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Craftinsure 2012

Bumper attendance for 2017 GP14 Craftinsure Super 8 Series

by Michelle Evans 18 Oct 2017 09:16 BST 18 October 2017
GP14 Super 8 Series Winners Fergus Barnham and Andy Hunter © Richard Craig /

The 2017 GP14 Craftinsure Super 8 Series proved one of the most successful in recent years with 218 sailors having taken part during the year and 29 boats qualified.

The series kicked off with the End of Seasons at Royal Windermere Yacht Club in 2016 which was won by Shane MacCarthy and Andy Thompson (Greystones SC) to continue their dominant year in the GP14.

The first event of 2017 was the Midland Area Championships at Staunton Harold which gave us some amazingly competitive racing and an event win from the local sailors Pete Gray and Rich Pepperdine (Staunton Harold SC).

John Hayes and Joel James (Southport SC) were the Scottish Champions at Annandale and, with some great racing all year, took the Super 8 second place overall.

Mike Senior and Chris White (South Staffs SC) were the Welsh Area Champions at Dovey and carried on their good form to the Nationals in what was a very close contest with Ian Dobson and Andy Tunnicliffe (Burwain SC). Taking the battle down to the last day Ian and Andy were victorious taking back their National Champions crown. Rounding off some consistent racing, Gingerboats' Andy Smith and Phil Hodgkins (Bassenthwaite SC) won the Northern Areas at Derwent to muscle into the Super 8 third spot.

It was close for the top spot but their first year together has seen P&B's Fergus Barnham and Andy Hunter (Snettisham/Nantwich SC) grow into the pair to beat, winning the Inland Championships at Bassenthwaite and the Southern Area Championships at Brightlingsea and crowned the 2017 GP14 Craftinsure Super 8 Series winners:

"Myself and Andy are delighted to have won the Super 8 Series," comments Fergus. "The standard of racing on the GP14 circuit is very high and each race was hard fought!

"Getting to race the likes of Mike Senior/Chris White, the Gingerboats team, Pete Gray/Rich Pepperdine and John Hayes/Joel James on a regular basis has been fantastic and has certainly made us improve throughout the year.

"We are already looking forward to next year and getting back out there and getting better!"

In the Silver Fleet it was the light wind bandit Frank Nickless, crewed by Michelle Evans, (Chase SC) that lead throughout, nibbling at the heels of the Gold Fleet all year to take the Silver Fleet top prize.

"I thought the circuit this year was excellent in terms of venues," explains Frank. "I think the winds have given everyone chance to shine and the competition across all the fleets has been close. The outstanding event for me was Brightlingsea; good numbers, excellent race management and steady winds."

In the Bronze Fleet it was the Commodore of Welsh Harp that took the top honours, he also enthused his Club to attend event leading them to win the award for Most Travelled Club:

"What a great GP14 season! Thank you to all my Super 8 crews: Jim Dimond, Joanna Siudzinska, Szymon Matyjaszczuk, Edward Coyne, Eugene Shrimpton and Andy Ferrington for helping me in my travel and achieving promotion to Silver Fleet. I have enjoyed traveling across the UK and meeting great sailors and friends. I am looking forward to the new season!"

The 2017 Masters and Youths will be at Budworth SC on 28/29 October and the next Championship event of 2018 will be the Masters and Youth Championships at Poole YC on 7/8 April followed by the Midland Area Championships at Chase SC on 21/22 April 2018.

Super 8 Series Top 10:

1st (Gold) - P&B's Fergus Barnham and Andy Hunter (Snettisham SC/Nantwich SC)
2nd (Gold) - John Hayes and Poppy James/Joel James (Southport SC)
3rd (Gold) - Gingerboats' Andy Smith and Phil Hodgkins (Bassenthwaite SC)
4th (Gold) - Mike Senior and Chris White (South Staffs SC)
5th (Gold) - Pete Gray and Rich Pepperdine (Staunton Harold SC)
6th (1st Silver) - SP Boats' Frank Nickless and Michelle Evans (Chase SC/South Staffs SC)
7th (Gold) - Shane MacCarthy and Andy Thompson / Damien Bracken (Greystones SC)
8th (Gold) - SP Boats' Richard Instone and Steve Parker (Chase SC)
9th (Gold) - Sam Watson and Ben Swainson / Jack Hopkins (Nantwich SC/Southport SC)
10th (Gold) - Neal Gibson and Geoff Phillips / Megan Hicklin / Gemma Gibson (Redoubt SC)

2nd Silver - Nick Brandon and Lisa Carpenter (South Staffs SC)
3rd Silver – Hugh Devereux and Malcolm Bird (Budworth SC)

1st Bronze - Maciej Matyjaszczuk and Szymon Matyjaszczuk / Andy Ferrington / Joanna Matyjaszczuk / Eugene Shrimpton (Welsh Harp SC)
2nd Bronze - Alan Jones and Sue Watson (Bassenthwaite SC)
3rd Bronze - Adam Vaughan and Phil Pethybridge (Derwent Reservoir SC)