Please select your home edition
Melges IC37 2019 Leaderboard

GP14 Race Training and Open Meeting at Papercourt Sailing Club

by Sam Mettam 19 Mar 17:39 GMT
GP14 Race Training and Open Meeting at Papercourt © Sam Mettam

Despite a weather forecast which resulted in around half of the competitors who had been planning to attend decide not to, the half that did were treated to a day of race training with former world champion Ian Dobson followed by a day of good (if rather shifty!) racing shared with the Graduate fleet.

The race training on Saturday had a solid 20-30 knots of wind from the south west with the odd gust which was a little more! Ian Dobson ran a couple of excellent on shore sessions talking about strong with boat handling with a focus on tacking and keeping the boat upright and then some time on tuning. The 10 participants went onto the water in two GP14s and two powerboats, swapping over for individual one-on-one sessions in the boat with Ian or just watching and learning from the boat.

Sunday was the first Open meeting of the 2019 Southern Area Travellers series with four short races (three to count). A West-North Westerly wind at Papercourt is probably the most shifty wind direction, but we did have sunshine and 15 knots of wind, so still plenty to smile about. Race Officer and Papercourt sailing secretary Frank Brown set a course to allow for two upwind legs and a good number of races in the least shifty part of the lake.

In Race 1, Alistair Lambert & Caro Mitchell (Welsh Harp) lead to the windward mark followed by home boat Sam Mettam and Yasmin Hales. Mettam and Hales took the lead on the second upwind and managed to hold onto it for another few laps until Richard Ham and Yossi Shahar (Tolesbury) and Tomasz Szaskou and Nia Williams (Welsh Harp) sailed through when Mettam & Hales were stuck in a hole. The three boats then had some close racing until Mettam & Hales decided to try their hand at swimming instead of sailing having just retaken the lead. Szaskou and Williams then took the lead, but Ham and Shahar sailed through to take the first race of the day followed by Lambert and Mitchell.

Race 2 was sailed back to back with race 1. This time Mettam and Hales lead from start to finish and were able to create a relatively comfortable gap. Behind them some close racing ensued between Ham & Shahar and Macej Mattjaszsuk and Cathy Howard (Welsh Harp)(a special mention should be given to Cathy, who has only been sailing for three months) with Ham & Sharar eventually taking second place. The fleet then headed in for lunch made by club member Jill Hamment.

Lambert & Mitchell again lead to the windward mark in race 3 to be overtaken by Mettam & Hales who began to extend their lead a little. Some close racing in the battle for second to fourth ended after an early swim by Ham & Shahar. Just as race positions were looking settled, the rig tension of Mettam/Hales snapped on the last lap. The question was could they limp the boat around the course with a very 'billowy' jib before Lambert/Mitchell could catch them? Despite not having the ideal upwind sail shape, they managed to get to the last windward mark still holding the lead and although not able to hold the kite downwind, the National 12 style downwind jib trimming managed to keep them in the lead to the finish.

Mettam/Hales had to jury rig a new rig tension system in the middle of a hail storm which brought an increase in wind for the last race. Three boats were able to win the event going into the race; two of these (Lambert/Mitchell and Ham/Shahar) had an incident on the start line causing a crash tack and a capsize for Lambert/Mitchell. Meanwhile Szakou/Williams lead to the windward mark followed by Mettam/Hales who then went on to take the lead. Ham/Shahar then sailed through the fleet and began to pressure Mettam/Hales. If they could take the bullet, they would win the event. However Mettam/Hales held on to take the race and overall win with Ham/Shahar retiring later on shore as a result of the start line incident meaning that Lambert/Mitchell finished second overall.

Speaking on shore later during the tea provided by the members of the Papercourt GP and Graduate fleet, Caro Mitchell said "You can either let the shifts get to you or you can embrace them. We embraced them and really enjoyed our day!". Hopefully next year the weather will be kinder and we will be closer to the fifteen boats that were being predicted earlier in the week.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoClubHelmCrewR1R2R3R4Pts
1st14146PapercourtSam MettamYasmin Hales‑61113
2nd13603WHSCAlistair LambertCaro Mitchell242‑58
3rd14166TollesburyRichard HamYossi Shahar126(RET)9
4th13237WHSCTomasz SzakouNia Williams3‑542.59.5
5th1387WHSCMacej MattjaszsukCathy Howard‑533410
6th4166WHSCKeith StreetHannah Liptrot4‑652.511.5

Related Articles

GP14 End of Season Championship at Welsh Harp
Summer long gone and nothing pleasantly autumnal The weather was miserable! Summer long gone and nothing pleasantly autumnal. Monsoon season perhaps? And on the first day of the Championships the low pressure system that had been driving the wind all week was having a rest day. Posted on 29 Oct
Tips for sailing with a young crew
What is different when racing with kids between the age of 6 and 12 Here are some top tips on sailing with young people. The guide covers boat set up, jobs for the crew, sailing techniques, kit and incentives. It is written from the experience of several people who have sailed with kids between the age of 6 and 12. Posted on 25 Oct
Chase Brothers successful 24hr Race Charity Sail
Raising over £1,700 for charity One month on from sailing the 53rd West Lancs YC 24 Hour Race on their own and two brothers from The Chase Sailing Club have raised over £1,700 for charity. Posted on 23 Oct
GP14 Masters & Youth Championship
Bassenthwaite microclimate defies forecast A select group of nine masters and four youths arrived at Bass SC eager to get sailing in the continuing Indian summer conditions of the Lake District. There were clear blue skies, and a warm south easterly wind to greet sailors. Posted on 4 Oct
GP14s at Bolton
Rain never stopped all day, and at times it was torrential With a weather forecast that included flood warnings, it was a small fleet of eight boats that took part in the final event of the Northern Bell Series. The rain never stopped all day and at times it was torrential. Posted on 2 Oct
West Lancs YC 24 Hour Race
Night-time wind picks up and causes capsizes in the dark It's September, the sun is out and a light breeze is blowing from the south west, it must be time for the Twenty-Four-Hour Race. Yet again we were blessed with lovely warm sunny weather to start our fifty-third race. Posted on 17 Sep
GP14 Southern Area Championship
Leigh-on-Sea hospitality was on form as usual A small but select group of thirteen GP14s gathered at Leigh on Sea SC for the Southern Area Championship races over the last weekend of the 'real' summer season. The weather promised some good winds for the racing. Posted on 4 Sep
£500 Duffin, 24 Hours, 0 Beers
24 hour race challenge for charity Two brothers from The Chase Sailing Club will be taking on the full 24 hour race challenge at West Lancs YC this year for advocacy charity POhWER. Eden and Josh Hyland are more usually seen racing in Blazes. Posted on 3 Sep
GP14s at South Staffs
Penultimate Midland Bell open of the 2019 series Nineteen boats came to South Staffs SC to contest the penultimate round of the 2019 Midland Bell series. This was quite possibly the strongest fleet assembled so far this season on the local circuit. Posted on 3 Sep
GP14 UK Nationals at Abersoch
A return to South Caernarvonshire YC after an 8-year absence The GP14 fleet made a welcome return to South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club for their 2019 UK Nationals, following an 8-year absence with a fleet, of 56 boats. Posted on 14 Aug