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GP14 Anniversary Celebrations in Sri Lanka

by Michelle Gunawardana 24 Mar 16:15 GMT 7 March 2021
GP14 Anniversary Celebrations in Sri Lanka: Start line © Alex Caldera

The first Sunday in March saw a happy buzz at the Ceylon Motor Yacht Club, as sailors came together to celebrate the 70th anniversary of, what has long been its much-loved 'club class', the GP14. After a somewhat drowsy year due to the Covid pandemic, the club on the Bolgoda Lake came alive for this anniversary regatta, with seventeen GP14s on the start line.

The weather gods served up their usual tropical fare of bright blue skies with a generous helping of sunshine, and a light sea breeze of 7 knots filled in by noon, just in time for the start of the first race.

Devin Goonawardena (Youth champion at the 2008 GP14 Worlds), sailing with Kaif Sally, won the pin end, and rounded the windward mark with Navy champions Gnanawardene and de Soyza, and veteran international GP14 sailors Duncan and Gail Fraser close on their transom. The three boats fought for the lead all the way around the course, and eventually finished in the same order, several minutes ahead of the rest of the fleet.

In the second race, the favoured starboard end became very crowded, making it difficult to make a clean getaway from the line. By the time the fleet reached the top mark, Gnanawardene and de Soyza had already pulled out a comfortable lead, and they were untouchable for the rest of the race. Downwind, Devin and Kaif lost several places thanks to a twisted spinnaker, and Duncan and Gail were snared by floating weed. Father-daughter team of Sehr and Chandima Goonewardene, who had a fourth in the first race, were quick to take advantage, bagging second place.

The overall winners were Navy sailors, Gnanawardene and de Soyza, with Sehr and Chandima Goonewardene second, and Duncan and Gail Fraser third.

It was a fantastic day's sailing, with Olympian Lalin Jirasinghe as principal race officer, ably assisted by the Navy, and the participation of sailors aged 15 to 65 in GPs, and younger sailors competing in Optimists. Trident UK provided some wonderful prizes for the winners. (Thanks to Graham Fraser for reaching out to them!) Sri Lanka has hosted several successful dinghy sailing championships, including the Enterprise Worlds, IODA Optimist championships and the GP14 Worlds. The sailors loved the great beach venues, the warm, windy conditions on the water, and the wonderful party atmosphere on shore, not to mention the famous Sri Lankan hospitality! Sri Lanka looks forward to hosting the GP14 World Championships in 2024.

Overall Results:

PosBoat NameSail NoHelmCrewR1R2Pts
1GP 14096GP 47NGM Upul GhanawardanaASK De Soyza213
2GP 49 [Ibis]GP 49Sehr GunewardeneChandima Gunawardena426
3GP 65 [Gale Force]GP 65Duncan FraserGail Fraser336
4GP 55 Red [Wind Dancer]GP 55 RedDevin GoonewardenaKaif Sally189
5GP 53 [Tally‑ho]GP 53JMP Lalith JayasooriyaKC De Soyza5611
6GP 63 [Tinkerbell]GP 63Simon LanganJanaka Krishan7512
7GP 51 [Silver Cloud]GP 51Nadine de RosayroPramukshi Kariyawasam9413
8GP 60 [Keep Clear]GP 60KV Nijaya DimalJohn Wilson6713
9GP 61 [Lang]GP 61Roshanara FernandoMahindha Bandara81119
10GP 14098GP 54AM Janaka P AththanayakaGPP Karunarathna101020
11GP 62 [Wind Fighter]GP 62Mini TrepteMovin Jayasinghe14923
12GP 52 [Curlew]GP 52Johann TranchellEBHA Eranga121224
13GP 25 [de Lister]GP 25Fergus WhitesideSophie Hindley111526
14GP 8 [Kestrel]GP 8Zai PestonjeeRalf Karpinsky151328
15GP 58 [Bootlegger]GP 7Jehan De SilvaTarini De Silva1318*31
16GP 48 [White Heron]GP 48Jordan BollingKethaka Weerasuriya18*1432
17GP 54 [Moonshine]GP 54Purajitha TaldenaRamali Perera18*18*36

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