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GP14 Nationals at South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club overall

by Paul Simes on 9 Aug 2004 31 July - 6 August 2004
Mike Senior & Graham Nelson win the GP14 Nationals at Abersoch © SCYC

86 GP14s travelled to North Wales and after a very testing 8 race series held over 5 days under the burgee of South Caernarvonshire YC at Abersoch. Mike Senior & Graham Nelson from Bolton SC and Blackpool & Fleetwood SC are the new National Champions.

Leading by one point going into the last day, Mike and Graham effectively sealed the Championship by winning the first race of the day. This meant that only Richard Estaugh and Simon Potts from Chase SC could beat them and only by being in the first 2 positions with Mike and Graham being more than 6 places behind. As Mike and Graham hadn't been outside the top 10 all week, apart from a DSQ this didn't seem likely.

Richard and Simon obviously finished 2nd with Matt Mee and Christopher Robinson from Hollingworth Lake SC finishing an impressive 3rd overall at the tender age of 17. They led the Championship on Wednesday night and with a bit more experience could have caused an upset and gone on to win it. Dave Young and Liz Pugh from South Staffs SC sailed a consistent series counting all results in the top 10 to finish in 4th with Graham Flynn and Frank Nickless from Bartley SC completing the top 5 positions.

The Silver fleet was won by Paul Leavers and Chris White from Midland SC, who finished a credible 19th overall, whilst the Bronze Fleet was won by Anil and Michelle Gunawardana from Ceylon Motor YC, who obviously won the Traveller's prize for travelling the farthest distance.

A great week was had by all of the competitors and their families and we must thank not only them but the wonderful race team and staff of SCYC for providing us with great sailing and a great welcome. Nothing could be faulted apart from the wind disappearing for a couple of days and even Aubrey Allso the Principal Race Officer confessed that he couldn't control that.

Finally we must thank Ian Sinclair and his team for making the whole thing possible. A lot of hard work goes into organising and running the Championship and once again it went without a hitch.

Next year’s Nationals will be held in Poole and we look forward to seeing all of the boats there plus the home contingent making a fleet of over 100 a distinct possibility.

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