Please select your home edition
Edition
Henri-Lloyd M-PRO HEADER YY

GP14 Midland Bell open meeting at Staunton Harold Sailing Club

by Charles Saunders 27 Apr 10:07 BST 23 April 2022

Well the forecast was fruity and proved to be absolutely accurate for the second Midland Bell event of 2022 held at Staunton Harold on St.George's day.

Appropriately our Race officer was George Crammond who sent eight teams from four clubs out on to the water to slay the weather dragon. The wind direction was close to ideal, being in the North East and blowing straight over the dam wall. After a clean start the fleet split into three distinct groups, the two Gold fleet boats having a battle of their own at the front, with the four boat Silver fleet having an almost separate tussle behind.

The first course was a straightforward windward/leeward beloved of asymmetric sailors, so what's in it for GP14s? In the strong and gusty conditions we experienced, sailing dead downwind was distinctly risky, so plotting a course as an asymmetric spinnaker boat would, was much more comfortable; the tactical options then being when and where to gybe to reach the leeward mark - not everybody got it right every time and boat righting technique was tested under the watchful eyes of the safety crews.

The race ended with Graham Fynn & Frank Nickless (Chase SC) getting the bullet, closely followed by John and Jack Telford (Bassenthwaite). Darrell Sleep & Charles Saunders (SHSC) finished in third and we all returned to shore for a well earned lunch.

During lunch it was clear the wind speed had increased, so only seven GP14s and two Miracles (sharing the event with us) braved the conditions. Race Officer George Crammond set a more conventional course with distinct gybe marks this time and the tactical questions downwind were then to fly the spinnaker or not, and whether to gybe or tack round at the gybe marks to avoid a time consuming capsize.

After a messy start, the fleet split as before, the Gold fleet gradually drawing away to sort out line honours between themselves, the rest of us concentrating on staying upright, not always successfully - once again the Safety teams had some entertainment. The finishing order for the top three was the same again, with John Robinson & Grahame Smith (SHSC) taking fourth spot again.

The club weather station had by then recorded the 30 knot gusts exactly as predicted by the forecasts.

The final race was sailed back to back, with a minor course change and only the lower positions at stake. Five GPs and one Miracle participated - once again the two Gold fleet boats headed off but this time the Telfords were ahead from the start and looking good to take a race win - alas, they came a cropper on a three-sail gybe so had to settle for second place again, being pressed to the line by Sleep & Saunders.

Places 1 to 4 were the same in all three races, but that belies the excitement that was had by all in very testing conditions, only the winners not practising their swimming at some point during the day.

Event winners were Graham Flynn & Frank Nickless from Chase SC, in second were John & Jack Telford from Bassenthwaite, with Darrell Sleep & Charles Saunders in third. Bronze fleet was won by Lesley Freeman & Nick Harrison from Trimpley SC.

At the prize-giving Graham thanked the Race Officer, Safety and Galley teams and all the sailors for taking part in a well run, enjoyable and testing event.

Next Midland Bell event is on Sunday 8th May at Midland SC in Edgbaston, Birmingham - their water is back, don't miss it!

Overall Results:

PosFleetSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
1stGold14199Graham FlynnFrank NicklessChase SC‑1112
2ndGold14261John TelfordJack TelfordBassenthwaite‑2224
3rdSilver14072Darrell SleepCharles SaundersStaunton Harold‑3336
4thSilver13785John RobinsonGrahame SmithStaunton Harold‑4448
5thSilver13263Dave BeecheyBen RobertsTrimpley Sailing Club5(DNF)510
6thBronze12170Lesley FreemanNick HarrisonTrimpley Sailing Club75(DNF)12
7thBronze13377Peter JohnSusan WebbTrimpley Sailing Club(DNF)6DNF15
8thSilver13975Simon FletcherJohn CooksonTrimpley Sailing Club6(DNF)DNF15

Related Articles

Ridgeway GP14 Irish Nationals preview
A prelude to the GP14 Worlds down in Skerries mid-August The Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club is hosting the Ridgeway GP14 Irish National Championship this coming weekend on Belfast Lough, over 40 boats expected on the start line for this event and a prelude to the GP14 Worlds down in Skerries mid-August. Posted on 28 Jun
LLSC S2S Dinghy Race - Sunrise to Sunset
Leigh & Lowton's new long-distance race proves a hit! In the absence of other events running, the sailors at Leigh & Lowton decided the North West needed a long-distance race somewhere in the season. Posted on 24 Jun
Bass Flying Fifteen and GP14 Open
A bumper fleet of 30 boats enjoy fine sailing conditions As those south of the shandy line baked in 30+ temperatures, 20 FF15s and 8 GP14s headed north to more modest temperatures and levels of cloud cover, for the Bassenthwaite Sailing Club 2022 FF15 and GP14 open meeting. Posted on 20 Jun
Over 100 boats entered for 2022 GP14 Worlds
The event is taking place at Skerries Sailing Club in August Host club Skerries Sailing Club are delighted to announce that there are now 105 entries for the upcoming GP14 World Championship taking place from the 14th to the 19th of August this year. That number is set to grow further as the event draws closer. Posted on 15 Jun
GP14 Scottish National Championship
Just a little more wind and East Lothian YC could have been Barbados The wind blew and the sun shone on the blue sea at the Craftinsure and Robline Scottish Championship at East Lothian Yacht Club's Regatta. Just a little more wind and it could have been Barbados. Posted on 11 Jun
GP14 Southern Areas at Maylandsea Bay
Fleet includes a boat bought just the day before What a tremendous weekend! Thirteen boats congregated at Maylandsea Bay SC including 12448 bought by local Mark Harman the day before. Posted on 10 Jun
GP14 Inlands and Masters Championship at Bala
Eighteen boats gathered, including 15 Masters helms Eighteen boats gathered for the Robline Craftinsure GP14 2022 Inlands and Master's Championship, held at Bala SC, the late start Saturday made it much easier for the travellers to get there (which was much appreciated!). Posted on 30 May
2022 Thomson NI GP14 Ulster Championship
A fleet of 26 boats race at Lough Foyle Yacht Club A fleet of 26 boats arrived to a very warm and highly organised welcome, at the extraordinary Lough Foyle Yacht Club, a place that proves it is people that make a club and a successful event. Posted on 27 May
GP14 Midland Bell at Nantwich & Border Counties
The secret to dealing with weed growth is out! The prospect of a South Easterly breeze (the best direction at Nantwich) of reasonable strength, lured us across the Midlands on Sunday 15th May and also lured the Telfords down the M6 from Bassenthwaite. We were not to be disappointed. Posted on 18 May
GP14 Northern Area Championship at Derwent
The first seven boats were all wood A fleet of 12 boats consisting of two Scottish and three home boats were at Derwent Reservoir SC for the Northern Areas. Furthest travelled was Nick Craig and Tobytastic from Burghfield SC. The reception at DRSC was as warm as usual. Posted on 13 May