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Craftinsure 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Craftinsure Robline GP14 End of Seasons Championship at Royal Windermere Yacht Club

by Seonaid Young 14 Nov 2021 22:47 GMT 30-21 October 2021
Craftinsure Robline GP14 End of Seasons Championship at Royal Windermere © Zoe Broughton

23 boats, including three from Ireland, made the trip to Royal Windermere Yacht Club for the GP14 End of Season Championship. There were some concerns as to whether the event could even go ahead in the week leading up to it as heavy rain had raised the lake level by 2 metres. Royal Windermere did an amazing job of marking out the submerged jetties, providing additional people in drysuits to aid with launching and recovery and finding a stand in OOD for day 1 as the original OOD was stranded by the floodwater just to make the event possible.

A lack of wind led to a 1 hour postponement before the fleet headed for the south end of the lake where they were greeted by a shifty south-westerly and windward/leeward courses with a leeward gate which was a first for many in the fleet.

Race 1 got away with only a few minor kerfuffles as a large proportion of the fleet attempted to start towards the pin end of the line. Playing the shifts towards the left hand side of the beat appeared to be the way to go and current National Champion Sam Watson and his crew Geoff Edwards rounded the windward mark first followed by David Lawson and Mike Fairlamb.

The forecast had suggested that there could be some large gusts and one of these arrived on the first run. Sam and Geoff managed to save themselves from an early bath but unfortunately the same could not be said for Hugh Deveraux and Malcolm Bird who rolled in to windward a little further back. This was also the moment that President Curly Morris abandoned ship and gave his crew Richard Street some man overboard practice! The rest of the race proved much more subdued wind wise with Sam/Geoff holding on to win from David/Mike and Adam McGovern/Ellie Wheeldon coming in third.

Race 2 saw a cleaner start and with the wind still favouring the left hand side of the course Sam/Geoff and David/Mike were first and second to the windward mark once again. The rather shifty conditions allowed Dave & Seonaid Young and Russ & Ali Cormack to close the gap on the top two going on to the second run. Unfortunately, only two of these four boats spotted the shortened course flag with Sam/Geoff rounding the opposite leeward mark before realising their mistake which dropped them from second to seventh. Dave/Mike took the win from Russ/Ali with Dave/Seonaid in third.

Race 3 saw a general recall (caused by Dave/Seonaid) and hence the black flag came into play which was bad news for Simon Henshall/Dan Hambleton. The rest of the fleet got away cleanly and David/Mike built up a healthy lead. Chris Martin and John Tailby joined Sam/Geoff, Russ/Ali and Dave/Seonaid in a close battle for 2nd by utilising the wind on the far right of the course on the runs. Once again, second was not the place to be going into the second run as Dave/Seonaid committed to the opposite leeward mark before realising the shortened course flag had been raised dropping them to fifth. This meant Dave/Mike took the win from Chris/John, Russ/Ali and Sam/Geoff.

The fleet reconvened inside the yacht club for a black tie event with wonderful food and a chance to catch up with friends who hadn't necessarily been seen over the last two years. This also formed the setting for the 2021 Championship Series prize-giving which was kindly sponsored by Craftinsure and saw Hugh Devereux and Malcolm Bird win the series. The prize-giving was followed by a quiz which saw a team made up of the president and vice-president of the association taking top spot (seems a little suspicious!).

Day 2 dawned with a lot of rain but without the forecast 30mph winds. In fact, the fleet drifted out in almost nothing before a more southerly breeze kicked in allowing for long beats down the lake. This time, local knowledge paid on the first beat with the home boats of Robert Richardson/Steven Wilson and Richard Thompson/Simon McVey showing that the right side of the beat was the place to be in these conditions. David/Mike and Russ/Ali managed to break away to take first and second but Robert/Steven and Richard/Simon came in third and fourth respectively.

With the wind gradually building, race 5 got under way and this time it paid to work left as the beat went on. Russ and Ali took a decisive lead and were never overhauled. Behind them were a large gaggle of boats all vying for position with much changing of position throughout the two laps. From this gaggle, Dave/Mike emerged to take second and hence the championship with Hugh/Malcolm third and Sam/Geoff fourth.

With a squall coming through the fleet lined up for another start which ended in a general recall but this did allow time for some to admire the spectacular rainbow forming over the north end of the lake. The fleet got away cleanly second time and Curly/Richard rounded the windward mark in the lead. While they were overtaken by Russ and Ali, they held on to second despite three laps of windy conditions with Sam/Geoff 3rd and Robert/Steven 4th. Unfortunately, a few of the fleet did find themselves in the water with the gusty conditions.

This meant that David Lawson & Mike Fairlamb won the event from Russ & Ali Cormack and Sam Watson & Geoff Edwards. The Silver fleet was won by Richard Thompson & Simon McVey with John Richardson & Harry Frith 2nd and Jon Chapman & Tony Wilcock third in their first event away from Budworth. Winners of the bronze fleet were Tomasz Szakola & Chris Lomax with Chris Hearn & Caroline Cawood second and Jonathon & Sebastian Nagle taking third.

A huge thank you to Royal Windermere for going to so much effort to make us welcome and for making the event possible. Thanks also go to Vanessa Devereux and her team for organising the event in tricky circumstances Covid has created. Finally, it was great to see so many boats on the water and catch up with everyone. It would be great to see as many, if not more, of you out on the circuit in 2022.

Quote from Jon Chapman an occasional GPer in his second National Competition "We are not regular GP sailors and we were impressed to see how competitive the fleet were across a broad spectrum of age, crew weight, boat type. Quite different to many other classes where crew weight, age and fitness is as important as sailing ability in getting to the front. "

Overall Results:

PosFleetBoat NameSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1stGold 14064Dave LawsonMike FairlambBassenthwaite SC21112(DNC)7
2ndGoldChunk Chunker14240Russ CormackAli CormackBudworth SC‑4232119
3rdGoldRon14132Sam watsonGeoff EdwardsNantwich and Borders1‑7474319
4thGoldBetsy14145Adam McGovernEllie WheeldonRed Wharf Bay SWC3566‑11525
5thGoldSpirit13161Robert RichardsonSteven WilsonRWYC6‑11736426
6thGold 14097Dave YoungSeonaid YoungSouth Staffs SC‑83558728
7thGoldTrouble on the way14219Curly MorrisRichard StreetEast Antrim/Blessington104‑1487231
8thGoldYellow13326Chris MartinJohn TailbyMidland SC5‑132910834
9thSilverShort & Sweet13537Richard ThompsonSimon McVeyRWYC138945(DNC)39
10thSilverSecond Chance13509John RichardsonHarry FrithRWYC96‑171191348
11thSilver 14090Jon ChapmanTony WilcockBudworth SC7915‑17121053
12thSilverBoo13371John PawsonLisa KnaggsRWYC11101010‑161455
13thSilverBeeHappi13721Hugh DevereuxMalcolm BirdBudworth SC1917(DNS)123657
14thSilverType‑IT14258Graham CourtneyJulie CourtneyBolton SC1718813‑19965
15thBronze 13237Tomasz SzakolaChris LomaxWelsh Harp SC12141214‑181567
16thBronze 14251Chris HearnCaroline CawoodBudworth SC1516‑1815131271
17thSilver 13981Sam StreetJosh LloydBlessington SC141519‑21141173
18thBronzeScreamadelica14034Jonathan NagleSebastian NagleRWYC181211(DNC)DNCDNC83
19thSilver 14051Chris BeddowBrian WaymontSouth Staffs SC‑20191616151783
20thSilver 13838Justin SmithColin MidgleyTynemouth SC16‑201319201684
21stBronzeUralangar1386Denis CullyOllie LloydBlessington SC(DSQ)212018171894
22ndBronzeYin & Yang13959Simon HenshallDan HambletonBudworth SC(DSQ)22BFD202119106
23rdBronzeBob Marlin14022Paul AstonJames/Amelie AstonRWYC(DSQ)DNSDNSDNCDNCDNC112
23rdSilverHand In Glove14062Alan JonesSue WatsonBassenthwaite SC(DNS)DNSDNSDNCDNCDNC112

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