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Allen GP14 National Championship at South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club - Days 1 & 2

by Hugh Devereux & Dave Young 6 Aug 17:21 BST 5-9 August 2019
Allen GP14 Nationals at Aberoch © Richard Craig /

The championships surfed off with two practice starts in 7-9 knots of breeze from the South. The first indicating that a hard left strategy paid and the second looking as though the pathfinder would win the first beat by miles.

Into the first championship race and the wind had swung back to favour the left with GP14 newbies Russ and Ali Cormack (Budworth Sailing Club) having a comfortable lead round the first mark, with GP14 returnee Jeremy Davy with Eithan Plank (Draycote Sailing Club) in an equally comfortable second. These two boats were never challenged and sailed away to finish in that order.

Further back in the fleet there was an almighty tussle for third place with Ross Kearney and Ed Bradburn (RNYC and South Staffs SC) coming through in the end. The racing was close wherever you were in the fleet and no quarter was given in the battle for the elusive top ten places. These included silver fleet sailors Jack Lewis and Szymon Matyjaszczuk (Welsh Harp SC) in a very creditable 8th place. Also going well was Josh Bennet and Bryn Abernstern (Todbrook SC) 1st Bronze and 25th overall.

Day two dawned with brilliant sunshine and a steady 10-15 knots over the race course. The Race officer opted for the traditional Triangle / Sausage course for Race 2, the wind built during the race to awesome levels. This gave everyone a chance to smile whilst planing on the reaches and sometimes on the run. As the breeze grew the amount of swimming increased as boats struggled to manage the tricky conditions.

Pathfinders Sam Watson and Andy Thompson (Nantwich & Borders SC and East Antrim BC) set off for the first start to be abandoned after 20 seconds or so, as the gate mark wasn't ready to be thrown. Sam and Andy came at it again and then thought Christmas had come early as they gradually lifted into a comfortable lead and were never bothered by the rest of the fleet thereafter. This was partially helped by the early starters misreading the tide and the shortness of the beat, resulting in a large group of the boats reaching into the Mark on port. Needless to say the first rounding at the windward mark somewhat chaotic. Following Sam and Andy in the lead, eye witnesses on the support boats were taking careful note of the use of pumping down the waves in the very disturbed conditions.

Following the race leaders were OK legend Jim Hunt with Liz Senior (South Staffs SC) and James Goodfellow with Rick Cornes (Harwich town SC and Burghfield SC).

The wind continued to build in to the top end of a solid 4Force 5 before Race 3 and the race officer (Chris Hoppings) opted to make life simpler by removing the downwind leg and ensuring that the reaches weren't too tight, an excellent decision given the conditions, following some spectacular death roles on the downwind.

It was Watson / Thompson again picking through to win from Jonny Sinclair and Derek Hill (West Lancs Yacht Club), with Goodfellow / Cornes in third, finishing the race capsized!

Further down the fleet a good few opted to two sail reach, which whilst less exciting reduced the risk of a very slow capsize.

Tuesday was forecast stronger, and sure enough whilst the race team were keen to have a look and try to get us under way, as the sand blew down the beech there was little enthusiasm for breaking boats in the Force 6 gusting 7 among the majority of the fleet. The Race officer hoisted the AP over A before most boats had taken their covers off. Relief amongst the Silver and Bronze fleets was palpable. So the lay day was a day earlier and Wednesday promises more moderate breeze again in sunshine. Champagne for all!

Results after Day 2:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
1st14248Sam WatsonAndy ThompsonNantwich & East Boarders/ East Antrim SC101112
2nd14253James GoodfellowRick CornesHarwich Town/ Burghfield SC73313
3rd14236Jim HuntLiz SenoirSouth Staffs SC62715
4th14242Ross KearneyEd BradburnRNYC/ South Staffs SC311519
5th14047Ian DobsonGemma DobsonBurwain SC58619
6th14117Jonny SinclairDerek HillWest Lancs YC156223
7th14254Tim JonesDale KnowlesHolyhead DC/ Bolton SC1112831
8th14202Ciaron JonesSam PlattHolyhead DC/ Bolton SC9101332
9th13417Mike SeniorChris WhiteSouth Staffs SC269439
10th14188John HayesJoel JamesSouthport sc4182042
11th14023Jeremy DavyEthan PlankDraycot2231843
12th14110Dave YoungOliver GoodheadSouth Staffs SC17171145
13th14240Russ CormackAli CormackBudworth SC1212446
14th14116Peter BoyleStephen BoyleSutton DC374950
15th14217Mark PlattTom PlattBolton SC27131050
16th13915Andy HateleyBev HateleySouth Staffs SC2851952
17th14214Keith LoudenAlan ThompsonRYA21201455
18th14089Paul SimesTom SimesCardiff Bay YC29151660
19th14097Sarah NorburyEmily Cole EvansSouth Staffs SC16192560
20th14247John McGuinnessDonal McGuinnessMobile Boat Club33161261
21st13693Ben IiffeRichard AbendsternNorthampton SC23241562
22nd14718Lawrence CreaserJane KearneyHayling Island/ South Staffs SC19143063
23rd14145Adam McGovernEleanor DaviesHollingworth Lale SC14282163
24th13917Joshua PorterSara GowdyNewtownards SC13292769
25th13838Justin SmithMichelle EvansTynemouth/ Chase SC20262369
26th14121Jack LewisSzymon Matyjaszczuk 87DNC72
27th14257Bill JohnsonJames JohnsonLough Foyle YC24302680
28th14208Mark McKeeverKevin HopkinsMidland SC1222DNF91
29th13326Chris MartinSamuel BaileyMidland/ South Staffs SC42331792
30th14144Colman GrimesCiaran KeoghSkeries SC18DNF2297
31st14130Hugh GillJoe DohertySutton DC31274199
32nd14201Hugh DevereuxMalcolm BirdBudworth SC363628100
33rd13420Leslie BurnsAlice MorrisHollingworth SC323537104
34th13316James WardRichard WhitehillPapercourt SC483129108
35th14133Jack ButtimerMatthew StreetYoughal SC473235114
36th14139Derek FlemingSeonaid YoungSouth Staffs SC414034115
37th13949Peter NugentCharles SaundersStaunton Herold SC463931116
38th13977David JohnstonCollie DelaneySutton DC3825DNF120
39th14230Ralph Haliburton‑ChaplinAdam ChaplinBlackpool & Fleetwood SC434336122
40th1338Josh BennettBryn AbensternToddbrook SC2541DNF123
41st14174John TooneCatherine TooneChelmarsh SC3037DNC124
42nd13389Ed WashingtonIzzy WaterfallToddbrook SC504232124
43rd13888James HockleyOwen McCauleyLough Foyle YC3434DNF125
44th13237Tomasz SzakolaAndy ShrimptonWelsh Harp SC455033128
45th14234David InnesMatthew InnesFrensham Pond SC3938DNC134
46th4615Steve ParryJens KuhnYork RI SC494738134
47th14090Jon ChapmanWendy MartinBudworth SC22DNFDNC136
48th13263Keith BuddenBen RobertsTrimpley SC554639140
49th14057Ann PennyKaren AlexanderDerwent Reservoir SC514940140
50th13864Andrew TodJohn McGuinnessFrensham Pond SC4045DNS142
51st13933Zena MartinLeanne PilkingtonBolton SC44DNF42143
52nd13168Neil GoodheadBrian BatesSouth Staffs SC35DNFDNC149
53rd13938Jonathon PughMartin TempleMidland/ South Staffs SC5344DNC154
54th14067Philip GriffinJoanna GriffinChelmarsh SC5248DNS157
55th14163Bruce CravenTim Farnell‑WatsonFrensham Pond SC54DNCDNC168
56th14020Catherine WhyattJon DenyerFrensham Pond SC56DNFDNC170

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