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Displaying items by tag: Ger Owens

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.

Published in GP14

Last weekend saw ten boats and some 25 Fireball participants join the ISA supported training session with former Olympic 470 sailor Ger Owens at the DMYC. Ger had a hard act to follow as previous Fireball training sessions had been led by Fireball World champions including Adam Bowers, Simon Potts and Richard Wagstaff. That said he rose magnificently to the occasion and his brilliantly self-depreciating and quite funny delivery charmed and informed the fleet. Ger’s main message to the sailors was that while boat and crew techniques were certainly important and worth perfecting through training the biggest gains were to be had through intelligent tactics and strategy. Something as simple as always keeping the main opposition in a large fleet under your boom would ensure high average results, offer occasional race wins and improve the chances of a very good result over a series. While that advice might seem blindingly obvious how many of us sail off to the corner of a course seeking miracles, time after time, only to find ourselves well down the fleet at the finish?

Having delivered some big truths, in a very steady and digestible patter of advice, Ger sent the fleet afloat for a fitness test with 50 “loopies” round a fixed mark, in both directions, whilst swapping hands throughout. This was followed by short circuit training with a single mark, beats, bear-aways, hoist on reach, drop downwind, gybe, reach, drop, beat again, all in the shortest possible distance. Ger then set quick short upwind races to put the “under the boom” principle into practice, and downwind legs to test kite hoist, gybes and drops under pressure. These exercises are designed like gym sessions to improve fitness, technique and ultimately train the right “muscle memory” to kick in under pressure while racing. Emphasis is placed on going out for short, sharp training sessions for just one hour, a bit like a gym session.

Many other topics followed over the two day session, too many to list here, with a constant stream of tips and advice. This allowed all participants to get something out of the sessions, from the most experienced and seasoned campaigners to new Fireballers. Commenting on the sessions one of the top helms Noel Butler felt there was plenty to learn from an Olympic sailor who had campaigned a boat with similar performance to the Fireball, with useful and simple drills to perfect techniques. He enjoyed the affable, positive, and engaging presentation style. New Fireballer Tim Crowe thought Saturday in particular (when the winds were a brisk north westerly) was a great day on the water with engaging exercises. Sunday saw lighter winds for a time and for the hour or so when the wind died completely the combined ingenuity of trainer and class saw the group invent a device comprising a pole, mobile phone and go-pro camera to trawl the harbour at low tide in a search for a spinnaker pole lost overboard on Saturday. While that exercise was unsuccessful the weekend overall was a huge success and whetted the appetite for events on the horizon. The first regional event of the season sees the class visit RNIYC for their Ulster championships in just 4 weeks. And for anyone interested in getting involved in one of Ireland’s most exciting dinghies the class is keen to attract more newcomers and will be running introductory sessions in the boats over some weekends in May and June at the DMYC.

Published in Fireball
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Youth and experience combined to crew Ireland's 470 trapeze dinghy in Weymouth. Double Olympian in the 470 class (Beijing 2008 and Athens 2004)and winner of two races at the Olympics in China, many would have expected Ger Owens of Dun Laoghaire to have qualified earlier for London but less than a year ago, his new crew Scott Flanigan of Howth was preparing to sit his Leaving Certificate.

After taking one of the last seven places at the Barcelona World championships in May this has been a last minute campaign that has paid off.

The London Olympics was a step that moved Flanigan from being an ISAF youth sailor in 2010 to Olympic 470 crew aged just 20.

Name: Ger Owens
Hometown: Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin
Club: Royal St. George Yacht Club
Age: 33
Discipline: 470 dinghy (helm)
World Ranking: 66th (May 2012)

Name: Scott Flanigan
Hometown: Howth, Co. Dublin
Club: Howth Yacht Club/ Royal St. George Yacht Club
Age: 20
Discipline: 470 dinghy (crew)
World Ranking: 66th (May 2012)

Published in Landing Pages

#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.

Published in GP14
Tagged under

#470 – Ireland will be sending a five boat team (and that may yet rise to six) to the London Olympics following the qualification of Ger Owens for his third Olympic regatta in the 470 dinghy with new Howth crew Scott Flanigan.

As Afloat.ie previously reported this week the pair are currently sailing at the 470 World Championships in Barcelona where the final seven nation places are up for grabs in addition to the 20 that were allocated in 2011. The Dublin duo currently lie 24th overall on Day 3 following a 10th and a 13th in their two races today. The 95 boats have now split into gold, silver and bronze fleets. Owens and Flanigan are in the gold fleet and with the guarantee that they cannot fall lower than the 7th required nation thus securing their place in the Games.

Published in Olympics 2012
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#WORRALL THOMPSON - Celebrity chef Anthony Worrall Thompson - in Dublin at the weekend for a fundraiser for Olympic hopefuls Ger Owens and Scott Flanigan - has credited his Irish wife with being the "rock" that kept him going through his recent shoplifing controversy.

"She is absolutely amazing," he told the Irish Independent of his Dublin-born wife Jacinta Shiel. "We met nearly 20 years ago. She's gorgeous, she's got a great heart and she's my rock."

Worrall Thompson was at Malahide Rugby Club on Saturday to judge a celebrity chef night in aid of the Olympic 470 duo's bid for a spot at the 2012 games, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

He kept his promise to attend the event following last Monday's public apology for his "stupid and irresponsible actions" after he was caught shoplifting cheese and wine from a Tesco store.

Worrall Thompson also donated his appearance fee from RTÉ's Saturday Night Show to Owens and Flanigan, who require sponsorship to supplement their support their funding from the Irish Saling Association.

Published in Olympics 2012

#WORRAL THOMPSON – Mischievous spoofers have taken to YouTube to poke fun at Anthony Worrall Thompson who appears at Malahide Rugby Club this Saturday on Olympic sailing fundraising duty for Irish pair Scott Flanigan and Ger Owens. The Ready Steady Cook star shamed for his Tesco shoplifting this week is judging a celebrity Chef night in aid of the Olympic 470 trialists at the North Dublin venue.

The TV star has apologised for his "stupid and irresponsible actions" on Monday after he was caught shoplifting cheese and wine from a Tesco store.

The Irish Olympic duo have organised two teams for the Cook in. One team with sports personalities and the second team with entertainment and political personalities. Worrall Thompson will be presiding as judge of the Malahide competition.

He was arrested at the supermarket in Henley on Thames, London after failing to pay for items at the self-service checkouts five times in 16 days.

In one comical clip that appears on youtube, a shopkeeper pokes fun at the troubled presenter in a tongue-in-cheek foul-mouthed rant.

Another spoof video superimposes Worrall Thompson's head onto footage of another shoplifter being apprehended instore.

For Saturday night, the Olympic duo have organised two teams for the Cook in. One team with sports personalities and the second team with entertainment and political personalities.

There will be four on each team and they will have a choice of preparing dishes with either beef or salmon.

'We hope that Anthony will be the judge and sample the finished dishes giving marks out of ten' say the Olypmic pair.

The event will be filmed live from the kitchen and streamed onto the big screen in the function room for guests to view.

Following his arrest, the 60-year-old released a statement claiming he intends to "seek the treatment that is clearly needed".

He added: "I am not the first, and I certainly won't be the last person to do something without rhyme or reason - what went through my head, only time will tell.

"Of course, I must also apologise sincerely to Tesco, with whom I'm had a long and genuine working relationship, and to all the staff at the Henley branch, many of whom I've got to know over the years.

"Once again, I am so sorry and hopefully in the future I can make amends."

Tickets for Saturday night's event are €100 or €1000 for a table of ten. There is Live music on the night and an auction with Denis Drum including the following items: Signed Munster Rugby Jersey, Signed Leinster Rugby Jersey, Signed Irish Rugby Jersey, Grand Slam Rugby tie donated by Ollie Campbell, Signed Irish Soccer Jersey, Four ball with Philip Walton, A painting by Alan Kenny. Contact 01 8453459 for bookings. Cheques made payable to Ger Owens.

Published in Olympics 2012

Ireland is on the entry list in six classes for the Weymouth and Portland International Sailing Regatta 2011, the London 2012 Olympic Test Event, that has been finalised today.

Ireland's leading hopes for  a top result is in the Radial class where Annalise Murphy took bronze at the Sail for Gold regatta at the same venue. There's also high chances in the Star class with Peter O'Leary and David Burrows. Also sailing for Ireland is James Espey is in the Laser, Ross Hamilton in the Finn, Ger Owens and Scott Flannigan in the 470, Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern in the 49er. A full entry list is available for download at the end of this post.

Sixty six nations have submitted the names of the 460 sailors who will test the conditions at Weymouth and Portland one year ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.

For many of Member National Authorities there has been a selection headache with nations following game time rules where only one athlete per event is allowed.

In the Finn class Great Britain's Ben Ainslie was selected ahead of Giles Scott and Ed Wright, Spain's Marina Alabau received the nod ahead of Blanca Manchon and Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) lost out to Sally Barkow (USA).

The Women's Match Racers open the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta on 2 August 2011 with the start of their Round Robins. The Men's and Women's RS:X begin on 4 August followed by the Laser, Laser Radial and Men's and Women's 470 on 5 August before the Finn, 49er and Star sailors begin their competition on 6 August.

The London 2012 Olympic Games Sailing Competition will take place at the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy and Portland Marina, located in Dorset on the South Coast of England. Racing is scheduled to take place from 29 July to 11 August.

At the 2012 Games sailing will introduce women's match racing for the first time. The racing format will be a single round-robin, quarter finals, semi-finals and then the finals. The nine fleet racing events will all sail an opening series before the top ten in each event contest a double-points Medal Race to decide the final positions. The Medal Races have a target time of approximately 30 minutes and will take place close to the shore at the Nothe to allow spectators ashore to get close up to the action.

Published in Olympics 2012

Seven Irish crews are on the entry list for the Delta Lloyd regatta starting on May 26, with representatives in six Olympic classes. Sisters Annalise and Claudine Murphy will compete in the Laser Radial class, with Ross Hamilton in the Finn the only other single-hander on the list.

Thomas Chaix and Barry McCartin continue their nascent 470 campaign, and Ireland is represented twice in the 49er class, with Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern facing a better-trained Ger Owens & Ross Killian wo emerge from several weeks' training in Palma for this event (see yesterday's podcast for more).

However, the eye-catching pairing is Peter O'Leary and David Burrows, who finally join forces for a Star regatta. Burrows steps in to replace Ballyholme sailor Stephen Milne to face a small but competitive Star fleet ahead of the European Championships in early June.

Published in Olympics 2012

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.

Competitions

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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