Please select your home edition
Ocean Safety 2021 - LEADERBOARD

GP14 Midland Bell Series at South Staffordshire Sailing Club

by Chris Martin 8 Sep 06:10 BST 4 September 2021

Seventeen GPs, including a couple of long distance travellers, albeit some back from from holiday, ventured out to South Staffs for the first post summer Midland Bell event. The forecast of a lightish breeze proved accurate and led to good racing in all three races, interspersed with the usual Gailey snakes and ladders!

Race one got away cleanly and the right hand side of the beat paid. John and Jack Telford led around the windward mark, followed by locals Terry Edwards and Darren Heath and Chris Martin and Samuel Bailey. John and Jack's chosen route, right of the island, to the second mark led to some debate in the two boats behind as to what the course was, Chris and Samuel gybing off for a more conventional course leaving Terry and Darren on the prayer mat with the unknowing John and Jack still in the lead. To add to the fun the wind also filled in from behind after about 10 boats had rounded the first mark really threatening to shuffle the pack with a line of boats 6 wide approaching the first leeward mark. Somehow - and I don’t know how - the same three boats were in the top three positions at the second mark, though Terry and Darren were now leading. The three leaders broke away after the third mark and a close battle ensued up the second beat, John and Jack following Terry and Darren to the left of the course, Chris and Samuel deciding that right was good enough up the first beat and it would do for the second - it turned out that they were correct, sailing in to the mark on a huge starboard lift leaving the other two struggling to get inshore to the mark on port. That’s more or less how things stayed except Terry and Darren fell victim to another hole allowing several boats past most notably Sam Watson, crewed by Magic who came in third which was quite a significant development for later.

Race two took place following a lunch break and the wind was by now light and fitful. An individual recall led to some boats frantically trying to get back behind the line, but while the right hand side had proved to be fruitful in the first race it was the left that paid handsomely in this one leading two of the previous top three firmly placed in mid fleet. Getting back proved difficult, especially with the quality of the fleet. Dave Young and Ollie Goodhead took first place, with Chris Winters and Freya Mason second following a gruelling tacking battle with Sam and Magic, whose knees have probably not yet recovered!

Race three saw the wind start to play games again, leading to a short postponement. The wind was heading further and further left leading to a port biased line and first race winners Chris and Sam port tacked the fleet off the line. Unfortunately for them a small hole just off the windward mark allowed Sam and Magic to prevent their final tack and it was Sam and Magic who took the lead round the first mark. Chris and Samuel were second followed by Ollie and Andy Hately, Ollie helming his first GP Event. Obviously finding the transition from a Feva to GP to be not too bad Ollie and Andy took the lead and it was a close fight between the three boats for most of the race, Same and Magic getting just enough momentum to roll Ollie and Andy on the final run, Chris and Samuel’s low approach to avoid the luffing match leaving them too far away to engage either boat up the last beat. Dave Young and Ollie Goodhead came in fourth with a boat full of water courtesy of a bung misunderstanding.

That left a tie for first place, with Sam Watson and Magic taking the trophy courtesy of the their last result from Chris Martin and Samuel Bailey in second. Dave Young and Ollie Goodhead came in third with Ollie Hately crewed by Dad Andy in fourth place. Three different winners and three different podiums in each race shows the depth in this fleet, the Midland Bell in 2021 proving to be quite a challenge. The next round is at Chelmarsh SC on the 18th September.

Related Articles

GP14 Southern Travellers at Frensham Pond
Final event of the 2021 series includes the overall prize giving The final GP14 Southern Travellers event was held at Frensham Pond SC on the 10th October in sunny conditions with a light but relatively steady northerly greeting the fifteen teams. Posted on 22 Oct
GP14 Midlands Championship at Staunton Harold
Reduced to a one-day event after no wind on Saturday Delayed from April, the Craftinsure and Robline sponsored Midland Championships was rescheduled for 9/10th October. With a forecast of very light winds on the Saturday but a decent breeze on Sunday the event attracted a 9 boat entry. Posted on 11 Oct
GP14 Victor Trophy at Welsh Harp
The weather never quite delivered the 20+ knot forecast 16 GP14s competed for the 2021 Victor Trophy. The weather never quite delivered the 20 knots plus forecast for the afternoon, but conditions were challenging with the southerly breeze blowing over the trees across the lake. Posted on 5 Oct
GP14s at Hampton
London and South East Travellers Round 9 The ninth round of the London and South East GP14 Travellers series was held at Hampton SC on the River Thames. Initial expectations of a fleet of 15 soon fell short due to a mixture of an appalling forecast of light winds and heavy rain. Posted on 23 Sep
GP14s at Tollesbury
18 boats for London and South East Travellers Round 8 The eighth round of the London and South East GP14 Travellers series was held at Tollesbury SC in Essex on the 5th September. The fleet of 18 boats (7 travellers and 11 from the home club) enjoyed superb weather. Posted on 8 Sep
Mike Fitzpatrick of Whistable YC passes away
Olympic campaigner, class measurer, championship organiser and author Sadly, we must report that a long-standing member of Whitstable Yacht Club and the worldwide sailing community, Mike Fitzpatrick, passed away at the weekend after a long illness. Posted on 18 Aug
GP14 Championship of Ireland
40 boats took part, including past Olympians, world champions and novices The weekend saw the GP14 fleet return to Lough Erne Yacht Club for the 2021 Irish Championships. The event was kindly supported by Enniskillen Bid, Fermanagh & Omagh District Council, and Inish Macsaint Fermanagh Beer. Posted on 17 Aug
GP14 Youth Championships at Budworth
New trophy for a youth helm sailing with an adult crew To encourage more participation an new category racing for a new shield had been introduced by the Association - Youth Helm sailing with an Adult Crew. Posted on 15 Aug
GP14s at Windermere
13 boats for Northern Bell Series event With the best forecast of wind for the week before and the week after, 13 boats rigged and waited for the wind to appear. There was a good turnout of 8 home boats and 3 boats visiting from Bassenthwaite SC, one from Burwain SC and one from Budworth SC. Posted on 25 Jul
GP14 Midland Bell Series update
Time for a mid-term report Time for a mid-term report! We had an 11 event series planned at the beginning of the year and so far only one has had to be cancelled and two re-scheduled. Posted on 21 Jul