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Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club GP14 Spring Series 2022 update

by Ruan O'Tiarnaigh 8 Apr 2022 11:29 BST 6 March - 3 April 2022
RNIYC GP14 Spring Series 2022 © RNIYC

The eleven boat fleet of GP14's have enjoyed some remarkable weather on Belfast Lough. Although, like the rest of the country, racing was interrupted by some storms mid March, sailors got racing on 6th March, 27th March and 3rd April so far and with one Sunday left, there is some room for change on the scoreboard.

Leading with an almost insurmountable score is repatriated local Ross Kearney and crew Andrew Vaughan, Royal North, who currently sit on 19 points. Almost is the key here as the would need to rack up a string of real stinkers next Sunday not to keep their lead, but that said, the are discarding a 7 which shows at least a glimmer that they could falter.

Second overall at this stage of the proceedings is 'The Legend' that is Curly Morris, sailing with Adam Torrens, son of Avril and Bob from Newtownards who will be well known in GP and sailing circles. Curly and Adam have been showing not only remarkable turns of speed but also alarming consistency. Their 3 bullets out of 4 races last weekend in shifty and blustery conditions showed just what remarkable ability Curly has and is passing on to young Torrens. Not bad for the President of the GP14 International Association, leading the way both afloat and ashore. Long may it continue.

Fighting for 3rd are a trio of talented teams, Stephen and son Daniel Nelson, Donaghadee/Newtownards, Keith and son Mateo Louden, Lough Foyle and local boat (despite their quirky midlands accents) Jane Kearney and Martin Weatherstone. Not much separate this group in the scores (36, 37, 39 respectively) and that 3rd overall is close enough to taste.

Six and Seventh place are a chunk further back with Michael Cox and Claire Cromie, Newtownards, holding off new comers to the class and former Mirror World Champion Chris Clayton crewed by Rory Higgins, Royal North, who are getting to know the GP in challenging conditions. Ruan and daughter Rebekah O'Tiarnaigh are in eighth after counting a couple of DNC's and a BFD. The third team competing that consists of a parent and offspring, it's great to see the family traditions and values of the GP14 class being maintained.

The bottom three boats have a battle royale on their hands. Trying to avoid the wooden spoon are Bill Johnson crewed by Alex Louden, Lough Foyle, Brian Andrews and John McArthur Newtownards, and another newcomer to the fleet Jennifer Bryce and Lara Sunday also Newtownards. There's not much between these boats and a little luck might just make the difference between the spoon and its avoidance.

The fleet very much appreciate the continued efforts of Race Officer Gerry Reid with his comedy boat helpers and mark-layers. The fast turnarounds between races ensures sailor are ashore and home in good time to maintain a healthy scorecard in the brownie point department in advance of a season which includes the World Championships in Skerries in August.

Forecast for Sunday's final 4 races is south easterly 3 to 4 with breeze blowing off the County Down shore. Once again its likely to be 'up and down, left and right' keeping everyone of their toes. Can Curly and Adam bag another bundle of bullets to topple Ross and Andrew? We'll let you know.

Results as at 3rd April 2022:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10R11Pts
1st14248Ross KearneyAndrew VaughanRNIYC122133112(7)319
2nd14219Curly MorrisAdam TorrensEABC/NSC(8)473414711133
3rd13901Steven NelsonDaniel NelsonDSC/NSC(6)512145345636
4th14214Keith LoudenMateo LoudenLFYC21456224(8)4737
5th14242Jane KearneyMartin WeatherstoneRNIYC336(OCS)253238439
6th14212Michael CoxClaire CromieNSC4657(BFD)87862861
7th14090Chris ClaytonRory HigginsRNIYC58967(BFD)8556261
8th14215Ruan O'TiarnaighRebekah O'TiarnaighBYC/SDC(DNC)734BFD6DNC673565
9th14257Bill JohnsonAlex LoudenLFYC798(OCS)8BFD10999990
10th14192Brian AndrewsJohn McArthurNSC91110(OCS)576DNCDNCDNCDNC96
11th13865Jennifer BryceLara SundayNSC(DNC)101189BFD91010101099

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