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Irish GP14 Munster Championship at Cullaun Sailing Club

by Alan Leddy & Des McMahon 9 Nov 2022 17:33 GMT 5-6 November 2022
Munster Champions, Colman Grimes and John Chambers - Irish GP14 Munster Championship at Cullaun © Pat Biesty

19 boats of from all over Ireland gathered at Cullaun Co. Clare over the weekend of 5-6th November for the last event of the busy year that was 2022 with the GP14 Munster Championship at stake.

A super turn out of crews from all generations and family combinations from Cullaun, Skerries, Sutton, Tralee, Newtownards, Sligo, Greystones, and Blessington. Unlike last year's Baltic weather at similar events in late autumn, the weather this time was very pleasant, warm, and mild, so much so that there were no reported capsizes or troublesome abandonments.

First race start involved a general recall which put manners on everyone and was won by Skerries Coleman Grimes/John Chambers (back to GP14 sailing after a long sabbatical) closely followed by Greystones Norman Lee and Alan Leddy with Steven and Daniel Nelson from Newtownards grabbing third.

While line honours went to Grimes and Chambers for the second race, there was a reported OCS (although pen-rumours later mentioned experimental use of foils), the second race went to the Lee-Alan pairing with Conor Galligan (new to GP14 fleet) and Adam Leddy youths snatching 2nd from Rob Lee and Steven Lynch in their new boats.

In very shifty conditions, by sometimes over 40 degrees in gusts, and with an infinite number of tacks needed per windward leg the third race went to the Grimes and Chambers team by a country mile with second place going to a resurgent Rob Lee and Steven Lynch followed by Steven and Daniel Nelson just pipping the Galligan and Leddy youth boat.

In mild conditions on the Saturday before a forecasted blow out for Sunday, the race officers ran an extra 4th race which again went to the Colman and John team with second bell going to Steven and Daniel Nelson beating Rob Lee/Steven Lynch into third.

Overnight the Grimes/Chambers boat was ahead of Norman Lee/Alan Leddy on joint 2nd with the Nelson father & son pairing and Rob Lee/Steven Lynch squads. Discussions in the winners' enclosures back in Gallaghers bar after dinner focused on potential inappropriate but innovative use of foils. This most certainly had something to do with the return of John Chambers to the fleet!

Fortunately, the impending bad weather held off just long enough for the race officer to run 2 snappy races on Sunday morning with a nice long square line. There was some carnage at the first windward mark with port tacking approaches by the Grimes/Chambers and Norman Lee/Alan Leddy boats being shut out by the long line of conservative starboard tackers.

After a quiet first day Katie Dwyer/Laura Fitzpatrick then led for the first time before a rounding incident meant turns and the pair dropping back out of contention.

This allowed the Rob Lee/Steven Lynch crew to take the first race by a massive lead ahead of Grimes/Chambers in 2nd with Steven and Daniel Nelson grabbing 3rd just ahead of the emerging talents of the Sam Street and Josh Lloyd youth combination from Blessington.

The last race of the event in light conditions before a downpour was a tight shoot-out between the Grimes/Chambers boat versus the Norman Lee/Alan Leddy combination all the way to the finish line with the Greystones seniors just holdoff to snatch the win. A very strong 3rd place was snatched by the leading female boat of Katie Dwyer/Laura Fitzpatrick from Sutton.

There were some great family rivalries throughout the event with family members competing across all fleets. Rob Lee showed his old man how to do it in the gold fleet with Sam Street in the silver and Denis Cully and Daithi and Aaron Murphy in the bronze, doing the same.

Denis Cully set the Bronze fleet pace with Ossian Geraghty crewing for him by running away with the first place. Max Cully/Tadgh Wardell started the event tied with Des and Pat (Cullaun) and Jennifer and Lara (Newtownards) for second overall for the season Bronze League but there was no stopping them and they held on to second in the bronze fleet with relative ease and much singing (although their rendition of never going to give you up may have been a tactical manoeuvre to scare others away from them).

This secured them a second place for the season also.

There was some great competition between Galligan/Leddy and Street/Lloyd for silver fleet honours but the boys in their new boat held on (obviously the thought of a coveted special fifth place overall prize spurred them on).

Special thanks for the tremendous hospitality to all Cullaun members, families and friends for the accommodation, food, chauffeuring, security, rescue and of course our race officers David Vinnell and Aoife Lyons.

Overall, the results from a terrific, competitive, friendly and entertaining event of tight races are:

Overall Results:

Gold 1 - Colman Grimes & John Chambers (Skerries)
Gold 2 - Robert Lee & Stephen Lynch (Greystones)
Gold 3 - Norman Lee & Alan Leddy (Greystones)

Silver 1 - Conor Galligan & Adam Leddy (Greystones)
Silver 2 - Sam Street & Josh Lloyd (Blessington)
Silver 3 - Simon Cully & Libby Tierney (Blessington)

Bronze 1 - Denis Cully & Oisin Geraghty (Blessington)
Bronze 2 - Max Cully & Tadgh Wardell (Blessington)
Bronze 3 - Des McMahon & Pat Biesty (Cullaun)

Leading Youth - Conor Galligan & Adam Leddy (Greystones)

PosFleetDivisionSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1stGoldSenior14144Colman GrimesJohn ChambersSkerries Sailing Club1(OCS)11227
2ndGoldSenior14185Robert LeeStephen LynchGreystones Sailing Club(DNS)3231615
3rdGoldSenior14270Norman LeeAlan LeddyGreystones Sailing Club2157‑10116
4thGoldSenior13901Steven NelsonDaniel NelsonNewtownards Sailing Club3‑7323516
5thSilverYouth14143Conor GalliganAdam LeddyGreystones Sailing Club42456‑921
6thSilverYouth13981Sam StreetJosh LloydBlessington Sailing Club55‑1044725
7thBronzeYouth13207Denis CullyOisin GeraghtyBlessington Sailing Club689‑115432
8thSilverSenior14274Simon CullyLibby TierneyBlessington Sailing Club‑96767834
9thGoldSenior14235Ger O'SullivanHugh McNallySutton Dinghy Club7469‑111137
10thGoldSenior14279Katie DwyerLaura FitzpatrickSutton Dinghy Club‑1312889340
11thSilverSenior14036Ed CoyneCiaran KeoghYoughal & Greystones SC89‑131381048
12thBronzeYouth13993Max CullyTadgh WardellBlessington Sailing Club1410‑1510151261
13thGoldSenior13466Richard StreetJoe CrillyBlessington Sailing Club101116(DNS)121463
14thBronzeSenior13353Des McMahonPat BiestyCullaun Sailing Club111312‑14141363
15thBronzeYouth13677Daithi MurphyArann MurphyTralee Bay Sailing Club‑15141115131568
16thBronzeSenior13865Jennifer BryceLara SundayNewtownards Sailing Club12151412‑161669
17thBronzeSenior13228Billy O'MahonyMike HayesCullaun Sailing Club16‑171716171783
18thBronzeSenior13238George FitzgeraldFrank MulqueenCullaun Sailing Club1816181818(DNF)88
19thBronzeSenior13644Coranne HeffernanCormac MurphyCullaun Sailing Club1718‑1917191889

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