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Craftinsure 2023 LEADERBOARD

Irish GP14 Hot Toddy and Youth Championships at Newtownards Sailing Club

by Ger Owens & Ross Kearney 23 Oct 2022 20:35 BST 15-16 October 2022
GP14 Hot Toddy at Newtownards SC © David Corkrill

Hot Toddy

Newtownards was the venue for our annual Hot Toddy event. Last years event at East Antrim was barely sailable yet despite the weekends forecast, 32 boats arrived at Newtownards for the Hot Toddy for what was going to be a hotly contested event.

With the Worlds earlier in the year, our event calendar had seen some alterations with our traditional end of year event the Hot Toddy now coupled with the Youth Championship, so everyone was in good spirits (ehhh hot toddy!!). The format would be two Hot Toddy races followed by two Youth races on Saturday with the order switched on Sunday.

When we arrived to rig we were greeted with calmer conditions than the forecast but the apprehension on shore was palpable. I was approached to provide my opinion in relation to the weather and our prospects for getting racing, I gladly said we shouldn't race. Sam Lyness our race officer listened intently and decided a prompt start was in order, we launched and very quickly it was apparent the wind was building.

Race 1 saw Shane motor away relishing the conditions closely contested by Ross. I struggle to recall the exact placings as I mixed up the starting flags and was late for the start by approx 1 minute if my timing was correct, I watched from a distance and admired Paddy O Connor taking third beaming from ear to ear only to be out grinned by Simon Cully & Richard Street in fourth.

Back in the chasing pack we had a great ding dong with Hugh Gill who gave no quarter. We were very happy to have climbed back up to 7th. Race 2 was quickly under way, but we were wise to this wiley race officers tricks and stayed close to the committee to get the gun.

It made little to no difference, we had decided the annual ferocious blow that is the Hot Toddy was getting too much for us, the gun went, and we headed for home. Ironically the race was shortened, and the leaders were almost home before us, not before Shane and Josh had won their second race and our sparring partner from race 1 Hugh and Dan in second.

By this time the PRO had already decided that there would be no Youth racing that afternoon. With the wind now gusting to 30kts, the the dwindling fleet was struggling to make it round even the shortest of race courses, but those that managed to were rewarded with a hot toddy once back on shore. There was a team of volunteers catching boats and helping us land safely which was no mean feet with the heavy winds and big waves.

A big shout out to those Youth who had also raced in the senior Hot Toddy races. For many it was conditions they certainly hadn't encountered and most wore grins from ear to ear.

Dinner was at the Club that evening and with a better weather forecast for the following day, the days racing didn't seem so tough especially with a glass of the Hot Toddy.

Sunday morning dawned and we were to head to Newtownards right after Eva's (Mels 5yr old daughter) 50th park run. Once in Newtownards we stayed on shore chatting amongst ourselves. Slowly we made our way out for the start of race 3 not before seeing Bobby Driscoll and Sam Street in a tacking duel up the last beat of the youths.

A big cheer went up before the finish line when expert crew Ross Kearney took a tumble out of the boat in a particularly aggressive roll tack. Bobby recovered and managed to clinch the victory.

Basking in the fact that several of the fleet had sailed 2 races while I slept gave me a warm feeling for the days racing. The full tank and the lighter conditions was a tremendous relief and we managed to get near the front, Shane had to do a spin at the weather mark which would have slowed anyone else. Peter and Stephen we holding on to a tight lead with ourselves and Ross in hot pursuit!!!

Peter stretched his lead and his leverage on the fleet which opened a very small window for yours truly to close the gap, Peter managed for a long while two close boats and the rest of the fleet around what was to be a large racecourse. Peter found himself isolated on the right of the racecourse which gave 2 and 3 the opportunity to slip through. A brilliant tight race that saw Shane climb back to fifth.

Ross and Shane were neck and neck with 7 points each heading into the final race. Boats that could extricate themselves successfully from the strong pin end bias found themselves front runners at the weather mark. Keith was the standout performance and was revelling in the dying breeze. Shane secured the title of Hot Toddy champion with a second place. Newtownards were amazing hosts putting on an amazing spread and a fantastic team of wonderful volunteers.

Event organiser Lara Sunday kept the energy up through out the week in the lead up to the event and over the weekend.

Youth Championship

The GP14 youths looked set to be a great event, running alongside the Hot Toddy which still attracted an excellent turnout for the time of year.

The weather forecast potentially put a few off with Saturday looking like a blow out. 16 youths turned up to challenge for the title of Youth champion, great to see many new faces trying out the GP for the first time. Unfortunately the wether experts were right and PRO Sam Lyness made the decision to cancel the Saturday racing for the youth sailors, a sensible decision as the wind got up to 30 kts at the end of the 2nd race and 35kts when coming ashore.

Sunday morning dawned, 10kts and a flat sea was a very welcome sight for all of the sailors. The Youths Championships, now reduced to a 2 race event set off in lovely conditions. First out of the blocks were GP14 youth stalwarts Peter Boyle sailing with dad Stephen. Mark Greer & Adrian Lee, Jessica Greer & John Greer, David (U16) & Jon Evans all hot on their heels around the windward mark.

At the first gybe mark, the top boats were all bunched together leaving a gap for the chasing pack to sneak into.

Bobby Driscoll & Ross Kearney managed to get inside and sail into 2nd place after chasing down Mark & Adrian. After plenty of place changing, and many close battles throughout, Mark & Adrian took the win followed by Bobby & Ross, Sam Street & Josh Lloyd recovering well for third, Peter & Stephen fourth and Jessica & John in fifth.

Race 2 got away shortly after, the wind starting to drop to 6-7kts. The fleet were battling for every inch, with excellent boat handling on show.

Bobby & Ross led the fleet followed closely by Sam & Josh. Following very tight cover tacks, and a nail biting finish, Bobby & Ross managed to just pip the ever impressive Sam & Josh to the Dobson, despite Ross deciding to roll backwards following a final roll tack for the finish line. (Those helms really do need to practise the art of crewing).

In third place was Ollie Lloyd sailing with Dan Gill, with the Boyles in fourth and Jessica and John Greer in fifth.

This gave the Youth title to a very impressive Bobby Driscoll from RNIYC, a runner up at the recent Topper worlds in Garda. Bobby not only winning the overall trophy but doing so at 16 years of age. Sam Street and Josh Lloyd were a close 2nd, followed by the Peter Boyle in third.

Second in the U19 was Jessica Greer with David Evans the U16 runner up who by the way also helmed the four Hot Toddy races and won the Bronze fleet. With switch over to the seniors for the final Hot Toddy races, it was great to see so many of the youths taking a turn at the back of the boat to gain excellent experience for future years sailing in the larger fleet.

Hot Toddy Results:

PosFleetSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1Gold14203Shane McCarthyJosh PorterGreystones SC11524
2Gold14248Ross KearneyAndrew VaughanRNIYC23237
3Gold14256Ger OwensMelanie MorrisRSGYC/EABC7DNF119
4Gold14144Colman GrimesRoss GinglesSkerries SC/Derwent Resevoir546514
5Silver14274Simon CullyRichard StreetBlessington SC4891721
6Gold14214Keith LoudenMateo LoudenLough Foyle YC13108422
7Gold13901Steven NelsonDaniel NelsonNewtownards SC877822
8Gold14275Hugh GillDan GillSutton DC62162224
9Gold14154Adrain LeeSam WrayYoughal SC/Sligo YC12DNF41127
10Silver14241Patrick HamiltonJakub OzarekEast Down YC105141929
11Silver14090Chris ClaytonRory HigginsRNIYC186121331
12Gold14242Jane KearneyRebekah O'TiarnaighRNIYC9DNF17935
13Gold14260Alastair DuffinAndrew CorkillNewtownards SC119151835
14Silver14212Michael CoxClaire CromieNewtownards SC17DNF101441
15Bronze13XDavid EvansJon EvansSligo YC14DNF131643
16Gold14254James HockleyAlan ThompsonLough Foyle YC15DNF23644
17Silver13981Sam StreetJosh LloydBlessington SCDNF11211244
18Gold14272Peter BoyleStephen BoyleSutton DCDNSDNS31046
19Gold14271Paddy O'ConnorBrian MorrisonSligo YC3DNF252149
20Gold14219Curly MorrisRachel StewartNewtownards SC/EABCDNFDNF11751
21Gold14270Norman LeeAlan KeatingGreystones SC19DNF201554
22Bronze1390Adam TorrensPeter BrinesNewtownards SC16DNF182054
23Bronze13865Jennifer BryceLara SundayNewtownards SC20DNF222668
24Bronze13801John GreerJessica GreerSligo YCDNFDNF192375
25Silver14077Michael BrinesCharlie ValentineLough Erne YC21DNF24DNS78
26Bronze13207Denis CullyOlly LloydBlessington SCDNFDNF262483
27Bronze14142John McVeaLucy McVeaStrangford LoughDNFDNF282586
28Bronze14151David MellorMike ShawRNIYCDNFDNF272787
29Silver14192Brian AndrewsJohn McArthurNewtownards SC22DNFDNSDNS88
30Bronze13935John BorneXander BoydNewtownards SC/DonaghadeeDNFDNF29DNF95
31Bronze14029Darach DinneenNoah CanhamSkerries SC/Sligo YCDNFDNFDNSDNS99
31Bronze14215Zak DalzellNatasha O'TiarnaighRNIYADNFDNFDNSDNS99

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