind was 10-15 Knots but moved several times during racing by up to 60 degrees at times, causing major headaches for PRO Ruan O’Tiarnaigh, who as we expected rose to the challenge and got three excellent full races sailed. Saturday's racing was dominated by Shane McCarthy crewed by Damien Bracken (Greystones Sailing Club) taking three bullets with the main scrap happening behind for second place.

On Sunday we had two additions to the fleet, JP and Carolyn McCaldin (LEYC/SYC) and Ger Owens crewed by Melanie Morris (RStGYC). Ger & Melanie turned up to embarrass the rest of the fleet with their performance on Sunday, winning all three races. In fact they were that far ahead the discussion in our boat centered around a scene from Father Ted, “Is that a small boat Ted? No its just far away”. It is high time Ger/Melanie shared their light weather upwind speed techniques with the rest of the fleet because it can’t be any fun being that far in front.

In race 2 on Sunday, the Gallagher brothers from Moville passed six boats from the first Windward mark and sailed through Shane McCarthy/Damien Braken and Alan Blay/David Johnson (SDYC) at the top of the fleet as though they were first stagers. The Gallagher’s are the boat to watch, up and coming stars, promotion to the Gold Fleet being a distinct possibility.

Overall winners of the weekend were McCarthy/Bracken, with Alan Blay/David Johnson second and Niall Henry/Ossian Geraghty (Sligo Yacht Club) in third overall.

No surprise that Gareth and Richard Gallagher took overall honours in the Silver Fleet also winning the Ulsters Youth event. Daire Shiels and Andrew Sexton (Skerries Sailing Club) took second overall in the silver fleet putting in a very consistent set of results over the weekend, with Peter Boyle crewed by General Pinochet, aka dad, in third.

In the Bronze Fleet, Josh & Catherine Porter (Newtownards Sailing Club) had to slug it out Geoff and Jane Murdoch also (NSC) with the Porters ultimately winning the Bronze Fleet.

A special thanks from the GP14 Class Association of Ireland to Newtownards Sailing Club, especially to organiser in chief, Michael Cox, PRO Ruan O’Tiarnaigh but also to all the volunteers who gave up their time in preparation and during the event, allowing all of us to go mess around in boats.

The next event on the GP14 Calendar is the Leinster Championships which is incorporated into the Dun Laoghaire Regatta, which takes place on 8th / 9th July 2017. The GP14 Class Association are looking forward to seeing you all there.

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