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Progressive Credit Union GP14 World Championship 2022 - Ones to watch

by Andy Johnston 14 Aug 2022 12:21 BST 14-19 August 2022

With a practice race and the first race this afternoon the 2022 GP14 World Championships kick off today. Last minute registrations are underway here and everyone is looking at the weather.

With a heatwave all week leading into the event, fingers are crossed that we get racing today. Things are looking positive at this point.

With a fleet of 105 boats, here are a number of the local and overseas contenders who we might see to the fore this week.

  • Ger Owens and Mel Morris - Ger and Mel will be favourites within the Irish fleet to pressure the podium. The current weather would suit them as they favour the lighter winds, however the fast becoming the ultimate all-rounders as evidenced in breezy conditions at the recent Irish Championships where they managed a superb second place behind Shane MacCarthy.

  • Ross Kearney and Andrew Vaughan - A new pairing since Ross returned to Ireland and showed some early form with victory at the Ulster's back in May. Followed that with a consistent set of results at the Championship of Ireland to take 2nd. Was also to the fore in the Pre-Worlds in Skerries a few weeks ago. 2nd at the Mounts Bay Worlds, Ross will be looking to go one better here in Skerries.

  • Matt Mee and Chris Robinson - Matt is back with Goachers Chris Robinson in the front of the boat. An inform pair in recent times with a second place at the recent British Nationals in Llandudno. Twice a British Nationals winner Matt and Chris will certainly be ones to pressure the podium Ian Dobson & Andy Tunnicliffe - Probably event favourite, Ian will be keen to take back a crown he has won multiple time but not since 2014 when he won in Ireland in East Down. The pair are in form with victory in the Bristish Nationals in Llandudno a few weeks ago.

  • Nick Craig and Toby Lewis - Nick is a 6 time Endeavour Trophy winner and multiple National Champion across various classes including RS400. Went close in the Worlds in Barbados back in 2016 behind Shane MacCarthy and will be a favourite for the podium here in Skerries.

  • Jane Kearney and Ollie Goodhead - Jane and Ollie had a very encouraging performance in the Nationals at Royal North with a 3rd place and some very consistent sailing. Jane, Ross other half will certainly hope to be in the Top 10 here in Skerries and found the recent Pre-Worlds a very useful exercise.

  • Hugh and Dan Gill - Another father and son team with the right mix of youth and experience, they have got their beautiful new Duffin going great this year, with a few races wins mixed together with black flags they haven't had the results they may be deserved. The recent Pre-Worlds saw them show great speed and only for sickness at the British Nationals in Llandudno they would have bettered 7 place where they took a race win.

  • Colman Grimes and Ross Gingles - Event co-ordinator and another form Irish boat from Skerries, Colman and Ross have been in superb form this year. The pair have had race wins across almost all the seasons events and most recently in the Pre-Worlds. They have shown excellent pace, are known to like the breeze but have also proved they can win in the lighter stuff.

  • Peter and Stephen Boyle - Peter took his first event race win in the recent Pre-Worlds with dad Stephen up the front. This followed some consistent results that gave them 4th at the recent Championship of Ireland. They started the season with two second places in Irish events, showing some great pace in the breeze and will be pushing to get inside the top 10 this week. Stephen will be looking to improve on the 4th place position he had as crew to Ruan O'Tiarnaigh back in Durban in 2022.

The event runs from today through to next Friday with an expected layday on Wednesday. 2 races a day with 106 boat entered representing UK, South Africa, Barbados, Australia, USA and Ireland. Last night, the GP14 World Championship was officially opened and the GP14 President Curly Morris, in his short address, captured the essence and mood of the event - 'An event deferred is an event enhanced, let the Championships begin'.

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