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GP14 Irish Autumn Open and Youth Championships at Sligo Yacht Club

by Irish GP14 Association 16 Sep 2013 19:03 BST 14-15 September 2013
GP14 Irish Autumn Open and Youth Championships at Sligo © Sean McCafferty /

The Sligo Tourist Development Association sponsored GP14 Autumn Open and Youth Championships of Ireland was hosted by Sligo Yacht on Saturday & Sunday 14th/15th September. Boats from all over Ireland descended on Rosses Point for what has become an annual pilgrimage to see what Sligo Bay can offer.

There was a mixed bag of weather from perfect force 2 to 3 breezes, to a complete lack of wind and finally on Sunday to howling gales.

Despite the poor forecast, especially for Sunday, 30 boats from as far away as Youghal in Cork, Newtownards in Down, Greystones in Dublin, Clifden in Galway, and Lough Foyle in Derry, made the trip to Sligo.

In the Autumn Open event the first days racing was dominated by Ger Owens & Melanie Morris, of Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, who although were challenged on occasions had enough in hand in each of the races to pull away again to win both of the races held on Saturday. In race one Keith Louden & Alan Thompson were second and the third boat home was Shane MacCarthy & Damian Bracken just holding off the charge of Max Treacy (former Star Class Olympic campaigner) & Robbie Hamilton. Race two saw Ger & Melanie in first place again with Tim Corcoran & Brendan Brogan in second followed in third by John & Donal McGuinness from Moville Boat Club.

The leader of the Autumn overnight was Ger & Melanie on 2 points followed by Shane McCarthy and Damien Bracken from Greystones in second place with a 3rd and 6th places leaving them on 9 points. Next there were three boats on 10 points, headed by SYC's Tim Corcoran and Brendan Brogan by virtue of a 2nd place finish in race 2. Dan and Maurin O'Connell were also on 10 points with a best finish of 4th leaving them in 4th place overall. Fifth place went to the ever consistent Paddy O'Connor and Colm "Flats" O'Flaherty from SYC, who had two 5th place finishes.

The Youth National Championship for helms aged Under 23, Under 18 & Under 16 attracted an entry of twenty boats. Unfortunately the light winds from earlier in the day faded and the start of race one was abandoned with one minute to go due to lack of wind. The race officer Gus Henry kept the fleet on the water for a further 2 hours but made the decision to abandon racing for the day at 16:30.

As the wind got up to the forecasted 30 knots on Sunday morning, all racing was abandoned.

Autumn Open Results:

Gold Fleet and Autumn Open Champion 2013: Ger Owens and Melanie Morris
Silver Fleet: Peter Fallon and James Hockley from Lough Foyle Yacht Club
Bronze Fleet: David Johnston and Kevin Martyn of Sutton Dinghy Club

As there was no racing for the Youth Championships prizes were awarded to Edward Coyne and Adrian Lee of Youghal Sailing Club for the furthest distance travelled and also to Richard Gallagher from Lough Foyle who was the youngest participant at 12 years old.

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