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GP14 End of Seasons at Royal Windermere Yacht Club

by Michelle Evans 19 Oct 2016 15:29 BST 15-16 October 2016

Much like the end of year disco at school (or 'prom', depending on your age!) the GP14 End of Seasons is a final blow out for the class with friends coming together to eat, drink and try and do each other over on the race course.

With Headmistress Beddow delivering the school report, the Class was deemed to have had an A* year with the Barbados Worlds proving the biggest sailing event the Island had ever hosted to the numbers still managing to attend the rest of the Craftinsure Super 6 Series despite have no holiday left or diminished 'go sailing' credits available from non-sailing partners.

35 boats turned up on a worryingly calm looking Bowness morning for the sold out event. The buzz in the boat park though was anything but calm with current World and UK National Champions Shane MacCarthy and Andy Thompson (Greystones SC) unwrapping their brand new boat and competitors discussing the sailing, and more importantly arrangements for the black tie do in the evening.

The Race Officer's briefing outlined the two different course options and an intention to postpone sailing for half an hour to ensure the optimum wind direction for the day's intended north course.

As it was flat clam by the jetties we were instructed to take our tow ropes out and launch. Shane and Andy launched whilst still tinkering with their boat with a variety of power tools. The tow out gave us an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful Windermere scenery and debate if the clouds looked rainy or not and to be pleasantly surprised by the Force 2/3 that awaited us.

Finally out on the start line the course board revealed a three lap triangle, sausage triangle course. After an inevitable recall as the excited fleet pushed the line we set off. Watching the spinnakers hoist as they went round the windward mark for the first time showed signs of a potential early upset with the Silver Fleet boat of Meg Hicklin and Hayley Ramadhar (South Staffs SC) right in the mix with Shane and Andy, Budworth's Nick Devereux and Sam Platt and Sam Watson and Andy Hunter (Nantwich/South Staffs SC). As Shane and Andy got into the lead and opened up a gap it was Meg and Hayley that were chasing them down leaving the rest in their wake as they finished. Further down the fleet some realised to their cost that the course had changed between starts and an extra lap added.

Lining up for the start of Race 2 the majority went with the starboard end, a slight shift before the hooter meant that those at the port end were able to tack straight off and cross the fleet on port until the lay line. This lead to Tim Davies and Mark Collingwood (Chelmarsh SC) rounding first followed by Sam and Andy, Shane and Andy and myself and Chris Beddow (South Staffs SC) in fourth. Finding ourselves on quite a tight reach and in the unusual position of the entire fleet bearing down on us Meg and Hayley snuck through followed by Greg Thomas and Joel James (Southport SC).

Realising how much easier it is at the front rather than the back we enjoyed some close racing with Neal Gibson and Geoff Phillips (Redoubt SC) and John Hayes and Poppy James (Southport SC), not as close as they did though with a small collision and protest flag flying. At the front it was a day for the ladies with Meg and Hayley beating Shane and Andy and taking the overnight lead.

As we came off the water two protests were lodged with Justin Smith (Derwent SC) protesting Duncan Greenhalgh (Bassenthwaite) in Race 1 and John protesting Neal in Race 2. As the group lined up outside the head master's office the rest of us debated evening wear. In the end Duncan retired and Neal and Geoff lost but with no time to dwell on it we all headed to the Boat Club for dinner.

As at school there are always one or too rebels that don't like to conform to uniform standards but the majority of us looked almost presentable in our glad rags. On route to dinner Shane and Andy Hunter proved to be the superheroes of the Super 8 pausing to rescue a stranded dog in the water and getting soggy in the process. The social at the End of Seasons has become as much a part of the event as the racing and a good night was had by all.

Day two was slightly more overcast and showed no sign of the Force 6/7 gusts that were forecast. We were informed that we would be heading to the south course as the RO seemed determined to give us a full tour of the lake. Sailing out to the course gave an indication of what was to come. On the same tack you could be on a beat, reach, run or hove to at any point.

The course board revealed a windward/leeward course which some hadn't sailed before. With lightish and shifty winds the day became tactical or flukey depending on your skill level. Nick and Sam took control of the third race winning but with Shane and Andy second, Sam and Andy third and Meg and Hayley fourth it all came down to the last race of the four race event.

It looked like another silver fleet upset with Richard Ham and Vicky Ford (Tollesbury SC/South Staffs SC) leading for a good lap before being taken by Shane and Andy. Congratulations were premature though as they saw their second replaced with an OCS as one of a few to be caught over in a messy start where more looked to have pushed it but not spotted. The race finished with Shane and Andy first and Nick and Sam second, reflecting their overall placings. The battle for third (and first Sliver Fleet) went to Meg and Hayley with Sam and Andy having to settle for fourth.

Everyone was in high spirits at the prize giving, winning helm Shane at his first End of Seasons said how much he enjoyed the event for the racing and the social. Prizes were given for Fleet positions as well as to youngest helm Ralph Chaplin (12), youngest crew Szymon Matyjaszczu (13) and the highest placing vintage boat of Steve Parry and Phil Green (York RI). As the first event in the Craftinsure Super 8 Series it sets up nicely for what promises to be a fantastic year for the Class with eight UK Championship events in the series, included a return to Looe, and only three to count a strong competition is expected.

Find out more about the Super 8 Series on the GP14 website:

Overall Results:

PosFleetSail NoClubHelmCrewR1R2R3R4Pts
1stGold14203Greystones SCShane MacCarthyAndy Thompson1‑2214
2ndGold14186Budworth SCNick DevereuxSam Platt3‑11126
3rdSilver14177South Staffs SCMegan HicklinHayley Ramadhar214‑107
4thGold14132Nantwich/SSSCSam WatsonAndy Hunter433‑510
5thSilver14109Southport SCGreg ThomasJoel James‑946414
6thGold14039Southport SCJohn HayesPoppy James‑858316
7thSilver14089Cardiff Bay YCPaul SimesTom Simes5‑1513624
8thSilver14201Budworth SCHugh DevereuxMalcolm Bird11105(DNF)26
9thGold14135South Staffs/Budworth SCPaul OwenEllie Devereux78‑161126
10thGold13838DRSC / HLSCJustin SmithAdam McGovern‑15127827
11thSilver13871R Windermere YCGavin TullettGraham Tullett129‑17728
12thGold14090Redoubt SCNeal GibsonGeoff Phillips13(DSQ)10932
13thGold14023Blackpool & Fleetwood YCChris RobinsonHannah Robsin614‑211434
14thSilver14187Bollton SCJulie WaddingtonChris Waddington107‑191734
15thSilver13880Winsford Flash SCAlistair MitchellSteve Webb14‑18121238
16thSilver14166Tollesbury/South Staffs SCRichard HamVicky Ford16169(OCS)41
17thBronze13727Chelmarsh SCTim DaviesMark Collingwood(DNF)13151341
18thSilver14051South Staffs SCChris BeddowMichelle Evans206‑272147
19thSilver14010Bollton SCGraham CourtneyJulie Courtney‑2217141849
20thSilver13819Bassenthwaite SCDuncan GreenhalghJohn Riley(RET)26111956
21stBronze13531R Windermere YCSteven WilsonAlex Nield1823‑251556
22ndSilver13705South Staffs SCNick BrandonLisa Carpenter1920‑262059
23rdBronze13276Derwent Reservoir SCAdam VaughanPhil Pethybridge‑2624241664
24thSilver13401R Windermere YCJulian NewmanAmanda Wilson23‑27182364
25thBronze13464R Windermere YCJudith GoreSimon McVey‑2522202264
26thBronze13870Welsh Harp SCMaciej MatyjaszczuSzymon Matyjaszczu‑2421222467
27thBronze13933Bollton SCZena MartinKaye Tickle2819‑302774
28thBronze14057Derwent Reservoir SCAnn PennyGraham Fraser27‑30232575
29thSilver13537R Windermere YCRichard ThompsonAnna Clough1725(DNC)DNC78
30thBronze4615York RISteve ParryPhilip Green‑2928282884
31stBronze14059South Staffs SCMichael DaviesMartin Warburton(DNS)29312686
32ndBronze14062Bassenthwaite SCAlan JonesSue Watson2131(DNF)DNS88
33rdBronze14153South Staffs SCPhilip BarnfieldT Crossley30‑32292988
34thBronze13700Blackpool & Fleetwood YCRalph ChaplinAdam Chaplin313332(DNS)96
35thBronze28Hollowell SCStewart ElderChristine Elder(DNF)3433DNF103

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