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Tactics To Win by Nick Craig
Tactics To Win by Nick Craig

GP14 Masters Championship at New Quay Yacht Club

by Curly Morris 5 Jul 2012 09:13 BST 30 June - 1 July 2012
John Billington and Mike Senior win the GP14 Masters at New Quay © Pete Thomas

This year's GP14 Masters promised something different, with an open sea venue, useful as a warm up for the World Championship in Looe in six weeks time. A highly competitive fleet took to the water on Saturday in fairly hostile conditions, with strong gusty winds and a lumpy sea plus a swell running at an angle to the wind and smaller waves, making interesting sailing.

Although the first race was abandoned seconds before the start the boats starting at the pin end could not hear the sound signals and did not pick up the small AP flag being flown. Sufficient boats were in trouble to make the few boats who did spot the abandonment look like more non-starters, and with all rescue boats extremely busy the competing group were on the second reach before they found their forty minutes efforts were in vain With winds increasing significantly mid-afternoon the decision to go ashore and stay there looked wise.

On Sunday with a poor forecast the Race Officer decided to race inside the reef giving flatter water but shiftier winds and a much smaller course. The first reach was tight enough to be a challenge to all but the heaviest and most skillful crews. Coming out of a twenty year retirement former World Champion Ian Willis, reunited with crew Keith Dutton and sailing Carl Jeff's' boat proved that while form is temporary, class is permanent. Opting to sail the reaches on the second triangle without spinnaker at the last mark he was a close second and challenging Neil Davies and Adam Froggatt who felt the need to luff with spinnaker allowing John Billington crewed by Mike Senior in Mikes boat to take advantage of the gust and plane into 1st place to leeward on the short reach to the finish.

This was a foretaste of what was to come in the next two races. A group of six boats took the first six places in all three races with Billington/Senior winning the next two races as well. Willis and Dutton sailed steadily for two thirds and a second giving them second overall, the Grand Master, over 60 and ton-up trophies. Dave Young with emergency crew Sarah Davis took third overall followed by Davies and Froggatt, then Paul Owen and Andy Hateley and Irish team of Curly Morris and Laura McFarlane.

Given the forecast for the Sunday we were lucky to get even three races. New Quay lived up to its great reputation for hospitality off the water in the style one might expect of a Masters Championship. Now for Looe – if you're lucky enough to have one of the 130 entries available for this event.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewR1R2R3Pts
1st14082Billington JSenior M1113
2nd14062Willis IDutton K3328
3rd14097Young DDavies S52310
4th14032Davies NFroggatt A25512
5th13803Owen PaulHateley Andy46414
6th14077Morris CurlyMcFarland L64616
7th14043Eaves NProsser D97723
8th13812Simes PaulSimes Tom108826
9th14063Brennan MKnott A89926
10th13316Ward JamesWhitehall Richard7101027
11th14051Beddow CCook C11111133
12th13656Wilson KarenWeibe Nauta14131340
13th13423Ashworth JFitzpatrick A15141443
14th13705Brandon NEvans M12DNF1245
15th13787Wadsworth AMorley Mike1312DNC46
16th13421Allen HelenKalmeijer Yvon16DNFDNC58
17th13727Davies TimCollingwood MarkDNFDNCDNC63
17th13287Sinclair StuartSinclair JonathonDNFDNCDNC63
DNQ13931Instone RToothill JDNCDNCDNC63

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