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Displaying items by tag: GP14

3rd September 2012

Dead Heat for GP14 Ulster Title

#gp14 – Top placed Irish boat at the recent GP14 World championships Ger Owens and Melanie Morris have won the GP14 Ulsters. Held over the weekend 1st & 2nd September on Larne Lough the 2012 Championship produced a series of races packed with excitement, a tinge of terror and a dead-heat for first place.

Hosted by East Antrim Boat Club the championship was scheduled for six races with Irish Olympian Ger Owens partnered as usual by local girl Melanie Morris defending the title against 42 other competitors.

Day one race one saw the expected forecast materialising. The capsize list grew. In the end it was the McGuiness brothers John & Donal who took the 50-year-old Belfast Telegraph trophy back to Moville in the county of Donegal. By the start of the second race the conditions blowing across Larne Lough were way ahead of the forecast. Wind speeds of some 28 knots were recorded. Race officer Richard Doig kept the show running to allow Shane McCarthy & Damian Bracken a white knuckle victory. With conditions worsening – wind speeds of plus 38 knots – the fleet made its dramatic dash for shore. Many crews displayed the tell-tale black (mud) mainsail top, and pale complexions! Safety Officer Stephen Craig and his team were at full stretch.

Sunday dawned with contrasting conditions. Although shifty the light SWS breeze held to allow a further three races to be sailed. The keen fleet encountered several general recalls and continually bunched up featuring an abundance of place changing.

However it was the Owens-Morris team who mastered the intricacies of this inland Irish Lough. They took three straight bullets! Their late late show resulted in a tie on overall points which was resolved on count-back. Owens & Morris had successfully defended their title to again accept the ancient and battered brass bell which was first presented to the class in 1953.

Running in tandem with the main championship was the 'masters' series. This was won by 68-year-old Curly Morris crewed as usual by Laura McFarland. Keen competition was also recorded within the Silver and Bronze fleets. Son and father Daniel & Hugh Gill from north Dublin's Sutton club took the silver league while Newtownard's Michael Cox & Joshua Porter won the bronze league.

Speaking at the slick prize-giving the GP14 Irish Association's new President Laurence Balham echoed Ger Owen's comments on the professionalism of East Antrim's organisation. He plied particular praise on the race committee's skill in completing the series in the most challenging of conditions.






Ger Owens & Melanie Morris

Royal St George YC/East Antrim BC


Shane McCarthy & Damian Bracken

Greystones SC/Clontark Y&BC


Tim Corccoran & Brendan Brogan

Sligo YC


Danial & Hugh Gill

Sutton DC


Curly Morris & Laura McFarlane

East Antrim BC


John & Donal McGuiness

Moville BC

Published in GP14

#gp14 – Dun Laoghaire's GP14 pairing of Ger Owens and Melanie Morris from the Royal St. George YC have finished fifth overall at the 127-boat World championships in Cornwall today.

The second half of the championships featured strong winds and huge waves in Looes Bay. 17 Irish boats contested the championships with next best Irish Greystones SC pair Shane McCarthy and Andy Thompson in tenth overall. Full results are here.

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#gp14 – Royal St. George's Ger Owens and Melanie Morris have posted a second and a fifth yesterday to stay fifth overall and nine points off the lead at the massive 127-boat GP14 Worlds in Cornwall.

Fresh from the Olympic Games in Weymouth where Owens competed in the 470 class the Dun Laoghaire sailor has a string of consistent scores 5,5,2,5 and discarded a 7th yesterday after four races sailed in Looes Bay. Irish boats are faring well with Ross Kearney eighth and Shane McCarthy 11th. Download a PDF of the GP14 day three results below as a pdf.

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#gp14 – Triple Irish Olympic sailor Ger Owens crewed by Melanie Morris lies fifth overall at the GP14 World championships in Cornwall after three races sailed in the 127-boat fleet.

Owens and Morris have moved up two places after Monday's two races scoring tow fifth places to be on the same 17 points as the UK's Simon Potts and Peter Grey of Blithfiled SC.

A south westerly force 3 in Looes Bay combined with big rolling waves for yesterday's racing.

Irish interest in the top ten is high with Former Mirror world Champion Ross Kearney and Ed Bradburn from Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club ninth and Greystones sailor Shane McCarthy and Andy Thompson tenth.

Master builder Alistair Duffin and Paul Whitcombe from Newtownards are 17th in the massive fleet.

More on the worlds site here.

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#gp14 – It was only a short hop from Weymouth to Cornwall last week when the Olympic regatta finished for Irish 470 sailor Ger Owens who is currently placed seventh overall at the GP14 World championships underway at Looe Sailing Club in Devon today.

The Dun Laoghaire sailor with new crew Scott Flannigan rounded off his third Olympics in the 470 with with a 16th and a 5th on the final day to leave the pair 23rd overall.

Now the Royal St. George helm, who will miss out on tonight's OIympic homecoming at the National YC, has teamed up with Melanie Morris to lead Irish hopes at the 130-boat GP 14 event in which there is a strong Irish presence.

Moville Boat Club's John and Donal McGuiness are next Irish in ninth. Shane McCarthy and Andy Thompson from Greystones Sailing Club are in 13th place.

Racing continues today. Results here.

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#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

Silver Fleet

1st Gerard O'Sullivan & Hugh McNally

2nd Daniel Gill & Cillian McGreer

3rd Daniel Gallagher & Gareth Gallagher

Bronze Fleet

1st Michael Cox & Nigel Sloan

2nd James Ogg & Ronan O'Beirne

3rd Peter Smyth & Jackie Malone

Published in GP14

#GP14–Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough will host the Irish GP14 Championships on July 21st and 22nd.

In 2014, the GP14 World Championships come to Northern Ireland for the first time in many years, so next month's  CraftInsure Irish Championship represents a an ideal way for visitors to complete some early research into local sailing.

The launch for the event was held in Belfast on Sunday 10th June beside the Lagan. The local GP14's held a short event on the river to salute Alastair Duffin for 50 years of building wooden boats (mainly GP14's) in East Belfast. Alistair Duffin's superb dinghies are sailed across the world. In the days of fibre glass boats, a wooden Duffin hull currently holds the World title.

Ballyholme Yacht Club regularly holds Regional, National and International Championships in many dinghy classes with club member Robin Gray an RYA NI Regional Race Management Coordinator.

Ballyholme YC has a long history in GP14s. Bill Whisker and Jimmy McKee from Ballyholme YC won the GP14 World Championships in Australia in the 1970 and Burton Allen won the GP14 British National Championship.

Published in GP14

#GP14  – The annual GP14 Riocard O Tiarnaigh Challenge took place at Swords Sailing Club on the 14th & 15th of April. This was the first of SSBC's headline events. The event was run over Saturday and Sunday with a total of 12 races completed on a variety of courses including trapezoid, windward leeward and Olympic style courses.

Race officer Peter Smith and team took to the water at 11.00 am along with the rib fleet and set up a triangle course with a diagonal run back to a port rounding and then reaching to the leeward mark but a short delay ensued due to wind shifting so race 1 finally got under way at 12.00. The 22 boat fleet was divided in to 3 groups, gold, silver and bronze. On race 3 the course changed to triangle sausage and the wind began to blow giving rise to some spectacular looking reaches under full sail from the fleet. A half time lunch saw the boat crews in to the club for a feed and then out again.

The bitter cold northerly breeze did not hinder the hardy GP14 sailors as they completed a total of 6 races on day one leaving Peter Fallow & James Hockey leading the bronze fleet on 5 points, Gerard OSullivan & Hugh McNally and Daniel & Gareth Gallagher tied on 7 points each in the silver fleet and Niall Henry & Ossian Geraghty leading the gold fleet on 8 points.

So boats put away and in to the club house for a barbecue and Alan Grays famous cheese melter burgers followed by drinks and a viewing of the days action on the video screen.

Day two with lighter airs and still quite a cold day on this 100th year rememberance of the Titanics sinking saw first gun sounded at 10.30. The last three races in the group rounds produced fleet winners and the 12 boats to compete in a 3 race final for overall winner.

After a break ashore the boats returned to the water and a windward leeward course with a short loop inside was set.

Race 1 saw Shane McCarthy and D Bracken take the line.

Race 2 Clive Goodwin and Stan Shepherd crossed in pole position.

In race 3 Niall Henry and Oiseen Geraghty finished first and coming second Clive (Swords)and Stan (Skerries) which together with a 3rd from race one clinched them the gold and Riocard O'Tiarnaigh trophy for 2012.

Bronze winners were Peter Fallon & James Hockey, Lough Foyle.

Silver winners were Gerard OSullivan & Hugh McNally, HYC.

At the prize giving GP 14 Association chairman Richard Street formally requested Swords Sailing Club to host the event again in 2013 and commodore Donal Brennan accepted.

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2nd February 2012

Sponsor Boost for GP14s

#GP14 –  Irish GP14 dinghy sailing gets a boost this season with the support of insurance firm Craftinsure for the class national championships The firm has also been selected to handle the GP14 Association insurance scheme with effect from 1st April 2012 following a review by the Association.

The insurance scheme for the GP14 Class Association is one of the longest established, having been in place for over 50 years, and is strongly supported. For much of it's history, the scheme was very successfully managed by long serving GP14 Association member Graham Knox, who still assists with liaison between the Association Committee and their insurance partners.

The new arrangement maintains the long association with Navigators & General (part of Zurich Insurance plc), as all Craftinsure polices are underwritten by N&G.

As a leading online boat insurer in Ireland and the UK, Craftinsure is able to provide a cost effective and convenient insurance facility for GP14 owners. The fact that claims staff along with other key members of the Craftinsure team, are active dinghy sailors was another important factor in the selection process, as was the level of cover and security provided.

The Association will continue to benefit from contributions for each GP14 insured through the scheme, as well as from other forms of support including sponsorship for the 2012 Irish Nationals and the 2012 World Championships

Rod Daniel, director of Craftinsure comments "we are delighted to have been appointed to handle the GP14 scheme and that this Association can be added to IODAI and others where we have a strong affiliation. We look forward to welcoming new and existing GP14 owners to Craftinsure and to supporting the Association as much as possible".

Published in GP14

A healthy forty seven dinghies competed for the Irish GP14 National Sailing Championships title last weekend and Greystones sailor Shane McCarthy, now UK based, with crew Andy Davis took the title, winning the last four races. Class president Richard Street gives a blow by blow account of how the title was won.

Skerries was our venue, and a fine spot to host a regatta it is .The GP fleet were really well taken care of by all the members of the club who put aside their own weekend so we could have a lot of fun. Thank you.

Not only were we blessed to have a great turnout, but the calibre of it was pretty impressive too. The top ten counted two World Champions, a European Champion, a two time Olympian, a six time Irish National champion, a multiple English National Champion.  Steven Nelson and his brother Jonny slotted right in amongst them to blow most of the Gold fleet away and take the crown in their division by a huge margin.

Race officer Liam Dineen and his crew spent a long weekend at sea for our enjoyment a massive thank you to him and his team. Sunday, especially can not have been easy.

On day one Mike Senior and Chris White were consistency personified, two races, two bullets, as were Shane Mc Carthy and Andy Davis with two seconds.

Race one paid off beautifully for those who headed straight inshore on the first beat, but if you made the mistake of repeating that on the second beat you got hosed.  Main feature of the weekend was big breeze and some massive shifts. Keith Louden and Dessie Hughes got their result of the weekend with a third skinning their northern rivals  theyoung Mc Guinness boys in the process.cue smiles allround.On one boat.

Race two and a big right shift up the last beat got a few boats that weren’t looking too hot, out of trouble . Curly once had a boat by that name, I think, and he and Laura were chased into third by his daughter Melanie crewing for Ger Owens. Their boat name? True Belle.

Day two Sunday, blowing hard enough that rumour has it the RO wasn’t sending us out. A few launches put paid to that, and we’ve raced in far worse.

The Imperious English pair got their first challenge as Shane and Andy took their first win. They had been led around the first windward mark by Steven and Jonny, as fine a sight as  ever we’d see…until they repeated the feat the following day ! Now if the two boys had popped the kite they might have held on to the lead , but they got swallowed up. Mike and Chris had to work to hold onto the leaders and were chased home by Dave Young and Seonaid Fleming who registered their high point for the series. The effort must have taken its toll as they spent a large portion of the afternoon swimming, which meant utter exhaustion for them by the end of the day.Still smiling though.

Race four looked like it might never happen. 30 and 40 degree windshifts coming down the course with each cloudburst. Rain that was thick as fog and more than one attempt at starting which had to be abandonded with twenty seconds to go. Inevitably when the gun did go, a line that ten seconds earlier had been pin end favoured but congested,suddenly got much more so. A big shift to the left saw the fleet react, but back up the line , with room to move, Niall Henry and James Conlon crossed on port at full tilt to negate much of the advantage those by the pin had. In the lightest breeze of the weekend and heading straight into a short steep chop concentration was essential, lose it and you got spat out the back.

The end of that race saw the score tied at two all as Shane took the win followed by Mike Senior.

With a building breeze and  direction settling, the course swapped to a quickfire windward leeward. The two leading boats at the top mark both missed the wing, the boys behind said thank you very much. A short windward leg meant a hectic pressurised run, nothing settled until halfway up the second beat. There was little time to catch breath, let alone think. At the end the overall result had reversed itself.  While both incredibly consistent, the Irish boat had scored three bullets to Mikes two.

Monday morning, cold and grey. The final denoument. Race five, again a windward leeward and a great breeze, a tight stack at the top mark meant boat handling was at a premium, who popped out in the lead at the top, Shane and  Andy, with a narrow lead over a chasing pack  which had buried in it the challenger , Mike and Chris had to work hard to stay in contention,  those running down the left side of the second run weren’t looking too good until a nice right shift came in making it all look sweeter. At the bottom the Mc Guinness brothers took the stb gate while Shane went to the left, they rounded in exact sequence but someone had picked the wrong side. Shane and Andy took the gun and with it the title. Curly Morris and crew Laura Mc Farland had come around the bottom three or four back but played a beautiful final beat to come away with second.

The new Champions headed for shore and a tepid shower, while a new winner Clive Goodwin and Thomas stepped up onto the podium in race seven.Nigel Sloan and Micheal Cox had a stunning race to fend off an Olympian and grab second place.  Well done boys.

Irish National Champions 2011. Shane Mc Carthy and Andy‘ Taxi ‘ Davis.

Runners up, Mike Senior and Chris White.

Winners in the Silver Fleet Steve Nelson and his brother Johnny.

Winners of the Bronze fleet ,local Skerries crew,Shay McGee and Owen Boylan.

Well done Skerries. And thank you.

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Page 14 of 15

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.


The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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